Art of Weaving Words
Writing stories is about art! Moral issues, family values, biblical themes? There is no place for such things within the fabric of story! So say some. Well, my stories are woven with hale moral fibers. But how does one deal with things of that nature (moral issues, family values, biblical themes) and maintain the wonder of story? Are my stories preachy-sappy or are they art? You be the judge. Here is a short short story for your consideration.
LITTLE EAGLE AND BLOSSOM
“Mother, what are you doing?” Little Eagle’s brow wrinkled in puzzlement.
“I am taking down the teepee, Little Eagle.” The Indian boy’s mother glanced toward the hill beyond, her face grim.
“But Mother, why are you taking down the teepee?” asked Little Eagle. The eight year old’s face sheeted with disappointment. “I like living here, Mother.”
Little Eagle enjoyed playing in the tall grass beyond their encampment and catching fish in the nearby stream. Grass Valley was a good place to live. Little Eagle’s mother looked at him and smiled kindly.
“The soldiers are coming, Little Eagle,” she sighed. “We cannot stay in Grass Valley. We must hurry to another valley beyond Sun Mountain.
Little Eagle’s eyes filled with puzzlement and his face wrinkled with question. “What are soldiers, Mother?”
“Soldiers are a strange tribe of men from across the eastern plain,” she explained.
“I do not want to leave Grass Valley, Mother.” The corners of Little Eagle’s mouth drooped. “I have a bow and arrows. I will protect Grass Valley from the soldier tribe.”
Little Eagle’s mother smiled and shook her head. “No, Little Eagle, you cannot fight the soldiers with your bow and arrows.”
Little Eagle’s eyebrows rose. “Yesterday I shot a prairie chicken with just one arrow,” he boasted.
From beyond the hill came the sound of rolling thunder. Little Eagle looked to the eastern sky. There were no clouds.
“The soldiers have fire sticks.” There was urgency in his mother’s voice. Forgetting the teepee, she hurriedly gathered their few belongings and set off in the opposite direction of the thunder. “Hurry, Little Eagle. The fire sticks send death from farther than your arrow can fly.”
“I am not afraid of the soldier tribe’s fire sticks.” Little Eagle stood his ground, bow in hand. He notched an arrow. The rolling thunder from just beyond the hill to the east of the camp grew louder.
“Come, Little Eagle!” shouted his mother. Grimacing, he turned to followed her.
The storm broke. Little Eagle looked over his shoulder. Strange men dressed in blue, astride horses, thundered down the hill behind them. “The soldiers!” rang out a panic-laced voice.
Little Eagle turned to face his enemy. He drew back his bowstring and loosed his arrow. It soared toward the soldiers but fell short of its mark and was trampled by the beating hooves.
Little Eagle stared as one of the soldiers lifted a long stick to his shoulder. He saw fire spurt from the end of the stick, felt a sudden burning in his chest, and crumpled to the ground.
As the thunder passed he whispered, “I do not want to leave Grass Valley, Mother.”
Evening shadows shrouded the horse soldier’s bivouac. Several slump-shouldered men sat by a dancing fire rehearsing the day.
“I killed my first Indian today, Bill,” offered one soldier, his mouth twisted in a cynical grin.
“Yes, and he was only a boy,” responded Bill. Sadness edged his voice.
“An Indian’s an Indian!” shot back the other soldier. “A rabbit’s a rabbit whether small or large, and an Indian’s just another animal on the prairie. Little or big they’re fair game.”
“He was just a little boy,” pressed Bill.
“Indians aren’t real human beings,” laughed the other, waving Bill aside. “Indians are just savages. It’s not like killing a real person, you know!”
In another part of the country a young woman was consulting with her doctor.
“My husband’s a soldier.” The young woman broke into a broad smile. “He is serving in the Cavalry out west.”
The doctor raised an eyebrow. “But shouldn’t you ask him if he wants the baby?”
“No, it’s not his baby anyway.” Her smile faded. There was bitterness in her voice. “Do you know what it would do to our marriage if he knew I had gotten pregnant by another man? Besides, it’s not like killing a real person.”
Somewhere in the ethereal-after, gentle voices.
“Hi, I lived in Grass Valley. Where did you live?”
“Grass Valley sounds like a beautiful place. I never had a chance to live in a beautiful place like Grass Valley.”
“My name’s Little Eagle, What’s yours?”
“I was never given a name.” Sadness edged the girl’s voice.
“I will call you Blossom.”
“Why will you call me Blossom?”
Little Eagle shrugged a shoulder. “Because you never had a chance to become the beautiful flower God intended you to be.”
“Then I am Blossom.” A tear trickled down her cheek. Looking about at the others who surrounded them she added, “But there are so many blossoms, Little Eagle.”
Little Eagle smiled and took her hand. Eyes wet, they continued on with the others toward the beautiful gate where they had been assured their tears would be wiped away.
Art of Story Feedback
The art of story is saying what you want to say in a manner that captivates while entertaining. A worthwhile INC. article by Riley Gibson points out the importance of maintaining the art of story. I wonder…have I accomplished that with the story you just read? So what do you think? It the story art or so much drivel? Your comments are welcome. You are also encouraged to share this post on social media. You might ask your friends their opinion.