A recent search for ancestors took me (in books) to the site of the Cherokee village of Keeowe in South Carolina, on the path of Mollie of the Wolf clan. Her family was part of the charismatic Dragging Canoe’s followers, and they moved with him to a location on the Tennessee River near Lookout Mountain. One of their villages was Nickajack Town along a creek of the same name.
Following the creek from what is now Nickajack Lake (part of the TVA project) back towards its source in the mountains, the road became smaller. Heavily lined with trees as it turned to gravel. A small lane forked to the left over a simple wooden bridge on the creek. Thinking of finding a rock from the creekbed of Grandfather’s lands, I stopped to search. There were no houses or other signs of civilization — just the tiny gravel road and the forest.
While walking along the creek, I heard a clop-clop noise behind me. Turning, I saw this young fellow coming out of the woods towards me. He was tentative but friendly. Walking straight to me upon my soft invitation to him, he nuzzled my hand. He was most anxious for attention and particularly wanted to share some apples I had brought!
This pony followed me like a pup up and down the road beside Nickajack Creek, patiently watching as I examined the area that was home to my ancestors in the late 1700s and early 1800s. When I was back in the car, he put his head over the windshield, leaning against the car, not wanting me to leave!
I marveled at the encounter of this pony on the
lonely stretch of road back in the mountains.
Was it Grandfather?
The spirit of Dragging Canoe?