My Brother č’ims

My Brother č’ims is very handsome, and powerful, he has dark black hair and deep beautiful eyes, if you saw him you would certainly be in awe of him, his grace, cunning and stamina have earned him great renown amongst our People.

But it is unlikely you will ever see him, he is shy, most of the time, and prefers to stay away from most People, if he can arrange to and it seems that he has become quite adapt at that, as have I. Because of his reserved way I go to search for him where he likes to hide, here in the forest, where it is cool, calm and peaceful, here it is as he likes it, here it is as it should be.

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č’ims likes it in this forest, or what remains of it at least, the area near the creek where the loggers were not allowed to be, where their little ribbons held them back. Had he known that is all it took to stop them, and if č’ims had, had his own little ribbons more Tree People would be here today, but alas it was not so. Beyond this little remnant it is ugly, dry and desolate, an unwelcome desert where the canopies used to protect and nurture.

I know č’ims has been here recently, it is spring, he is thin, hungry and what he needs is here. My Brother is big, but not that big yet, he is still growing and as such quite ravenous, but not dangerous in the least. Although I have not yet seen him I know, his reach is not yet what it will be, I know he is already very powerful by how he so easily tears the dead wood to find his meal.

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My Brother č’ims has been unjustly given a bad reputation, People who don’t even know him gossip about him, and say he is violent and dangerous, these lies are believed. It is like that amongst many of the People, they believe to know that of which they do not know based on what is told to them by another who does not know and along it goes the sharing of that which is false and harmful.

So he stays away from the malice and danger, he does not want drama, or hysterics from those who do not even wish to understand him but still believe they have the right to sit in judgement of him and me.

So be it, I can do little to reason with those who have been taught to be unreasonable, who chose fear over comprehension, all I can think is it must be a terrible way to be, actually I know it is. I know alone in this wood I am safe, that no harm will come to me from my Brother, even as a small child it has been so, here in the forest all is as it should be. Here with č’ims there is nothing to fear, for me, č’ims does not drink, and his mind is sound, I know him and he knows me, we are family.

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So I sit and wait, listening to the song of the water and the wind, naniiqsu ixʷatin cries out in delight as she soars above, all is good, I can be at peace while I wait.

This for me cannot be where the People are, because there I know it is not safe for me, or anything. I know this not because of stories and fabrications told to me by others, I know this from unhappy experience, and that fact, unlike the forest has remained unaltered. čakup walks in the cities and villages and although he is not so big, strong or brave as my Brother, he is far more dangerous and completely unpredictable, so I try not to be near him, although he is also my Brother. čakup drinks and his mind is not sound, I know him and he knows me, we are family but I have learned that I must avoid him. čakup speaks from both sides of his mouth, he lies and refuses to be healthy, or maybe he can’t find his way back or does not wish to.

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Although it is nice here, I know now I will not find my Brother today, č’ims will not come and I will leave too because čakup is near. čakup makes a great racket, he likes to make a show of himself, to pretend to be brave, his din is all around us now, I can no longer hear the wind, or the waters song, čakup is near and č’ims will not come. I get up and cautiously make my way back home, I have a lot of work waiting, it will still be a good day but I do miss my Brother’s, both of them. They are both gone, one to instability and the other to a better place, where I long to be as well.

One of the Canadian leaders once said that their country lacks history but has far too much geography, that is his perspective. For č’ims and I the opposite it true, our history dates back to the beginning of time, but we now lack places where we can safely exist away from our Brother, our family is broken!

Feather

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