Act 17: These days have been grave... / by Steve Hart

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“How is alisi?” Timpoochee asked as he entered the house to apply the medicine prepared for the old woman.

“She is resting well, son,” replied Swift Deer in her gentle voice. “The medicine relieves the pain of her body but I don’t know any medicine to relieve the pain of her heart.”

“I know,” Timpoochee said solemnly. “These days have been grave. But the sun is brighter now. We have begun a fire. The village has cleansed itself in Long Man. We will endure this. I only hope Grandmother Ama will also endure.”

Expertly he prepared the medicine, just as he had been taught. The bark of elm and dogwood, mixed with woman’s thumb, branch lettuce, dodder and buckeye made a soothing poultice for the old woman’s wounds. For extra comfort Timpoochee mixed a bit of oswego tea for a restfull sleep and the heal-all, ganifuikski.

“The treatment will ease the swelling and pain of alisi’s bruises and give her rest and sleep,” Timpoochee pronounced as if he had been in the medicine for many seasons.

Swift Deer watched his procedure with pride and wonder. He was growing into a man, rapidly. In a strange way, the events of the preceding days brought her closer to her younger son. For as long as she could remember she seemed more concerned with Cornstalk. Timpoochee resented that. She could tell.  

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