Hands And Lester in Cherokee Country


root - Posted on 01 January 2000

Hands and Lester, a couple of low income cats...Talk Back- For more stories from the Po’ Cats click on the Po’ Cats button on PNN

by Dee

Walking sticks appear, seemingly from nowhere to dine on tender leaves. The spindly insects resemble trees as they slowly creep up the tail and paws of Hands and Lester.

Hands and Lester look around to find themselves deep in the countryside of North Eastern Oklahoma, It is the year 1839.
Why, lands and Lester wondered, why have we found ourselves in Cherokee country and why did we have to travel the Trail of Tears?
In generations past the Cherokee people come to this area to rebuild their nation after the westward trek from their beloved homelands in the mountainous South - Herded by federal soldiers, the Cherokees took a path in 1838-39 that became known as the “Trail of Tears.”

Why, Hands and Lester wondered? Why have we found ourselves in Cherokee country? Was it to live on the hard scrabble farms dotting the region that many Cherokees continue to live on?

Was it to attend some of the first schools west of the Mississippi for the education of both men and women? Or perhaps it was to work on Oaklahoma first newspaper published in both English and Cherokee.
After all it was only 1839 and again lester and Hands were living another of their nine lives.

That nite Lester had a dream. He dreampt he and and Hands were ill. No amount of Medicine or prayers could heal Lester and Hands in this dream. A native American spiritual leader appeared to lester in Lesters dream.

He told Lester that Native Americans regard their names as essential parts of their personalities. A native persons name is as vital to his or her identity as the eye or teeth.

If prayers and medicine fail to heal a seriously ill person, the spiritual leader tells Lester, then the spiritual leader sometimes realizes that the patients name itself may be diseased. The spiritual leader then goes to the water and with the appropriate ceremony bestows a new name on the sick person.

The healer then begins anew with the patients new name in hope that these measures will bring about restoration and recovery.
Lester anxiously awoke from his dream. He awoke. “Hands, Hands.hands"Lester said, “I’ve found the answer in a dream as to why we have found ourselves in Cherokee County in 1839.” Hands listened excitedly, while quietly purring. Lester continued “We have to find a spiritual leader and most important, ask him to change our names!”
To be Continued.

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