“Your welcome little lady, looks like ya got a few bucking broncos to break.”

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Mr. Hick sat quietly in the peaceful library chair after Celeste left his domain, trying to filter all the information the cowgirl gave him of her lonely life.  He too remembers how it hurts to be on the end of the stick with bullying; however, he had people who loved him, and helped him deal with the ugly situation, but not Celeste.  Mr. Hick’s gets up out of the cozy reading chair and goes straight for the trash can Celeste threw her rabbit coat away.  He picks the coat out of the trash and holds the soft fur object in his arms.  He immediately gets an idea inside his brain, and decides to take the jacket to the eighth grade home economics teacher to sew and repair.

 

When Mr. Hick arrives at the classroom of the jolly Mrs. Smith, he was thankful she didn’t have classroom instruction.  The Librarian walks into her room and begins to ask a favor from the homely teacher.  Mrs. Smith holds the pretty hide jacket up to view the damage and begins to give her expert opinion.  “No Mr. Hick’s, the soft tender hide is badly torn, what a shame this is a lovely coat.  Is this the half-breeds coat I heard who got into a fight today with a bunch of boy’s?”  Mr. Hick’s nodded yes without uttering a word.  “How about you leaving the garment, and let me see what I can do.  I can’t promise you I can fix it, but will give it a go.”  Mr. Hick smiled and said, “Anything that you can do to the coat, I’m sure will be a help, thank you for your time Mrs. Smith.”   The Librarian walks out of the home economics classroom, and heads back to the library with a smile.

In the mean time, Celeste’s face was pounding with pain while she sits in her fourth period math class.  Her head felt like a two ton Tessy ready to explode to smithereens.  She tries to focus on her classroom instruction, but fails miserably.  At times, she could hear the laughter of the kids sitting in their seats making a mockery out of her life; nevertheless she stays quiet as usual, and handles the bunt of her actions in solitude. When the bell rings for dismissal, she waits for all the students to leave before she gets out of her chair.  “Celeste, you can stay in my class if you like to rest.  I’m sure I can go to the cafeteria and get you a bag of ice for your lip and eye,” her math teacher offers the tired cowgirl.   “No thank ya sir, I’m fine.”  Celeste picks her books off the school desk and leaves the math room entering the busy hallway of students.  

Students gawked and laughed at Celeste as she walked to her hallway locker to drop her books off.  She feels all eyes upon her while she turns the lock secret code to open the metal storage unit.  After she takes out a reading book called Mice and Men and places her math book in the locker, she shuts the door an immediately comes face to face with the group of bullies.  She sees they all had their bumps and bruises from her fist, and stands tall ready to do battle again if need be. The six boy’s didn’t say a word but stared with lethal venom at Celeste.  Her body is shaking inside of shame, fear, and hopelessness when she is saved by a tall boy who was almost her height.  She turns to see the blonde hair, brown eyed boy with cowboy boots on stand beside her, and give the bullies food for thought in his deep southern cowboy voice. “I don’t know if y’all are stupid or ill mannered to touch a girl. I’m a thinkin’ your parents need ta give y’all a good ass lickin’, and teach ya some proper manners about not hittin’ the opposite sex.  Why don’t y’all leave her alone and let her be, or maybe y’all can deal with me?”  

The bullies didn’t expect someone to come to the half-breed’s aid, especially since the bullies had never seen the new student who just started attending their school.  They backed away from Celeste not saying a word giving the new boy a deadly look before they went on their way to the cafeteria.  Celeste stands alone with the new student unable to look into his face.  The new boy felt her uneasiness and confusion, he smiled his beautiful crooked white teeth at Celeste and said, “Your welcome little lady, looks like ya got a few bucking broncos to break.”  She looks up into his spunky chocolate brown colored eyes and is rewarded with a wink.  He didn’t wait but walked away from Celeste without hearing the soft spoken thank you Celeste lightly whispered out to his retreating tall lanky frame.

