Mary Peace Finley
Award-winning author of books for young people
"Yes! Yes! I hear you." Painted Horse touched his finger tips to his ears. "I feel the
pounding of your feet. My young friend of eleven summers, you are a clever Little
Fox…and a fast one, too. Because of you, we eat pheasant today."
Little Fox circled Painted Horse's tipi, then circled his own. His sister, Morning Flower, was adding
hot stones to the stew cooking inside a buffalo paunch. His mother was roasting the pheasant Little
Fox had shot with his bow and arrow early that morning. The pheasant was skewered on a green willow
stick that rested in the forks of two branches stuck into the ground. The juices dripped and sizzled on the
coals and made Little Fox's mouth water.
"When we go to trade at Bent's Fort, Robert will be surprised," Little Fox said, kneeling beside the fire.
"Morning Flower, will you watch me win?"
Morning Flower flipped her long black braids over her shoulder. Her eyes sparkled. "I hope
we go soon."
"Gray Owl has called for a gathering tonight." Their mother's eyebrows arched, and Little Fox knew what
her words--and that look--could mean.
He glanced around the village. Women were finishing their work. No new hides were being scraped.
None of the dogs were carrying more firewood into camp. Nothing new was being started.
© Mary Peace Finley 2012