- 1 Characters
- 2 Chapter By Chapter Summary
- 2.1 Chapter One: A Sister's Wish
- 2.2 Chapter Two: Nighttime Mystery
- 2.3 Chapter Three: Tall Branch's Arrival
- 2.4 Chapter Four: A Shadowy Legend
- 2.5 Chapter Five: The Ghost Horse
- 2.6 Chapter Six: The Stallion's Secret
- 2.7 Chapter Seven: "My Horse Is Gone"
- 2.8 Chapter Eight: Kaya Accused
- 2.9 Chapter Nine: A Baffling Clue
- 2.10 Chapter Ten: A Turn for the Worst
- 2.11 Chapter Eleven: Tall Branch's Village
- 2.12 Chapter Twelve: Journey to the Bog
- 2.13 Chapter Thirteen: An Offering for Tall Branch
- 2.14 Chapter Fourteen: Speaking Rain's Sacrifice
- 2.15 Chapter Fifteen: A Slender Hope
- 2.16 Chapter Sixteen: A Desperate Ride
- 2.17 Chapter Seventeen: Going Home
- 2.18 Inside Kaya's World
- 3 References
From the Central Series
- Speaking Rain
- Wing Feather and Sparrow
- Fox Tail
- Yellow Flower
- Jumps Back
- Steps High
Chapter By Chapter Summary
Chapter One: A Sister's Wish
Kaya races Steps High against Raven and Rabbit. Their group of Nimíipuu is on the Weippe Prairie, where they have been digging camas roots with other groups of Nimíipuu. They plan to next move higher up in the mountains to harvest berries. Kaya uses a trick Toe-ta taught her in order to win the horse race. Towards the end of the race, Speaking Rain shouts encouragement and Kaya nudges Steps High ahead to win the race. Kaya's thrilled that Speaking Rain is back with the Nimíipuu, because she had just recently returned from spending part of the year with the Salish and White Braids. Both girls return to their tent to help Eetsa prepare for the return of their mother's sister, Tall Branch. Tall Branch had married into another band of Nimíipuu and lived so far away that she had never even visited; however, her husband has recently died and Tall Branch has decided to live with Kaya's group. Tall Branch's group is just a half day's journey away from the Weippe Prairie, so a messenger has let the family know that she will be arriving the following day.
Speaking Rain pinches Kaya's dress to follow her as Kaya returns Steps High to the herd. Speaking Rain comments that Kaya and Steps High are truly one, as Nimíipuu hope a horse and rider will be. She expresses that as they continue to grow up, she wishes she could do things independently instead of having to be led by other people. In particular, Speaking Rain wants to ride a horse herself. One reason she likes being with White Braids is that White Braids needs her; Speaking Rain doesn't feel needed with Kaya and their family. She wants to ride next to Kaya instead of behind her: "If I could do that, I could really be your sister: equal. I could help our people and not be a burden."
Speaking Rain acknowledges that what she wants is impossible, and she tells Kaya not to worry. However, Kaya is concerned for her sister and wants to find a way to help her.
Chapter Two: Nighttime Mystery
Kaya and Speaking Rain return to camp and prepare for Tall Branch's arrival. Kaya wakes up in the middle of the night and realizes her sister is gone. Kaya walks outside and realizes Speaking Rain is sleepwalking and standing near the horses. She moves her hands as if she's saddling a horse, and then she turns around and walks right back to the tepee and goes back to sleep. Kaya returns with her and is unable to fall back asleep.
The girls wake up the next morning. Eetsa sits with Wing Feather and Sparrow, combing their hair. Kautsa gives the girls finger cakes and says they must get ready for Tall Branch's arrival. Speaking Rain sighs as she holds onto Kaya's dress, and they bathe in the cold river. Kaya asks her sister if she remembers sleepwalking the previous night; Speaking Rain says she does, though she's hesitant to talk about her dream. Kaya presses her, and she shares that in her dream, she rode a beautiful horse alone. However, Speaking Rain won't share or comment further- she insists it's just a dream and not a real possibility for her. The girls return to camp to continue preparing for Tall Branch's arrival with Kautsa, who says they should have drinks ready for her arrival. Kaya decides to prepare rose-hip tea, and she contemplates the excitement of a new family member's arrival. Eetsa's brow wrinkles and she instructs her daughter to prepare the tea just right, because Tall Branch will let them know if it's not the way she wants it. Kaya and Speaking Rain discuss their hopes for their new aunt: they hope she will have new stories to tell them and perhaps new basket weaving patterns to share.
Eetsa is deeply focused as she grinds salmon in preparation for her sister's arrival. Kaya comments that it's ground practically into a powder, and her mother replies, "Your aunt likes things to be just right." Before Kaya can comment further, they are told that Tall Branch is just about at the camp. Kaya and Speaking Rain are asked to go meet her and lead her into camp.
Chapter Three: Tall Branch's Arrival
Chapter Four: A Shadowy Legend
Chapter Five: The Ghost Horse
Chapter Six: The Stallion's Secret
Chapter Seven: "My Horse Is Gone"
Chapter Eight: Kaya Accused
Chapter Nine: A Baffling Clue
Chapter Ten: A Turn for the Worst
Chapter Eleven: Tall Branch's Village
Chapter Twelve: Journey to the Bog
Chapter Thirteen: An Offering for Tall Branch
Chapter Fourteen: Speaking Rain's Sacrifice
Chapter Fifteen: A Slender Hope
Chapter Sixteen: A Desperate Ride
Chapter Seventeen: Going Home
- Kaya thought back to the very first race she'd run, three years ago. She'd pushed Steps High to race before the mare was properly trained, just to prove to her cousins Fox Tail and Raven that her horse was the fastest. Kaya's first race occurred in Meet Kaya, set in 1764.