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Wild Child

Trust by Don LaForte
Zina was a wild child, called that even by her grandfather in his native tongue. It was not that she misbehaved or was ill-mannered, but rather that she was not confined by traditional ways of doing things or conventional thought.
 
From the time she first learned to speak Zina often said things that would astound her parents and the elders, displaying a wisdom that seemed far deeper than their own.  It was not unusual to find her sitting off somewhere by herself talking to something or someone that no one else could see.
 
"Who were you speaking to?" Asked her mother.  "Grandfather Wind" she would answer as the breeze rustled leaves in the tree above her, or "Brother Deer" as a young fawn stood in the clearing not far away, looking straight in her direction.  It was widely accepted that she was a sacred child and had a language of her own.
 
One night her father awoke in the shining moonlight to find his young daughter missing from her pallet next to theirs on the hard packed earth.  Moving quietly out of the lodge so as not to wake his sleeping wife and cause her worry, he quickly scanned the surrounding area and saw Zina standing on a small knoll a short distance from the camp.  A pack of coyotes were gathered in a circle around her, sitting on their haunches, making not a single sound. 
 
As he crept closer he could hear Zina singing a hauntingly beautiful song, a chant in words that were unknown to him; and yet, like the coyotes, he was mesmerized by the sound.  He sat down beneath a tree to observe her. When Zina finished she knelt down in the soft grass, tipped her head back, and raised her voice in a howl that sounded exactly like those circled around her. Then she laid down in the soft grass and curled up on her side. Silently the coyotes moved in closer, turning outward to protect her as she drifted off to sleep.
 
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This post was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the prompt choices this week are creature and wild...
Come and join us there!

20 comments:

  1. This is your best story. I could identify with Zina. This could be expanded upon. I hope you do so.

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    1. Thank you Annie, I am humbled by your kind words! This is one of those stories that told itself once I began. I think it would lend itself to a longer story that told us more of this "Wild Child".

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  2. Beautiful. No harm can come to a pure soul like Zina.

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    1. That is how I see it too, Janice! Only someone pure and innocent would have gifts like these and understand their place in all of creation. The only threat to her would be from evil, and sadly, that abounds in our world.

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  3. So much imagination packed into such a short piece. I love flash fiction and you excel at it. ;)

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    1. Thank you very much Mary! :-) This piece took on kind of a mystical, spiritual feel for me as I began to write it. I felt like I could see this little girl as she went about her days with only one foot in this world!

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  4. I really love this story. It is so beautiful, almost haunting. The ending is especially cool! And your description of Zina's wildness as "she was not confined by traditional ways of doing things or conventional thought" is so true of many children who are mislabeled as ill-mannered or misbehaved or troublemakers. Love it!

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    1. Thank you Joell! I agree with you, we tend to judge children by what we see and so often we don't know the rest of the story. I worked for nineteen year in an agency that provided services for children and adults with developmental disabilities and so often I saw beautiful spirits shining in bodies and minds that didn't always conform to what society calls "normal". I learned to appreciate all life as sacred, as was the case with this child.

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  5. I agree with an that this could be expanded into a full length novel that would be really wonderful...

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    1. Thank you Zoe! It would certainly be a bit of different fare, wouldn't it? Someday I hope to have time to take some of these short stories and play with them and see what they could grow to be. This one was special to me, not only in the spirit of Zina, but also in my respect for the spirituality of indigenous people who were not so quick to brand something that is different as "bad" or "wrong" as we do in our society today.

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  6. Awesome story! She is very brave to sit in circle of coyotes.
    : )

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    1. Thank you Joseph, I'm glad you liked it! To Zina the coyotes were brothers and sisters, she could communicate with them, they respected her, and she knew they would never harm her. So many times people, especially ones with evil in their hearts, are more a danger than animals. I think that will be Zina's greatest challenge as she grows up, those who are jealous and would want to steal her gift or take it away.

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  7. Those are the kind of coyotes I'd want too. And your cats. And some cans of Spam to keep everyone mellow.

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  8. Josie, I know now that you can imagine how growing up wild out on the prarie would be. Not all bad at all, at least for the moment (of growing up).
    ..

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    1. That's very true Jim, while it wasn't an easy way of life, for indigenous people or immigrant settlers, it was a good life all in all I think, much simpler, much closer to the earth and values that made sense. For a child it would be a life of wide-eyed adventure and learning skills that would last a lifetime!

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  9. This story certainly drags you in and almost demands that it be developed into a serial as it has so many possibilities.

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    1. THank you, Robin, I think when one starts out with a child as a main character, there are so many ways to go with telling more. At some point I might have to take this project on. You made telling the lives of indigenous people into an art form with your series!:-)

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)