26 April 2016


Woke up to pounding on the door.  Heard Mom and Auntie talking.  Then something being dragged down the stairs.  Someone was hollering for a knife.  Flew out of bed to check over the railing.  There were about four or five people at the bottom bent over something on the floor.  Huge flood of relief when I was finally able to see that it was only a deer.

“Hurry up and bring a knife.”

I ran to get one and handed it to my cousin.  Then the boys went out and I had to go down and help dress out the deer.  I wasn’t too excited.  Good thing I hadn’t changed into pajamas, now that I think about it.  It was bout midnight or so when they’d come in.  Shining season on the rez.  It took us about an hour to get it all done, packaged and put away.  Now at least we had enough meat for a while.  One deer lasted for most of the winter, providing we got other meats.

The first thing we did after that was cook up a frying pan full with gravy and potatoes.  Then we ate and went back to bed.  Wasn’t often that we’d be woken up like that.  Most times, we’d know when someone was out hunting for us and we’d be ready.  So that night was a real happy surprise for Mom and Auntie.  Specially since it’d been a while since anyone had some.  It was rare when there wasn’t anything like venison, duck or fish in the freezer.

We had manomin, wild rice, to go with.  Or potatoes.  Some kind of vegetable.  Onions, another necessity.  That night’s meal was delicious, even if I was a bit crabby bout being woken up.   Sometimes it was hard to get my sons back to sleep when they were woken up.  That night they went right back to sleep.  Sometimes, I wonder what some of my friends would think if they came to the house whilst we were busy doing something like this.  I know most of them get their food at the grocery store.

I think the main reason I was crabby is pulling the hide off the deer.  It takes such a long time cause 1. My hands aren’t up to par for grabbing hold of things and 2. I don’t have much strength which means I have to find another means of pulling and I end up in the way.  Sometimes people forget that my hands and arms are scarred, which is how I want it.  And I don’t like reminding them cause then it sounds like I’m whining.  I’m not.  I have to settle for doing what I can and it’s not easy to skin a deer when one is in a hurry to get back to sleep.

*No, I am not going to defend my way of life from those who think animals must be “saved.”  We respect the animal’s gift which is the reason a meal is cooked right away, showing thanks.

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