parenting · Short Story · zerotohero

Eskimi, Eskimo


Eskimi, Eskimo
By: ©GoodLuckNow. All Rights Reserved.
Dedicated to: My Daughter

*This was written years ago but is very special to me*


The dust settled on the splinter giving floors, we were all weak. My mother grabbed the white cover and wrapped a bit around me. It was time to go. My mother’s voice was beckoning me to hurry along. I grabbed my doll and I rushed out and fell over the jagged path to catch up. My father, with gun in hand, said we must move along. It began to get dark and fright overcame me.

I clung to my mother’s natty, torn dress. I wrapped my fingers around the pieces of her plain bonnet and found comfort. My arm was hurt, but she said it would be fine. We would just camp for the night and walk to the nearest town in the morning.

I watched as my father started the fire. We sat down and I could feel the fire burning on my toes. “You must stay close, we must stay warm,” in a hushing voice mother said. I looked to my left and saw my father’s furrowed brow with his head hung low under his hat. It was time to lay down. I fell into a small slumber. Right before my eyes finally closed, I remembered my mother’s soft skin on the tip of her nose brushing up against mine, she softly said:

 Eskimi Eskimo Let’s wiggle and touch our nose No matter where we are Or where we go Always know I’ll love you so. 

I couldn’t sleep. The bristling sounds of the winds ensured a restless night. I looked up and only saw a few stars. The trees were endless. I stood up with such a thirst and saw both my parents asleep. I needed water. My father’s canteen was empty. I would go fill it to help. I scurried down the hill and knew there must be water somewhere close.

Quickly, I skipped along the flat path and looked up. The sky twinkled with diamonds and the trees were waning. I needed to rest, just for a minute… As I slept I could hear the sound of my mother’s voice: Eskimi, Eskimo. It gave me peace. We were back at home in our cabin, mother was in the yard fetching apples and I was carrying a bucket…oh how I longed for our home. 

A few hours past and I awoke, it was still night. I could hear a thundering sound of rushing water. I knew I could get the canteen and go back to see Mother and Father. I looked around and became nervous. I looked up and saw that the stars were becoming a bit fogged. I knew it would be morning soon. I was at the bottom of a hill and did not see any water. Up ahead and down below, I looked everywhere I could go. No water. I must go back to see Mother and Father.

 I walked back up the hill and down another, I flew askew through the trees; they were gone. No glistening light of a fire, no natty bonnet or dress. The water began to flood my eyes, and instantly the terror collapsed my body to the ground. I lost them. I lost them. My chest was heavy and I cried and cried. Suddenly, I heard a commotion. Rocks of small sizes began to cascade down the hill. I had to move. The starlight lit up the ground as flashing light would in a dark room. I could make out an image and thought it was someone, anyone.  I ran underneath a tree and slumped down, no one was there. I decided I would wait until it was light and try again. I held my canteen and laid under the protective tree. As I fell back to sleep I slowly sang the song in my head, Eskimi, Eskimo, No matter where we are, or where we go, I’ll always love you so.  A cold chill ran down my back. I felt a warm touch on my face and nuzzle on my nose. Eskimi, Eskimo, I jumped up and knew it was my mother; instead I saw a doe.

A doe! My father always told me stories about the many deer and how brave these animals were. She looked at me puzzled and kept pushing her head towards me as if she was talking. She ran ahead and I followed her as fast as I could. I had to follow her! My little legs were pushing fire as I went. Why was I following this deer I thought? Could she lead me?  She could help me find the river! I contended with the fiercest runners in my head and shadowed the deer. Abruptly, she stopped in a pile of brush. I went closer and saw berries. Blueberries! I could bring them back to my family! I shoved as many as I could into my mouth. The deer took her time eating one by one. I shoved even more into my mouth and stopped. The canteen! I can fill it! We stayed and I could see the light coming through the trees, I could find my way back, I could help my mother and father!  I looked around and the doe looked back with a sense of hope in her eyes. She ran up the hill and beckoned me to follow. I ran up to her and she nuzzled my face again. Her cold nose brushed up against my cheek and I knew this was my place to be. As I climbed atop the small hill and stood next to her I saw it. My mother and father, at the river. I ran down and I yelled as my lungs exploded out with the largest breath I could take. Mother…. father… They looked and we all collided into each other’s arms. I told them about the doe and to this day I remember looking up the hill and seeing her silhouette among the trees with the light striking through. The deer looked back as if she was singing our song too: Eskimi, Eskimo…The doe took me home….No matter where we are or where we go I’ll always love you so.

©GoodLuckNow. All Rights Reserved. June 30, 2021

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