Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Autumn/Fall (08/27/09)
- TITLE: Indian Summer
By Patricia Protzman
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
I feel my spirit leaving my weakened body; soon I will leave this world and enter a heavenly one. A raging fever, which has wracked my body for three nights, brings dizziness, headaches and the shakes. The affliction struck me while scouting with my friend Governor Bradford east of Plymouth, who is now praying by my side. I, Tisquantum or Squanto as the Pilgrims call me, am dying on the white man’s boat.
My mind is full of thoughts about my short life. Parents, brothers, sisters, and all my people are dead from a plague. They taught me to be proud of my Patuxet heritage. Every year when the leaves began to fall from the trees and the full moon appeared in the night sky, we celebrated births, marriages, and harvest by preparing a great feast. Our neighboring Indian friends were invited and the feast lasted for days. We thanked the Great Spirit, for food, good health, and safety. Life was peaceful and good.
At a young age, traders took me to England where I saw many strange sights and learned the English language. Later, Captain John Smith agreed to take me back home. On the way back, we stopped at a port and a greedy trader took me and twenty other young men by force to Spain. He sold me to Spanish friars, who led me to faith in Jesus Christ and aided me in getting back home.
Anxious to see my family and friends after ten years, I ran off the ship and entered my village but there was no one there. I learned everyone died from a plague, which left me sad and lonely. The chief of a nearby Wampanoag village named Massasoit invited me to live with them and I accepted his invitation.
The Pilgrims arrived a few weeks after I arrived home and began building their town near my former village. The first winter they kept their distance from us, half of them died. The next spring we met, they were surprised that I spoke their language. Later, I became the interpreter for them and Chief Massasoit. A fifty-year treaty was the result of the meeting. Squanto was happy to be God’s servant, and the Pilgrim’s helper.
The rest of the Indians left the area but I decided to remain and help the new settlers. They had very little food, and their dwellings were not warm enough for the harsh winters. I showed them how to fish with traps and took them to places in the forest to stalk game. Together we built sturdy warm houses, and I taught them when and how to plant corn using fish fertilizer, and how to cook it. My instructions also included showing them how to grow new foods such as potatoes, yams, squash, beans, and how to tell which berries, and other plants were safe to eat. The Pilgrims harvested twenty acres of corn. I also helped them interpret, bargain, and trade with the Indians, and guided them on trading expeditions.
I remained with the Pilgrims for eighteen months and then returned to the Wampanoag village. If I had not been there to help them, perhaps none of the Pilgrims would have survived. When the leaves began to fall off the trees, the Pilgrims held a feast to celebrate God's merciful help. Chief Massasoit and his people were invited. Everyone gathered around tables spread with fresh game like venison, roast duck, turkeys, goose, shellfish, bread, and vegetables, with fruits and berries for dessert. Before they ate, the Pilgrim men removed their wide-brimmed hats and the Indians stood reverently as Governor Bradley led them in solemn prayer.
"Thank You, great God, for the bounty You have supplied to us. Thank You for protecting us in hardship and meeting all our needs. . . ." The prayer was long and toward the end, I was surprised to hear my name. "And thank You for bringing to us the Indian Squanto, your own special instrument to save us from hunger and help us to establish our colony in this new land." I stood with pride.
Two years have passed. The leaves are falling from the trees, the full moon is in the night sky, and it is time for another celebration, but I will not be here. God is calling me. I see a bright light and two angels, my spirit is free, and I am at peace.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.