Ahusaka of the Heron tribe sat in front of his lodge
He was a thin man of average height with long, dark hair. His dark eyes were sharp and alert. During festivities and councils , Ahusaka would proudly display a rows of deep scars embedded on his right shoulder and arm. He did not sing of them when it was time to speak of war although he sang of other feats in battle.
He was not tired, but could feel the natural progression of age on his body.
As he sat, he listened.
Wispy Sapling was not in her lodge in the morning and her mother was asking around for her. She was not in the village.
Ahusaka knew Wispy Sapling all of his life and he gave her guidance after her father died in battle. Wispy Sapling was like a daughter to Ahusaka.
He decided not to take Wispy Sapling’s mother as a wife. He had seen the folly of having too many wives from the others in the village and kept one wife, Magaskawee.
He ensured that Wispy’s mother received a portion of his hunt.
Ahusaka contemplated. He had hunted more proficiently than the youth for many years by thinking about the habits of the pursued before following the sign.
He thought of her nature. Wispy Sapling fiercely embraced her heritage as a Heron. She was flirtatious and a little forward in her demeanor and on occasion she stayed out late.
She was not one to drink a lot of fermented fruit or smoke too many leaves. It was in her to go home before things got out of hand.
Ahusaka pondered the yenaldooshi that they had welcomed from Northwich.
The yenaldooshi and Wispy Sapling spoke frequently. They recently gathered mushrooms together in the woods with Wispy’s mother while he held the baskets.
She was part of the joke where the youth convinced the yenaldooshi he was fighting a pequin.
Ahusaka was impressed when he carried a young lion into the camp alive. Would a Wispy Sapling not be?
Would she leave without telling anyone?
Ahusaka reviewed the facts in his mind and mulled over them. People in general can be impressed upon to do things they were not expecting to do.
It was settled in Ahusaka’s mind. “Where the yenaldooshi is we will find Wispy Sapling.”
A small party of warriors gathered.
“Ahusaka, we have found sign. It is unmistakable what has happened here. Wispy Sapling was taken captive.”
Ahusaka rose from the ground where he was sitting. He did not respond and stood still for several minutes. When a warrior began to speak, he raised his hand. Slowly and methodically, he walked over to her lodge and began to look around. He motioned for the warriors to keep their distance.
Outwardly, he was poised and in control. Not a flicker of emotion could be seen in his face. Inside a deadly darkness steadily worked its way into the core of Ahusaka.
Wispy did not leave of her own will.
Ahusaka returned to his lodge and gathered his weapons of war.