The Education of Little Tree

Ako ti Indijanac želi nešto pokloniti, on ?e to u?initi bez velike buke, jednostavno ?e dar ostaviti negdje gdje zna da ?eš ga prona?i.
Indijanac, objasnio mi je djed, digne ruku i pokaže dlan tako da njegov sugovornik vidi kako on ne nosi oružje. Ta gesta zna?i „mir“. Djed je to smatrao logi?nim, ali bijelim ljudima je to bilo jako smiješno.
Djed mi je rekao da bijeli ?ovjek svoje miroljubive namjere pokazuje rukovanjem - vjerojatno stoga što se rije?ima bijelog ?ovjeka ne smije vjerovati pa prilikom rukovanja jedan drugom protresu ruku da vide je li onaj drugi zaista prijatelj kao što tvrdi ili u rukavu ima skriven nož. Djed se nije rado rukovao. Rekao je da mu se ne svi?a kada mu ?ovjek pokušava istresti nož iz rukava nakon što se predstavio kao prijatelj. Djed je rukovanje smatrao znakom nepovjerenja i uvredljivim. Što je logi?no.
Kad bijelci u Americi vide Indijanca, kažu „how!“ i onda se smiju. Djed je rekao da je „how“ tek prije nekoliko stotina godina postala indijanska rije?. „How“ je engleska rije? i zna?i kako. U ono vrijeme kada su prvi bijelci došli u Ameriku, svaki put kad bi sreli Indijance pitali su: kako si, kako je tvoja obitelj, kako ide, kako ovo, kako ono... Djed je rekao da su Indijanci zato povjerovali da je „how“ omiljena rije? bijelog ?ovjeka, a Indijanci su uljudan narod, svaki put kad bi sreli bijelog ?ovjeka rekli bi odmah na po?etku „how“, a onda bi pustili bijelca da govori.
Kad se ljudi sad tome smiju, rekao je djed, smiju se Indijancu koji pokušava biti uljudan i obziran.

And as the Cherokee walked farther from his mountains, he began to die.

And when they would be talking and Granma would say, “Do ye kin me, Wales?” and he would answer, “I kin ye,” it meant, “I understand ye.” To them, love and understanding was the same thing. Granma said you couldn’t love something you didn’t understand; nor could you love people, nor God, if you didn’t understand the people and God. Granpa and Granma had an understanding, and so they had a love. Granma said the understanding run deeper as the years went by, and she reckined it would get beyond anything mortal folks could think upon or explain. And so they called it “kin.” Granpa

Baka je na dno groba prostrla ?istu bijelu pamu?nu vre?u, položila Ringera na nju, i onda ga još pažljivo obmotala njome. Djed je položio jednu debelu dasku na Ringera, da ga rakuni ne bi mogli iskopati. Onda smo zatrpali grob. Psi su stajali oko groba pognutih glava. Znali su da je stari Ringer mrtav, i stara Maud je plakala. Ona i stari Ringer su bili partneri u ?uvanju kukuruznog polja.
Djed je skinuo šešir i rekao: „Zbogom, stari Ringer.“ I ja sam rekao: „Zbogom, stari Ringer.“ I onda smo otišli i ostavili starog Ringera pod malim hrastom.
Bilo mi je jako teško zbog toga i osje?ao sam se nekako prazan. Djed je rekao da zna kako se osje?am jer se on osje?ao isto tako. ?ovjek se uvijek tako osje?a kad izgubi nekoga koga je volio, rekao je, a jedini na?in na koji bi se to moglo izbje?i je ?itavog života nikoga ne voljeti. Ali to bi bilo još gore, jer onda bi se ?itavog života osje?ao praznim.
Pretpostavimo da stari Ringer nije bio tako vjeran pas, rekao je djed, u tom slu?aju ne bismo bili toliko ponosni na njega. To bi bio jedan puno gori osje?aj. To je istina.
A kad ja jednom ostarim, i to je djed rekao, sje?at ?u se starog Ringera - i rado ?u ga se sje?ati. ?udna je to stvar, rekao je, ali kad ostariš i sje?aš se onih koje si volio, sje?aš se samo lijepog i dobrog, nikad ružnih stvari. Što je još jedan dokaz da ono što je loše ne igra nikakvu ulogu.

