A maiden's thoughts...

                           By Natacha Choquet 2001




Softfeather looked at the skin she was tanning. She smiled, satisfied of her work.  * Owl would have a new tunic soon * she thought. The tanner stood and ranked it amoung some other stuff. Then, she went outside of her tent and smiled as the sun warmed her face. She noticed Flamingstar and Willowdream who were observing Owl, training with the spear. She waved a them and as she didn’t want to disturb them, she went on another side. Not far, the twins RunningWater and Newgreen were playing near the nohumps with their older sister WillowDream’s squirrel, who jumped from one nohump to another, the girls laughing and running after him. Softfeather smiled at them and kept on. She saw her parents, Blackbird and Buffalohorn talking  and as she was about to go to them, someone grabbed her arm.

“ Hello Suncheek...” said gently Softfeather, always happy to see her apprentice. The young elfess laughed as she passed her arm under Softfeather’s one and she giggled : “ Softfeather, what do you think of my brother ? He is handsome, strong and brave. What a marvellous mate he would be, don’t you think ? “ she winked mischeviously at her friend. Softfeather laughed and answered, looking at Wintersong who was busy to prepare his weapons for the next hunt, his wolf  Strongheart at his side : “ You’ll never abandon that idea, little one, finding a mate for your brother ? “
“ Never “ answered for once seriously Suncheek, her eyes brighting. “ Too bad you and him aren’t in love...because you’re not ? “ she asked again.   Softfeather blushed and said : “ No, I’m sorry. And anyway, I’m promised to another...”
“ Yeah, to Nowater.....too bad. “ replied Suncheek, obviously disapointed. 

“ He’s a brave and fierce one, and my parents should accept him soon. They’ll officialy announce it when we’ll be at our winter camp. “ added Softfeather. “ I’ll be...proud to be his mate. 

“ But you don’t love him.” Said Suncheek. 

“ N-no....I don’t know...but that’s not important, I’ll learn to love him, and I already...like him. “ replied an upset Softfeather. 

“ If you say so, my friend, if you say so...” said Suncheek before running to her brother : “ See you later, Softfeather ! My brother will get bored if I don’t tease him from time to time...” she said, laughing. 

Softfeather sighed and smiled. Suncheek was so young and so full of energy. So innocent. Sometimes she would like to be like her. Suncheek was true, Softfeather didn’t love Nowater. But he would be a good mate and she would elarn to love him. After all, he was the ebst match for her in the tribe and her parents were right to accept him. With time, she would love him, she was almost sure of that.

She saw him with his cousin Whitelily and with his friend Yellowelk. The herbal  healer was putting a bandage on his right arm, he was hurted during the last hunt by a wild buffalo. Even if he suffered, his face stayed inflexible . Fierce as always. She smiled and was about to leave to search for some flowers when Nowater saw her. “ Softfeather ! Wait ! “ he exclaimed as he ran to her, his cousin frowning as she had barely the time to finish the bandage. “ What a...” she growled, to a grinning YellowElk.  

“ Where are you going ? “ Nowater asked the tanner.

“ Searching some flowers. “ she answered.

“ Allright, I’ll go with you. I don’t like to know you alone...” he replied. Knowing that talking about it would elad nowhere, Softfeather nodded and they both walked, side by side.

After a few moments, they were out of sight from the camp and Nowater turned to the maiden. He took her shoulders nand whispered  : “ You know we’re meant to be together. Your parents will accept me soon as your mate...”

And he began to kiss her neck. Softfeather moaned and let him do. He was so strong, handsome and sure of himself....But soon, she pushed him and said weakly : “ Not now...that’s too soon...not now...” and she ran away from him, to the camp.  

Nowater clenched his fist and he grinned : “ But soon, beloved, you’ll belong to me, soon...”


To be continued....