Reckonings: Contemporary Short Fiction by Native American Women

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

Like Some Old Story

Kimberly M. Blaeser


I

“We got that deer way up by Strawberry Mountain, skinned it, butchered it, and packed it out, all the way back to Twin Lakes. I remember thinking how much warmer I felt wrapped in that deer meat. But it weren’t vury long ‘fore it began to feel awfully heavy. Jeezus we was sure happy to get home that night. All youse little kids woke up and wanted to eat right then.”

We sit at the old man’s table. I trace the knife cuts in the oil cloth as he talks. His hands remember that journey in the air. His chin, his lips, know the directions. I see the dance in his cloudy eyes and hear him laugh at the memory of that feast. “How-wah, we sure took the wrinkle out of our bellies that night!”

We hunt this way together often now. We clean and oil the guns, sharpen the knives. He brings a new box of shells out of the kitchen cabinet. (Good thing about being a bachelor he always said—you can keep your bullets handy.) We make us a lunch. He shuffles around the trailer, breathing pretty hard as he gets dressed. I pretend not to notice the way he has to lift his bad leg with his hand to get it into the boot. We sit down to a cup of coffee before going out. It’s still dark and too early anyway.

“Wonder if you could show me how to make snares.”

He answers in that way that he has. Gesturing with his neck and chin, his head bopping slightly, a throaty series of ahhs, and then a long drawn out “Well, sure I kin show you. You know what pitcher wire is?” I bring him things from here and there about the trailer. He shows me each of his tools, remembers just what he used to use and how he came to get the ones he has now. By the time I get the hang of the cutting, the tying, the sun’s been up a while.

“Well lookit that. Them deer musta wondered what heppened to us. Spose they’re out there looking at their clocks saying, ‘Where is that ole hunter?’ Jeez, what kind of hunter you gonna make, if you forget all about going out? I spose you gonna hunt just like my girls—out of my freezer. Well we mighd’s well eat

-247-

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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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