 

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I’m just not lonely sir, I am alone!

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It was the first fist fight Celeste had gotten into at school as Mr. Hick’s gave his little friend a wet rag, and a small mirror to wipe the blood spots away from her face.  The cowgirl begins to wipe away the stains without using the mirror Mr. Hick gives her. “Celeste use the mirror, so you can see what you have missed,” the Librarian softly spoke to his friend. “I’m fine, I can get it off without the use of a mirror; besides I hate mirrors sir because I don’t like to look at myself,” Celeste responded in a light note.   Mr. Hicks sees the shiner and swollen lip Celeste acquires by the boys and marvels how humble the cowgirl acts.  “Well, I think your coat is ruined. What a shame too, I take it you got the coat for a Christmas present?”  Celeste nods yes in silence and throws the wet bloody rag on the counter, and picks up her rabbit fur coat that was ripped and torn from the fight.  “You going to tell me what started this fight?” Celeste nods no, and didn’t say a word.  

Several moments passed them by when Celeste threw her coat away in the waste can.  “Thank you sir, I better get back to class.” She was about to walk out of the library when Mr. Hick speaks out in a firm voice, “You’re not going anywhere young lady until we have a discussion about your life.”  Celeste stood ridged and balls up her fist, “I don’t want to talk about me sir, please let it be!”  Mr. Hick approaches his student and with a gentle hand guides her to sit down on a reading chair.  He waits a few moments and plunges in with questions, “The woman in your house is not your mother is she?”  Celeste nods no, and begins to wipe her hands on her new pair of pants staying quiet. “Where is your mother, Celeste?” 

She stays silent staring at the carpet floor of the library.  “Celeste I expect an answer, please don’t make me drag them out of you.” Teary eyed Celeste lifts her heavy head up and gives Mr. Hick the answer he needed; however she didn’t stop to answer just the one question, she begins to spit out her venom while balling up her fist on her lap.  “My mother is dead sir, she probably scorched herself. My father is a traveling musician who doesn’t give a shit about anything. The bitch I live with is a hag and my life is nothing but a train wreck as you stated earlier.  I hate school, and am sick of fighting my way to the surface.  I hate that I am different, that is why I don’t look in a mirror.  I have two different eye colors, I’m taller than all the students in school, I have no friends except for animals, I live here and there, I have been to so many different schools and have always been bullied.  I’m a half-breed Cherokee Indian and Scottish, I hear voices, I have the weirdest things happen to me, I hunt and grow my food to survive, I’m just not lonely sir, I am alone! I have grown use to raising myself sir, so I deal with my screwed up life by myself.  And last but not least, I’m sure in the hell not a girly girl who likes to paint her face and nails.  What else do you want to know about me…sir!” 

Celeste knew she had stunned Mr. Hick’s, her eagle orbs didn’t miss a beat as she witnessed his mouth open wide in astonishment hearing each heart retching syllable in her story book tale of life.  She had thrown too much information out at once for him to digest and analyze her situation.  It was Mr. Hick’s turn to stare at the carpet in silence for a few moments.  Celeste got up from her chair and spit back out in anger to her teacher.  “Now that you have a better understanding about me sir, please leave me alone.  I’m nothing but trouble to whoever comes in contact with me.  I thank ya kindly for helping me, but I am tired and don’t want to talk anymore.  Now if you excuse me sir, I must go to my class.”  Celeste made her tired long legs move as she walked out of the Library tired to the bone and defeated, and left Mr. Hick alone to ponder the junk in her lonely trunk. 

 

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The only words that came into the tomboy’s head is how much she hated school and it’s poopy head people.

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“Get your ass in gear girl!” Doris screamed out at Celeste.  The cowgirl woke up to the sound of the irritating voice of Doris, every bone in her body was sore to the core.  Her head was pounding with pain as she sits on her bed remembering the ugly dream of her real mother burning to death.  The same dream kept reoccurring almost every night inside Celeste’s working mind.  She sees her mother walking in heavy dense woods and falls down in a mine shaft somewhere in Alabama.  Dovanna cries and yells for help, but there is no one to give her aid, and before Celeste wakes up she witnesses her mother burning up in flames.

