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Pride(A Short Story)

Pride(A Short Story)

Posted July 11th, 2009 by Kiwara

Kiwara's picture
by Sicilian Sea
in a place where your secrets are whispered on the breath of the wind.

July 11th, 2009

A/N: I'm on a short story roll!


Some say that the horse is the spirit of the west. A time not so long ago when man was struggling to claim such a vast, untamed land, even though that has already done. And done marvelously, I might add. Of course they still even now, say that it is the horse that is the spirit of this place. Man, how are they wrong. I'm not too sure who they are, but the horse, sure played apart in the west, a major part, but it was us, the bison that roamed the plains far before the horse. Us, the bison, who caused the earth to tremor when we ran as one. When we crossed the prairie rivers. The grass tickling our stomach fur as we ran. We were the ships of the prairies, the ones who were ancient when man first arrived.

That was seemed so long ago, but it wasn't. We still remember. We still remember the ones that hunted us, the ones who first tricked us by acting as one of us, then our enemy the wolf, and finally using the horse. They shot us down, but only a few of us. Our bulls tried to protect us valiently and many died doing so. This went on unchanged for generations of bison. So long, in fact that when the white man came, we thought nothing of it. Of course we were concerned, they were our predators. But they were queer predators. Very queer. Sometimes they attacked, while other times they didn't, but they caused us to be nervous just the same. We'd stand as one, the whites of our eyes showing, our tails becoming flags over our backs as we showed our fear. Showing everything that we were programmed to run if it was necessary. Then they'd come close enough, we'd break. A sea of brown racing across the gold of the prairie. We were one mass, our hooves striking as one, causing a tremor to be felt and even heard for miles as we raced across the turf. We were proud.

And it was our pride that ended us. Actually, it wasn't our pride that killed us. It was Man's . Man grew arrogant and fast over the centuries we knew them. They, strangers to our homes shot us, at first sparingly. Before that we were only gawked at, then shot and then suddenly a light went on in their heads and they started shooting us insanely. Those were dark times and they were nearly our downfall.

The prairie was our home. We adapted to it, and it to us. Take a bison out of the plains and it'd be taking a fish out of the water. It was were we belonged, will always belong. It was when the humans went insane and started shooting us, exterminating us did we realize our fate. They'd take out entire herds, some which contained several hundred thousand to a million of us, and leave our bodies to lie untouched for the scavengers to feast upon. Very few lived during these times, and there was no where for us to hide. 

As time went on the plains no longer rumbled with the distant tremors of a buffalo herd. The count was low. Very low. I remember this well. Those who remained were lean, and some were injured. If they were lucky. We lived in nothing but  fear and depression. There was no more running for the sheer joy of hearing our numbers advance across the plains. There was running, but it was for survival. We hid in arid patches of plains, places that we hadn't set foot in years. Some herds were lucky, but Man found most of the larger herds and eventually, the million head herds were no more. Then soon the thousand head herd vanished. Next went the hundred head herds, all of this, keep in mind was happening in the course of a few years, and finally there were hardly a scraggily herd of twenty anymore. 

This destroyed our pride. Our group pride. Our individual pride we still retained for the most part. The broken groups remained, remembering the times when we would run as one and it sounded like thunder from the greatest storms. We'd remember as we ran, and sometimes we'd see our ancestors running with us, so long ago when our kind would completely swarm the prairie. A time that feels so distant, but really isn't. The bison are the spirit of the west. If it wasn't for pride, we wouldn't be here now. True we're a fraction of what we were, but we owe it all to pride. 

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