Djed je rekao da je puno bolje pokazati ?ovjeku kako si sam može pomo?i, nego dati mu nešto. Jer ako nau?iš ?ovjeka kako da si sam pomogne, onda ?e se on dalje sam brinuti za sebe i biti neovisan; ali ako mu samo nešto daš i ni?emu ga ne nau?iš, onda mu moraš do kraja života i dalje davati. Time tom ?ovjeku ?iniš medvje?u uslugu, jer ako postane ovisan o tebi, ukrao si mu karakter.
Po djedovim rije?ima, neki ljudi vole stalno poklanjati siromašnima jer tada mogu dignuti nos i vjerovati kako su oni nešto bolje nego onaj kojem pomažu; umjesto da nau?e siromaha ne?emu što bi ga u?inilo neovisnim.
„A pošto je ljudska priroda takva kakva jest“, rekao je djed, „uvijek ?e biti onih koji koriste spoznaju da neki vole dizati nos na taj na?in. Postanu tako jadni da su voljni biti pas svakom gospodaru koji ih je voljan uzdržavati. Tako se nisko spuste da radije budu pseto gospodina Nadmo?nog, nego svoj ?ovjek. I onda stalno kukaju i žale se kako im je teško i što im sve fali. A pritom im fali jedna jedina stvar - dobra lekcija i to udarcem noge u guzicu.“
I neki narodi, govorio je djed, dižu nos jer misle da su bolji od drugih, pa drugima daju pomo?, tako da bi sebe mogli nazivati silama. A da imaju srce na pravom mjestu, nau?ili bi narode kojima „pomažu“ kako ?e se brinuti sami za sebe. Djed je rekao da bogati narodi to ne žele u?initi jer onda siromašni narodi ne bi više bili ovisni o njima, a to im je zapravo bio cilj.

Everything growing wild is a hundred times stronger than tame things.

Fall is nature’s grace time; giving you a chance to put things in order, for the dying. And so, when you put things in order, you sort out all you must do … and all you have not done. It is a time for remembering … and regretting, and wishing you had done some things you have not done … and said some things you had not said. I

Grandma said [...] when you come on something that is good, first thing to do is share it with whoever you can find; that way, the good spreads out to where no telling it will go.

Granma and Granpa wanted me to know of the past, for “If ye don’t know the past, then ye will not have a future. If ye don’t know where your people have been, then ye won’t know where your people are going.

Granma said everybody has two minds. One of the minds has to do with the necessaries for body living. You had to use it to figure out how to get shelter and eating and such like for the body... She said we had to have that mind so as we could carry on. But she said we had another mind that had nothing atall to do with such. She said it was the spirit mind.

Granma said if you used the body-living mind to think greedy or mean; if you was always cuttin' at folks with it and figuring how to material profit off'n them ... then you would shrink up your spirit mind to a size no bigger 'n a hickor'nut.

Granma said that when your body died, the body-living mind died with it, and if that's the way you had thought all your life there you was, stuck with a hickor'nut spirit, as the spirit mind was all that lived when everything else died...

Granma said that the spirit mind was like any other muscle. If you used it it got bigger and stronger. She said the only way it could get that way was using it to understand, but you couldn't open the door to it until you quit being greedy and such with your body mind. Then understanding commenced to take up, and the more you tried to understand, the bigger it got.

Natural, she said, understanding and love was the same thing; except folks went at it back'ards too many times, trying to pretend they loved things when they didn't understand them. Which can't be done.

I see right out that I was going to commence trying to understand practical everybody, for I sure didn't want to come up with a hickor'nut spirit.

Granma said that when your body died, the body-living mind died with it, and if that’s the way you had thought all your life there you was, stuck with a hickor’nut spirit, as the spirit mind was all that lived when everything else died. Then, Granma said, when you was born back—as you was bound to be—then, there you was, born with a hickor’nut spirit mind that had practical no understanding of anything. Then it might shrink up to the size of a pea and could disappear, if the body-living mind took over total. In such case, you lost your spirit complete. That’s how you become dead people. Granma said you could easy spot dead people. She said dead people when they looked at a woman saw nothing but dirty; when they looked at other people they saw nothing but bad; when they looked at a tree they saw nothing but lumber and profit; never beauty. Granma said they was dead people walking around. Granma

Granma said when you come on something good, first thing to do is share it with whoever you can find; that way, the good spreads out where no telling it will go. Which is right.

Granma's name was Bonnie Bee. I knew that when I heard him late at night say, 'I kin ye, Bonnie Bee,' he was saying, 'I love ye,' for the feeling was in the words.

Granpa always said that if you was spoken to, treat such with proper respect and give full attention to what was being said.

Granpa said he seen that and so he knowed. Granpa said ye had to understand. But most people didn't want to-it was too much trouble-so they used words to cover their own laziness and called other folks "shiftless".

Granpa said if there was less words, there wouldn't be as much trouble in the world. He said privately to me that there was always some damn fool making up a word that served no purpose except to cause trouble.

I felt total bad about it, and empty. Granpa said he knew how I felt, for he was feeling the same way. But Granpa said everything you lost which you had loved give you that feeling. He said the only way round it was not to love anything, which was worse because you would feel empty all the time. Granpa

I knew I was Little Tree, and I was happy that they loved me and wanted me. And so I slept, and I did not cry.

Kad nai?eš na nešto što je dobro", rekla je baka Malom Drvetu, "prvo što trebaš napraviti je potražiti nekoga s kim to možeš podijeliti; na taj se na?in dobro širi do najudaljenijih kutaka svijeta. Što je dobro." I imala je pravo.

