Before War

Noah Bynum, guest writer


The wind flows through the forest leaves like water down a stream; at times it sounds like a babbling brook, and at others like waves hitting the stony shore. Only the sound of wood sliding atop the grass disturbs the peaceful song of the forest. A man and his dog walk through this windy glade. The dog drags a sled-like contraption filled with the hides of various forest creatures. The man carries a bow, an arrow already nocked into place. He carefully takes in his surroundings, intently looking for something or someone. Relaxing a bit when he finds what he is looking for he and his little companion head toward it.

A horse and wagon come into view as the two walk into a small clearing. A man leans against the wagon, a beret to large for the mans head sits upon it. The man then takes notice that he has company, and heads to greet them.

“Bonjour mon ami, what can I do for you on this fine day!” the man calls as he casually approaches. “Oh, I suppose I should introduce myself. I’m the one and only Pierre Fouche, French trader extraordinaire.”

“I am Notaku a warrior of the Wampanoag tribe. I seek to trade.”

“A yes, yes most excellent indeed! I have many wares to sell. Tell me what is it that you are looking for Mr. Notaku.”

“I require all of the guns and gunpowder you currently have in your possession.”

“All of it! Mr. Notaku, I’m very sorry but with what you are currently offering the most I can give you is three of my muskets and half of my gunpowder.”

“Then I offer you these as well.” Notaku reaches down to his side and grabs a small pouch and pours some of the contents into his hand. Four perfect pearls shine in the sunlight, enhancing their beauty. “I assume this will suffice.”

Pierre’s eyes glow with excitement at being presented with such exquisite merchandise. “Why yes, that is plenty if that pouch is indeed full of them.” Notaku nods “Then there is only one problem left. How do plan on carrying all of this? Pierre asks as he begins unloading the requested items.

“That won’t be a problem. Just set it on the ground and I will take care of it. And here’s my end of the bargain.”  Notaku places the hides and the pouch of pearls in Pierre’s cart.

“Thank you, Mr. Notaku, it’s been a pleasure doing business with you.” Pierre replies as he hops on his cart and proceeds to leave. “I hope we can do more business in the future, Mr. Notaku, but farewell for now.”

“Safe travels to you Pierre, Fouche.” Notaku watches as the cart slowly disappears into the tree line. He proceeds to place a package of powder in his dog’s travois  and grabs musket before calling, “Ok boy’s lets take them home.” Ten men suddenly appear out of the tree line and start gathering the supplies.

“We thought you were going to take forever Captain.” One calls as the rest nod in agreement.

Notaku laughs, “Sorry, it’s not my fault Europeans never shut up. Anyway enough chit chat. Lets get moving.”

“Yes sir!” They reply in unison.


In less than an hour the group of twelve arrive at their destination, the hidden village of Kingsmore. It was only founded recently out of the necessity for a forward base of operations to oppose the English. The two warriors standing watch over the village entrance spot the group, cross their spears, and call out.

“Friend of England or friend of the Wampanoag.”

“A friend of the Wampanoag and forever foe to the English.”

“Then enter.” The warriors part their spears and the group enters Kingsmore. The village is large for only being founded four months ago. Six wigwams  circle around the group while a

longhouse lies just ahead of them. No children playing in the village center, and no elders to offer their wisdom; it’s not a place for either. Most of the residents of this village are men, warriors sent to fight the English. There are a few women, to help with the cooking, healing the injured, and a village garrison if needed. Tension hangs in the air, permeating the village like a poisonous miasma.

“Morales has been low ever since we lost that most recent battle.”

“Yeah, and it wasn’t that far from here. There’s no doubt the village is in danger.”

“Whatever happens we must stand strong as warriors of the Wampanoag tribe.”

Notaku listens with pride at the thoughtfulness of his men. If all the warriors of the tribe are like them they would win the war yet.

“So you guys have finally returned, have you. I thought you would have at least taken another day or two.”

Unfortunately not all warriors are like Notaku’s men “And what does it matter to you Todi, how fast me and my men finish the task?”

“Well, I can’t have guys showing up my group, not that it’s ever going to happen.”

“Ha ha ha in your wildest dreams, Todi. Tell me, how did you acquire the weapons Metacom requested?”

“My pleasure, Notaku. First we tracked down some English dogs, beat them up and took their guns. Man it was so easy.”

“Did you get any gunpowder?”

“No. Why?”

“You need it to fire the gun you idiot!”

“Metacom said just to get guns, he didn’t say anything about gunpowder.”

