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Writers' Block
Help us finish a story by adding your own ideas. It's simple. Each month, we'll begin a new story.

Writer's Block
Story Image Help complete this Writers' Block with kids around the world. Each day this week, read where the story is going and send in what you think should happen next.

Fire Walker

Mika Star had a secret. A family secret. A secret that she hadn’t told anyone except Nightingale, her pet turtle. Mika was a member of the Wa-zha-zhi (Osage) tribe. She had inherited her green eyes from her mother (who was Irish-American) and her black hair and high cheekbones from her father (who was Osage). Mika’s father, who had died in a car accident when she was a baby, had been very proud of his Indian heritage. His tribal name was Pet-se-mo-ie, which means Fire Walker. He had grown up in Pawhuska, Oklahoma—the capital of the Osage nation—and loved to participate in the I’n-Lon-Schka, a ceremonial war dance held every June in Pawhuska. During the ceremony, the eldest sons dance around a drum circle wearing leather garments decorated with beads and ribbon work. The summer before she started sixth-grade, Mika attended her very first I’n-Lon-Schka. She enjoyed watching the men dance to the rhythm of the drums. At one point, she thought she could see her father’s spirit in the dance circle. And for the first time, she felt as proud of her Osage heritage as her father had. When she returned home, she vowed that she wouldn’t hide her family secret anymore. Mika lived in Palermo, Kansas, a small town on the banks of the Pawnee River. On the first day of school, her English teacher told the class to write an essay about something fun they had done that summer. They would have to read their essay aloud to the class at the end of the week. Mika decided the essay would be a perfect opportunity to reveal her secret. She began by writing: “My name is Mika, which means ‘raccoon’ in the language of my people, the Wa-zha-zhi.”

Nancy K
Age 10
San Antonio

"I have been ashamed of my heritage in the past, but now I am very proud of it. I want to share something that I have been hiding for a very long time. You see, my father was born into an Indian tribe from Oklahoma, and I am half Osage."

Age 14
Saudi Arabia

"This summer was very exciting. I watched for the first time my own tribe doing the I'n-Lon-Schka. You should have seen the men dancing, it was amazing, really amazing!"

Age 13

"The music was great and the atmosphere was fab. I loved every bit of it, and it also made me accept who I am."

Age 15
San Antonio

"I felt at ease for the first time and was able to feel proud, and not ashamed, to admit where I come from. Now I hold the same passion for my tribe that my father held in his soul."

Helen G.
Age 12
Elsa, TX

After Mika finished reading, her teacher said, "That was a fantastic story!" Then the class started clapping and cheering. Mika felt very proud.

Age 13
New Haven

She felt like she was somebody very special. Later that day, at lunch, everybody told Mika what a great job she did. Some kids even asked her when was the next time she would visit her tribe and if she could bring some stuff back. Mika was delighted and she couldn't wait to go back to Pawhuska!

Reading Is Fundamental