Na to je rekla da su ona i njezina obitelj krš?ani. Rekla je da je jednom, za vrijeme bogoslužja pod vedrim nebom, dobila Duha Svetoga i da je spašena. Njezini mama i tata, prakti?ki svaki put za vrijeme bogoslužja dobiju Duha Svetoga i onda govore nekim nepoznatim jezikom. Ako si krš?anin, tvrdila je, to te ?ini sretnim. A ona i njezina obitelj najsretniji su za vrijeme bogoslužja pod vedrim nebom, jer ih ispuni Duh Sveti i sve to. Rekla je da ?u ja oti?i u pakao jer nisam bio spašen.
Odmah sam vidio da je ona krš?anka, jer dok je pri?ala polizala je moju lizalicu prakti?ki do drške. Uzeo sam natrag to što je bilo preostalo.

Seemed like you could stretch out your arms on either side and touch the mountains. Straight up they went, dark and feathered with treetops, and left a thin slice of stars above us.

Way off, a mourning dove called, long and throaty, and the mountains picked it up and echoed the sound over and over, carrying it farther and farther away until you wondered how many mountains and hollows that call would travel--and it died away, so far, it was more like a memory than a sound.

Svaki put kad bi netko ustao i po?eo pri?ati o lošim stvarima koje je u?inio, jedan bi ?ovjek koji je uvijek sjedio na drugoj strani u kutu uvijek viknuo: „Reci sve! Reci sve!“ On bi to vikao svaki put kad bi izgledalo da ?e onaj koji je govorio završiti ispovijed, pa bi se taj pokušao sjetiti još ne?eg lošeg što je bio u?inio. Ponekad bi zato netko ispri?ao i prili?no loše stvari koje možda ina?e ne bi bio ispri?ao. Ali taj ?ovjek koji je vikao „Reci sve!“ nikada nije ustajao ispovjediti se.

The blue jay playing around the cabin means you are going to have plenty of good times and fun. The blue jay is a clown and bounces on the ends of branches and turns flips and teases other birds.

The man in the corner hollered, "Tell it all!

Then sometime there in late March, after the Indian violets had come, we would be gathering on the mountain and the wind, raw and mean, would change for just a second. It would touch your face as soft as a feather. It had an earth smell. You knew springtime was on the way.

The next day, or the next (you would commence to hold your face out for the feel), the soft touch would come again. It would last a little longer and be sweeter and smell stronger.

When the air gets heavy so it's hard to breathe, you know what's coming. The birds come down from the ridges and hide in the hollows and in the pines. Heavy black clouds float over the mountain, and you run for the cabin.

From the cabin porch we would watch the big bars of light that stand for a full second, maybe two, on the mountaintop, running out feelers or lightning wire in all directions before they're jerked back into the sky. Cracking claps of sound, so sharp you know something has split wide open--then the thunder rolls and rumbles over the ridges and back through the hollows. I was pretty near sure, a time or two, that the mountains was falling down, but Granpa said they wasn't. Which of course, they didn't.

Then it comes again--and rolls blue fireballs of rocks on the ridge tops and splatters the blue in the air. The trees whip and bend in the sudden rushes of wind, and the sweep of heavy rain comes thunking from the clouds in big drops, letting you know there's some real frog-strangling sheets of water coming close behind.

When the storm is over, the new growth, tiny and light, timid-green, starts edging our on the buses and three limbs. Then Nature brings April rain. It whispers down soft and lonesome, making mists in the hollows and on the trails where you walk under the drippings from hanging branches of trees.

It's a good feeling, exciting--but sad too--in April rain. Granpa said he always got that kind of mixed-up feeling. He said it was exciting because something new was being born and it was sad, because you knowed you can't hold onto it. It will pass too quick.

April wind is soft and warm as a baby's crib. It breathes on the crab apple tree until white blossoms open out, smeared with pink. The smell is sweeter than honeysuckle and brings bees swarming over the blossoms. Mountain laurel with pink-white blooms and purple centers grow everywhere, from the hollows to the top of the mountain, alongside of the dogtooth violet...

Then, when April gets its warmest, all of a sudden the cold hits you. It stays cold for four or five days. This is to make the blackberries bloom and is called "blackberry winter." The blackberries will not bloom without it. That's why some years there are no blackberries. When it ends, that's when the dogwoods bloom out like snowballs over the mountainside in places you never suspicioned they grew: in a pine grove or stand of oak of a sudden there's a big burst of white.

When ye hear somebody using words agin’ somebody, don’t go by his words, fer they won’t make no damn sense. Go by his tone, and ye’ll know if he’s mean and lying.” Granpa was pretty much down on having

Ye see, Little Tree, ain't no way of learning, except by letting ye do. Iff'n I had stopped ye from buying the calf, ye'd have always thought ye'd ought to had it. Iff'n I'd told ye to buy it, ye'd blame me fer the calf dying. Ye'll have to learn as ye go.

You cannot know where your people are going if you don't know where your people have been.