• I.

  • IMPRESSIONS OF AN INDIAN CHILDHOOD

  • MY MOTHER.

  • Zitkala-sa

    A wigwam of weather-stained canvas stood at the base of some irregularly ascending hills.

    Profile Picture of Zitkala-sa in American Indian Stories
  • A footpath wound its way gently down the sloping land till it reached the broad river bottom;

  • creeping through the long swamp grasses that bent over it on either side, it came out on the edge of the Missouri.

  • Here, morning, noon, and evening, my mother came to draw water from the muddy stream for our household use.

  • Zitkala-sa

    Always, when my mother started for the river, I stopped my play to run along with her.

    Profile Picture of Zitkala-sa in American Indian Stories
  • She was only of medium height.

  • Often she was sad and silent, at which times her full arched lips were compressed into hard and bitter lines, and shadows fell under her black eyes.

  • Then I clung to her hand and begged to know what made the tears fall.

  • Profile Picture of Mother in American Indian Stories

    Mother

    “Hush;

  • my little daughter must never talk about my tears";

  • Zitkala-sa

    and smiling through them, she patted my head and said,

    Profile Picture of Zitkala-sa in American Indian Stories
  • Profile Picture of Mother in American Indian Stories

    Mother

    “Now let me see how fast you can run today.”

  • Zitkala-sa

    Whereupon I tore away at my highest possible speed, with my long black hair blowing in the breeze.

    Profile Picture of Zitkala-sa in American Indian Stories
  • I was a wild little girl of seven.

  • Loosely clad in a slip of brown buckskin, and light-footed with a pair of soft moccasins on my feet, I was as free as the wind that blew my hair, and no less spirited than a bounding deer.

  • These were my mother's pride,—

  • my wild freedom and overflowing spirits.