The Wife is Always Right
“Without a word, she dropped to the ground,” finished Grandpa.
“That’s a great story, Grandpa!” said his grandson, Ekanu’tu, sitting beside him on the tree. “Tell me another!”
“I don’t know. Your Grandma might get mad if we stay too long.”
C’mon, Grandpa! C’mon, c’mon!”
“Okay, settle down,” sighed Grandpa. He began speaking in a singsong voice. It was the way the ancients told stories.
Long ago, The People lived in lands far from here. This is mostly forgotten by everyone, but it’s true. It was the God of the Great Ice, Inutu’Ana, who called to us from the far lands. Inutu’Ana was lonely, you see, and he longed for company besides his glaciers. He made a great bridge of ice that joined the far lands to this one, and called to us. At first, The People didn’t like these lands because it was all ice and snow and seemingly no game animals. They were also afraid of Inutu’Ana who appeared as a giant white bear. Many died in this harsh climate. Inutu’Ana took pity and showed us how to build homes with ice. He taught us the many names of snow and what kinds to be wary of. Then he showed us the whales and seals that swam beneath the ice, and taught us how to hunt them. Soon, The People realized it was easier to live in his lands if you knew its ways. They loved their new home and they loved Inutu’Ana.
After many seasons, The People lusted for more and they wished to know what lay beyond Inutu’Ana’s lands. They traveled south and found great forests and something amazing. They call it, corn now. There were many animals, some huge, some in vast herds that stretched across the horizon. The explorers returned with full bellies from the game and the corn.
More and more people left Inutu’Ana’s land to explore this knew place. Curious to see what all the fuss was about, Inutu’Ana followed them. That’s when he met Mata’Llatan, the Princess of the Sun. Her hair was dark like the night sky, while his was white. Her skin glowed with the color of wood while his was like snow. When she smiled, she shined like the rise of the sun. Inutu’Ana fell in love with her immediately, and over the weeks that followed Mata’Llatan loved him too.
They danced and played across her lands. Their games made the canyons and rivers and lakes we know today. When they made love, the Great Lakes were formed. Mata’Llatan had many daughters and these became the goddesses of the rivers and the lakes. The couple were very happy.
And then one day, Inutu’Ana returned to his lands to add more ice to his glaciers. He found that most of The People had left his lands for the lands of Mata’Llatan. Angry, Inutu’Ana returned to the Southern land and demanded that Mata’Llatan return his people. She refused, saying they were her people now. Inutu’Ana shouted at her, saying the wife must always obey, but Mata’Llatan simply shouted back. They began to fight and they battled for months. They fought so hard the Earth itself cracked in the West, and it still shakes sometimes today. The mammoth were frightened away and they never returned. Back and forth, the couple hurled rocks at each other until volcanoes formed and spewed their anger across the land.
In the end, Mata’Llatan’s anger was too much for Inutu’Ana, and he retreated, taking his mighty glaciers with him. Sometimes he tries to return and ask for forgiveness, but Mata’Llatan always pushes his glaciers back. She never forgot their argument.
Grandpa fell silent when a growling sounded.
Oblivious, Ekanu’tu said, “Awesome, Grandpa! That’s the best story yet.”
Grandpa Crow Feather looked over the edge of his perch and winced. He changed into Crow form. He expected he’d need wings soon.
“What’s the moral, Grandpa?” said Ekanu’tu.
Grandpa looked down. The angry old woman at the base of their tree changed shape to a Mountain Lion, and she began to climb. “Moral? Right! The moral is: though Great Spirit gave you the aspect of Crow People, find yourself a Mountain Lion girl.” He said this loudly. “Mountain Lion Girls, like your Grandma, are the best!”
Ekanu’tu cringed and ruffled his feathers. “Girls are icky!”
“Most importantly: don’t make the mistake Inutu’Ana made. Don’t argue with your wife, especially if she has fangs and claws.” He shuddered. “Remember: the wife is always right!”
Author’s Note: This is a fable, purely of my own invention. However, it is theorized that Native-Americans originally traveled to North America from Asia by crossing the Bering Strait Land bridge (filled in with ice during the last glaciation).
The Speakeasy is a weekly writing challenge with a limit of 750 words. This week, the work must begin with, “Without a word, she dropped to the ground.” My intro art is the same as the media prompt for the week. This week’s prompt can be found here: http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/155-open/