As the Crow Flies
by Stacy Chambers
We're taking you to new land, they tell us. We need yours for our crops. So they force us to walk the thousand mile journey across the plains and through forests. We do not mind the lack of roads; the land gives us our nourishment and tells us all we need to know to find our way. We need no maps.
My brother stumbles along beside me, sick with the illness they brought. I hold onto a thin hope to find herbs to cure him, though in my heart I know the sickness is beyond the power of our medicine—our mother and sister died of this illness, their skin fevered and hot. My brother complains of the same aches, and I can feel the heat rolling off him like smoke from a well-lit fire. I know I will soon lose him, too.
Our father died as well, but in battle. I wish I could be brave like him, to rise up and fight, but I look at their weapons and know I never could. I have seen what those weapons can do.
I am very tired now. I want to lay down and sleep, but I know that is impossible. Instead I close my eyes for a moment, praying to the Creator that he'll bring the eagle, our symbol of victory.
I look up. A crow flies overhead. For a moment I despair. But then I realize that, like the crow and the wolf, we will survive our doom.