Kaya Leaves a Gift

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.



13 Comments Add yours

  1. IrishAG says:

    Aaaaw! That was sweet… and a little sad. 🙂 Great photos!
    ❤ , IrishAG

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks! The entire book this is from is very touching and sad.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. jackylina says:

    I really loved watching this come to life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks, I enjoyed doing it. I think it is an important scene. Turns out making pine needle horses are harder than you might think, though. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gwen says:

    How cute! Always love your photostories. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you like them!


  4. kaitlynrh1 says:

    That’s amazing! Its very sad though. So did her horse die?


    1. Emily says:

      Thanks! Actually her mentor/role model, Swan Circling died. She was good with horses and gave her her saddle. If you haven’t read Kaya’s books I highly recommend them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kaitlynrh1 says:

        Thanks for your help! I would love to get Kaya’s books on day, but right now I’m saving up for Truly Me #58!


      2. Emily says:

        Oh, cool! #58 is so adorable, I would love to add her to my collection someday too. My local library has most of the American Girl books, so if you don’t want to buy them you might see what your library has!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. kaitlynrh1 says:

        She is! I don’t know if our library does have any AG books. 😦 But I can ask them if one day then can get some! I think if they do that lots if young girls would be going to the library! I don’t like reading that much, but I love reading AG books! 😉


  5. bennettv says:

    This was so sweet and sad! Kaya is so beautiful! I don’t know her stories, but now I will have to go find them and read them. The little pine needle horse is so adorable! What a lovely photo story!

    ginnie / http://www.fakingitmostly.com


    1. Emily says:

      Thanks! I definitely recommend Kaya’s book.

      Liked by 1 person

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