The Hunger Moon

By Slim Randles

“Windy,” she said, “did you know that some Native American people refer to November as the Hunger Moon?”

Mamie smiled as she placed some uncooked rolled-up ground fish things with spicy what-nots on them. They were wrapped up in what was either alfalfa or a skunk cabbage leaf. Mamie Dilworth was a friendly, neighborly challenge to the aging cowboy and camp cook, Windy Wilson.

“Native Americans?”

“You know … Indian people.”

“Thass right. I memorate that now. You know, Mamie, always wondered ‘bout somethin’. You know I was born here in the valley, right? Long time ago now, I guess. But doesn’t that make ME a Native American too? And you, too?”

Mamie smiled. “I see your point,” she said. “You want some tea to go with your lunch?”

Ol’ Windy grinned and patted his mouth with his napkin. “Shore do. What kinda tea we got today, Mamie?”

She told him a name he couldn’t pronounce. “And this-year tea … how does it help a guy out? Oh, thinkin’ clearly… got it. Anything else? Digestive properties? And that is? Oh, sorry I asked.”

“I’ll put the kettle on, Windy,” she said, smiling.

“Great idea,” he said, grinning. Then he shoveled some of the raw fish to his fairly-new best friend, Mamie’s cat. The cat waited between Windy’s knees.

Windy smiled and faked a burp as Mamie came in with the tea. He was still hopeful she’d someday learn to cook, but she was sure good company in the meantime.

He’d stop and get taco fixings on the way home.

Brought to you by The Fly Fisherman’s Bucket List, published by Rio Grande books and written by Slim Randles, who got wet researching it.

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