I have always had a premonition about the native Indians in America. We were taught to be afraid of them. The said they are savages. The Arapahoe, will probably be liberal and let other tribes decide your fate, or try to protect you at all cost if they felt like pissing off the other tribes. The Comanche will skin you alive and make a band of your flesh. The Cheyenne will probably kill you in an instant and skin your skull for a score.
Maybe that’s what I was taught, or what I wanted to learn that stuck to me, and it stuck well, so much that even in the 21st century America setting I still felt wary of the natives.
And all this would not have changed if I did not have my encounter.
My dad just got me a car as my 18th-year birthday gift, and I was super excited when he gave me the keys. It felt like it was the best thing he had ever given me.
I was driving one evening on the highway when I realized that the brake my car was not responding. I tried to so hard to pump it, but it won’t come up. I got really scared, drove into the woods and the car took a tumble, and that was all I remembered.
What seemed like a day’s sleep to me was a full week of passing out after the accident.
I woke and saw this beautiful face staring straight over my face. She smiled and ran out of what looked like a hut. She returned with a man with a long ponytail and an old woman trailing behind them.
“Tell her not to try to stand up yet,” she said to the man in the native language, and he did.
“Where am I?” I asked him.
“My little girl found you in woods; you were in an accident. She ran here to tell me, and we ran over to find you lying unconscious not far from your wrecked car,” he explained
“My parents…. They would be worried sick.”
“We couldn’t take you to the hospital when we found you, and you wouldn’t have made the journey. So my mama here took care of you. She’s a great medicine woman of the tribe. We just found your phone today in the woods. Would you like to call your parents? It’s now charged.”
He handed the phone to me.
“Thank you.” I tried to stand up to collect it but I couldn’t as I felt a sharp pain in my chest.
“Gently. Please don’t try to stand up yet as my mother said. You had a few broken ribs. But she had taken care of them; you need to lay down a bit longer to let them heal.”
I was surprised at how caring they were. I still couldn’t believe that these were the same people that others had badmouthed. ‘Are they not suppose to be cannibals? Instead, they had saved me. Took care of me. Tended and watched over me day and night.
Part of the phone’s screen was broken. I figured that it must have been from the accident. I dialed our house line. I knew they would be there getting all worked up. Someone picked at the first ring.
“Hello?” It was my mum.
“Hello, mum.” I heard her scream at the top of her voice for my dad.
“It’s your daughter.”
“Oh my God, Jules, what happened? Where have you been? We have been worried sick.”
I heard my dad taking the phone, and they must be placing the receiver between their heads. I wondered how many seconds it took him to run down the stairs.
“Baby…” my mum said “are you okay?” she asked.
“I am fine mum, dad. I was in an accident. My car’s brake failed, and I took a tumble in the woods.”
“Oh my God,” my mum exclaimed.
“Baby are you alright?”
“Yes… all thanks to the tribes. They found and treated me. They have been taking good care of me.”
“Which hospital are you? We have checked all the hospitals.”
“I am not in a hospital, and I am with them at their community, I guess.”
“Why did they not take you to the hospital? You need to be taken to the hospital at once. Where are you? We are coming to take you,” my dad said, sounding worried.
I was trying hard to endure the pain as I was talking on the phone.
“You need to stop talking and rest now,” the man said after his mother said something to him.
“I have to go ma, dad, and they said I need to rest. I will send you the address of where I am when I find out. But I am in good hands, don’t worry, I will be fine.”
I hung up feeling exhausted. I lay back and slept off.
When I woke up the second day, I felt a lot better, and I was able to stand up without support. I went outside and saw more people of the tribe. The celebratory noise they were making must have woken me. When I asked what was going on, my rescuer, the little girl, told me that the tribe was preparing for an archery competition between the nations. She said her dad was the best archer in the tribe and he was training other people at a range.
I fell in love with the sport. Later in the day, I told him I would love to learn how to shoot when I feel a lot better, and he promised to teach me.
My dad and mum came on the third day after I had first called them, and they were surprised to meet me in great condition. They took me home and invited the tribes over to our house. They became our family friends.
I would travel many times to the tribe town and some days with them. Learn how to shoot with bow and arrow. I usually practice range shooting with the others. And watch some practice videos on YouTube. Then I would practice the techniques I had seen.
What surprised me was how my rescuer shot at a target while on a speeding horse, and I wish one day I could shoot that way too.