20 September 2019

Published September 18, 2019 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

For a good time, CLICK!

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


           Morning sunlight bathed Gertrude’s violin as she played a mournful melody. Although twelve years had passed, she would never forget the moment at the Quaker school her heavy braids tumbled to the floor, clipped by the teacher’s cruel scissors.

            Education meant nothing if she didn’t use it for good. Her people’s spirits called to her, yearning to be free.

            She plucked the pins from her hair. It fell around her shoulders like a black cape.

            “I will be their voice. I am no longer Gertie.” She raised her fist. “I am Zitkala-Za of the Yankton Sioux, granddaughter of Sitting Bull.”

To know more about this trailblazing woman CLICK HERE

92 comments on “20 September 2019

  • I thought Quakers were non-violent. This violent act of aggression was just as bad as a slap in the face. But the young woman rose above it, and I’m so glad I know yet another obscure little piece of history. One wonders if the teacher was just plain jealous of the girl’s thick, lustrous hair.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Linda,

      Perhaps the teacher was jealous of the girl’s hair, but the fact is that this was customary in some of the schools for both boys and girls to bring them under submission. The motto of the Indian boarding schools was “Kill the Indian and save the child.” Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, now that I think of it I have read before that Indian children were treated roughly, to teach them to submit to authority. How truly tragic. And this girl’s name is a new to me, but a glance through some other comments show me that I’m behind the times on this 🙂


  • Well, you’ve done it again. I’ve spent the last hour reading about and writings by Zitkála-Šá. She was a pretty amazing person. It blows my mind that Europeans came to this country and took over while expecting the people who lived here to just fall into line and thank them. In old movies, “Indians” were portrayed as villains. “How dare they defend their land and way of life when we’re bringing them a better way of life and letting them keep small chunks of their land?” Now, immigrants are villains because they don’t assimilate to “our way of life” or “talk good English.” Humans are gross.


  • Forcefully cutting someone’s hair is a humiliation tactic used to exert power over others. She seemed to be quite a force to be reckoned with, even in those times when women didn’t have many opportunities in the public sphere to participate in social change.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Thank you for introducing the trailblazing Zitkala-Za to me. I’ve not heard of her before and loved reading her history, and of how she eventually used her education to stick up for her people.

    Well written, as usual.

    Looking forward to having a chat, hopefully next week 🙂

    All best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Mime on the Lam W(T)F,

    You story reminds of the Crosby, Stills, & Nash tune, “Almost Cut My Hair.” — not really.
    Did I hear correct that you won’t be attending OWL? In that case, you won’t mind if deposit your winnings on my behalf, will you?

    I’ll be pitching the Mime story to an agent there as a romantic comedy. No hanky panky so far, at least between Lowry and Lucinda, but you never can tell about Shelley.

    Ain’t No Sheep Gayer

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Black-Sheep Gayer,

      Alas, I had to choose between a potentially lucrative art show (that we’re hoping won’t get rained out) and OWL. Ronda is going to deliver a packet to one of the agents for me…hoping for grace or mercy or both. As for winnings…Nice to think there might be some. But they’re mine, mine, mime. 😉 I’ll miss everyone. 😦


      Mime on the Lam W(T)F


    • Dear Andrea,

      Even worse than disrespect or assault on a young woman, it was abuse of a young child. I love it when the internet drops a fascinating historical figure in my lap. In this case it was her photo on Pinterest that sparked my interest. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I always marvel at how deftly you weave historical facts into an intriguing piece of fiction.

    Lovely to be back on #FF after a very long hiatus. And so good to be here on your page.

    Happy vibes always!


    Liked by 1 person

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