A loud pounding on her bedroom door kicked her out of the horrible thoughts of her mother.  Celeste moves with care and begins to get ready for school.  She leaves the comfort of her bedroom and goes into the kitchen to make a lunch for herself before the school bus arrives.  Doris was sitting at the table as usual smoking and drinking coffee when Celeste enter.  “Better get going,” Doris commented.  Celeste stayed quiet and completed her lunch and left her home to wait for the bus.  Her fears escalated as she stands in the snow waiting for her ride to school.  Just knowing that Mr. Hick’s wanted to talk to her about her life and school skipping was enough to make her feel like running for the hills. 

She stops her thinking when the bus arrives and boards the noisy auto.  She sits in her usual spot fourth row from the front and stares out the window in silence until they arrive at school.  Even though the quiet Celeste minded her own business, it didn’t stop other children to home in on her misery and add to the weight of her miserable daily life. The minute she arrives at school, Celeste disembarks and heads into the school building.  Sadly, she didn’t make it pass the playground when she was assaulted by a group of boys.  It was the same group of boy’s she shot with a home-made slingshot in the school’s library.  The little cowgirl was wearing her white fur rabbit jacket her grandfather gave her for a Christmas present when one of the boys decided to mimic her footsteps and followed behind her long legs.  She paid them no mind until the boy pushed her from behind sending her sprawling in the sand. 

The boys roared with laughter; however, Celeste did not.  She got up with her fist ready to do some damage, and quickly gave the boy’s a dirty look. Celeste lost her head when the boy’s egged her on calling her a stupid half-breed. Anger boiled up inside her until she lost the battle of control and threw the first punch socking the boy square in the nose.  Celeste saw the blood gush out the boy’s nose, she gave him a smirk and held her fist up and yelled out her warnings.  “Ya son of a bitches, come on lets duke it out, cause I am damn sick of ya shit heads.  Ya mother fuckers are a pain in my ass, so shut up or put up or leave me the fuck alone!” Celeste was shaking in her boots of fear to hit another person in a brawl, but enough was enough and Celeste had reached her breaking point.  She stood firm with her fist up ready to box some ears off their heads, when the group of boys jumped her.  

Over six bullies jumped the single tall tomboy, Celeste taller than all the boy’s actually held her own punching the crap out of the boys.  She could feel her long curly hair being ripped out of her head, and to make matters worse she felt her beautiful fur coat being ripped to shreds off her body.  Celeste became a driving force with her fists, she blanked out when her rage surfaced, and began to plow in the boys with great force. During the fight other students decided to circle the bad boys and watch them get the shit kicked out of them by the half-breed. The students yelled and encourage the fight when several teachers ran out of the school building and began to separate the group.

Celeste was still swinging her fist when Mr. Hick’s tried to grab a hold of the tall little seventh grader.  He too was rewarded with a slug in the mouth by Celeste’s fist. She was picked up from behind by the principal into a bear hug when reality was coming back to her. She makes her body go limp so the principal lets her go.  Immediately he begins to scold her when her feet touches the ground. “Who started this fight?”  He barked out to the unruly group, everyone of the boys pointed to Celeste.  She didn’t move, she tries to control her heavy breathing pattern.  Mr. Hick stood up for Celeste, it was he who told the principal about the boys and their ugly manners.  In the end, the boys went to the office while she was told by Mr. Hick’s to follow him back to the library to clean up her bloody face.  The only words that came into the tomboy’s head is how much she hated school and it’s poopy head people.

 

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“I will see you back in school tomorrow, we need to talk about your train wreck life.” Celeste whispers out, “Yes sir,” and watches Mr. Hicks gets into his car and drive away.

