Author's note: This is just something I threw together one day, wondering what would happen if a European man were to meet an Indian princess. My little own Pocahontas.
"You walk on scared ground, be with respect," Salali hissed at the men. She knew she should be more polite like Oliver taught her, but these men were so being so disrespectful it was hard to maintain compsure. Her black hair hung freely, reaching her midback, shining in the sunlight. It framed her tan heart shaped face and dark, brown expressive eyes which were currently filled with annoyance.
One man looked at her, seeming to actually look at her as one looks at a person instead of how one might look at a troublesome tree that has fallen in one's way, and he said, "I am sorry. My men will be more respectful." Salali looked at him closely, seeing the remorse in his strange blue eyes. He had pale skin, as all the strange men did, it was as though the sun shunned them its gift of color. He had brown hair, pulled back into a small ribbon, and he was tall, built like a warrior. He should be a warrior, she decided, as she took note of the weapon at his waist.
Salali wanted to hiss again with her annoyance being that they shouldn't even be here in the first place but instead gave a curt nod. She was after asked to escort them by the leader of the white man tribe, he did not want his men to be attacked and Salali had agreed to be their escort, but was now beginning to regret it. She wasn't taking any measures to hide her displeasure.
They were odd men, using their tools to make marks on paper, pausing every few seconds to marvel at the plants. Salali knew that it was important to learn about plants, they could be food or posion, and color there clothes, but these men, she thought, were too interested. Having to stop and draw all the flowers only to crush the plant and marvel over the liquid that would goo out. Such strange men.
Most of the men asked Salali to hunt with them, showing them animals with beautiful fur but these strange men were fascinated with plants. Salali could not wrap her mind around the white men ways.
The man seemed to want to continue talking though, "I am called Elliot. You are called?"
"My people call me Salali. Elliot," she tried out the name and it felt a little silly on her tongue, "why are you here? You on my land. You say it not mine, you wrong. My people come to your land and say, 'this my land' you no like."
Elliot took a moment to try and understand her rough English and then answered, "My people can be foolish. They should not try to take your land."
Salali eyed him warily, "Why you here?"
"Explore. See what your land is like."
"Why? You no stay and live. You go back to your land. Why you need explore?"
Elliot gave a wane smile, "I do so because my King has told me to."
"King," Salali said with a nod, showing that she knew the word, "You have many feathers?"
Elliot looked at her, "I beg you pardon?"
Salali did not understand his words but from the look on his face he did not understand, she bit her lip before trying to reword her question, "You talk to king. Not all people talk to king unless they have many feathers. You must have many feathers."
Elliot once again took a moment to translate the words in his mind and replied, "Yes. But we don't say feathers. We have titles."
Elliot nodded, "Titles. When we say a name back in my land, we say what they do before that, their job."
Salali continued to look confused so Elliot tried to elaborate, "You have warriors?"
Salali perked up and puffed her chest out a bit with pride, saying, "Warriors strong and brave."
"What is one of your warriors called?"
"Chayton strong warrior," Salali said with a proud smile.
"In my land, we would call Chayton, Warrior Chayton. That way we know to give him respect. Like seeing how many feathers."
Salali nodded after a moment and announced, "I know now."
Elliot gave a gentle smile, "You understand."
Salali repeated like a dutiful student, "I understand."
The two sat a while, watching Elliot's men look at the plants and write down notes with quick scribbles and muttering before Elliot asked, "You know my language well. How did you learn it?"
Salali perked up again and told him happily, "Father say I have quick tongue. Father send me to Oliver. Man from land far away that speak your tongue. Oliver teach me many different tongues. Oliver was to teach me more tongues but his King say he must leave and go back to his land." Oliver, he was a good man with warm brown eyes and strange golden hair. Salali missed him greatly, he was like a family member, very caring and wise. He was her friend and teacher.
"Is Oliver an Englishman?"
Salali nodded, "Oliver Englishman. Wise man father say. Kind man I say. He teach me many things of his land. Like tea, Oliver like tea very much. He teach Salali to let tea flow from little pot into cup like 'little lady' he said. I think it silly. Why learn that when should learn to plant food? Oliver say in England, little lady no need to plant food. They must be sad. Plant food bring joy to people. Feel sun on skin, smell sweet earth, and help bring life. It like magic. Oliver taught me what magic meant."
Elliot chuckled at Salali's enthusiasm and asked, "You must care for Oliver a lot. Don't you?"
Salali nodded solemnly, "Oliver very kind. Show me new ways to make clothes for winter time and many more English things."
"Would you like to learn more?"
"You let me learn more?" she asked eagerly, "Please! I like that much, much, much!"
"Will your father say it is alright?"
"Yes. Father like me to learn. Say it better so that your people and our people learn to know each other. When you know person, you do not fight as much father say."
"Very good. You should still let him know. Can you with me to my camp so I may teach you more?"
Salali looked at him warily, "Oliver say I no go with white men. I not know to trust them Oliver say."
"Oliver is a wise man, but I would you keep you safe."
"You swear on life?"
Elliot smiled, "I swear on my life."
"Than I shall come. No swear can be lie if person swear on life," she said with a happy smile, "When I come to camp?"
"Soon. How about I come and introduce myself to your father?" he suggested.
"Oh! Well, then you must introduce to father. Then we learn more tongues!"
Elliot chuckled, the child-like enthusiasm from that of a young woman was somewhat comical, but it made him feel content.
A man came into Salali's sight and she smiled at his familiar form, the tall build and broad shoulders, a black braid hung over his shoudler, adorned with feathers, his solemn face holding a small smile.
"Father!" Salali called out, switching to her own language as she dragged Elliot after her.
"Daughter!" came the happy reply.
Salali let go of Elliot's hand so she could run to hug her father and told him, "Elliot says he can teach me father, like Oliver taught me."
Her father chuckled and affectionately messed with her hair like he did when she was little and said, "You sound very excited."
"Oh I am father! You know I love to learn."
He chuckled, "I do. Now, let us say hello."
Salali smiled and went back to Elliot and continued to drag him to her father and said in his language, "Elliot, this my father. My people, the Lenape, call him Chief. He is called Gahege."
If Elliot was surprised of that her father was Chief he hid it well. He swept into a bow, "Hello Chief Gahege."
Chief Gahege replied in his own language, "Hello Elliot."
"I would like to bring your daughter to my camp, so I may teach her," he said, looking at Chief Gahege.
Salali quickly translated, and her father said, "I will agree, but, first you must sleep a night with my people and spend the day. You want my daughter among your people, so you will be among ours for a while first."
Salali relayed the message again, and Elliot looked a bit taken a back, quietly he asked her, "I didn't do anything wrong did I?"
Salali gave him a reassuring smile, "No. Father want to see that he can trust you. You spend night and day here. I spend night and day there."
He looked a bit quizzical, "You would only spend a night and day in my camp?"
Salali shook her head and explained, "Is custom for my people. Visitor come, they spend a night and day, maybe more, but that just what we say. You stay at least a night and day, be with respect, then I go with you and stay night and day, maybe more. You understand?"
"I understand," Elliot said with a smile even though the idea was still foreign to him, before turning to Chief Gahege and saying, "Thank you. I would be honored."
Elliot paused, wondering if he might have used any words Salali did not know but she translated quickly with her happy smile.
Author's note: Not all this information is accurate, but I tried to throw in some real facts, I hope you enjoyed it!