A photo story adapted from the book Kaya’s Hero and inspired by yesterday’s observation of Memorial Day:
Kaya sat with her little brothers…they were watching as she shaped and tied long pine needles.
She made three little horses and handed one to each boy.
“Here they are,” she said. “Now you can have races.”
Kaya cut a small piece of hide and tied it with a bit of fringe onto the third little horse’s back–there, now this one had a saddle.
She left the lodge without telling anyone where she was going. Since she’d wakened, she’d know what she must do.
The trail to the burial place led around the sides of low hills. Kaya went to the place where Swan Circling was buried and put the little horse made of pine needles on her grave.
“I’ve been thinking about things,” Kaya said softly to her friend. “I want you to know I’m going to live up to your expectations–and that I’m grateful for your trust. And your name. But I hope to get my sister back before I use it, and maybe my horse, too. I want to deserve what you’ve given me. I want our people to think well of me when they call me by your name.”
She stood a moment more, squinting into the morning light that flooded the long, broad valley, and then she started home.