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The minute Celeste arrives home, and steps into the log cabin house the next day, her life was a train wreck with countless of mishaps. Staying with Doris was murder on the little cowgirl; since the lazy heifer didn’t do a dang thing to help out.  She often wonders why her father would pick a bitch to bed when Doris was rude and crude to her. School was no better, it seemed the bullying escalated upon the cowgirl.  Mr. Hick the school Librarian smooths the hardship for little Celeste, but never enough to end the torment of the cruel children of middle school.  Celeste started to fail her classroom studies once again, and this time lost the desire to keep up. 

Day in and out, the tired little girl withdrew inside herself preferring the solitude of life then being with another human beings. Finally one day when life was at it’s worse for her, she decides to escape into the woods skipping school altogether, and stumbles upon a place in the woods she had not seen before while out hunting for Doris and her dinner.   She was freezing in the last of the winter months, and hated to return home to Doris since no one knew she didn’t go to school during the day.  So she builds her a small fort to shelter her from the cold by a small frozen stream. The tepee style of her fort came from her memory of a book she read a while back about how Native Indians lived. Instead of using an animal hide to cover the A frame dwelling, she uses pine tree branches and weaves the dense green branches to fashion a clever wind barrier throughout the logs, and left a small opening for her to crawl into the cozy setting.

After the second day with Doris, Celeste changed her mind about not killing another animal, she finds it’s easier to leave her worries behind to the solitude of hunting in the woods then deal with the wrath of crazy Doris. Not only did the twelve year old begin to hunt, she knew Doris hated the sight of her skinning and killing the critter’s for their dinner.  In discuss her father’s girlfriend eventually bands her from bringing the dead animals in the house, and sent Celeste to the cold shed to strip their hides off their bodies. Never once did Doris turn down a good meal when Celeste fixed dinner, she ate until there was no more food to devour, and then picked up her cigarettes, and poured her a hefty amount of straight up vodka with ice in a tall glass.

One evening Celeste was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, when a soft knock at the door was heard.  Celeste looks into the living room and sees Doris as usual drinking and smoking while watching her loud TV program.  She heads to the door wiping her wet hands on a dish towel and opens the door to Mr. Hick the Librarian.  “Celeste where have you been for the past few weeks.  I have come to check on you to see if you’re ill, may I come in?”  Celeste turned fifty shades of red, and didn’t know what to say. She opens the door innocently and lets Mr. Hick enter.  She could see immediately the wrinkle of a sour puss look upon his face from smelling Doris’s wonderful intoxicating scent of second hand smoke. “Is there a place we can sit down and talk little?” Mr Hick’s requested in a light tone.  She nods a yes and leads him to the kitchen where the stench of smoke wasn’t bad.

On her last footstep before entering the kitchen she realizes her folly allowing her school teacher to enter her domain.  Unable to do anything about it, she begins to fret having Doris overhear their conversation.  “Is your parents home Celeste I would like to talk to them?” She immediately answers back, no.  “Do you smoke Celeste?” he softly spoke out.  “No sir I don’t,” she replied not giving more information.  He scans the cozy warm kitchen and decides not to sit down, he could feel the embarrassed energy of Celeste. “I would like to know why you have chosen not to return too school?” She gives her favorite teacher a shrug with her shoulders keeping quiet while he interrogates her.  His eyes spots smoke in the living room, and sees a person on the couch watching TV.  

“Celeste who is sitting in you’re living room if your parents aren’t home?” She was about to tell him when Doris herself gets up to head to the kitchen to fill her glass with more fire liquid. Lovely Doris steps into the kitchen and is surprised to see a stranger in her home and bellows out loud.  “Who the hell are you?” Mr. Hick’s was dumbfounded how ugly the woman was the minute she opened her mouth.  He looks at Celeste in confusion and then returns his attention to Doris.  “Sorry Mrs. my name is Mr. Hick’s, I’m the school Librarian at Celeste’s school.” Doris becomes personal and greets the visitor, “Hello, my name is Doris Hutchinson, nice to meet you.  What brings you here Mr. Hick?” Celeste was in a pickle and needed to think of something quick before the Librarian spilled the beans. She failed to miss the odd face that was made by Mr. Hick’s when Doris introduced herself. 

