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Excerpt from “CIRCLES” – A Novel
Feather Floating In Water continued his endless questioning. "I see you and Grandmother pick and dry the plants, but I do not know which one is for what. Which ones do you put on the fish? Are they the same ones you gave Grandfather this spring when he had to leave the lodge all night long? He sure was funny! He acted as if he was practicing for the runs the men do when the warm days come, to prove who is the fastest. Was that what he was doing in the middle of the night, trying to be sneaky about it and surprise everyone?"
The boy laughed so hard, he nearly dropped his fish off the boulder he sat on. His laughter continued as he stuffed fish into his mouth with one hand, and berries with the other.
Makes Baskets leaned forward and smiled. Her son's berry-smeared face proved he had eaten as many as remained in his basket. Wonder and innocence shone from in his eyes. She saw in them not a warrior or great hunter, as the other mothers said they saw in their sons, but rather a gentle, kind, forgiving Soul. Mystery hid within his dark eyes.
She reached out and squeezed him to the basket of raspberries that sat across the front of her dress. "What a lucky mother I am to have such a son, so smart and so good to look at. Girls will fight over you."
"Um, Mother? Mother!"
She drifted into thoughts of how special her son would be to another woman someday... 'Another woman? How could my son ever leave me? She would have to be very special to take my son! I would not allow just any woman to take his hand and lead him away from me. She would first need to prove herself worthy of such a fine man. Never—'
"Mother, please listen to me!"
She shook her head to clear her mind, and focused on her boy. "What is it, my son?"
She gazed into his laughing eyes. Puzzled, she pushed him back, and gasped as she looked down at her wet, sticky arms, red with tiny seeds stuck all over them—and her dress! The berries had oozed through the basket when she squeezed Feather to her bosom.
"Hoohaaa-haaa! The only place you do not have berries on you is red too!" He pointed to her ever-warming face and fell off the boulder in hysterics.
"Son, stop laughing and look at me!"
He obeyed and looked at her—for a split second—then roared again. He held his belly, kicking up red dust until it painted him that same color.