A story about a Cheyenne warrior. His name was Eye of the Eagle.
|It is dawn, a new day at a place the Indians call, ‘Short Grass Plains’. A single hawk drifts across the sky, soaring on silent wings, calling out an ominous warning. Its echoing voice above the tribal circle of tipis is ignored as the bird of prey disappears into the morning mist that lingers over the waters of Sand Creek. The Cheyenne people are asleep beneath their buffalo robes, unaware their peace with the white man will soon be broken.
The hawk cries: “Be wary of the men that talk about peace, for they speak untruths.”
A young warrior, Eye of the Eagle, is roused from his deep sleep by raucous bugle blasts and repeating gunfire. He hurries from his bed of hides and sees his people being gunned down, their bodies crushed under the hooves of horses. He sees men in blue coats, charging from all directions, waving their blood stained sabers, finding pleasure in killing naked babies and screaming women.
Eye of the Eagle reaches for his rifle and shouts orders to his woman.
“Run to the creek and hide in the willows, Morning Snow. Take the child and run.”
“Come with us, Eye of the Eagle. They have many guns and you are only one.”
“Go, Morning Snow. Run with the other women, children and old men. I will join you later.”
The warrior turned away from the group that was fleeing, trying to escape; hiding along the banks of Sand Creek. He saw his chief, White Antelope, surrounded by soldiers. The old one pulled his robes closer to his chest and began his death chant. The old man’s final words went unspoken as bullets riddle his body.
Eye of the Eagle soon realized to stand and fight was futile. The ruthless white man’s guns were many, like leaves on the trees.
Once again, the hawk called: “Save yourself, Eye of the Eagle, there will be other battles.”
The retreating Indian quickly caught up with the small band of people that managed to escape death within the tribe’s encampment. They were joined by others. Among them were Cheyenne warriors called Dog Soldiers, men of fighting age that would never seek peace with the white man.
The small faction of Indians could still hear the gun fire in the distance. The screams of their brothers and sisters made their hearts sad, but they went on; saving themselves. They walked for hours, going deeper and deeper into the willow thickets. If they could just get over the next ridge, it was a straight, quick shot and they were home free. At nightfall the next day they rested.
The hawk spoke to Eye of the Eagle one last time: “Go north and join your brothers, the Lakota.”
Eye of the Eagle’s heart never knew happiness again and he never found the true freedom the Cheyenne wanted, but he sought and found revenge at the Little Big Horn when he took many scalps.
word count: 492
Prompt: "If they could just get over the next ridge, it was a straight, quick shot and they were home free!"