View Full Version : Native American style short story

Isaiah Lake
August 31st, 2010, 03:58 AM
River in the Sky

On the great slopes of the Appalachian Mountains once lived a great and mighty black bear named Tathuihui. He had four children that he loved dearly, and a wife named Ehwaywaynahc.
One spring Tathuihui took his children to fish in the stream, which ran through his land. They had caught several, big rainbow trout. Tathuihui was greatly pleased with his children’s skill at fishing. “When we get home your mother will be amazed at the bounty that we harvested here today,” the old bear told his eager children.
Then along came Turkey. “Hello Tathuihui,” she said.
“Hello Turkey. How are you today?”
“Oh I’m doing just horrible Turkey replied. You see, all the other birds can fly, but I can’t go farther than that stone over there.”
“I see,” said Tathuithui. What shall we do about this?”
“I have an idea!” Turkey exclaimed with great zeal. “You can toss me into the air, and we shall see how far I can go then.”
“I don’t know. What if you get hurt Turkey?” The old bear said, genuinely concerned.
“Oh it’ll be fine. You’ll see.”
Tathuihui wanted to help Turkey feel better, so he agreed. With a great heave Tathuihui threw Turkey. She flew above the trees. Flapping her wings as hard as she could, she went up and up and up. By now Turkey was only a speck in the sky.
Tathuihui expected her to start falling any second, but she didn’t. Finally, after a few minutes, the bear yelled out to her. “Turkey, when do you plan on coming down?”
“I’m stuck!” she yelled.
“How’d you get stuck?”
“I don’t know!” Turkey yelled in a frightened voice.
Bear could not figure out what to do, so he summoned together all the other animals. They talked for hours about how to get her down. Finally, Mouse spoke up and said, “Sometimes if I get stuck somewhere, it will flood and I will be washed out. Maybe we could throw this river into the sky and wash Turkey out.”
They talked about this and agreed that it was a good idea. So Tathuihui took his stream and threw it into the sky. Turkey came falling. “Hurray!” they shouted.
Tathuihui caught Turkey and she was forever indebted to the bear. Turkey was down, but the river had stayed in the sky. Tathuihui was sad, but glad that he had his friend back.
That is why the sky is blue, the way water is from afar. Sometimes the river will leak from the sky. This we know, now as rain.

Hello everyone. I am new to this forum and I figured I would share some of my recent work. This is a peice that I wrote for my American Literature class.

~Isaiah Lake

Olly Buckle
August 31st, 2010, 09:40 AM
It is a difficult genre to imitate, the originals get refined by generations of storytellers so all the gaps and problems gradually get fixed and you do not have that advantage, nevertheless it is not a bad story and it is a nice clean bit of writing. Only one comment, I might have put this the other way around,
"That is why the sky is blue, the way water is from afar" to read "The water seen from afar is why the sky is blue", it was a bit like getting the punch line before the joke your way.

August 31st, 2010, 06:00 PM
You are writing in a genre and form that I greatly enjoy and read intensively.
I have to admit this is a version of The Sky Is Blue Because . . . that I've not encountered before.
There are a few grammatical problems such as missing quotation marks and so on but it is generally an interesting and entertaining story. I would, however, make a few suggestions;
The bears' names are hard to pronounce and might turn off some readers. Either give a translation and use that afterwards or give them a simpler, common name.
Anybody who knows about wild game knows that wild turkeys were/are actually very good flyers. Like roadrunners, they prefer to stay close to the ground.
You might also try to simplify your sentences and perhaps put them in a Native American form - check out First People of America and Canada - Native American Indians. Turtle Island. Legends, Treaties, Clipart. (http://www.firstpeople.us/) for some excellent examples.

Good try though!

Isaiah Lake
August 31st, 2010, 11:06 PM
Thanks for the critique guys. Taxiday, thanks alot for pointing out that wild turkeys can fly. Maybe I'll change it to peacock or something. Are peacocks native to America?

September 1st, 2010, 08:16 AM
I think everyone pretty much gave feedback on the things that i noticed. I really enjoyed this, too. I really enjoy the simplicity of the story (as Native American tales are famous for). Thanks for the break from the norm. Welcome to the forum!

September 2nd, 2010, 01:49 AM
Thanks for the critique guys. Taxiday, thanks alot for pointing out that wild turkeys can fly. Maybe I'll change it to peacock or something. Are peacocks native to America?

Nope! They come from India.
I honestly cannot think of a single North American bird that cannot fly!

Isaiah Lake
September 2nd, 2010, 02:47 AM
Well it turns out that Turkeys are pretty avid flyers, flying up to 55 mph according to one source... but they don't do distance. All of my sources indicated that they are incapable of flying for more than, maybe a quarter of a mile. I beleive that it is safe to assume that Turkey might have felt envy for the other birds. Thanks for the critique guys! I'm glad you didn't bleed it too horribly. :)