Friday, April 10, 2009

A Signal From Beyond

1978 Nevada, Iowa

It might not be such a big deal, but I found an authentic arrowhead by Big Indian Creek one day with my cousin Chad. Little Indian Creek cut through our 11 acres of land and Chad and I used to always slog through it, getting cut by the blackberries and muddy up to the knees, to reach the big alluvial plain where Little Indian Creek met Big Indian Creek.

We carried wrist rocket slingshots, highly powerful hunting weapons that we used to shoot at anything alive. Chad carried a dull buck knife in a sheath on his belt. I was Daniel Boone and Chad was my faithful Indian friend, out looking for lunch, or at least something to kill.
Chad had quick reflexes and before I knew it, he had stunned a squirrel, going to find it on the ground where it had fallen from off the branch. He grabbed the unconscious rodent by the neck, its chisel like teeth jutting out, and placed it ceremoniously on a sun baked rock. He unsheathed his knife and with one swift motion sliced the critter from neck to asshole, apparently thinking it could be skinned and slow roasted over a fire. He spent a few minutes tugging at the fur, trying to get one of those carcasses like they have in the old westerns, find a stick and put it over the fire, but the fur got stuck about half way down in the ripping process, so Chad just left it to the crows on the sun baked rock.

We walked a little further along the shore, collecting earthworms for our afternoon fishing. I leaned down to find a flat rock, a skipper, to bounce across the creek, and my hand found the arrowhead. Typical white, as long as my index finger, and very sharp indeed. I thought about the hands that made it, the same sun shining down, and the time that had passed between.

I shouted to Chad to come and look. He was part Sioux, or so everyone thought, and of course it would be like finding an ancestor for him or something. I put it into his hand but it seemed to jump out of his hand, hitting the ground and breaking into little pieces. No anger, I simply leaned down and gathered them together in my hand in the same shape and we looked at the spaces between the broken pieces of the arrowhead. Each of us saw different things in those spaces, and the look in Chad’s eyes made me think the road he saw ahead of him was not going to be easy.

1 comment:

Lydia said...

Finding an arrowhead would be a big deal to me and I envy you the experience. Your stories are captivating.
Never heard of Nevada, Iowa......but I was born and raised in Reno, Nevada!