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I never thought I would see my friend again. But there he was, right on one of the front pages of Wallace’s book. It was rather eerie to see in print what my eyes had only seen once.
What I am trying to say is that my mind can see my Indian friend many times. In fact it has. But now other people can see my friend by simply opening a book of Wallace. Not only that but hundreds of people can now see what I only saw once. In these times it is getting difficult to determine what is real and what only exists in the mind.
On that day I was fishing on my favorite river. It starts in the mountains and ends up in the St. Lawrence River. My back was to the alders and the pool started fifty feet to my left and made an eddy northward for another hundred feet.
I always liked this pool because directly across from me was a nice old hemlock tree with a tiny stream flowing beneath it. The stream always offered me a nice cool drink.
That day I saw a figure walking southward along a deer trail. I am not sure if he saw me or was just ignoring me. I could not imagine how he could ignore me as there were not many people to run across in these woods.
He reached the small stream beneath the hemlock, knelt down and took a long cold drink. It was a humid day and his back was covered with hemlock needles that were stuck to the sweat.
As he stood up I greeted him from across the river. He did not speak for some time. He just stared at me. Finally he made a friendly motion with his hand.
I said something to him but can not remember what it was. He said something in French. I told him I spoke English. Between the ineptness of the two of us we were able to understand some things. I told him that I was from the Abenaki people. He told me he was from the Atikamekw people and pointed towards the St. Lawrence River. I told him I was called Tahauwas and he informed me that he was called Wahynakina.
We enjoyed each other’s company for some time and he then went on his way. I believe we had formed a bond of brotherhood.
Maybe it was just me.
I always expected to see Wahynakina along that stream again but I never did. So I treasure my memory of that day and see him when I think about it. Or sometimes I just open Wallace’s book to find him.
I am a bit jealous that others can now see my friend also.