The Shirt Rev 2

White bear’s mother was slumped over a tanned deer hide and using a dull pocket knife he had found on the ground outside that tourist souvenir store, to cut the pattern for a shirt for his first day at school. She hoisted herself off the ground with one arm until she could pull her feet into the proper position to stand. It was getting harder to move when she sat for any length of time.

She crossed the wooden floor and gazed out through the doorless entrance to their home. She went into the corner where a straw mattress sat directly on the floor, with pieces sticking through the worn fabric in random patterns.

She lifted up a corner near her corn-filled pillow and pulled out out a framed box with a small latch on the short side at the bottom. She slid it open with the thumb of her left hand while her right hand held it steady so the precious contents wouldn’t fall out, and be lost through a crack in the floor. Returning to her sewing she carefully placed the open box on the floor and eased herself back into position.

She gazed at the beautiful silver turquoise and carnelian buttons – looking for 4 or 5 that were similar in size so that they would look like she had planned to use unique buttons for each buttonhole.

She wondered if she should also use some of the larger buttons, and some leather lacing and beads, to add a traditional design to the back of the shirt. She decided that he was too young to notice, and it would probably be too difficult to finish it in time for his first day.

Do I have enough hide to make a matching pair of moccasins she thought, and decided against it as she saw the pile of athletic shoes and flip flops in a pile on his side of the room.

White bear came through the door timidly- followed by a baby kitten whose coat had seen better days.

©Sharon J Corrigan 2010


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