With speed Celeste turns on her heels and enters her bedroom to get a library book she hadn’t returned and quickly shoves the book into Mr. Hick’s hands.  “Sorry sir, I should have known better to return the book I promise I won’t make that mistake again.” Mr. Hick’s knew something was wrong with the family picture, especially upon hearing the woman’s name since it did not match Celeste’s last name.  The story of Celeste was revealing itself before his eyes, he looked at Celeste and didn’t blink an eye to go into details about his visit, instead he smiled and winked at his little student keeping her truancy a secret. Celeste breathes a sign of relief and is thankful to have a friend like Mr. Hick’s who didn’t exploit her skipping school to Doris. 

The Librarian didn’t want to stay long, he quickly said his goodbyes, but not before witnessing Doris opening up the freezer and pouring her glass up to the rim with Vodka.  He was escorted by Celeste to the door, and before he steps out he gives Celeste a stern gaze and states, “I will see you back in school tomorrow, we need to talk about your train wreck life.” Celeste whispers out, “Yes sir,” and watches Mr. Hicks gets into his car and drive away. The cowgirl shuts the door with a heavy heart, and heads straight to her bedroom locking the door so Doris doesn’t pester her.  She sits on her bed in fear of what is to come of her when she returns to school.  At three in the morning, Celeste finally falls asleep and is bothered by bad nightmares.

 

“You are the only one papa who loves me, so it’s not too hard to forget.” Henry wasn’t expecting the in doldrums response.

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Henry stood back amazed how quick as lightening Celeste skinned her rabbit.  His eyes didn’t miss a lick with his granddaughter, and when she completed her task she held up the skinned hide perfectly in tack without a hole or slice in the fur with her sharp blade. “Where on heavens child did you learn to skin a hide, outstanding job!  I didn’t know you could rip a hide clean like this in a matter of seconds.”  Henry observed the soft cotton tail’s hide, and smiled his pride to his granddaughter.  Celeste was blushing beet red with her papa’s praise, she quickly told him about the moonshiner Ernie from Alabama.  

Henry listened to all the stories of Celeste and Ernie, he gives thanks to the old man silently for his gentle guidance in raising his granddaughter.  Celeste kept babbling her Alabama tales to her papa while she helped him pluck the turkey he killed in hot boiling water. The rest of the day was fabulous until her father called in the evening stating he was leaving for a few weeks, and would like her to return home as soon as possible to keep Doris company. Celeste hung the phone up with a heavy heart, and returned to sitting down at the round kitchen table with her granddad.  “I take it, that you must leave tomorrow.” Henry softly questioned his granddaughter.  “Yes, papa I do,” was all Celeste could say in a sad voice.

The pair sat at the table unable to utter a word, Henry felt the sorrow and sadness seep from his granddaughter as time ticked away in silence.  Henry asks Celeste with a smile, “Do you know how much I love you?”  The cowgirl looks up at her papa with teary eyes and said, “Yes from here to eternity papa.”  He slides his big hand towards his granddaughter and holds on tight to her little hand.  “Indeed I do, always and forever never forget that!  You know my lassie, I can’t promise to fix all your problems, but I can promise you won’t have to face them alone.”  Celeste let the tear fall, and stares at the man who loved her the most in life. “You are the only one papa who loves me, so it’s not too hard to forget.”  Henry wasn’t expecting the in doldrums response.

 

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“It’s the wind playing tricks on you, or maybe it could be the wood fairies come to take your mighty rabbit away for their dinner.”

