Ahyoka and the other wives stood in the outskirts of their village watching the geared up men in war paint mounted on horsebacks galloping down the valley.The earth shook in the forward charge of the hundred horsebacked warriors and kicked up a cloud of red dirt that shrouded their advance.
Ahyoka's husband,Waya was one of hundred.She looked on stoicly at the rising cloud of dust but a shade of fear still showed clearly in her eyes.She had heard of the whiteman's cruelty and dishonorable war mongering.Once again they had broken their word and killed hundreds of their innocent disarmed brethren.She felt the weight of her son,Wohali on her back who was asleep and prayed that his father may come back safely with a hundred scalps laden on his horse.
The elders were praying for the victory of their warriors.A tradition which was being observed since morning and would go on till any news arrived.The women busied themselves with their daily chores while the children played.Ahyoka went to her Tipis or tent and laid her son down.Her poor son was born with a club foot and would never become a great warrior like his father but nevertheless unlike his father who wanted to banish him to the wolves,she loved him with all her heart.He was her first born and she would not let anything happen to him.She would protect him against the world.She planted a kiss on his forehead and went out closing the flap of her tent.She joined the other women in the community kitchen.
Early next morning,their sleep was broken by the sound of galloping horses.Everyone came out of their tents in anticipation that their husbands were back but what they saw arose panic and fear in their hearts.Everyone fled to their tents and gather their belongings and make a run.The white men,numbering in hundreds were coming.The red dust rose again in their wake.
With the few horses that remained some escaped.But majority fell prey to the whitemen's sword.Huts were burnt.Women thrust inside tents and raped before being killed.Elders and children were being beheaded,a secret competition between some soldiers on the number of heads one could chop off in one raid.
Ahyoka had retreated to her tent and closed the flap.Her son,Wohali was weeping, hearing the sounds of rampage and terrorized screams that infected the air around them.
Tears came to Ahyoka's eyes.She had wished she would never have to do what she was going to do.But the white men would be more ruthless to her son than her.
She kissed her son's forehead.'Gvgeyui Wohali'she whispered to her son and pressed both hands against his mouth and nose.The baby began to writhe violently.Ahyoka closed her eyes and pressed tighter to ease her son's pain quickly.Finally,the movements stopped and the six month old baby stopped reaching out for his mother.He was finally dead.
Ahyoka turned and lay beside her son in the bull skin rug,the inside of the tent trembled with the sound of her hysterical shrieks.
A few moments later,the flap of her tent was opened and two white soldiers entered with blood stained swords in their hands.One of them who was a monster of a man,smiled inhumanely,'Looks like we got one alive'he whistled.
Ahyoka looked at the two white men with a raging fire burning in her black eyes.She rose to her feet concealing a knife in her hands.
'Looks like she killed her baby,Roger'the other one said.
'These savages know nothing else' Roger said and took a step forward.Ahyoka lunged at him with the knife but the monster intercepted it and squeezed her wrist so hard that the knife fell from her writhing hands.She screamed as he hand was being crushed.With another hand,the monster lashed her face which threw her to the floor.
'Damned squaw,I'll teach you a lesson' he bellowed'Billy watch the tent.Don't let them burn it.You'll be next.Tell everyone we've caught a live one.'He smiled with a coldness that would make the winters of Siberia seem like tropical sunshine.
'Yes sir'Billy tipped his hat and went out closing the flap behind him.