As a pioneer

My River

By: Alice Brown 

My name is Alice Brown. I am 26 years old, with pale skin and short hair like a boys. I wear plain clothes and not dresses. Leggings, a shirt made of an old dress from my mother, and a cloak. I carry with me a few pots, extra clothes, and one pair of shoes in-case the ones I wear begin to tear, and a few quilts my family has  made over the generations. I am traveling to find a new place to live instead of a soft, rich life I used to call home.

 September 17, 1830

As I walk through the woods, I see different things. New things I have never seen before. I am heading west, and I have no idea where I am.  I recognize some of the plants scattered around the ground, and I begin digging roots to make supper.  I find some dried wood, and I begin to make a small fire.  I set the roots on a hot stick, and let them heat up.

This is one of the pages from a book of herbs, greens, roots, and plants that are for medicinal uses or eating. It comes in handy for when I am out traveling. I used to travel and explore all the time with my father. This is the only time that I am on my own.

 I eat some of the roots and wrap the rest in a cloth to finish later.  So far, I am doing an incredible job on my own. People were wrong about me, saying I could not do anything, and that I would not survive the first day. I will prove them all wrong.

The sun begins to set, and I reach a large river. The river is too large to cross on foot, but it is extremely beautiful. I can tell this is the Mississippi river, because my father has told me many stories about it. I find a rock to sit on, and pull out another journal, but for drawing. I sketch the beautiful river, and the sun shines on the leaves that makes them seem like they are on fire. In September, the leaves change to orange, red, yellow, gold, and brown. 

I never want to return to my home, where I have to be a housewife to a man who is selfish. I don't want children, and I don't want to be near people who are snobby, rich, or selfish, like my future husband. Since that marriage would have made me rich, everyone thought I was also too perfect for the harsh environment. 

They thought I would die as soon as I stepped foot outside. But I know how to hunt, how to scavenge, and how to live. I want to find a new place to live, and I have. I will build me a nice house, and I can survive on my own. 

The sun has set for good, and a full moon peeks its way out of the trees. The stars shine on the river, and the water gently moves around. I fall asleep, lulled by the soft noises of the river.

I wake up, and I am surrounded by people. I do not recognize any of them, and their skin is much darker than mine. They speak a tongue I don't know of. When I sit up, I am no longer near the river, and I am in some house made of wood planks.  The people have feathers and red and white paint covered on them. In the corner, I see all my stuff, and it is neatly stacked. None of the people are carrying weapons, so I relax a little.

A man, who is very tall and large, comes over to me. He talks to me in my language, with a heavy accent. "My name is Chief Blue Eagle. What is yours?" He says slowly. "Alice. Brown." I say, very slowly. "Why are you here?" He asks. "I am looking for a new place to live." I say, a little faster. I stand up, and Blue Eagle takes me outside. There are some beans, squash, corn, and some tiny melons growing on my right. Some women wearing buckskin dresses are picking the beans and placing them in a large basket. 

September 22, 1830

This picture I sketched from one of the Quapaw people. This man was named Anakin, meaning soldier. He wore buckskin and bear claws.

As I look a little farther, there is a river. I do not know if it is the same river, but it looks very pretty. "Where am I?" I ask. "You are between the Arkansas and Mississippi river." The man named Anakin says. The Mississippi! I smile. That night we eat some of the beans and even a small deer.

September 21, 1830

I stay with the Quapaw, this is the name that Chief Blue Eagle tells me. They are very peaceful and nice. But when I look out at the woods, something shines. I don't know what it could be, when I am out in the deep country.

It is September 25, 1830. I found out what the shiny thing was. One day, a Quapaw warrior comes back with a bullet wound in his leg.  When the healer pulls it out, I recognize that it is a french bullet. And at that moment, French soldiers burst out of the woods and start killing the Quapaw. They rush into homes and take the Quapaw's  belongings, and almost all of the Quapaw die that terrible day. As the rest of the Quapaw run off, all the soldiers, except for about five, who lie on the ground lifeless, take off after them. I am devastated, and I run into the long house where my stuff is. 

I also drew a picture of one of the french soldiers. As I had glanced at them, I memorized the details of their coats and their weapons 

I leave the Quapaw, and I run out to the woods so I do not die. I travel, farther west,  and find my beautiful river. I travel farther down the river, and I arrive in a beautiful field. There is a stream that is so clean I could drink it without needing to boil the filth out of it.  When I was with the Quapaw, they gave me seeds for corn, beans, pumpkin, melon, and squash. They gave me a spear and net for fishing. I immediately begin planting the crops, and I can dig for greens and roots for now.

March 14th, 1831

I find a wild dog. It is a male, and the dog does not seem cruel. I'll eat, and give scraps to the dog. I name him Advik, meaning unique. After months, I taught him how to hunt for both of us. 

I am going to live here. It is  perfect. Nice and quiet. I packed enough clothes, cloth, and fabric to last me. I just wish I had people to be with. To talk to. An idea strikes me. I can get people from all over the world to come live here. I can get the only friends I had from my hometown to live here with me. I will start small. I quickly write down a note for my friends. 

Dear those who are reading:

I am Alice Brown, and I am living in a new world called Arkansas. I am the only one here. I am quite lonely, and I wish to have people I know live here with me. Please come visit, because the world is so much more beautiful than where you currently live. 

From your best friend

The End                                                                                   

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As a pioneer/ My River

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Public - 11/15/16, 7:19 PM