"Tell us another story!" Cindy and Lewis asked their grandfather, once again.
It was a night like any other night, the moon bright and the stars glowing against the dark sky. They sat up in Cindy's bedroom, the children on the pink-sheeted bed and Grandfather in the comfy hanging chair. Every night they would sit down and listen to his adventures.
"I think I've run out of happy stories. All that I still remember that I haven't told you yet are sad. Some of my stories are not quite ready for you to hear yet."
Every night he told his tales of living before the Europeans came to Canada. Before the whites took over. He lived peacefully with the others of his tribe, uninterrupted and happy. But that was before. And all the stories left were of after.
"Please, Grandpa!" The children's begging eyes were too hard to resist.
"All right. But be warned, it's much different from the others."
Were his grandchildren ready? Oh well, too late to disappoint them. He began telling them his story, the way he always did. I remember...
"I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was the middle of the winter, the sun was warm for once and the wind whistled in my ears. My parents had 3 children, me and my two younger sisters, Dyani and Catori."
"Those are nice names." Said Lewis. Do they have meanings, like yours?
"Yes, my name - Animkii - means thunder. Dyani means deer and Catori means spirit. Very nice names, we were all quite proud of them."
"Lewis," Cindy spoke sternly, "Don't interrupt again. Grandfather needs to tell his story."
"Yes. Well, that day, we were all playing outside together when someone from the government came to our camp. They asked to see our parents and they had a lengthy discussion before our parents spoke to me and my sisters.
"They said, 'Animkii, you and your sisters are going to school.'"
"What's so sad about going to school?" Lewis asked.
"Hush, Lewis," Cindy told him. "Grandfather's not done his story yet."
"They took us to the school and made us change into scratchy, uncomfortable clothes very different from the ones we were used to. They caused us to lose our language and religion, and now I can only speak English. Me, Dyani, and Catori were separated. We only saw each other during church, where we were punished if we talked.Then one day, Dyani didn't show up to church, and only Catori was there. She had died from this torturous place. We came back home and things were different. Me and Catori could only communicate well with each other, because we'd lost our native language. We'd grown accustomed to the new things we'd been taught and forgotten our traditions. Yet worst of all, we knew everyone thought it should've been us instead of Catori. I still suffer greatly from the loss and the terrible flashbacks of things that happened at the school."
He looked over at the children. Lewis was asleep, Cindy was crying. He wanted to comfort her but didn't know how. He couldn't say, 'It's okay.' Because it wasn't. He couldn't say that he was fine now, because he wasn't. That school had ruined hundreds of lives, including his. It had completely destroyed him, and he would never, ever be the same again.