(Editor’s Note: Dear Readers, if, by chance, you do not know the original story of Kaw-liga the wooden Indian, then, before reading Jo’s story, you may want to drop down below the story and play the video of the song that tells the original tale. Then you can enjoy Jo’s creative rendition which gives Kaw-liga a second chance at love.)
Kaw-liga had one thing on his mind as he looked out the store window, and it was namely to watch the Indian maiden that lived in the shop across the street. He always anticipated the arrival of spring because he would be moved outside, and settled in a location where he could see the maiden better, and, furthermore, have a view of the lighthouse. The lighthouse was beautiful at night, especially with the moon shimmering on the water. The moon made him think of romance and, more importantly, the beautiful maiden with her long black hair cascading down her back. He could just imagine how it would look swinging back and forth as she walked.
Finally, spring arrived, and he took up his post outside, beside the door. There were always tourists stopping to take pictures with him, and as he was posing, he stood tall and proud in hopes the maiden would notice him. But she never even glanced his way. He was determined to win her heart someway; and he even contemplated the idea of new clothes. He just wasn’t sure yet what outfit would have the most positive effect.
Unfortunately, he had another problem as well: as much as he loved being outside, sometimes there were even distractions outside that prevented his view of the maiden. For one thing, the old farmer and his cart of bright colored vegetables stopped in front of him almost every day at the same time and blocked his view.
Then few days after he was moved outside, as he looked out to sea and basked in the sunshine, a storm started to build and eventually moved inland with strong winds. The wind blew so hard that Kaw-liga rocked back and forth and then fell to the curb, immediately feeling an awful pain in his left arm.
“Ouch, that hurt!” He said to himself.
He lay there until the next day, when a lot of new people arrived at the store to assess the damage caused by the storm. One man was particularly interested in Kaw-liga , and turned him to the right, left, and even upside down until Kaw-liga became dizzy. Then the man put something wet and gooey on Kaw-liga’s left arm.
“Ah, that feels better,” He said.
The next day an unuaually pretty woman arrived at the store, but Kaw-liga didn’t see her immediately because there were so many other people there. When he did notice her, he was impressed. Although he loved the maiden, he still noticed enchanting ladies. At any rate, he could tell by the way the woman looked at him that she was smitten by his good looks and charm. When she started caressing his sore arm Kaw-liga’s heart immediately soared. Then she turned abruptly and left.
Come back, come back! His heart cried silently.
The next day a truck pulled slowly to a stop in front of him and some men approached. The first thing they did was put a bag over his head and then carry him to the truck. They put ropes around him and tied him so he couldn’t move. Something else was put in the truck too, and then the door shut with a bang, and the truck started moving again.
Stop! Somebody help me! Help me! His mind kept crying. But no one came to help him.
Soon the truck stopped, and when the door opened, he felt the soft breeze on his skin. The men carried him out and placed him on something that rolled across the ground , and after rolling him a few feet, they sat him down and took off the ropes. When they took the bag off his head, he saw that he was standing on the porch of a house, facing the lighthouse. Before long the door of the house opened, and footsteps approached, and there in front of him stood the beautiful woman from the shop.
She must really like me! Kaw-liga thought as he stood up straighter.
Then the men went back to the truck and brought something else to stand beside him. When they took the covering off of the other object, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
Was it really her? Yes! It was his maiden, and at last she was looking affectionately into his eyes.
A year passed, and Kaw-liga still stood on the porch, but his life had changed since he’d first came to live here. He knew at first it was hard on the lady to realize he didn’t love her. But his maiden was very jealous and possessive. Now she was, not only constantly touching his hand, but also watching his eyes, so he couldn’t even dare peek at the lady.
He knew the lady had finally accepted the fact that his wooden heart was not hers, though, because one bright day, she dressed the maiden in a soft, fawn buckskin wedding dress with pretty colored beads. Then the lady dressed him in handsome new buckskins fit for a groom. And, finally, she placed a set of shiny wedding rings on the maiden’s left hand. At last, the maiden was truly his.
© 2015 Jo Boester