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Susan K. de Vegter

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A Tale of Nachoochee and Sautee
by Susan K. de Vegter
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.
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At one time there were two Indian tribes that lived relatively close to each other. They were constantly at war. One was the Chickasaw and the other the Cherokee. The Cherokee was thought of as the superior tribe as they had an alphabet and lived in log cabins. They intimidated the other Indians with their intelligence. This legend begins where Helen and Batesville, Georgia run neck to neck today. One day a small party of Chickasaw was allowed to pass over the land of the Cherokee. Where two trails passed, the Chickasaw ran into a small band of Cherokee. The two tribes exchanged a few words, however one such brave of the Chickasaw remained aloof and refused to engage in such banter. His name was Sautee, young son of the Chickasaw chief. Among the few Cherokee gathered, was a beautiful maiden. Her name was Nacoochee, daughter of the Cherokee Chief Wahoo. These two regarded one another with a gaze that was magic. Love was born at that connection of deep piercing the meeting of the eyes...the souls of two young Indians of different tribes and a meeting of spirits that was taboo in that day and time. They would meet, secretly, in the caves of Mount Yonah where their love was soon sated. When Wahoo learned of the rendevous he was livid. His judgment was impaired and...blinded by his own hate and pride, he orders Sautee taken by force to the great mountain of Yonah and thrown off while the sobbing Nacoochee witnesses his death. Upon seeing Sautee's body being hurled from the cliffs, Nacoochee breaks free and leaps after her young lover. On the rocks below, two souls...bones broken...crawl toward one another to tenderly touch and hug until death is their final blanket. When Wahoo saw how much the two loved one another he ordered their bodies taken to the valley below Mount Yonah and buried together in a mound. To this day the mound is there near Helen, Georgia, in a valley below Yonah Mountain, called Nacoochee.This is a poem in tribute to these two lovers...and to all lovers today that come to view this mound of two true spirits of the heart...they will always remain together.


Nachoochee and Sautee

It's a joy and a comfort and a feeling so complete.
To sit beside this river and contemplate the heat
Of the summer and humidity, the smiles of all the guests
Who come to the Chattahochee to fish, love and rest
For the Indians that were here first and the legend that was spun
From the test of true loves mistress and the hearts that death had won
Over a valley named for lovers and the river that runs deep
With the blood of all their faith and the whispers that lock to keep
The secret of Nacoochee and the love within her heart
For a brave that never lost her, for their love was still a part
Of the beat within the spirit of two loves forever here
By the river Chattahochee that still dispels the fears
And the echo of two lovers who sleep forever sound
Within ear shot of this river where their tomb can still be found
For the worship of these souls, that fought for love and won
Over trials that only hearts can win with this sadness of outcome
That test the spirit of a couple with the oneness of two hearts
And beats within this river as the flow comes...and departs
For these lovers whisper softly as the Chattahochee runs
And invites the loves of others to this village full of fun
For hearts are gay in Helen, and lovers come to keep,
The magic of this river and two souls from 'lover's leap'
The memory of two Indians, of tribes a different test
With hopes to bind these new loves and let the old souls rest
That died among the bones, broken on the rocks
And hold, forever closer, this legend that is locked
In spirits, ever happy, their spirits entertwined
Along rivers, creeks and valleys, that whisper " ever mine".

1999 Susan Kathryn de Vegter

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Reviewed by jude forese 3/9/2007
this is astounding work, Susan ... no doubt, a labor of love flows from your pen onto the landscape of this inspired folklore ...
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 3/9/2007
You've added new life to the legend of unrequited love.

Reviewed by E T Waldron 3/9/2007
Absolutely fascinating and superbly written! You are an exceptional poet/writer, Susan!Thanks for sharing!

Reviewed by Andy Turner (Reader) 3/9/2007
LOL. I won love, but in the end it was a
I can only read in awe of the skill of rhyme, metre, and so on, but i now think, you musta bin writing for yonks. Bought back memories of when I was called to work at elseworth, in south dakota, i made many indian friends, for some reason they like the English???
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 3/9/2007
Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece...quite interesting to this old girl!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Debby & Gordon Rosenberg 3/8/2007
Susan, i appreciate the work you put into this piece, I've been to Helen, and my own heritage links into the mountains north of there, from my mother who was half Cherokee...thank you for sharing this "lovers tale"...i've always loved the story tellers.
Reviewed by Felix Perry 3/8/2007
Thank you for the history of this beautiful folklore story and you did true justince to the memory of these two who's love was strong enough to write history. Well done my dear friend.

Reviewed by Randall Barfield 3/8/2007
thanks for sharing such a memory. i'd read of the couple once before but--how many moons ago? i stood on some of those spots you've been trekking to. joy and luck
Reviewed by F William Broome 3/8/2007
Way to go, Historic Poet of our Georgia! You do the lovers, and all after their time, a great recorded accountingy with this poem and background. We owe you for this and your love for our state and its historic peoples. - Bill
Reviewed by Butch Howard 3/8/2007
Susan, this is a fabulous piece of poetry! I have always loved that story, kind of a Romeo and Juliette in another time and place. You conveyed this undying love brilliantly! Well done!
Reviewed by Walt Hardester 3/8/2007
Hot dam...You are a poet
Reviewed by CJ Heck 3/8/2007
Oh my, Susan, I have goosebumps all up and down my arms. This is so tragic and yet incredibly beautiful, too. You did them justice in your write about this loving couple. BRAVA!
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 3/8/2007
This is a write of epic effect, Susan; and it is a fine lesson to be learned. Thank you. Love and peace to you,

Reviewed by Approximately Naive 3/8/2007
A tragi - moving heart play if ever there was one, written with a pen bearing a pulse keeping tempo with the heartbeat pumping life into this tragedy.

The surrounding, sentinel valley is bound forever to tell the truth of what it saw - and sees...


Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 3/8/2007
A most beautiful write, Susan; well done! Even death cannot separate true love.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by richard cederberg 3/8/2007
WOW! This is excellent Belle-o-Magnifico. A lot of research to get this one out - I respect that! Love from SoCal!

Light and Wisdom ...
Reviewed by George Carroll 3/8/2007
True love lives forever when both spirits meet. Exceptional write and poem on how death cannot stop the love of two people.
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