What Pegman Saw: They Came to Trade

image by Freeman Kelly Dronography on Google Maps

They came to trade, they stayed to rule,
They came with strange weapons and their tools;
They claimed the protection of their god
And believed that we’d be overawed.

They took our food, they took our land,
They broke us, herded us band by band
Into compounds, our warring spirit to subdue.
And then they took those compounds too.
They weakened us, divided us, derided us out of hand
Until we remained but an alien remnant, in our Ancestral land

Inspired by the prompt, but by no means limited to the Lakota and other Amerindian tribes. Homo sapiens did similar to Homo neanderthalensis; Near Eastern Farmers to Western Hunter-Gatherers; Steppe Indo-Europeans to the Old Europeans: British and Spanish and Portuguese, Dutch, Russian and French to those who had no comparable weaponry; Romans to an ever-widening reach; Arabs to Infidels… ad infinitum

79 words

Written for What Pegman Saw: Black Hills, South Dakota

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
This entry was posted in Mostly Micro, Poems (Some Silly), Thoughts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to What Pegman Saw: They Came to Trade

  1. Lynn Love says:

    Yes, what kind of race are we that we forever feel the need to expand, to conquer and plunder and subdue? ‘Our’ way is always the right way, with no room, it seems, for differing views and ways of life. Still happening today on so many levels, even if sometimes they’re more subtle, an overwhelming of one culture through the capitalist products of another. And so nothing changes. Wonderful writing, Crispina

    Liked by 2 people

    • crimsonprose says:

      I thank you Lynn. Though I don’t think it’s a racial thing, but a human thing. Which is why, on my end note, I began with homo sapiens. Also, the image chosen is that used in the movie *Close Encounters*.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Crispina,

    That about sums it up. Concise and well written. Great voice.



    Liked by 2 people

  3. Alas! The story of mankind all through the ages. Cities razzed, inhabitants slaughtered, the Spanish Conquistadors; the slave trade; the “Highland clearances”; the Acadians loaded on boats and shipped off to any French port on the Atlantic. (I’ve been reading too much history. 🙂 )

    Liked by 2 people

    • crimsonprose says:

      There’s no such thing as too much history. And it’s wrong to blame the White Europeans as if we alone are responsible. Others have, and still do, trample over the lands of others.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And at times one tribe attacked another. Here on the prairies we have an old legend of how a group of Blackfoot warriors on the prowl spotted a Cree encampment beside a lake. They prepared to attack the next morning, but Cree scouts got wind of their presence and sounded the warning. Packing up and getting away In the night was no small thing!
        The old women said, “You go. We’ll stay. ” So the younger Cree crept away in the darkness while the old women kept the fires burning and the chatter up so the Blackfoot would think the camp was as usual.
        The Blackfoot attacked at dawn, primed for slaughter — and found only these old women. Infuriated, the warriors massacred them all. The legend says the tears of the old women filled the shallow lake nearby, aptly named Old Wives’ Lake.

        Liked by 2 people

      • crimsonprose says:

        That’s such a sad story.
        Myself, I’m reminded of the accounts by primitologists. Chimps in particular form bands that patrol the territory’s borders. Border skirmishes are common. Deaths result. The victors might then kill the infants and take the females. Evolved? Maybe in bodies. Yet our behavour isn’t much changed. Except now we can talk about it, and waggle our heads, and try to find causes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • By the way, I agree that there’s never too much history. We tend to live in our own bubble, but I think it helps us all — and especially young people — to see that mankind through the ages isn’t a lot different, and some have suffered WAY more than what we think we’re suffering today. There’s so much talk of bullying today, as if it were some new phenomenon, but if you read history you see many examples of brutal bullying.

        As to the chimps, they are acting on their primal instincts, whereas man should have a higher conscience of right and wrong. I’m thankful for all the good teaching there is out there, teaching people kindness and compassion.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        *Should* have a higher conscience.
        But, don’t take me for a pessimist. I am in full agreement with Steven Pinker in his remarkably perceptive, and thoroughly research-supported book. *The Better Angels of our Nature*.


  4. Dale says:

    Brilliantly done, Crispina. It seems every part of the world has had some “supposed higher culture” come in and take over their ways.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 4963andypop says:

    i like the rhythm of this, the inevitability. Reminds me the series Guns, Germs and Steel, where the history of Western Hemisphere colonization is explained in terms of these three things. Moral: People rarely fail to press their advantage, when doing so can reap huge benefits to them. But it does make you wonder: what and who is next?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jen Goldie says:

    I recognized the landmark immediately. Luckily that Encounter, was a giving one rather than being invasive. Also wonderfully full of messages. The immediate fear juxtaposed with the yearning to communicate. Well done Crispina and thank you.United we, will try, to stand. 🙂🌼

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a monument/natural phenomenon I’d like to see one day. That aside, the poem was apt and spoke to one of America’s greatest tragedies/sins.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. And believed that we’d be overawed. Sad but true. Dang, I wish we’d leave each other alone and communicate and share. But, if wishes were horses we all would ride. Great message in your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. k rawson says:

    Brilliant! I enjoyed your historical note also. Indeed….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well now there’s a pleasant surprise, I picked the self same picture. Thank fully I did write a story for it – well I did just didn’t post it on my blog. Your story is so compassionate, it knocked my frivolous attempt out of the park. Well done, Crispina.

    Liked by 1 person

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