As the campfire danced in front of them, the girls lay back on their bedrolls and continued talking about the boys and young warriors they knew, or knew of by reputation in the case of some of the other nations up and down the coast. First, Falling Star asked about one of the young warriors in Starlight’s village who she thought looked pretty handsome. “But of course I really don’t know anything about him at all. What’s he really like?” Starlight was giggling uncontrollably but managed to choke out, “Oh, is it ever a good thing you asked me first. Not only is he stupid, he has the worse case of the farts you could ever imagine. Believe me, he might look good but he smells so bad you would never want to be near to him!”
After a moment Starlight asked Falling Star about a boy in her village. He was already promised to another girl. Falling Star asked about a young man from the Sooke territory but Starlight had heard that he had drowned on a whaling expedition. Back and forth they went, listing every single possibility but for each one they found something wrong, and so one by one all the names were crossed off the list.
“You know, Starlight?” said Falling Star, as she gazed up into the heavens, “We might as well wish to marry one of those stars. I kind of like the looks of that one over there. I want to marry him.” she said, gesturing. Starlight responded by saying, “I think that one over there twinkles in a really nice way. I want to marry him.” The girls laughed and sat up.
“You know what Falling Star?”
“We should do a promise dance for our star husbands before we fall asleep. Maybe they will come for us.”
So the girls got up, and started dancing around the fire, repeating their wish of marrying the star husbands. They danced and danced until the fire burned down to glowing embers, and they were so exhausted they collapsed on their bedrolls and fell asleep instantly.
The girls were both tired from their long day and were soon snoring away. The fire’s embers dimmed and the silence of the night was complete. In the middle of the night, when the black was at its blackest, and not even the chipmunks were stirring, something happened that had never happened before. There was a crackling noise around the campsite, like small branches being broken, and a strange blue tinged light appeared in the sky overhead. The girls sat up, rubbing their eyes in amazement as the light descended closer and closer to earth. As it approached, they saw it was some kind of floating canoe holding two young men. It settled on the ground near them, and they looked at each other in amazement. “It’s them,” said Starlight, “the star people heard us!”
David Trudel © 2012