An Anasazi Story by Jeff Posey.
Grandfather introduced the albino woman, Nuva, by slow-step promenade through the village, the infant Tuwa clutched in the arms of his new surrogate mother. There being no ceremony for such a thing, Grandfather improvised.
He proceeded from his house nearest the dual sandstone spires that rose like steeples from the northeastern edge of the mesa, and wound his way along every pathway past every dwelling.
At the house of the top farmer lived the eldest woman, Wooti, grandmother to the farmer. She’d heard the twitter of the children as they ran and hid and peeped to watch Grandfather and the strange white woman.
Wooti studied Nuva’s red eyes and her hands and legs, and then turned her back. Grandfather stopped.
“Wooti,” Grandfather said.
“You bring us a witch?” she asked without facing Grandfather.
“I bring a mother for my grandson.”
“You bring us a witch.” A statement this time.
“I would not and have not brought anything to this village that will do us harm. Do you doubt my judgment?”
Wooti’s hands dropped to her side. “I have never until now.”
“Nuva is no witch!” Grandfather’s voice rose in anger.
Wooti turned to Grandfather. “Do not shout at me, old man. I have as much sense as you do, and your white woman is infected with … something not good.” She glanced at Nuva, then turned her back again, arms across her chest.
Grandfather stood, the village quiet but for the gargling calls of turkeys and the barking of a dog in the woods below. The infant fussed and Nuva comforted him. Grandfather stood until Wooti uncrossed her arms and her shoulders sagged.
“The something that is not good isn’t here among us,” Grandfather said so low he might have been speaking only to himself. Wooti turned her head to point her right ear toward him. “It is down there,” he said with a single nod to the south, “and it is growing.”
Grandfather began again his slow walk and all the women in the circle of Wooti, her family clan and her friends, turned their backs on Nuva, but Grandfather did not stop and said not another word.
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Did any words pull you out of the setting or time of the story?
Note: The name Wooti is derived from the Hopi word wuyòoti, which means “get old.” The dual sandstone spires are those of Chimney Rock, Colorado, the northeasternmost outlier of the Anasazi culture centered in Chaco Canyon.