A History Lesson

Posted: January 18, 2017 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , , , ,

Today’s 98-word story was inspired by a picture provided by fellow Friday Fictioneer Dale Rogerson and posted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. I have included a link to the place that inspired my story http://www.americansouthwest.net/utah/canyonlands/newspaper-rock.html


My people have traveled through this canyon for millennium
hunting bison, chasing rain, escaping enemies.

My cousin, Awan (Somebody) met Lenmana (Flute Girl)
in this canyon. We are Navajo, she was Hopi.
They made beautiful children
all dead from smallpox.

When our people passed by the flattest wall
we etched pictures into the stone
what you white people call “a calling card” to let others
know we had been there and where we were going.

Then you came and scratched your names across our symbols
as if we didn’t know how often you passed –
delivering death and destruction.

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Effortlessly brutal, endlessly sad

    Liked by 1 person

  2. michael1148humphris says:

    So much painted here with so few words. Studying very early art and pictograms is fascinating,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sandra says:

    Those last three words are a real eye-opener. Very powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Iain Kelly says:

    Bizarrely I have just started reading Nightwing by Martin Cruz Smith that also deals with the Hopi Indians. Great take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A very thought provoking piece Alicia.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dale says:

    Fascinating is the study of ancient civilisations… loved this, Alicia.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Having read many of Tony Hillerman’s books I was immediately caught up in the complicated mesh of land in the four corner….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. James says:

    When I was eight years old (back at the dawn of time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth), I was in the Cub Scouts. The official Cub Scout magazine is called “Boy’s Life”. They had a couple of ongoing comic strips I liked. One chronicled the adventures of a modern (early 1960s in this case) Native American archeologist who finds a mysterious cave. He comes out the other side to find himself in the distant past, confronted by his ancient ancestors.

    Using the cave, he leapfrogs step by step back toward the future, encountering his people and their sagas at each point in history.

    I was kind of disappointed when he finally made it back to the present and the strip ended.

    Your story, plus the photo prompt, reminded me of that comic strip. Wish I could remember what it was called.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Lish,

    Dark bit of historical fiction that gives us pause Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

  10. Graham Lawrence says:

    A brilliant historical observation put into an interesting context.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh Lish, No fiction: I truly have shivers! Beautiful response to this evocative prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. draliman says:

    So much in here, very though-provoking. Nice piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Some people have so little respect for other cultures. Once ruined, historical treasures are lost forever. Very well illustrated.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. rgayer55 says:

    I’ve always loved history. It’s sad how many diseases the white man brought to this country along with his greed and destructive ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, indeed. I didn’t absolutely love history until I was in my mid-thirties. I steeped myself in the history of some Native Americans and the Norwegians (there’s a bit of a too-long story involved). Then I met my husband – Mr. All-things-history. Now I’m definitely hooked.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. gahlearner says:

    Great writing, but such a sad story. Human history is made of violence and suppression, wherever we look. Will we ever evolve?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Very poignant writing! We tend to think WE are civilization forget other peoples were civilized and cultured in their own settings — and our people have been the destroyers.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. plaridel says:

    sad to say, that’s how some tourists behave..

    Liked by 1 person

  18. yarnspinnerr says:

    That packs a punch. Beautiful write.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. swarmsandbee says:

    Devastating, I had a physical response to your piece in my solar plexus. “We” seem to love destruction more than nurture.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. wmqcolby says:

    Makes me remember the story that Ray Bradbury wrote about the Martians in The Martian Chronicles. I think he was saying the same thing. In fact, it was alluded to in the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shoot! I’ve never read The Martian Chronicles. Must put that on my reading list. Thanks for reading.


      • wmqcolby says:

        You had BETTER put that on your reading list. 😀 In fact, it was my favorite book in high school. Read it all the time under a tree at home. I could see it playing out . I was watching a NASA video about Mars and now I feel cheated. We know so much more about Mars that it doesn’t make sense to me to go there anymore, in my opinion. No more mystery. Oh well …

        Liked by 1 person

  21. A super powerful write, Alicia. The last line reminds me of the history of Columbus leaving death and destruction on the island my great grandparents and grandaparents came from. They were Taino Indians. Great story in so few words.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  22. HonieBriggs says:

    I loved the first person voice. It made my heart ache. Last fall I visited two Native American museums in Oklahoma. It was a spiritual experience. Your story grips and rips like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. magarisa says:

    How sad and eye-opening.


  24. Alice Audrey says:

    Like a calling card left by Attila the Hun.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I wanted there to be a coda to this story, something along the lines of ‘You didn’t listen, didn’t understand, and that’s why your days on this planet are coming to an end.’ Revenge, or justice.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Michael Wynn says:

    This is extremely powerful. You’ve captured the whole essence of something really big i just 100 words. I loved it, brilliantly done

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Respect for the past seems to be improving in some areas of the world and getting worse in others. Good story and writing, Alicia. My dad used to love reading about American tribals. He collected arrowheads. He found some himself by digging in the ground in western Ohio when he was growing up. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  28. An interesting viewpoint. I enjoyed your story.

    Liked by 1 person

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