my father says to become a caribou a person has to pray every day for twenty years. he says praying is the answer to people's aspirations and that to attain some answers for your prayers, you have to kneel down and clasp your hands together.
my mother doesn't like to disagree with my father because they have been in love for the past four years. when they met, my father was praying to become a seal and my mother was praying to be an arctic tern because she knew that they fly from one end of the earth to the other end. My father never became a seal and my mother was so close to becoming a tern that she whistles beautifully. My father says he never really clasped his hands hard enough that his prayers weren't answered.
so, whenever i think of becoming a caribou, i pray really hard and clasp my hands like i am losing my heart. i pray so hard that it hurts my head and my father is really proud of me when i tell him of the pain. He says that someone in my big family has to become a caribou one day and he has faith in my prayers. i want to make proud my father, and i try and try to become a caribou.
i envision myself running on the tundra and i imagine myself eating those luscious herbs and imagine myself making fat from the nutrients of the land. I pray so hard about eating that sometimes i get the taste of the shrub in my mouth. i sometimes feel hollow furs growing in place of my human hairs but i never tell my father because i only want to show in progress only when small antlers are protruding from my head.
my mother gives me advice on how i can handle being an animal because she has a little bit of experience. She says no one believes her but for one day she was a tern and went as far south as Michigan until she started missing her parents. her parents, my grandparents were both lemmings. my grandpa and grandma were a pair matched in the realm of the still born babies. they were paired by the great Decider of spirits. the Decider is basically a progress report on your being and is being written as we speak. your being is your making and how you want to progress in becoming an animal is your responsibility.
I am now fourteen and have been praying since i was ten years old. i still have another ten years until i grow antlers but i am growing hairs, hollow caribou hairs because a young caribou still needs to be warm.
i clasp my hands and kneel down again and pray to the Decider. My head hurts and my father is smiling like the day he first saw me. He never says he is proud, but i can tell by the small smile in him that he believes that I'll have great antlers that are six feet tall and that i'll have great fat in me.