"...with an eye like an eagle and as tall as a mountain was he!"

Mingo's Meditations

by Karlton Douglas

Disclaimer: The following work has been written solely for the enjoyment of fans and not for monetary profit. The rights to the characters initially created for the Daniel Boone series belong to 20th Century Fox and Fess Parker. All other characters are of the author's own creation. No copyright violation is intended.

He sat upon a fallen log, watching as the creek meandered by. This was a favorite place, one where he could let his troubled thoughts drift away like the water before him. Upstream, the creek was rocky and the riffles were too loud to allow for meditation. Downstream, the water hardly moved at all as the creek widened. His sharp eyes could spot green mallards and wood ducks bathing themselves in the quiet downstream water. Upstream, he could see squirrels leaping and chasing each other from tree to tree. Across from Mingo, in a large sycamore tree, a blue jay flitted from one branch to another, as if it could not make up its mind where to sit. Overhead, thick white clouds slowly passed, occasionally casting large shadows upon Mingo.

His problem was the same as always—how to be loyal to his tribe and still remain friends with the white settlers. Boone and his family, and settlers like Yadkin and Cincinnatus, were not the problem; it was the arrogant new settlers that kept moving in, more every year, onto Cherokee lands. They had no regard for the rights of the Indian, and in their hatred and fear they would often shoot at every Indian they saw. The patience of the Cherokee could not hold much longer. Already many of the young warriors were speaking of joining the Shawnee in the north, or the Creek in the south, to attack and drive away the settlers. Yet others were speaking of forming their own war bands to attack, for no individual Cherokee was bound to accept insults. Indeed, Cherokee law allowed for revenge killings, and already Cherokees had been killed by whites, scalped, mutilated, and even women were left in this way—something no Indian tribe would ever do.

Could he, Mingo, the friend of the white man Boone, could he fight against the same whites he had laughed with, eaten with, hunted with, and aided on so many occasions? No. It was unthinkable. But neither could he deny his Indian ancestry and the injustice he felt for his people at the indignities they continually suffered. How could he stand in the middle? Would he be torn in two by war between white and Indian?

He studied the slow-moving water before him. He took some satisfaction in knowing that this same water would still be flowing long after he was gone, long after the present crisis had passed. He wished he could stay in this place, feeling the warm breeze against his cheek, the wind gently caressing his hair. The sun came from behind a cloud, warming his back. Oh, he wanted to stay right here and leave his problems and questions far behind. He wanted the frontier to be as peaceful as this place right here, right now. A fish jumped, startling him, then causing him to smile. “You only care about your next meal, do you not, Mr. Bass? I suppose I should follow your lead, and stop worrying myself so much. But if Boone and the other settlers only knew how close to their doorstep that war has come...but I'm only one man, just as you are only a one fish, and that fretful blue jay is only a single bird.” He stood then, leaning upon his long rifle, sighed, then turned his face up toward the sunny sky. “Great Spirit, God in Heaven as my white father would call you, help me to keep the peace yet again, so that no more blood is spilled upon Mother Earth. And remember your red children, I fear that more suffering will come to my mother's people, my Cherokee tribe. Have mercy upon us all--” the blue jay chattered loudly, as if scolding Mingo for disturbing his peace. Mingo laughed out loud, “Amen little brother, amen.” His heart was warmed as he left his favorite place, as it always had been after visiting the sacred creek bank. Something about the natural world could always still his turmoil, something had always felt right about this spot, and it always stilled his troubled mind. He would search out Boone, and warn him yet again that the depredations against the Cherokee must stop, perhaps Boone, with his great influence on the settlers, could soften the hearts of those who mistreated the Indian, else he would be back, to speak again to God and the blue jay, and to visit this magical place of meditation.