We made night-fire. Poppa was quiet as we passed the spit of roasted meat. He’d been quiet all day—ever since elder-son had told him he would not be an eagle hunter. He was going to the capital for second-school. Poppa had wished him well, but I knew the news unsettled him.
For four generations our people had been eagle hunters, a tradition passed down from father to son. But elder-son was the only son; around our fire were only girls.
“What about me?” I blurted.
In the still, I swallowed, hardly believing I had dared to ask. The heart-hope had beat in my chest for so long, unsaid. And now it was loose, like a stallion across the plains.
Poppa stared off, his eyes fixed on the vast expanse of our Wanderlands.
“I can learn, Poppa.”
He turned; he nodded. And in that instant, my heart began to soar.