Monday, September 3, 2007

Indian Names

A long time ago, when all the children were still very young and the parents were trying to make the paycheck last from week to week, the family lived in a small house which was located in a small town in the Colorado Mountains.

They liked to go up to the mountains and chop and haul wood. They would take a picnic lunch and make a day of it. One of those times, the children asked their dad about when the Indians lived in these woods. The Dad liked to tell good stories. His head was full of many good stories to tell. So he told his children how the Indian Children used to help their mothers and fathers gather the wood, hunt, fish and cook dinner.

The Children were fascinated by these Indian counterparts, and wanted to know more. He told them how they were given an Indian name, and that would stay with them until they outgrew it. Of course the children wanted to know what their names would be if they had lived back then. So The Dad figured out names for these children. There were 5 children at the time, two older boys, and three girls. The youngest boy hadn't been born yet.

The Oldest Boy was about nine or ten years old. He took his responsibility of Oldest Brother very seriously. He was watchful and wise. He understood many things beyond his young years. He was, for the most part a protective and caring Oldest Brother. His dad named him Eye that Sees.

The Second Oldest Brother was two years younger. He was about seven or eight years old. This young man loved to ride horses. He was a good rider, and was able to stay on his horse very well. He really didn't care too much for his younger sisters, and there were many times that the mom and dad had to break apart a fight between him and his sisters. He grew up to be a very wonderful husband and father, and loves girls now, but when he was young, he didn't have much use for them. His dad named him Horse the Kicks.

The Third child was two years younger, so she was only about five or six years old at the time of the camp-out. Even though this little girl was exceptional in school related things, like reading when she was only three years old, and writing a "B" for her first name when she was only two, she had no confidence in herself and was afraid of everything. She would cry if she was given a challenge that she didn't think she could do. She would cry if someone looked at her wrong. She cried one day when her Dad was driving home from the church, and asked her to help him find his way back to their house. She didn't know the way back to the house, and was afraid that the Family would drive around the back roads forever, never to return home again. Her Dad named her Bird that Cries.

The Next Daughter was born with both of her feet flattened against her shins. The Doctor had to put her tiny foot into a cast and force it to point the toe. The other foot wasn't as severe, and he thought it would be too hard to have both feet in casts, so he made the mother massage the foot, forcing it to point the toe, every time she changed her diaper. The poor little daughter was so uncomfortable with the cast that the first 6 weeks of her tiny life was spent crying. The casts in those days were plaster of paris, so it would be warm at first, then it would get really cold and damp before it finally dried. She would get the cast replaced on a Friday, and by the time it had finally dried and was not so cold, the doctor would saw it off the next Friday and put on a new one, pointing her foot down further and further. He told the Mother that this baby was a very lucky little girl, because 100 years ago, she would have just sat in a wheel chair all her life. When this little girl grew up, she loved gymnastics, and by the time she was 12 years old, she became the National Champion of all the 12-year-old children in Power Tumbling. From the time she could crawl she was climbing and exploring. When she began to walk, she really ran. She liked to jump and wanted a trampoline from the time she knew what one was. Her father named her Bunny Rabbit.

The youngest daughter was very frail. She was one of the smallest of the children at her birth. She didn't gain any weight either. She was a very sweet baby, and never cried. She was sleeping through the night by the time she was two days old. Even though her mom had already given birth to four other children, she didn't realize that maybe this was a bad thing. She let her sleep. The tiny baby didn't gain any weight either. By the time she was 5 months old, she only weighed 10 pounds, and the doctor became very concerned. He made The Mommy stop nursing her and put her on a very strong Iron Rich milk formula. She was anemic. In two weeks, she began to grow stronger. She then began to drink goat's milk. The family lived on a farm with goats before they moved to the mountain town. Every day, the oldest brother would milk the goats after school, because his Dad had to work Swing Shifts. That is when you go to work about an hour after most people are eating their lunch. The goats would be milked in the morning, but would have had to wait until MIDNIGHT for the Dad to come home, so Eye that Sees milked the goats. This tiniest daughter grew very healthy and strong on this good goat's milk. But she always was much smaller than the rest of the children. She looked as if a strong wind would blow her away. Her Dad named her Aspen Leaf.

Later when the last child was born, a son, the other Children wanted their little brother to have an Indian name too. So the Dad watched this little one to see what he would do. This baby brother LOVED to change his clothes, just like his second oldest brother used to do. He loved to change into different personae, and at the end of the day when the parents went to tuck him into his bed, they had to wade through a pile of clothes that he had cast aside as his mood changed. His dad named him Changing Cloud.

As the children grew up, the two oldest boys were always chasing each other around, and when they would thunder up and down the stairs, the parents were afraid the house would come crumbling down around them. Thus Eye the Sees and Horse that Kicks each were given new Indian names. Ones that they didn't like as well as their first names. They were named Rock Slide and Avalanche.

Rock Slide and Avalanche, the parents never knew which son had what name, grew up to be fine fathers and husbands. They have sweet little children of their own now, and are much more careful about thundering down the stairs. Horse that Kicks would probably be named Papa Bear now. He protects his sweet family and takes good care of them. Eye that Sees still fits the Oldest Brother. He also takes good care of his family. But he still watches over his younger brothers and sisters as well. Both of the older boys have fine jobs and nice homes.

As for Bird that Cries, she still finds herself frightened. When she was about to graduate from High School and her parents approached her about what she wanted to be when she grew up, she became frightened. She actually crawled under the Coffee Table to hide. She is much braver now than she once was. She married a nice young man, and finished her schooling, graduated and is working in her field. She is happy and still very tender. Her parents are so happy that she married a sweet understanding husband who just puts his arms around her and loves her when she is afraid.

Bunny Rabbit grew up and taught gymnastics to other little "bunny rabbits". Later she went to school and got married too. She wants to become a nurse when she gets finishes school. She also had a cute baby. She no longer is in Gymnastics, but she helps her little baby do forward rolls.

Aspen Leaf is not as frail as she used to be. She also went to school and now works in a doctor's office. Aspen Leaf still looks like a strong wind could blow her away, but she is tougher than she looks. She is a hard worker and loves to be at home with her sweet husband. If a new name were chosen for Aspen Leaf, it might be Duck on Water, because she makes everything look easy. She floats quietly on the water, but look beneath the surface and her legs are kicking to beat all.

Now for Changing Cloud. He still bears that name, although he doesn't change his clothes three times a day, he hasn't quite decided what he wants to be when he grows up, thus he continues to change. He loves to paint and take photographs of clouds, but he also loves to play his guitar, and has learned to appreciate academic challenges. He had to learn a very hard language while he lived for two years in a far-away country, and proved that he is very capable of hard challenges. He has found himself a Sweet Girl who he wants to marry soon. He hasn't stopped changing yet.

And so Life continues. Sometimes when The Parents sit together on the swing and talk of their sweet children, they wonder if their children will name their own children Indian names. It was a nice chapter in their lives.

3 comments:

Sailor said...

Hi Dear Annie,
What a nice story, and nice that it is all true as well. Those were good years, raising that family. Thanks for being the best part of it.

Mike said...

Good post. I enjoyed it. It brings back good memories. And yes, I am not too fond of Avalanche! But it was (and is?) a fitting name.

The Nurse said...

it is truly a good story... i remember having an indian name but i couldn't remember what it was. or anyone elses for that matter. :) so it was good to hear the real story. for whatever reason i don't remember those details of my childhood.

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