The Trapper and the grandfather sat outside the wigwam near the big fire while his daughter gave birth to her third child inside. The grandfather spoke first. It’s been hard for her after her husband passed away. He had a sickness that could not be cured in the sweat lodge. But he died knowing that his third born would see this world. This is why we stayed here instead of going to the winter camp with our people. We had to make sure that his sickness died with him. My daughter only became a little sick and the children along with myself were spared completely but I don’t know why. The trapper listened and thought carefully before he replied in Algonquin. The creator only calls those people who are ready to come home. These were the only words of comfort he could think of. They sat in silence for the biggest part of the time and watched as the grandson quickly became bored and started tossing small sticks and pine cones into the fire. Eventually he found a stick from a Virginia Pine that was full of resins and burned like a candle. He was holding it over the fire and listening to the zip noise made by the dripping pitch. My grandson is full of curious thoughts. Sometimes they get him into trouble but he’s mostly a good boy. He learns by doing things differently than the other children. He thinks that I don’t watch but I see him well. When it’s time to build a new fire he’ll remember that the pitch burns easy and that’s what he’ll use to catch his spark. The grandfather’s eyes twinkled as recounted a few stories about how his grandson learned all by himself that twisted strings could power small traps and that polished bone was a good fishing spear. The trapper was lost in the older man’s story telling when the granddaughter stepped outside of the hut to announce that the baby had arrived. The grandfather went in alone at first and then called for his grandson. Finally they invited the trapper to come and meet the new baby. He sat down on one of the cots and the grandfather placed the newborn in his arms. The baby was wrapped in the softest deerskin and had the largest dark eyes. It wasn’t long before the baby clutched a handful of the Trapper’s red beard and refused to let go which made them all giggle a little. The grandfather thought that the red hair looked like fire in his new grandson’s little fist and being the patriarch of the family named the child “Grasping Fire”. The trapper looked on with a little jealousy as the family bonded in front him and who could blame them for the joy of new life after a tragic loss.
Over the course of the next few weeks the trapper stayed with his native friends and helped out with the daily tasks while they adjusted to presence of Grasping Fire. Eventually he noticed the looks that the new mother was giving him. She was appreciative of his help but there seemed to be something else there as well. Eventually the grandfather spoke to the trapper about how her mourning period was over and that she would need help from a good man to care for her children. If such a man was interested he would need a dowry to offer. As he said this he produced the Trapper’s folded up medicine hat with all it’s silver trinkets still attached. The grandfather now looked at the Trapper’s face with the same twinkle he had for the rest of his family. Trapper’s eyes widened. The hat was simply a way to let the native population know that he was willing to trade the silver for safe passage through their domain. He never thought that it would become a token of full acceptance into his new family.
There are many kinds of love in this world. The love we call friendship, the love we bestow on strangers in trouble, the love of family and the love of husband and wife. They said that life is short so love hard and in addition to that I say that a life of love is a full life.
This concludes the Trapper series for now but I’ve grown fond of the characters so it’s quite possible that we’ll see them again when inspiration hits.
Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.
For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic beginner’s guide to MeWe. I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.
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