Thomas Doty – Storyteller

Siskiyou Pass

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On This Smoky Mid-Winter Day

On a day in mid-winter, victims of a real estate deal, the Indians have been forced from the Crazy Bear Grounds. What few structures there were have been chainsawed to firewood and burned. Days later, the rubbish heaps still smoke.

Since time out of mind native people gathered at this oak flat along Bear Creek to drum and sing and dance, to meet friends and swap stories, to watch the circling of the night sky, to listen to the breathing of the earth.

On this smoky mid-winter day, the Indians are gone, at least for a while. What is left of the dance ring waits for the future. A cold wind rattles what few oak leaves still cling to the trees.