CRLC Challenge; Author’s Chair (another one)

These ones are grateful for their shelters, are proud of what they have built, though their houses are not as warm as our nush wetus. Even Bradford’s home is not as comfortable as Swany’s was in Cornhill. But like Swany, he has a chair and a small table where he marks on big leaves they call paper. Bradford reaches for his bible as Standish reaches for his musket.

I want this magic, these marks the English make and interpret. When I am sachem, Bradford will be obliged to share the secret of marking leaves. I will know this power.

Here’s another one for the Carrot Ranch September 23, 2021, prompt to, in 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about an author’s chair. It can belong to any author. Where is it located and why? Does it have special meaning? Go where the prompt leads!

Yes, this is another 99 from the viewpoint of Tisquantum, also known as Squanto. While the literature indicates Tisquantum did aspire to depose Massasoit and become sachem, I am only speculating for the sake of flash fiction that he may have aspired to learn to read and write. But he quickly became fluent in spoken English and was shrewd enough that he might have seen some advantage in written language to himself. For more on this historical figure, check out the pilot of the Saddle Up Saloon’s ‘Author’s Chair’.

6 thoughts on “CRLC Challenge; Author’s Chair (another one)

    • Yes. And I only wear one of three long sleeve T’s on a work day and sadly none of them are orange. But I talked it up in the fields today and was pleasantly surprised by the number of co-workers who knew about this and those who didn’t know about Orange Shirt Day knew about the reasons for it and were glad to be informed and so yes the day was one of remembering and discussion. Don’t know if you ever saw my in place of you post last February. Wrote specifically about the boarding schools for indigenous peoples in response to my own prompt. Don’t know why but that’s where it led. https://carrotranch.com/2021/02/04/february-4-flash-fiction-challenge-2/
      When Hub and I were on our way to you last July we stayed in St. Ignaces and the Ojibwe museum had a lot on this atrocity of wrenching children from their homes, family, culture, to “educate” them.
      Also, once I wrote about Eunice Williams who had a similar/different experience. She was taken captive at a young age from her Puritan family in Deerfield, Massachusetts. Taken into Quebec, she was adopted into a Mohawk family and became a Catholic and refused redemption by her biological father. I have also thought a lot about her. https://shiftnshake.wordpress.com/2019/04/13/chosen-people/
      Thanks Boss.

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  1. Pingback: Draft Collection « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  2. Words carry so much magic and power, I wouldn’t be surprised if he in fact was inspired by it all. But I also know that, much like indigenous Australians, they cherish the fluidity and authenticity of the spoken word too. There’s something otherworldly to yet unheard/unread stories, they carry limitless potential for understanding and connection. Beautiful piece D.

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  3. I truly appreciate this response. On the way to work I’m like yeah, right, I can do Author’s Chair with Tisquantum, just use William Bradford… you remind me that I had thought about (then forgot) mentioning/comparing his people’s oral language skills, the story telling- also a powerful medium as you point out. In fact I may have to have another go at this. The 99 that started me on the Tisquantum path was actually a retelling/distillation of Wampanoag stories (https://shiftnshake.wordpress.com/2019/02/02/thar-blows/)
    It’s a mighty powerful thing when an oral tradition continues, when a story continues to inform and instruct. The idea of songlines and dreamtime on your continent engaged my interest and imagination as a child. Australia seemed so long ago and far away; it fascinated me. Now it saddens me to realize that your indigenous people were/are treated no better than here in North America. Thinking Orange Shirt Day (see above) can be universal.

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