CORN FLOWER, A GIRL OF THE GREAT PLAINS
First in a Fiction Series Based on the Four Seasons
By James D. Lester, Jr., PhD
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Corn Flower, an eleven-year-old Native American girl, is a member of the Kansa tribe living along the Cottonwood River in the 1820s. She is a loyal daughter to her parents White Plume and Kicking Swan. Corn Flower and her best friend Night Sparrow are in charge of each family's herd of goats. Together they sing the “Song of the Kansa,” find excitement in their simple life, and delight in the folk tales spoken by an elderly tribal storyteller. Corn Flower enjoys the thrill of adventure as she travels with her father to a nearby trading post.
Once she returns home, her happiness is short-lived as a tornado sweeps toward their village with a great wind. Corn Flower saves a baby goat and barely escapes the storm. The late summer brings horrible heat and a swarm of grasshoppers. Relief finally comes when a huge thunderstorm sweeps the grasshoppers away, yet the lightening from the storm sparks a fire on the prairie. Fortunately, their village is spared, and Corn Flower returns to her hillside in the remaining days of summer to tend her goats and again sing the “Song of the Kansa” with her special friend Night Sparrow.
Much like children in modern culture, Corn Flower cherishes the closeness of her family, fun with her best friend, and the endless quest for adventure.
James D. Lester, Jr., PhD, is a veteran English instructor with over thirty-five years of experience as a secondary teacher at Clarksville High School and a college instructor at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. He is also the author of the popular texts Writing Research Papers, 16th edition and The Research Paper Handbook, 4th edition. For Corn Flower: A Girl of the Great Plains, Dr. Lester has tapped into a new interest with a story about the joys and challenges of Native American Life in Kansas during the early 1800s.
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