The Eagle Hunter

Jalman Meadows Wilderness Camp, Mongolia | Batdorj Oyun-Erdene, Google Maps

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.

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, click here.

20 Comments

  1. Splendid. I especially enjoyed the turn at the end. This makes me want to see the movie about the eagle people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It was you who reminded me of that movie. It’s still on my to-watch list. Even more so after sitting down to write this story!

      Like

  2. A beautiful piece, the swell of the heart, the soar of hope… captured in 150 words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thanks Crispina. I thank the landscape of Mongolia, there was much to make one’s heart swell and soar.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s how I feel about it. And I’ve wanted to live in a yurt ever since I saw on … wow, way back in teh 1980s.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great pacing and tension: made me gasp at the end! I love the world-building here too, the sense of tradition and history. “Heart-hope” was my favorite line.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much joy that means a lot coming from you. I was thinking of your tremendous World building skills as I tried to piece this together and you made my day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw, thanks Karen, that’s so sweet of you to say!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. lillmcgill

    EXCELLENT.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the way you’ve structured this, pivoting in the middle with the line ‘“What about me?” I blurted.’ By placing it in isolation, right at the heart of the story, you make it universal – you ask “Why should any girl be denied opportunities open to boys?”
    I read the story over and over, and on about the fifth reading I suddenly realised that poppa’s quiet that you mention in the second sentence may be because he is already wondering whether any of his daughters would wish to hunt, but he’s testing them by not asking – forcing them to volunteer.

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    1. Penny you always give me so much more credit than I deserve, but I’m always grateful for your careful reading and thoughtful observations. So glad also to enjoy your stories on Pegman!

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  6. Such a sweet and hopefilled story. Enjoyed your MCs voice, the sense of yearning you capture so very clearly. I love silent Poppa, a still and thoughtful presence while your MC is a flutter with nerves. You capture the hopes of a culture vividly. Wonderful story, Karen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. It’s so gratifying to hear the things I hoped most to get across came across so well!

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  7. What a beautifully written tale. Reminds me a bit of Auel and “The Clan of the Cave Bears” type writing style. Already, I’m hooked and want to watch her learn to be one with the Eagles. Great writing! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great compliment. I loved those books!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did, too. Been a while since I read them. They lead me to “Island of the Blue Dolphins” and “Quest for Fire” and the “North American Series (People of the…. )’ by the O’Gears.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh cool I will keep those titles in mind when I am in a mood for that kind of story

        Liked by 1 person

  8. peterkirsch

    I love it. From despair and worry to hope and elation. A great ride in 150 words.

    What movie about the eagle people?!
    Don’t leave me hanging!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! I think it’s The Eagle Huntress but there could be others.

      Like

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