Act 20: He cannot lead the people... / by Steve Hart

“But Cornstalk stands in line before Timpoochee,” Swift Deer turned and faced Grandmother Ama. “He is older. He will become Duweuwewanidatsi when Yufala can no longer stand.”

“I will tell you no more,” the old woman responded, her voice heavy and burdened. “Cornstalk’s mind is impure. He cannot lead the people.”

Swift Deer had to admit Timpoochee had the greater potential of the two boys. He is always curious, always asking questions and seeking to understand why the world is as it is. He was mild mannered, respectful of others in the town and always eager to help where he could.

She enjoyed watching him play on the water. On Long Man he was in his world, expertly piloting the canoe up and down the river, at home along its banks and with its animals.

In his youth he developed his skills as a fisherman, both with the net and with the bow. From the time he was a small boy he could shoot u-ga and other utusti with seemingly little effort.

One of his favorite games was to wait on the river bank for a school of u-ga to come along. He would wait and catch them with his arrows as they leaped above the water surface. He always returned to town with a good catch.

With his eyes he could follow them in the clear waters as they made their way upstream. He could tell when they were about to jump by the way the dipped. His marksmanship made him stand out among the other young boys.

But still there was the matter of his physical appearance. As he grew older it became more and more a topic of conversation among the older women.

But no one could really deny the heritage of Swift Deer and Yufala’s younger son. Swift Deer would not allow it.

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