The Fox

To a young teenage girl, the last ten minutes of school on a Friday take a billion years. I tried to listen to the teacher, but my mind kept wandering. I always get really anxious to get home and pack when I know Grandpa and Uncle will be waiting when I get there. Oh, how I love it that Grandpa…

Unwanted Marriage

Watching the sun go down made me feel warm inside, seeing how the colors look on the mesas. What beautiful colors the sunlight makes, like purple on the lower layer, turning to a soft pink color. His arm around my shoulder made me feel warm like the sunset. The colors were dimming, telling us we ought to go home soon….

Hellhound

I awoke from a very intense wet dream. No, this is not what you sick-minded freaks are thinking of. This was a dream so vivid that all of my senses went into overdrive. This exhilarating, yet disturbing dream caught me by surprise. I have never dreamt in color. In the dream, I was a charcoal-gray wolf, running free, the cold…

Family Lessons

When I saw the Hails’ wagon moving up the drive, Meena’s head beside the old woman in a gray shawl, I ran toward the director’s house. My Osage sister waved and dropped to the ground, her green dress straining across narrow shoulders as she turned to help Sarah, the missionary’s wife. Brother Amos came onto the porch pulling on a…

The One Thing

There were many times when Nelson would sit in his chair when all the kids were gone and speculate how he ended up teaching on the reservation. On long days, when all the lesson plans were done, he’d lean back and begin dreaming. One particularly warm day, as he closed his eyes, instead of the usual flying dreams he had,…

How the Rainbow Was Created

Long ago, a great warrior and his wife were expecting their first child. The couple had longed for a son, but had difficulty conceiving. One night, before the child was to be born, Anog-Ite (Double Face Woman) paid the couple a visit to confess a secret she kept. Many nights, the spirits listened to them lament for a son. Because…

Small Hopes Shine Brightest

Theresa started the old ’87 Ford on a late February afternoon, after her shift at the bank had ended. An old beaten pickup, the ’87 saw most of the family’s troubles from start to finish, argument to makeup. Nowadays there wasn’t much to be celebrating. The small yet complete family had barely anything out of necessity to their name, and…

Noodin and Giizhik

There once was a pup that belonged to a large pack of ma’iinganag (wolves), he was called Noodin (wind) because he wandered like the wind. He was covered in dark tan fur with black on his back. Noodin wandered around the forest, wherever his nose led him. He was a loner and had a bad temper. Sometimes, Noodin revealed a…

The Coming of Big Foot

There was once a young man named Strikes Twice. He was at the edge of the village chopping wood when he heard a cry coming from a forbidden part of the woods. No human was ever to cross through this forbidden area. The piercing scream startled him, it almost sounded like a baby, and he felt that he had to…

They don’t know where they will go when they die. Ho’-wa ge a-the ta i te ts’a-bi-don i-ba-hon a-zhi a-ba o.

The day the death boats came, Meena helped me serve the noon meal. She was the only other Osage at Edwards, and she’d been there for a week. When the steam whistle sounded, we went up the slope behind the mission to the Cherokee, to the small knob along the Arkansas River. Asmell like the privies in summer made Meena…

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