Glorida Jahoda


Once three had been snow. There had been vastly blinding seas as hard as rock and bone-penetrating cold. So much had depended upon the game animals that when they fled eastward, over the ice-locked Bering straits, The People followed them into a new land. Here, too, winters were white with swirling blizzards; here too the ice boomed in the rivers like thunder when it broke late in the spring. But not all of The People stayed with winter. Some followed game ever southward toward the spring. During the first few generations of the journey, veterans of it dwelt, first, on experience, and, then, on traditions of what men would later call Siberia, Alaska, and Canada. But gradually the racial memory died. The southern sun burned, soft rains fell, and coastal palm fronds stirred in the wind. The People, those of them who had come into Alabama and Georgia, made legends then, and the legends were of what they now knew: alligators, snakes, the deer of the dark forests, the fish in the sea, the peninsula south of the tribe, perhaps even forays there and into Mexico as well.