The Canyon-Chapter 3

The young Indian boy would have to walk. This was no big deal. He was used to walking, some at least. The lost of his horse had revealed something to him that he had been putting off. That was that he needed a new horse. A horse he would be proud to ride, a horse that would command admiration from his fellow warriors. This was the warrior way. He had to make a plan. No, the young black stallion colt was to young right now but he needed to start making a plan for the immediate and far future. Both would require at least two horses.

He needed find the wild herd and catch a wild horse to fill his immediate need for something to ride.

He had already started laying plans for the black colt by getting him used to him. When the time came, this would greatly help the process in riding him. Little did the black colt know of his future.

Tomorrow he would trail the herd and see what was available. What was befitting a young warrior on the rise within his tribe. He would need to be wise, brave and smart. Such a horse would not be easy to find but the quest must start soon. The young boy was already tired of walking. He could do it but it was always better to ride.

He would not return to the camp. He would start toward them from here, now. Surely they hadn’t run far when they heard the rifle shot.

The old stallion slowed the herd down after 5 miles. This wasn’t  far for a wild horse. Most of the time, survival meant being quick fast and having a lot of wind to travel far. Most predators had a limited chase capacity. Running was an essential survive necessity. The young black colt was not winded at all, he enjoyed it, enjoyed it a lot. He loved to run, to run fast. The old stallion had kept the herd in the lower valley, it was easier to run there. Higher country presented more challenges. It was possible but it had to be necessary. The herd came to a stand still in the lush grass covered valley. While breathing heavily, the herd began to graze. Everyone except the old stallion, he was testing the air for any scents of danger. There was none. Or at least none, he could smell.

The cougar had heard the herd coming up the valley. He expected no opportunity for a meal but you never knew. The cougar was older now, wiser,  than he was went he first saw the small black colt. He saw the colt now, it had grown. He would be an unwise choice for a meal and the battle to bring him down would be great. A chance he need not take. Injury in the wild usually meant death.

The young Indian began to run now. He had picked up the herd’s trail now. It has been said that native Americans could run down a deer. Their stamina to stay with the deer was the advantage. Most deers had a short run time before becoming exhausted. He would stay at this pace till he could gain visibility of the herd. He knew most wild horse herds didn’t run far unless the pursuer kept after them. The herds were always in danger of some sort, rather its the cowboy, the cougar or the Indian boy. All were threats in some form. As the Indian boy came over he ridge, he spotted the herd. It was about 2 miles away, in the small meadow. They were grazing peacefully. He was relieved to see it. He was getting tired. Not so tired he couldn’t have kept going but it was nice to stop and catch his air. He would stay with the herd for several days, studying the each individual horses as to the one he wanted to catch. That was if he had a choice. Time would tell. He felt fate would grant him the right horse. This is what he prayed for. For now he would rest. The days ahead would require his stamina and absolute attention.

As he laid his back against the tree, he closed his eyes. His ears were sensitive to any sounds or movements around him. His thoughts began to ponder on the process for the next several days. The horse was such a spiritual animal to him, as it was to all of his tribe. Before the horse came into their lives, they walked or ran every place. But when they horse came, they conquered. The horse made everything better. They were able to get more meat and all that that provided for the tribal community. Not only where they part of the elements, they were the conquers of all around them, man or beast. They were the “Lord of the Plains”. The young boy would take his place as one of the great warriors. But first, he needed a horse. Not only just a horse, a great horse.

The next several days where that of hard labor. He, the young boy, would have to build a trap to capture the herd in, if not just a few head. The water hole that the herd came to provided high cliff walls on two sides. It provided an opening on two ends. He would have to enclose one end and build have a gate, so to speak, on the other end. Their was plenty of wood and trees to provide the necessary materials to do this. It would take time though. The fact he was doing it by himself would be of a great honor but an extra set of hands would make the process go quicker for sure.

As Prairie Chicken helped her mother prepare the morning meal, she asked her mother if she had seen the young Indian boy lately. He mother replied that she had not, simply stating “no”. Prairie Chicken knew her mother didn’t approve of him because all he did was think about the horse. A young man has responsibilities other than just horses. The mother later replied, “He is probably following that horse herd. The one where we saw the trail  two moon ago”. As Prairie Chicken pondered on this, she thought, what if he is hurt? She didn’t know if anyone else knew, but she wanted the young Indian boy to be her husband. Of course, in due time. It was this way with a young maiden. Their were prettier girls in the tribe but Prairie Chicken was handsome young girl, fit for any man’s lodge. She had her eyes on the young Indian boy.

Prairie Chicken could ride as well as most of the boys of her age, not all, but most. Her father had many horses and was considered wealthy. Maybe she should get a horse and try to find the young Indian boy. Maybe! She would give it another moon before she left if he hasn’t returned by then. If he hasn’t returned, she would go find her man.

 

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