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Painted Wolf: A Warrior is Born

By @Janellie

Born a Comanche, Always a Comanche

  Safira thought of all the good memories she had with her family back at the tribal camp where she was born. She was the daughter of the chief of one of the clans; but her mother was a Spanish woman who had been taken hostage on one of her father’s raids. To Safira, raiding was normal. After all, they were Comanche – Numunuh – and raiding was part of their revenge system.

        At the tribe, Safira was born White Falcon – not because of her paler complexion, but after her father’s grandmother with the same name. There she had older half-brothers and half-sisters who adored the little blue-eyed girl who was curious to find out what everything was and how everything around her functioned. 

    But now, Safira sat all alone. Her mother had escaped from the camp and dragged White Falcon with her. She was no longer an Indian – her mother had told her many times. Her new name was Safira. Safira Gonzalez. Now she was Spaniard. Safira couldn’t tell if that was just something her mother said to make her fit in with the other youth her age, or her mother’s attempt to block any more questions of why she had to live away from her father. But no matter what her mother meant with that, none of the townsfolk thought that way. To them she was an outcast. The daughter of their enemy. And just when Safira thought that things couldn’t get any worse than they already were, her mother got married to a Spanish General -General Alvarez Guerrera- and had planned for her daughter to marry his nephew, Diego. Safira cringed. She hated the thought of marrying a Spaniard. Never. She couldn’t possibly marry someone who so strongly hated the tribal groups. All the city was irritated by the fact that she was this so-called “white Indian”, and the general’s nephew was no different. She had tried to talk her mom out of the idea. With Diego, she would never be happy. How could she? She hardly spoke Spanish and he himself despised Indians. She wouldn’t be a wife. She’d be a slave. For him, all she would serve for was making and caring for a family. She would mean nothing to him. Her mom knew better than anyone what it was like to be unhappily married. But her mom and stepfather had already made the arrangements and the date for the wedding was set. Safira sat on her bed and thought. She would not marry Diego. There was only one option for her to evade the marriage- escape. 

          But the battle inside her mind began again. Don’t kid yourself, you’ll never find your way back home. You could die in the middle of nowhere. At least you’d have your own family. 

          The other side of her thought, But I’d be torturing myself for no good reason. I have to try to defend my rights. As a woman. And as a human being.

           After a few minutes, Safira made up her mind. She was going to leave. It didn’t matter how she was going home. Or if she would make it at all. She decided she’d rather risk her life trying than sitting feeling like a puppet dragged around like if she meant nothing. 

          And in the middle of all this, Safira discovered something she hadn’t realized before. She was her father’s daughter.

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