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Celeste stood still listening to the wind blow with gusto holding the rabbit she killed while analyzing the woods for the voice she might have thought she heard.  She felt her fear surfacing, and decides to mimic a Cardinal bird call out to her grandfather.  She waited to hear a response, but none came forward.  Celeste’s mind begins to wonder a while back to the woods in Alabama when she first experience a magical moment.  She gawks at the dead rabbit laying limp in her arms, and looks up to watch the huge snowflakes splat on the snow surface.  “Mama is that you,” Celeste calls out unsure, she whistles again her Cardinal tune and hears no reply.

The cowgirl had no clue that tears were streaming down her icy cold face, when she had to take a double look through the thick blowing snow.  The large snow covered figure was walking towards Celeste, she begins to shiver with fear ready to bolt out of the woods if need be, she tries one more time to whistle.  She hears her grandfather’s response and runs towards the big man while screaming out loud to her savior, “Papa, papa!” Celeste was so happy to see her grandfather she failed to watch where she was stepping and tripped over a snow cover branch.  Her rabbit flew out of her arms as she fell in the snow face first.  “God damn it,” she instantly bellows out.

Henry grabs a hold of the cuff of the neck jacket and picks her up with one hand, and then begins to scold her in a firm voice, “Don’t you ever use God’s name in vain daughter, and you shouldn’t be cussing.”  Celeste’s feet didn’t touch the ground as her burly grandfather held his death grip on the half-breed’s jacket collar. She didn’t know what to think or do, her emotions were all over the place with betwixt and between. Henry takes note she had been crying, and gently places her feet back on the snowy ground. Celeste notices the dead turkey with it’s head blown off by her fallen rabbit and smiles at her grand-dad.

How could Henry be mad at his little pistol when she smiles heavenly at him.   He watches the face of his lovely granddaughter as the blowing snow hit her face.  He takes his big finger and wipes away her tears and says tenderly, “You make me proud my little one let’s go home and get out of this weather.  Can I ask why you were crying?”  Celeste picked up the two kills and turned her attention back to her grandfather.  “I don’t like killing a living thing papa I guess my heart broke into.   Some big hunter I am turning out to be huh.”  She bowed her head feeling unworthy staring at the snowy ground when Henry picks her chin up and states, “My darling daughter, sometimes we humans must kill to survive, I think it’s the thought of killing that makes you feel weak at the knees.  You’re hunting skills will get better in time and before you know it, you won’t blink an eye afterwards.” She smiles at her papa happy with his comment.

“Grandfather, would you be upset with me, if I don’t want to kill another thing again?” She asked in good spirits gazing into his deep green eyes of wisdom.  Henry takes her hand quietly and they both begin to head back to the house.  “Ya know my darling lassie I would not be upset because it’s your choice, but I am glad that you would be able to take care of yourself when the time comes.” While walking back through the snow laden forest, she kept looking back over her shoulder.  “Is there something wrong? Why are you looking back?” Henry requested. She lifts her head up to her papa and said with doubt in her tone. “Papa do ya hear the giggles?” Henry smiles and states, “It’s the wind playing tricks on you, or maybe it could be the wood fairies come to take your mighty rabbit away for their dinner.” Celeste looked up at her grandfather; she adored him with all her heart.  She could feel his heart soar with pride as he gazes upon her with love. “You’re a silly willy papa, I love ya.” Celeste sticks out her tongue to catch many flakes on her tongue while holding on to her grandfather’s hand as the pair walked back home to skin their kills.

“Child of light, I thank you.” Celeste snapped her head side to side with speed.

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“Bam!” The sound of gun fire echoed out into the silent snowy woods at the exact same time Celeste released her arrow.   For some ungodly reason the spitfire had closed her eyes before releasing the arrow, and when the blast of the firearm was heard she jumped in surprise opening her strange colored eyes in wonder.  Everyone of her muscles were shivering with reluctance to move, she focus’s her eagle orbs through the white out conditions, and spots the rabbit with her arrow sticking out of his neck laying in a small spot of red.

