Sunday, August 10, 2014

Step Lightly


We are not the first. Always Remember: we are not the first. Humans have left their mark on virtually every inch of dry land. Sadly, we forget that, but as I traveled through the west, I was ever aware of it. 

Montana highway 2 traverses the Blackfeet Nation. I found myself envious of the incredible views the tribe enjoys, but then I would catch a glimpse of a shabby house, with a trio of broken down trucks in the yard. Life is not easy on the reservation, and we should all be angry. 

But I'm not here to dredge up the past. 

We needed groceries, and while my husband slipped inside the tiny store at St. Mary, I waited in the back of the van with the dogs. The town was lively as the rodeo grounds were active and a block away. I couldn't resist taking this shot of this young woman riding bareback through the parking lot. Dirty window and all, I snapped a photo, as I tumbled back to lazy summer days with my own horse, Cheyenne. 
I had read about the warriors the Blackfeet have placed at the four corners of their Nation, and I begged to stop even though we were both tired and the dogs just wanted out. 
Welded from random bits of the car, truck and tractor, the warriors locked their tireless eyes on mine. 

 And my camera blinked. 

Today, I return to Blue on the Horizon. Gaven, Uredd and Stump think they are alone, but they are, of course, wrong.

In a heartbeat, the peaceful setting boiled with action. In a carefully drilled manner, the trollkin ran in different directions, zigzagging the whole way, but their professor stood her ground until they were well away before she slowly led attack on yet another path. Uredd heard metal scraping on stone, followed by shuffling feet, and finally a deep, menacing moan. He was rooted in place, too weak to flee, but Uredd didn’t need fairy advice to tell him to stand his ground. It didn’t matter what creature made that noise. None of them were capable of traveling a single step further without help.

Suddenly, Uredd bore witness to a living nightmare. A massive troll, covered in rotting vegetation, lumbered from the base of the trees, and it was heading in their direction. Uredd could barely make out the small form of an honest troll trotting next to the beast, and  holding a tether connected to the neck of the beast. He blinked once, twice, but the vision refused to dissolve.
Uredd, Blue on the Horizon
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