Reckonings: Contemporary Short Fiction by Native American Women

By Hertha D. Sweet Wong; Lauren Stuart Muller et al. | Go to book overview

The Humming of Stars
and Bees and Waves

Anita Endrezze

Long ago, there was a spirit woman and her name was Yomumuli, Enchanted Bee. She made the earth: the rippling grasses swaying in the wind and the scarlet mountains floating on clouds of tiny blue birds. And the day was divided into astonished animal faces, and the night was a fountainhead of stars and the slumber of river turtles.

Since that time, the papery husks of stars have fallen into the seas and mothers have grown older. Rosa is a woman who talks to herself. Although she doesn’t remember the first creation, she does, of course, remember the birth of her only child, a son named Natchez.

She made the people and put them in a village. And in the middle of the village was a Talking Tree that hummed like bees.

When Natchez was little, he talked to his shadow, and Rosa talked with the coyotes and ravens and flowers. But now she is old and can’t see very well. Once she caught herself talking to a discarded gum wrapper, thinking it was a flower.

I wonder, she thinks, if my dreams can tell me how to make my eyes better. She knows that her tribe believes in dreams, but since she’s half Yaqui, she doesn’t always know whether the dreams believe in her. Still, she begs for a dream that would speak healing words. One night she dreams the words “unlined cell differential” and has no idea what they mean. I probably got someone else’s dream, she thinks. Another night she dreams about fog, and when she wakes up, her eye is cloudier.

The tree spoke a sacred language. No one could understand it. Not the youngest. Not the oldest. Not the wisest or bravest or strongest. Not even the oldest.

Rosa wakes one morning and remembers a dream that tells her to enter a cave. Grandmother Spider Woman tells her to bring cedar, tobacco, and corn. No walkietalkie. No flashlight. No strings or bread crumbs to mark the path. Just blind faith.

-204-

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Reckonings: Contemporary Short Fiction by Native American Women
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Credits vii
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Paula Gunn Allen (1939–) 1
  • Burned Alive in the Blues 3
  • Deer Woman 17
  • Beth E. Brant (1941–) 25
  • Turtle Gal 27
  • Swimming Upstream 38
  • Diane Glancy (1941-) 45
  • Minimal Indian 47
  • Stamp Dance 54
  • An American Proverb 59
  • Anna Lee Walters (1946-) 61
  • Buffalo Wallow Woman 63
  • Las Vegas, New Mexico, July 1969 75
  • Apparitions 80
  • Janet Campbell Hale (1947–) 85
  • Claire 87
  • Linda Hogan (1947-) 111
  • Descent 113
  • Bush’s Mourning Feast 123
  • Leslie Marmon Silko (1948–) 129
  • Storyteller 131
  • Mistaken Identity 143
  • Patricia Riley - (1950-) 151
  • Damping Down the Road 153
  • Wisteria 166
  • Joy Harjo (1951–) 173
  • The Reckoning 175
  • The Crow and the Snake 182
  • The Woman Who Fell from the Sky 185
  • The Flood 189
  • Letter from the End of the Twentieth Century 192
  • Anita Endrezze (1952–) 195
  • Grandfather Sun Falls in Love with a Moon-Faced Woman 197
  • The Humming of Stars and Bees and Waves 204
  • Louise Erdrich (1954–) 211
  • Le Mooz 213
  • Summer 1913/Miskomini-Geezis/ Raspberry Sun 222
  • Almost Soup 234
  • Lazy Stitch 239
  • Kimberly M. Blaeser (1955–) 245
  • Like Some Old Story 247
  • Growing Things 252
  • Misha Nogha (1955–) 257
  • Memekwesiw 259
  • Sakura 263
  • Beth H. Piatote (1966–) 265
  • Beading Lesson 267
  • Life-Size Indian 270
  • Reid Gómez (1968–) 279
  • Electric Gods 281
  • Touch. Touch. Touching 289
  • Author Biographies and Bibliographies 293
  • Anthologies of Native American Literatures 303
  • Index 307
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