Monday, November 21, 2016

Story of Canada days: 5

[Continuing a series of short excerpts from The Story of Canada, the recently republished history of Canada for kids and families that makes such a good Christmas gift.]

from Chapter 5: The Great Northwest

"At dawn on a clear fall day, the Blackfoot people prayed to the spirit of the buffalo.  If you had been there, you would have been shivering even in your warm deerskin shirt or sift and leggings.  

"Imagine you are there....

"Two days ago the scouts went out. Last night the came back to report that the herd was near.  The best poundmakers in the band have done their work.  They have chosen the strongest willow stakes and driven them into the hard ground to form the V-shaped fence of the jumping pound.  At the narrow end of the pound is a small opening, right at the edge of the cliff.

"Your feet in their moccasins are cold as you creep through the tall frost-tipped grass. You have learned to read the land so well that you know the signs of prairie-dog holes, ant hills, and gullies.  You go silently, as though you knew every blade of grass.

"The buffalo are coming...."
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