A young widowed Winnebago woman of the Omaha tribe of the Sioux Nation recounts a lesson of life.
This fictional account is dedicated to Valerie Ann Roeske and to all women who
have walked the path of domestic abuse and known its pain and suffering and who now
have come to know in their hearts and souls that all we have in life is love.
CROOKED WOMAN FOOL
I am Little Beaver. I take you by the hand with all my heart. I am but a woman, yet you must listen for I am
speaking truth so you will know how it was and why I do not cry out my grief.
I was the wife of a Winnebago warrior. I served him faithfully. Who was so well served as him? Whose lodge
was so well provided or kept so clean? I brought wood in the morning and placed water always at hand. I
watched for his coming, and he found his food cooked and waiting. If he rose to go forth, there was nothing
to delay him. I searched the thought that was in his heart to save him the trouble of speaking.
When I went about on errands for him, chiefs and warriors smiled upon me, and braves spoke soft things to me
in secret. But my feet were on the straight path, and my eyes saw nothing but him.
When he went out to hunt or to war, who aided to equip him but me? When he returned, I met him at the door,
and he entered without further thought. While he sat and smoked, I unloaded his horses, tied them to stakes,
brought in their loads and was quick at his feet. If his moccasins were wet, I took them off and put on others
which were warm and dry.I dressed all the skins that were taken in the chase. He never said to me, “Why is
it not done?”
He hunted the deer and the buffalo and watched for the enemy. Everything else was done by me.
When our people moved their camp, it was me who packed the horses and led them on their journey. He
mounted his horse and rode away as free as though he had fallen from the skies.
He had nothing to do with the labor of the camp. When we halted in the evening, he sat with the other braves
and smoked while I pitched his lodge. When he came to eat and sleep, his supper and bed were ready.
I served him faithfully. And what was my reward? A cloud was always on his brow and sharp lightning
on his tongue. I was his woman to use without affection. I was his dog not his wife.
Who scarred me and bruised me? It was my Winnebago warrior. When his enemy killed him, he did not
return to his lodge. I do not cry out my grief for what I have lost is but a warrior’s body, not a husband
that showed respect and recognized value.
Hear my truth. I will walk a new path and never walk the old path again.
When the handsome braves smile at me, now, again, I will choose
more wisely. The Great Spirit has given me experience and wisdom. I would be a crooked
woman fool not to learn.
Now you know how it was and how it will be.
Authors note: See, also, my poetry: Begin Again, Ab Initio
Reader Reviews for
"Crooked Woman Fool"
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|Reviewed by CJ Heck
|Your talent shines here, Richard. Through your words, I was there and I knew Little Beaver well, felt her heartache and her indignation. Well written and such a pleasure to read.
Hugs to you,
|Reviewed by J Howard
|your writing is but the ripple on the water's surface, where below a swelling tide silently waits to pull you down.
|Reviewed by Kathryn Seifert, Ph.D.
|Thank you for this important and thoughtful piece.
|Reviewed by Jerry Engler
|Richard, I apologize. I intended to always review any stories written by you, and somehow I've either skipped over or never received notice of this one, and it looks like some others on here. Granted, I have been gone a lot, and life has dealt me some harsh blows of late. I do find this story very interesting and intriguing, especially considering that you have had native American family connections yourself. I think often in our society, we fail to realize they were human beings in the native societies, and although different than us in job allotment by sex, they still had their individual family and social behavioral problems. I have read accounts of Indian men who were respectful of their wives, and of those who were not, just as I have read of Indian men who were poor providers, or who spent too much time in gambling games to the grief of other family members. The soical legends of the noble savage shouldn't erase the facts of another group of humans with individual admirable traits and shortcomings. You have done a service here in bringing this out. As always, it was a pleasure to read your work.....Jerry|
|Reviewed by Diana Wiles
|Richard this was very moving, and with a very strong message...Domestic violence is horrific...I once worked in a refuge for women and children affected by domestic abuse, it was a period of my life I shall never forget...Sadly, still, many women return to their abusers out of fear and through continually being brainwashed that they are in some part to blame. This story raises the issues consciousness once more, which has to be positive.
This is so beautifully and sensitively written...
|Reviewed by Hatshepsut Maatkare
|Richard, this story is amazing!I absolutely loved it.|
|Reviewed by Sheila Roy
|I cannot imagine choosing a partner like this. Unfortunately, some do not get to choose. Great writing.
|Reviewed by Valerie Roeske
|So much loved this story, brillant, so much truth and wisdom written within, thanks for sharing, You have taken me on a trip thru my past life, Take care, Blessing's Valerie|
|Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan
|what an important lesson several of them--thanks for sharing this|
|Reviewed by vicki orey (Reader)
This latest of your writings in particular touched me most deeply. Beautifully, insightfully written, it sheds light on the painful wounds that a woman often silently bears at the hand of an unenlightened man.
Sadly, this is still very prevelent in all cultures, though the rising strength of the empowered feminine is beginning to reveal herself more and more profoundly. I believe this is not only the key to the healing of all women everywhere, but also to the healing of entire planet.
Blessings and love,
|Reviewed by Jeanette Cooper
|Richard, this is a bittersweet story, and yes, she was a "Crooked Woman Fool" You have just written the parable of millions of women in today's society, and you did it so precisely. Some women are mothers (or drudgery slaves) all their lives whether they bear children or not, or whether by lack of choice following marriage. (Now, that sounds awfully cynical, doesn't it?) I could go on and on here, but I dare not lest I offend someone, although I've lived long enough to see that times have changed and continue to change. Women are becoming liberated.
Your last three lines make a good motto for women.
"When the handsome braves smile at me, now, again, I will choose more wisely.
The Great Spirit has given me experience and wisdom.
I would be a crooked woman fool not to learn."
Richard, truly, this story is funny because it just doesn't sound like your other writings and I can just imagine you laughing your head off while writing this. Whether you meant it to be or not, it has a cynical side to it that is highly humorous.
You certainly did a great job composing this and you got your idea across with precision and aptitude.
|Reviewed by Victoria's Poetry & Voices of Muse
|My Tattered Moccasins Have Traveled In These Woods A Few Times To Often. I Failed To Listen To The Turkey Buzzards Which Flew Over Our Matrimonial Heads. My Ex-Warriors Found The Gods of Divorce Most Rewarding To Me. My Heart Looks Into The Spirit Sky For Wisdom, But Thunder Clouds Remind Me That Man Wear Muscles On Ther Tongue & Scrotom For Many Squaws More Than On Their Hearts For Just Me. Or The Vallant True Warrior Husband Man; Like You Are Taken By The Squaw of Goodness Moons. I Shall Be More Wise In The Sleeping Days of The Sun Like Your Litte Beaver....For I Shall Now Own My Name, I Am Little Beaver With Wolfs Howl.
lol...I Loved Your Story of Wisdom & The Wonderful Message It Brings. We truely are responsible for our paths in life.
Much Love & Many Moons Of Passion To You Richard
Embraced ~ Embrassť
|Reviewed by Sandie May Angel-Joyce
|I'm glad that she is now free to walk on her on path, slave no more!
A well told story. However, I had a little hard time in reading because of the line breaks.
Sandie May :o)