“He assumed we already knew what we needed when he asked us to do this. Clearly he didn’t take your stupidity into account.”


The argument carried on for about twenty minutes- the two just exchanging insults with one another, until…

“Would you two just shut up already! The injured are trying to rest, but with you two numbskulls yelling at each other that’s utterly impossible.” Both men immediately stop their argument at the sound of the firm feminine voice.

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“But Doba, Notaku started it he…”

“Quiet, Todi.I don’t care who started it but this argument is ending right now!”

“Ma’am, yes, Ma’am” the two reply in unison.

“Good, now with that settled, Notaku you’re coming with me.”

“Wait, why!? I thought you were done lecturing us.”

“Together, yes, but not individually, plus I need your help with something.”

“Hahaha! Oh you’re going to get it Notaku! Hahaha!”

“Quiet, Todi! You’re next on my hit list. Oh, and while you’re waiting, do something useful for once.”

“Yes, Ma’am.” Todi squeaks as he tries to find some nonexistent shelter from Doba’s wrath.”

“Well, come on now Notaku.”

“As you wish.”


“Why do you two always have to fight the second you see each other?”

“I’m unsure, we’ve always been like this. Even back when we still lived in Chatbury.”

“Notaku don’t talk about Chatbury. That will only serve to get you and the rest of us depressed, and with morale being so low right now, it could break us.”

“Those English dogs! They will pay for what they did!”

“Yes, in time, but right now I need your help.”

“Oh, right. What do you need?”

“Well, I need you to move all this fire wood over to the healer’s tent.”

The stack of wood isn’t very large, barely reaching Notaku’s knees “Why do you need me to do this? Any man in the village could have helped you.”

“Because I want you to listen to this new song I learned and, tell me how it sounds.”

“Doba, anything you sing sounds wonderful. You need to have more confidence in yourself.”

“Thanks, but still will you listen to me sing?”

“With pleasure.”

“The earth is our mother,we must take care of her.Hey yanna, ho yanna, hey yan yan.Her sacred ground we walk upon,with every step we take.The earth is our mother,she will take care of us.” (Laszlo)

“See, lovely as always.”

“Shut up and work.”

“Haha, yes Ma’am.”


A week has passed since then, and in that time an very important man has traveled to the village of Kingsmore. “He’s here! He’s here! Chief Metacom has come.”

“What he’s here?” The commotion of what’s happening outside wakes up Notaku from his slumber.

Meatacom finally speaks. “I’m here looking for your two commanding braves, Notaku, and Todi. Will both you please come forward.” Immediately both men step out and kneel in front of their Chief.

“I’m Notaku, Chief Metacom.”

“And I’m Todi, Chief Meatacom”

“Good. It is a pleasure to meet you both. Come, let us talk in the longhouse.”


“Now let’s cut to chase. I have a mission for both of you and they are of the utmost importance. Do you understand?”

“Yes Chief!”

“Good. Todi, I’ll start with your mission. I want you and your men to gather those responsible for the attack of Swansea. The attack was again my wishes and orders.(Rich) And what good are men who can’t follow orders?”

“Yes Chief it will be done.”

“My thanks to you Todi. Now leave at once.” With out a moment of hesitation he leaves.

“Now Notaku, I want you and your band of warriors to harass the English in any way possible. Disrupt there supply lines, attack their villages, or face their warriors in battle. The choice it yours to make.”

“I understand Chief. We will not fail you.”

“Good, you are to leave immediately.”

“Yes Chief.” Notaku rushes to inform his warriors.



“As you can see we have been given an important mission that we must complete without out fail. The English will learn what it means to cross the Wampanoag tribe. For our people!”

“For our people!” Came the strong reply that echoed throughout the forest.

Yet Notaku didn’t hear it. A single thought consumed his mind “After all these years finally I can get my revenge.”

Works Cited

Laszlo Slomovits. “The Earth Is Our Mother.”Songs For Teaching. April 4, 2017.

Rich, Louise Dickinson. King Philip’s War, 1675-76: The New England Indians Fight the                          Colonists. New York: Franklin Watts, INC. 1972.



Eldredge, Nancy. “Who are the Wampanoag?.”Plimoth Plantation Web. March 28, 2017.

Foner, Eric. “King Philips War.” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing                                 Company. 1991. Web. March 28, 2017.

“Native American Houses.”Native Languages of the Americas web. April 3, 2017.

Taylor, Larissa. The 17th Century. Pasadena, California: Salem Press, 2006.