Celeste begins to move her long legs with care through the thick layers of snow towards her kill in equivocal. The closer she gets to the rabbit her emotions floods her heart with sorrow, loss, and pain.  She bends her knees and kneels upon the cold surface of the snow, and picks up the dead cotton tail and plucks her arrow out of his furry neck.  

The little cowgirl should have been happy beyond belief she pegged a rabbit, instead she cried cradling the soft furry animal in her arms.   The emotions that came forth out of Celeste’s broken heart was lost for her mother, Ghost her horse, bullying, Doris, and her father’s lack of love.  For many years she stayed reserve never showing emotions until now.  The little cowgirl blew her top and dissolved into angry tears.  She begins to bellow out her adversity into the blowing snow while squeezing the hare closer to her breast.  Every time she opened her mouth to rip out her rage, snow blasted her lips in retaliation to shut her trap.  Unable to proclaim more of her unjust life, she lays quiet to gather her strange outburst.  She inhales air with urgent gasps, and exhales to see her warm air become a cloud of smoke in the cold air.  Silent minutes passed Celeste by after her unplanned hissy fit, she becomes Celeste again and remembers her Cherokee chant to honor Mother Earth blessings.  She stands up and lifts the rabbit carcass to the heavens, “I am bless, an I thank ya kindly mother for the food.”   

The half-breed girl pulled out her puny pocket knife her grandfather gave her and cuts into the dead rabbit’s chest.  She watches the steamy warmth of blood flow and reaches to pull the little critter’s heart out.  “I offer the heart my mother in payment of my kill.”  She raises the tiny heart to the heavens between her fingers and drops on her knees to dig a hole burying the heart in the cold earth.  She covers the heart up and begins to pick her body up.

Heavy in heart, she feels exhausted as she watches the snow kick up another notch.  She was about to turn around to leave when she hears a voice moving with the wind.  “Child of light, I thank you.”  Celeste snapped her head side to side with speed.  Not only did she think she heard a voice, but laughter of little children added to the mystery.  “Papa is that you?” she calls out lightly in sub judice.

 

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Celeste took the chance and let her arrow fly.

 

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Henry handed Celeste her cup of cocoa and began to discuss the warnings, fears, and responsibilities of hunting while Celeste listened.  “Knowing your land marks are very important so mark where you stop and tie this yellow ribbon around a tree or branch.  If we ever get separated it will be easier to find each other.”  Henry stands up and retrieves her bow and arrows, and hands the weapon to his wide eye granddaughter.  He taps his little cowgirl on the crown of her head and said, “Ready.” Celeste nodded yes and Henry grabs is his shotgun while Celeste follows him out the door.

Out they went into the early morning dawn in the Ohio woods, Celeste smiling from ear to ear seeing the beauty of the snow fall gently upon the ground brought peace into her heart. She hated snow, but adored the sound of huge flakes of snow hitting the ground softly.  Upon arriving in the woods, Celeste became alert, so in tune with her surroundings that she played the part of being a huntress.  Everything her grandfather taught her was now coming into play.  She was nervous, but her senses were coming alive giving her confidence with each step in the thick snow she took.  

Celeste stops and takes a deep breath calming her nervous energy, she smells the earth essences while taking in her surroundings and watches her grandfather silently signals her she was on her own.  She nods her head in agreement and feels the change in the weather as she gazes at her grandfather’s figure disappear into the snowy conditions in the woods.  The snow flakes were getting bigger as they dropped on the ground, at one point Celeste couldn’t see in front of her.  She slowly starts to weave in between the dense forest, making sure her footsteps weren’t heard crunching in the snow.  She feels her hands sweat upon her bow ready to shoot an arrow, “I am not gonna disappoint papa, I will be a huntress one day I’ll show him!” Celeste whispered to herself as she witnesses the snow picking up speed and moving sideways.  Part of her wanted to whistle out to know her father’s ware a bouts, but decided against making a sound at all and forges onward.  All was silent in the forest except for hearing the falling of the snowflakes upon the ground.  

