Ahusaka of the Heron tribe rose early and went to the yenaldooshi dwelling.
Those in Northwich called the yenaldooshi Jeptha, or Beast.
He noted strange markings on tree bark and recognized it as the written language of Brother’s people.
Prominently displayed on a post was a large sea shell. It was not the one given to him by his daughter, but the message was clear. The yenaldooshi was putting his grief on display.
Ahusaka had seen many things. He had tamed a thunderbird and bore the scars of many battles. He looked with admiration at the many pequin hides and the smoked meat hanging.
These were only a portion of his hunts. On some mornings, hides full of dried meat had been left in his village.
Strength and generosity were valued by the Heron and the yenaldooshi exemplified this.
He did not hear his approach, but noticed movement out of the corner of his eye.
Jeptha was angry. ” WHY ARE YOU HERE?”
Ahusaka relaxed as he would if he had met an enraged bear as to pose no threat.
“Friend, I loved a thunderbird named Keezheekoni and released her.”
He recounted his experience as a young man with Jeptha and he listened quietly.
“I long for Keezheekoni and want to go back and find her. That was many years ago, Jeptha. I think about her every day.”
He pulled off his shirt. “She was not nice to me. See the scars?”
On his shoulders were deep gouges where he had let the thunderbird rest.
“Like Keezheekoni there will always be a longing for Wispy Sapling. Your pain is inside and it is worse than my pain.
You spoke well at the celebration and you were honorable. You said you lost a Sapling and gained a forest.”
“Like you, I lost a thunderbird and gained a siege of Heron warriors. Who will tell what your future holds?”
Ahusaka rose from his seat and walked into the forest.