A Nameless Friendship

At school, in social studies, we were learning about the settlers in the early 1600s. We had to write a story about that time period, from the point of view of a child. Here’s what I wrote. I got a decent grade on it. Note: Balam is a Native American child. John is an early settler.

Balam:

SHSHSHSH! “Who or what was rustling in the leaves at this time of night?” I wondered. I heard a squeak and a squirrel popped out of the bush. “Phew! Only a squirrel!”

Just then, a boy my age came up to me. He had pale skin, aglow like the moon. I had never seen anybody like him. My first instinct, obviously, was to fear this strange creature. He kept saying, “Doo yoo wunt too bee fends?” At first, I didn’t understand what he meant. Finally, it dawned on me what he was saying! He was asking me if he wanted to be friends with me! “Shoor,” I agreed.

John:

I saw an Indian boy hiding in some bushes. I went to him and asked him if he wanted to be friends. He looked confused, but I kept repeating it, and I saw that look of dawning comprehension on his face. After that, he said what I took to be, “Sure.”

Balam:

I had a white friend! I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to tell Nek and Nohsh about it! When I told them, they didn’t portray the emotions I was expecting to show. They were quiet as a mouse for a long time, and then Nohsh spoke. “We are happy for you, but be careful. Our village has been receiving reports about their kind from the Powhatan, and not all of it is good.” I was a bit disappointed that they were not as happy as I’d thought, but that all flew away as I kept thinking about that boy.

John:

I saw that kid again, and I asked him if he wanted to play. He agreed, and he showed me how to play a game called stickball. It was confusing, but it was fun.

Balam:

I was excited that I was able to play with my new friend today! I rushed to Nek and Nohsh, but they had grave looks on their faces. “What’s wrong?” I queried, figuring their news was more important. “Today, the white-skinned people attacked our good neighbors, the Warraskoyack.” That drained the blood from my face. I had assumed that all whites were as kind as my friend. I now knew I was wrong.

John:

I was excited to tell my parents that I was playing with a kid my age. I was the youngest kid my age that came aboard the Susan Constant, and none of the older kids were nice to me. When I told my parents, it was NOT what I was expecting. I thought they would be OK with it, but that was not the case. “ARE YOU INSANE?” my dad bellowed. “We attacked their neighbors, and now your being friends with one of them?” What!? They attacked one of the villages? I couldn’t believe it. I thought that the savages were friends with us. I guess I was wrong. 

Balam:

Despite my parent’s warnings, I scoured the area for my friend, and I found him within a few minutes. I asked him if he had known the attack was coming. I felt almost betrayed by him. However, he swore he had not known and all of my uncertain feelings evaporated. He told me his parents had warned him not to be a friend of mine, and I told him my parents had said the same thing. We both kept meeting each other, as often as we could.

Four days later…


I was tossing and turning in bed, not able to sleep when I smelled smoke as obnoxious as a skunk’s odor. I got up out of bed to see the commotion. Then, with a hammering heart, I realized we were being attacked. I remembered the emergency procedures, that all children were supposed to run to the ship. I was scrambling away, nearly fainting as an arrow whizzed by me. I was nearly onboard the ship when an arrow hit me, right on my heel. I gasped in consternation. “I’ve been hit,” I thought to myself. I could feel myself losing blood. I felt betrayed that Balam’s folks would kill me. Then I blacked out.

Balam:

When I woke up in the morning, my parents were wearing triumphant grins. I asked them why they were happy. They told me that in the night, the Powhatan attacked the settlers. I was shocked! I needed to find my friend. I raced around the entire village, looking for him. Nobody had any answers for me, and I hoped that he had not died. He may not have died, but the tensions between our village and the whites told me I would never meet him again. I went back home, silently crying. I couldn’t believe I didn’t even know his name.

So that’s my story! I hope you liked it. Writing is one of the best things you can engage yourself in, and I hope that everybody out there tries writing a story or something else.

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