“Mother,” Timpoochee said, still peering out the door in the direction of Rising Fawn’s house. “If she has the bowl outside do you think she would allow me to taste of its fruit of promise?”
“There is only one way to find the answer to your question, my son,” Swift Deer replied with a broad grin.
It was the custom of Timpoochee’s people that once families had discussed the possibility of marriage between two offspring the girl’s family placed a bowl of sofkee, or corn meal, outside its home beside the corn crib.
If the young woman was interested in the advances of a particular boy she would allow him to steal up to the bowl and from it take a spoonful. If she is not interested she was instructed to run him away before he could get to the bowl.
Inside Rising Fawn’s house she and two older women were still working to repair the damage from the bear attack. Rising Fawn’s father was away, on a full moon’s hunt. He was not due home for several more days.
“Are you keeping an eye on the bowl?” asked one of the older women as the young girl perched inside the doorway, fashioning a bowl from a mound of moist, warm clay.
Rising Fawn was becoming a bit dispirited.
“Yes, Uji, I am watching the corn meal but no one is coming. Are you sure you talked about this with Swift Deer? Maybe Timpoochee is not interested in me after all.”
“He is interested,” said Rising Fawn’s mother. “I have seen the way the watches you. I know that look. He is interested.”
“Wait...mother!” Rising Fawn suddenly perked up. “He is standing outside his house, talking with Swift Deer and looking this way!”
“Quickly, daughter, crouch down so he will not see you. If he does he might just keep going.”