The Stranger

The young Indian boy rode his horse through the high desert of Oklahoma. His parents were counting on him to bring home food for the family. He knew at this time of year, finding food was as challenging a task as ever. He had been riding for two days already and had not seen anything or anybody. The land was bare, and the wind was hot. He could see why all the animals were in hiding. Nothing in their right mind would want to be out that heat.

He came across a stream of water flowing gently down. He thought if he followed this stream, he would have a good chance to find an animal to kill and eventually bring home. He paused for a moment while his horse took a well-deserved drink of water from the stream. He thought he should do the same and did. 

As he cupped his hands together to draw some water, he brought it to his mouth. He glanced up and saw movement in the bushes on the other side. He got his trusty bow and arrow at the ready, thinking it was an animal. Hopefully, it was big enough for the family. But even if it was a small animal, it would be enough to feed him for the time being. His horse’s ears perked up, hearing the same rustle in the bushes.

He quietly stepped through the stream of water trying to not make any noise to scare off whatever was in the bush. He took one step, no movement from the bush. Another step. Still nothing. Another step closer. He was getting anxious, hoping this animal was not bigger than him. Another step closer. Slowly he moved. Quiet as possible. The closer he got to the bush, the more anxious he got. Sweat started to build on his forehead. His arms started to shake.

Now, he’s within inches of the bush. He still sees nothing. Not even a rustle. He places his face closer. He reaches in with his free hand. Nothing. He sees nothing. His disappointment is easily seen on his face. He puts his bow and arrow down to his side. He turns around to return to his horse.

He is quickly met with a large hand that is attached to a large hairy man with a long gray beard and mustache. His large black cowboy hat covered his head. All the boy could do is fall backward, hoping the man would not hurt him.

“Hey,” the man said in an old raspy voice. “It’s okay, son. I’m not going to hurt you.”

The boy crawled backward while on his back. Trying to put some distance between him and the strange man. The boy has only seen the white colored men once before when they came through his family’s camp a few months back. He remembers they were mean and took their food and animals without asking. And worse yet, shooting and killing his brother and uncle. He remembered that the white men were not nice. This made the boy even more scared. 

The man stepped closer reaching out his hand closer to the boy to help him stand up. “AHHHHHHHH,” the boy screamed.

The man jumped back, startled by the boy’s yell. “What the Sam’s hell are you yelling for, son?” He reached out his hand again, “I’m only trying to help.”(Your turn… Finish the story.)

Published by jameshmorris

Photographer located in Central Oregon.

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