A Story of the Cherokee Removal as it might have been seen through the eyes of a seven year old boy
Old Beaver Tail
Old Beaver Tail had lived his life in the mountains and now had been told he would have to leave them. They told him he would have to go to a place called Oklahoma for the remainder of his life. He had so few years left of his life. He wished he could stay where he was. He wanted to be buried where he had been so happy, where his wife had been buried so many years ago. He had a daughter and he wondered if she, along with her husband and his grandson had been captured. He hoped not. When they had married he had given the young couple his cabin and had moved away, further into the mountains so they would be alone. He did not want them to think they had to take care of him. He had come to see them when he could but as he grew older he was not able to see his grandson as he wished. The boy was growing up without knowing his grandfather. And now he had been told his daughter was going to have another child. What could he do? He did not know. He knew only that if his daughter and grandson went to that distant place called Oklahoma he would also go. The old man decided if his daughter and her family were not at the gathering place called Red Clay he would slip away and find them. Maybe they could go far enough back into the mountains so they could not be found.
The old brave had been running a trap line when the soldiers had first seen him. It was mostly by accident. They had not been looking for him. They just happened to stumble on to him as he was in the noisy stream where he could not hear them. He had been taking up a trap when he saw something splash in the water beside him. Then he heard the sound of the musket. He could not understand why anyone would be shooting at him. Then, he straightened up and saw the soldiers. He did not recognize them as soldiers at first. They were dirtier then any soldiers he had ever seen. They had not shaved as had other soldiers he had seen. Their faces looked dirty from the short hair that grew on them. There were five soldiers. When he saw more splashes and saw the smoke from the barrels of muskets he knew they were shooting at him. He dropped the trap in his hand and ducked behind the trees growing along the bank of the stream. To the soldiers it was as if he had disappeared. One second he was there and the next he was gone. The old man stepped out of the stream and walked rapidly up a game trail until he could no longer hear the soldiers. He knew he was a long way from the white men. As much noise as they made he knew they were far behind when he could no longer hear them. He had gone to see his friend, Running Bear. He wished to speak with him about the happenings of the day. When he arrived at his friend's cabin he found it had been burned to the ground. Many strange things had happened this day. As he looked at the still smoking ashes he heard some one coming up the trail. He was sure it was some of the People because they made little noise as they walked but he backed into the woods near where the cabin had been. Soon, a man, a woman, and two children came into view. He stepped out and greeted them. They stopped and looked at him for a minute, then started talking with him. They told him of the orders from the army.
All the People were to be gathered at a place called Red Clay. From there they would be taken west to a new home. The old brave immediately thought of his daughter, her husband, and his grandson. He started for their cabin. When he arrived it too was in flames. He went down the trail following the white soldiers. He knew he would find his family with them. They were his only living relatives. Where they went, He also would go.
The Saga of Young Bear is a copyrighted creation of Dick One Eagle AKA Comanche.
This story may not be copied or used in any way without the express written permission of the author.