Monday, 21 November 2011

"Homeland"- 200 words

 Stars flickered in a sky not yet diminished by electric light. The USA was twelve years old and ended at the Mississippi River. The camp, near the town now called Salmon, was fragrant with cedar needles smouldering on a fire when I was born into the Agaidika tribe. 

They named me Sacajawea and taught me to hunt and trap in the forests and fish in the streams. I skinned deer to make soft leather for clothing. I painted the partings in my hair with red clay, a symbol of peace. I learned early and worked hard for survival.
Captured by horsemen trading with the white men, I was taken from my tribe. Sold, I became the wife of Charbonneau and the mother of Jean Baptiste.
More men came, with strange looking boats and wearing uniforms. They built a place they called Fort Mandan. I was useful for the skills I had learned from my tribe, so I went with them to what they thought was unexplored territory and reached my homeland where my family was killed five years before. 

I died of putrid fever in St Louis, but my spirit soars still, above the Lemhi Valley of my birth.

(One Word Challenge entry for Writers Online )