When Celeste got deeper into the dense woods she started to fear being alone hunting without her papa by her side.  She knew these woods like the back of her hand and had no fear about getting lost; nevertheless she took the precautions her papa spoke about and marked her territory with the yellow ribbon.  She proceeded forward moving slowly in stealth with her bow and arrow, and finds a spot to bunker down, and waits by a fallen tree.

Celeste feels alive and more alert than she has ever felt in her lifetime.  The little half-breed begins to believe her spirit belongs to the earth and country living as she lays waiting her prey. She whispers out to Mother Earth a blessing to help guide her into a successful hunt when she hears a light sound on the snow.  She looks around but can’t see a thing through the heavy falling snowflakes.  Focusing on where the sound was heard, Celeste burrows deeper into the earth hiding herself underneath the fallen tree in silence.

After a few hair pin minutes Celeste sees a rabbit hopping through the snow without care.  She aims her arrow at her target.  Hands shaking she controls her breathing into a calming stage and takes a deep breath before releasing the arrow.  Beads of sweat begins to form around her brows when concentrating, the huntress pays no mind to the sweat and narrows her nervous energy into her target.  The rabbit stops and smells the woods, Celeste took the chance and let her arrow fly.

 

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“They broke my mold when I was born girl, don’t think there is another Henry around here for miles.”

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The next day in Ohio was the day Celeste needed to return home; however, it was down right nasty outside with the blowing wind and snow.  Henry decided not to take his granddaughter home and stayed off the snowy roads for the day.  He let Celeste sleep in until mid morning when she woke to the smell of pancakes.  “Morning papa, thank ya kindly for making breakfast it smells wonderful.” Henry places her plate of pancakes in front of her, and states in a happy voice.

“Tomorrow I would like to go hunting.  I know you haven’t tried that bow and arrow since the last time you got into trouble.  Want to try your skill in the woods?” Henry asked Celeste. She gawks at her grandfather with messy sleepy hair and eyes.  “Sure I would love too, but I can’t guarantee I be any good papa?  It’s been a while since I practiced, can I spend the day in the barn mastering my skill?”  Henry smiled at his little cowgirl and nodded his head yes.  

Celeste was excited, she hurried to finish her plate of pancakes, and tidied the kitchen up with speed.  Henry sat at the large round kitchen table drinking his hot coffee watching Celeste clean up in no time at all.  At the age of twelve Celeste began her lessons in shooting a bow an arrow. Throughout the snowy day Henry and Celeste were in the barn, she practiced while Henry carved his wood art.  Henry watches every arrow she shot into the straw bale marked with a painted red circle she hit the bulls eye perfectly.  At times he witnessed her using her slingshot he made her to embed the stone next to the arrow she shot. 

Henry was proud of his granddaughter how she picked up a humble weapon and perfected it in no time at all.  To him, it was the slingshot he made her that was her best choice of weapon.  He was amazed at how quick, and accurate the girl used the small tool when putting her skills to the test.  

The next day after spending most of the day practicing, Celeste was ready for her first hunt. Henry woke Celeste up at four in the morning, she sits on her double size bed watching the snow gently fall upon the earth outside her bedroom window. “Come on girl, get dress.” Henry bellows out in a good tone to Celeste.  She jumps off her bed and begins to put her layers of hunting clothing on she set out last night before going to bed.

She walks in the kitchen and sees her papa sitting at the table drinking his hot coffee.  “I made you some hot chocolate lass, come drink and eat a muffin before we leave.  “Thanks papa you sure think of everything.  One day I hope to find a man in my life just like you!” Henry smiles at his granddaughter’s comments.  “They broke my mold when I was born girl, don’t think there is another Henry around here for miles.” Celeste chuckles at her grandfather, she feels great being with someone who loves her completely. In fact life was blissful whenever Celeste was with her grandfather.  To the cowgirl, Henry could never be replicated, he was truly one of a kind person just like her!