May 7, 2017 by Patrick Starks
Pallaton stood in silence as roar of men spilled out with anger around him. He remained silent, still, nose pointed to his feet, with hair as long as a pure-bred stallion. The men around him stood firm, and watched anxiously as frustration began to build. An arrow then pierced through the air as bullet would. The arrow was like no other arrow, it’s speed were remarkable—not even the wind itself could keep up with it. It’s tip was pointed like the beak of an eagle, wood finely carved, with the feathers of a hawk at its end to symbolize it’s power of awareness. The arrow eased its way past the many men that stood; however, had its focus on Pallaton. The arrow reached its target nearly piercing the temporal lobe of its attended kill. But before any harm could be done, Pallaton took one step forward as gracefully as a dancer would—avoiding the arrows puncture.
The men stood in awe—no one had seen such a dodge, especially at the momentum the arrow was coming. Pallaton then spoke, but spoke too calmly for anyone to relate to his emotions. Most would have been pissed or incredibly scared shit-less, but Pallaton showed none of those personas mentioned.
He reminded the men of who his father was and that the village, the tribe, was the reason for the mourning of his absent presence. However, another man thought otherwise and decided that it was time for a new voice to be heard, a new leader.
“Your father should have thrown you into the wild with the rest of the boar—we all know that you were born from a whore. Matter of fact, mind as well through himself into the wild with you—like son, like father, right.”
“You idiot… it’s like father, like son.” Replied another man from behind.
“Right, I knew that. And besides your father wasn’t even of our blood—yet, he still led the village. How could we have been so stupid to let a Comanche lead our tribe.”
The men then laughed until their stomachs hurt. The annoyance of laughter settled within the heart and soul of Pallaton. His hands clinched into fist, as his lips pulled back with gritted teeth. No tear fell, not even a speckle—his eyes remained closed as he remembered a vision of his mother. Her skin was brown—like coffee that would have just a touch of half and half in it. Her hair was cut short where it would come down just slightly passed her ears. Her eyes were green like the trees that had fallen that year. She wore a long dress that appeared to have been hand knitted by the finest designer of the village—which only one’s of royalty were allowed to where. But the thing that stood out to him the most was the message that he she had left. She told him that— “When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.”
Remembering this message brought light within Pallaton’s spirit—eliminating all anger that was left in before. Pallaton spoke “I am tired of fighting…from where the sun now stands and the moon stands later, I will fight no more. The great chief spirit, my father, who rules above all will smile down upon our land someday… and it’s time that we stop fighting amongst ourselves and become one.
Then men stood hesitant and confused. It would seem they were unable to understand, let alone—express how they were feeling. Although, other men did not quite get the message—as they continued to chuckle in the background. Pallaton yelled with might as his voice echoed throughout the canyons of the crimson sky. The men became moved by his words—reminding them that they all had a purpose in life and that they all could be leaders. That their village could be one, a place with no labels of power or rank—where all could be equal and free of judgment.
“Everyone please here me, I understand. I have been judged my whole life, always being made to feel that I was never good enough for the women that came in my life or the friends that I did. But we must understand that it was never us that were the problem, but it was they that were the problem. The earth loves you all and wants to see the best for everyone, and for everyone to reach their greatest dreams in life, how can we do so if we let every person that is in our life’s hold us back—put negative thoughts in our mind.”
“Yeah, but that’s kind of hard to do without support.”
“Kiowa is right. You are exactly right—it is hard; however, what we want to do in life should not be dependent on our supporters, but the support from within. We are our greatest fans, and if we are not our greatest fans, we would not be one—not in sync with our spirit. I stand in front of you men because I love this tribe, this tribe has taught me everything and I only wish to give back by helping everyone live a fulfilled life—a life that is designed for them and them only—to find their destiny. Your remember those courageous black men in arms that were marching with an absents of fear in their faces, but had gentle souls.”
“Yeah we remember them—they had hair like Buffalo. The other tribes called them Buffalo soldiers.”
“Yes, but what really made me admire them was their wisdom. Their wisdom to have courage in the time of fear. There was a leader of the ranking that told me that we were not enemies, we were both defending our honor to ourselves and our families. He told me of an African proverb that said if there is no enemy within, there is no enemy without.
The man were frozen. All heads were down like a sad dog with tail tucked between the legs. It was quite obvious that the men had realized that they were wrong and had never had anyone speak to them in such courageous ways—at least since Pallaton’s father passed. All the men then took a knee down to the ground, as they laid their bows in front of them. Pallaton stood amazed as he witnessed over four thousand villagers kneel before him—the tear that never came out before then finally departed from his eye lash.
The people chanted his name as he would now be known as the new chief of the tribe.
After things settled the men that once called his mother a whore appeared.
“I just wanted to say…”
“You don’t have to apologize Hopi. One time we were best friends, brothers—nothing has changed that. I understand your frustration, you never had support. Even though they are not here anymore, I at least had my parents. I want you to have this.”
“But Pallaton… that’s… that’s your fathers sacred bow.”
“Yes… yes, it is. But I feel that it will suit you better. You are a great hunter Hopi and soon to be known as the best. I believe in you, show the world what you can do brother.”
“I won’t let you down.”
As the sun settled and the moon began to rise, everyone headed to their tipi’s. It was calm, to silent for the nature that they lived within. A scream of terror then unleashed, one of the first out of Pallaton’s adult life—blood was spread all throughout the grass field, as all that was seen was the sacred bow of his father.