Round 31 Prompt Funeral
Scarlet White Hawk watched from her horse as a long black line of people, horses and even some cars traveled up the dusty hill to the cemetery. It was too bad that she’d had to sneak out to watch her grandfather be laid to rest. Her mother refused to talk about him or tell her anything.
Tears filled her eyes as she saw the box being carried by six men. She felt anger that it was so poor a send-off for him, even if she’d never known him well.
Chief Red Fox (Tokala Luta ) and a group of warriors had joined Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show and stayed there many years. When her mother had grown to marrying age, she’d chosen Joe White Hawk without her father’s blessing. Together they had left to live elsewhere.
After the last straggler left the burial grounds, Scarlet spurred her pinto to a gallop. When she reached the rutted road up the hill, she reined it in. Guiding it in a slow walk, she proceeded up the hill.
It wasn’t hard to find the place where he was, since few people were still buried here. She knew he would have chosen this one place over any other. She dismounted and stood at the foot of the fresh mound of earth. She bowed her head in prayer as fresh tears flowed unchecked from her eyes onto her lala’s grave.
Standing erect as he would have wanted her to, Scarlet walked over to her horse and removed a lance from the stirrup. The wooden handle was wrapped in buckskin, with fringing, crow beads and leather wrapped eagle feathers. She carried it reverently back to the grave.
With an expert throw, Scarlet drove the blade of the lance into the mound. Starting softly, she began to sing songs of prayer, memorial, honor and loss. She raised her face and hands to the heavens as she sang louder.
Behind her, a second voice joined her songs. She turned to find her mother Ojinintka (Rose) White Hawk Red Fox singing in chorus while tears fell unheeded down her face. Scarlet turned and went to get her mother.
Arms around each other, they continued to sing and cry until they were exhausted. Taking her mother pillion on her horse, Scarlet (Taluta) rode slowly and sadly home. When they got there, they found tea and bannock waiting for them. The two women sat and talked for hours, Rose opening the gates of her memories of her father and Scarlet soaking up every word.
By the time Rose had lost her voice and Scarlet had run out of questions, the sun was rising and husband and father Joe White Hawk was making breakfast comfort food for them all. As mother and daughter sat close to each other at the table, they smiled at Joe gratefully, thanked him and went out on the porch to share the hammock there. Scarlet was sure she wouldn’t sleep, but in no time she was dreaming of her grandfather, Red Fox riding with his warrior ancestors at last.