Saturday, April 16, 2011

Daily Story 13 - Kyle's Grandpa

(Okay, so apparently I didn't even last two weeks with this challenge. Oh well, I call artistic license and am altering the rules so I don't go crazy with self-inflicted guilt. Have a story I wrote a few weeks ago instead, featuring Kyle again.)

Grandpa lost his head just after I was born. The rock that hit him was big and fast and it made his brain all jumbled up and nothing makes sense in there anymore. He’s lost a piece of his mind in the mess. Mom and Dad are trying to help him find it. Grandma is trying to help him find it, too. They all want to help him find his missing piece so that he can be Grandpa again. But he still can’t see it. It’s gone. Mom and Dad don’t think it’s going to come back.

Grandma told me that a long time ago, they had to hide themselves from the white men in the government who wanted to make all the native people go away. So they put away all their traditions in a big box and pretended they were white until they could be themselves again. Lots of other people fought against the government. But my people, we hid. We always hide. We’re wolves, and wolves know to stay away from danger. It’s the way we survive.

I got jealous of Grandpa when I learned he knew a whole ‘nother language that was different from English and Irish. I asked if he could teach me. Dad says if he hadn’t lost his head he would have said yes, but his head was lost and Grandpa said no.

“When are you going to teach that boy some sense?” he asked Mom and Dad.

Dad didn’t know how to speak Grandpa’s language. Grandpa wasn’t used to speaking his language because he’d been hiding it for so long, so he didn’t get to teach Dad that much of it. Plus Dad was really bad at languages. But that was okay. There were others in the town that knew it. I just asked them instead.

Grandpa didn’t like it, though. His head was missing the part that told him it was safe to be native again. He yelled at everyone to leave me alone. He was afraid of what would happen to me if I started talking like them. So everyone kept teaching me, but they made me swear to keep it all a secret. Which I did. I never told Grandpa I knew his language. I pretended I was all white whenever I was around him. And he was happy, because I was safe from the white men.

There was this one time that I tried tried talking to Grandpa in his language, though. He got real mad about it and started yelling at me. He grabbed my shirt and slammed me against the wall and screamed at me. He called me stupid and he said I was going to get everyone killed. I was really scared. I screamed and cried and peed my pants. Grandma came in and she got real scared when she saw me crying. She tried to pull Grandpa away from me but she wasn't strong enough so she called the neighbors in. Then when Grandpa let go I ran all the way home, but he chased after me. Mom and Dad yelled at him when he got to our house. Dad was the most mad he'd ever been ever. He screamed at Grandpa but Grandpa didn't know what he'd done wrong so he screamed at Dad. I hid up in my room and Katie's mom came up to take care of me while Mom and Dad kept yelling at Grandpa. I didn't really want to learn much of Grandpa's language after that.

It made Dad cry. Dad never cried, but he cried for Grandpa. Dad hated to see his father like this. He wished over and over again that I could meet his real Grandpa. The one who was proud of where he came from. The one who had taught Dad to embrace all the good parts about anyone he met. The one who knew how to shoot a bow and make cool-looking native stuff and tell stories about a Coyote who did cool things. The one who said not to worry about me, for the blue wolf would bring great joy and prosperity to our town.

Grandpa still thought the same things about the blue wolf. He still thought I was a wonderful gift to my family and to everyone in Oakwood. But he didn’t like that I wanted to be like him. He was afraid that the white men would take me away. He was so fierce about it that he made me cry sometimes. And that’s why Dad cried. Dad cried for me and my Grandpa who had lost his head.

Mom never yelled at Dad when he was crying. She’d hug him and kiss him and promise to never stop looking for Grandpa’s lost head. Then she’d tell me to come join them and I would hug my Dad. He didn’t cry so much when we were all together. He’d tell me stories about what Grandpa used to be like. He’d cry a little, but he would be smiling. And he would say just how wonderful it would be when Grandpa got his missing piece back and how much I would learn from him.

I know it’s bad, but I like when Dad cries about Grandpa. It makes Mom be gentle and kind, and when Dad stops crying, we’re all happy for a while. They don’t yell. They don’t scream. They just talk nicely to each other and keep saying that everything’s going to be okay.
Everything’s going to be okay. Grandpa’s going to find his lost head, and Mom and Dad are going to stop fighting all the time. I know it’s going to happen.

Everything’s going to be okay.

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