Karin Mitchell's books on Goodreads
Between Families Between Families
reviews: 5
ratings: 8 (avg rating 4.75)

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Currant of the River: A Fable Part II

When the girl entered her hut she realized she must tell her parents of this important news. But through the loudness of her father’s anger, no one could hear her meaning. Also, she knew this was moon news, which is only learned through whispers and listening. So she went to bed and slept, ignoring the noises of the house in favor of the comfort of her lesson. She wrapped it around herself and slept.

The medicine man could not sleep, however, as he too had learned something. He suddenly knew the girl would not brown as his people did. They were sun people and she was not; she was a moon person. Moon people worked by tides and waters, they were both lighter and darker, they were people with a different shadow.

The next day the father, furious at the impropriety of a daughter coming home so late, banned her from stopping at the river for any longer than it took to fetch the water. He had built a strange device in the open space next to their hut which grabbed a slither of sun and kept it trapped there, ever moving around in the same circle. She was only permitted to go fetch the water when the sun’s shadow slice was caged in three specific places. She was instructed to go straight there, come straight back, without stopping to think.

The watchers knew of this and told the medicine man. The medicine man had begun to love the girl for her different and strange light, so brought the problem to the council for advisement. The council proposed an action. Perhaps the family did not have enough children and would benefit from more. Perhaps the father would listen better and learn more if he had a young child to show him. The medicine man would deliver this idea. He thought about the best way to deliver the gift and decided he would go see the girl. He waited for her at the river.

That day, she felt herself changing. All day she sensed the sun creep between the layers of her skin and plant a glowing love for her to bring to the moon. For the moon and the sun had been the first friends and loved each other truly and deeply, which is why there are such beautiful colors at the magical time twice a day when they meet. She became woman. She felt the sun dial beg to be freed and silently promised to find a way, knowing responsibility was part of her newness.

She went at the same times as usual that day to the river and on the third time met the medicine man. When she arrived he was taken aback by the look in her eyes. He knew the desperation had returned and knew what he must do. She tried to explain that she could not stay; she was not allowed to stop and think. So he kept her moving and moving, rising and falling like the tides. She knew as she returned home what extra waters she brought with her and that the special currants he had given her the last time, would grow this time. She did not see the medicine man again.

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