Fifth Grade, November 22, 1996
A year later some people came. They called themselves Spaniards. The elders decided the Spanish were nice so they let them stay in the village.
The Spaniards stayed for 2 years, but then they began to force the men of the tribe to work on a building they called a church. The women were forced to work in the fields and gather all the crops. The people of the tribe were threatened with a strange magic of firesticks. To the Spaniards they were guns. But to the people of the Red Willow tribe it was a strange unknown magic.
One day Running Wolf's parents refused to work. Running Wolf's mother was weak and tired. And his father was weak from the whip marks on his back.
Three men from the tribe were now dead. Running Wolf's father was one of them. Each of them had been shot.
A few nights later when running wolfs mother was putting him to sleep a soldier barged in the door. Running Wolf's mother was raped then killed. Her hair was sold the next day. That was the sixth killing in the village. Two other women were killed in the village before.
The next morning an old man was walking past Running Wolfs house when he heard a baby crying. He was able to open the back door. He followed the sound of the crying child. When he came upon the fireplace where the sound was the loudest. And there behind some logs was a year old little boy. The old man picked up the child and fled to the old mans house in the mountains. It was a house no different than the ones in the village except it was covered with willow and surrounded by many trees.
For 9 years Running Wolf lived with the old man whose name was Red Hawk. Running Wolf grew up thinking Red Hawk was his grandfather. Red Hawk taught Running Wolf how to hunt,fish, build a home and fight. Red Hawk also showed Running Wolf where to find good materials for building a house.
On a night with a low breeze and light rain Red Hawk became ill. Running Wolf became worried. But Red Hawk told him it would be ok. For Red Hawk had talked to him about when it was going to be time that he would not be with him anymore.
The next morning Running Wolf rose with the sun. He had a strong feeling something was wrong. He ran down the river which flows through the village from the mountains. Running Wolf tore through the tree's not caring whether he was caught by the Spanish or shot by one of their guns.
When he reached the river he searched around when finally something caught his eye. A figure caught his eye. A figure lying in the grass. It was Red Hawk. Running Wolf walked slowly over to where Red Hawk lay. It seemed as though he was sleeping. But Running Wolf knew the truth and he knew he must use the skills he was taught to survive. Running wolf sat with the body for one night. And when the sun rose Running Wolf buried Red Hawk.
As the years past Running Wolf Watched the village change. He was filled with grief as each year he watched people die from his tribe. He wondered what happened to the kids who were taken away. He wondered what kind of taste the different foods he saw had. And when one of the villagers was sick he wondered what was the secret behind the strange magic they called medicine they used to cure them. But the main question that ran through his mind was why were they doing this.
One morning he went to his hiding place on the hill where he could see the whole village. He watched the women in the field and he watched the men build ovens and finish the church. He watched the boys get water and the girls leave with baskets and return with them filled with choke-cherries and plums.
Running Wolf began walking to the stream when he heard footsteps. They were slow at first, but then they began to get fast. Running Wolf got scared so he hid. When the sound got close he jumped out of the tree he was hiding in and landed wright on the person. When he got up he was startled, there on the ground was a young girl. He knew her name. It was White Feather. For he had heard her mother calling her while he watched the village from the hilltop. The girl was very frightened. Running Wolf asked her why she was so far from the village. The girl told him that she had ran away because the Spanish had killed her mother and father.
The girl was 13 years old and Running Wolf was 15. White Feather said that the Spanish started killing people of the tribe because they wanted them to do work but the Red Willow People did not want to work for the Spanish. She said that the people were arguing so she escaped the first minute she got.
Running Wolf helped White Hawk to the stream so they could clean her cuts. She had many cuts but she refused to tell Running Wolf where they had come from.
Running Wolf showed White Hawk to his house. When they got inside White Hawk emptied a sack which was made of deer hide. When she emptied it some cabbage, beets, deer meat, mint and corn wrapped in a cloth the Spanish had traded to the people of the tribe. She said they were good so he tried some mint. He liked the mint. Next he tried the beets. He made a disgusted face. But the strangest thing that fell out was a square shaped object that you could open. It had some strange things in it that looked like leaves but thinner. They had strange markings on it. On the outside there were more strange markings on it.
He asked White Hawk what it was. She said it was a bible. She explained to him about the church the priest and the catholic way and about god. She knew he did not understand but she just told him to forget it. But he didn't.
He let her stay for the night. He told her that in the morning they would start building a house for her.
In the morning they were awakened by a deafening scream followed by a gun shot. Even though Running Wolf was very young when his father was killed he still remembered the frightening noise of a gun. They quickly got up and got dressed. They ran to the hilltop where they could see the village. There was a great battle between the Red Willow People and the Spaniards.
When Running Wolf saw what was happening he grabbed his bow and arrows which he kept with him at all times and ran down through the tree's and toward the village.
When he reached the wall he jumped over and went to the children who were hiding in the river. He asked them what was the fight about. They told him that that night one of the Spaniards was shot. But noone knows who did it. The Spaniards write away just blamed the people of the tribe.
Running Wolf jumped into the fight. He shot his bow. The arrow hit a Spanish man. After he killed about four people he stopped and looked at what he was doing. But before he could think he heard a loud crash. He moved to get a better look. The Spanish were destroying the church. He glanced around. Thats when he noticed White Hawk. He began shouting her name. She was too far to hear him.
Before he could shout her name one more time his chest began to hurt as he glanced at his hand he saw blood all over it. He fell to the ground still looking at his hand. He knew he had been shot. Then all of a sudden everything turned black. When he opened his eyes White Hawk was kneeling over him. He stared at her hard as if he had never seen her. Then he closed his eyes. He died minutes later.
When he died White Hawk ran into the hills. After that she was never seen again.