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Character and Location Notes for "A Cave Swarming with Strange Forms of Life" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Character and Location Notes for "A Cave Swarming with Strange Forms of Life"
Here are the character and location notes for "A Cave Swarming with Strange Forms of Life."


Dr. Bena Pretty Ears -- She has copper skin, brown eyes, and long wavy brown hair streaked with chestnut and dark blonde. Her heritage includes Cree and Pawnee. She is the wife of Chayton Pretty Ears. They have three daughters and three sons, along with four grandchildren. They live in Azure, Montana on the Rocky Boy's Reservation. Bena earned the name Pretty Ears as a young girl by being a good listener, and went on to become a psychiatrist. She takes a more analytical approach to healing the psyche than her husband's casual and naturalistic methods. She enjoys traditional embroidery methods with thread, porcupine quills, and beads.
Qualities: Master (+6) Kistêyihtamowin, Expert (+4) Psychiatrist, Expert (+4) Intelligence, Good (+2) Classy, Good (+2) Graceful, Good (+2) Traditional Embroidery
Poor (-2) Alcohol Tolerance.

1. Respect – kistêyihtamowin – ᑭᐢᑌᔨᐦᑕᒧᐃᐧᐣ
-- Cree Cultural Teachings


Chayton Pretty Ears -- He has copper skin, brown eyes, and long straight black hair with a short beard. His heritage includes Chippewa, Yakama, and Yankton Dakota Sioux. He speaks Dakota, English, Ojibwemowin (Chippewa or Ojibwe), and Sahaptin (Yakama). Chayton is the husband of Dr. Bena Pretty Ears. They have three daughters and three sons, along with four grandchildren. They live in Azure, Montana on the Rocky Boy's Reservation. Chayton is a skilled peer counselor, who provides private and group counseling as well as leading a number of support groups. He takes a more casual and naturalistic approach than his wife's analytical delving into the psyche. He has good wilderness skills and is an accomplished drummer. Unfortunately he also attracts swarms of mosquitoes.
Qualities: Master (+6) Gwekwaadziwin, Expert (+4) Peer Counseling, Expert (+4) Wisdom, Good (+2) Drummer, Good (+2) Wilderness Skills
Poor (-2) Mosquito Magnet

The Seven Teachings of the Ojibwe
HONESTY (Gwekwaadziwin):
To be HONEST to themselves. To live in the spirit of how they were created. Never to lie or gossip about one another.
Sahaptin Language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahaptin_language

* * *

See a map of Rocky Boy's Reservation in MontanaAzure is a town in the Bear Paw Mountains of the reservation.

Pretty Ears Private Counseling is located in a log cabin with a small parking lot.  Many customers pay for their counseling sessions by chopping and splitting firewood for the fire circle. Even children can participate by gathering tinder and kindling from the surrounding woods.  The walkout basement has its own door.  The deck on the front of the house has a grill for outdoor cooking.  The deck on the back of the house has a hot tub, porch swing, and several rocking chairs.  The a hot tub offers hydrotherapy and a porch swing provides motion therapy.

In the basement, the common room includes a sitting area with couches and easy chairs for family counseling or small group counseling, a play area for children, and an office nook to the left. The gray sofa opens out into a queen-size bed for the owners' adult children when they visit, or for clients who need emergency crash space.  This office nook includes a computer desk and cabinets, along with a table and chairs for older children or tweens.  The door to the group counseling room is in the upper right of the common room photo. This room also has the door to the outside. It has twelve chairs, twelve cushions in assorted colors, four round end tables, four floor lamps, a desk with a lamp, and a large wall clock.  The door to the children's counseling room is in the upper left of the common room photo.  This bathroom is accessible with an extended sink plus grab bars around the toilet and in the shower. A folding shower seat is stored under the sink. You can see that the switch for the dome light over the shower has been extended with red string almost all the way to the floor.

On the main floor, the stairs going up lead to the loft. Another set goes from thesitting room down to the basement, underneath the visible stairs. The sofa opens out into a queen-size bed for the owners' adult children when they visit, or for clients who need emergency crash space.  The sitting room looks toward the hearth.  Here is the view looking into the dining roomtoward the door, and toward the window.  The dining room has a spare high chair for babies.  In the private counseling nook, this futon folds down into a twin-sized bed for visiting grandchildren or clients in need of emergency crash space.  The kitchen includes a refrigerator and washer-dryer.  The master bedroom has a wolf theme, a cedar chest, and two windows.  It leads to the master bathroom.

The loft looks down on the sitting room.  Upstairs, this bedroom provides space for the owners' adult children when they visit, or for clients who need emergency crash space.  This is the upstairs counseling room.  The daybed has a trundle bed underneath, thus providing two twin beds for visiting grandchildren or clients in need of emergency crash space. Beyond the chair, not visible from this angle, is a rolltop desk with a locking cover.  The upstairs bathroom has a sink, toilet, and bathtub.

The log cabin is located on a ridge between two valleys. The cabin overlooks Bear Creek, a thriving trout stream. When people first arrived, the creek was in good shape, but then it was over-fished out of desperation. For decades afterward, it was nearly barren. Then in the 1990s, the tribe launched a major reclamation project, and now Bear Creek swarms with trout again. No fishing license is required within Rocky Boy's Reservation, but the tribe does set its own times that are permissible for fishing, based on natural cycles. In a good year the season is longer and the limits are absent or generous; in a bad year fishing is limited or forbidden. 

Behind the ridge from the cabin lies Wolf Creek, a shallow stream that parallels some of the hiking and horseback riding trails in the area.  This waterfall is named Wolf Lips for the way it resembles a side view of the snout of a snarling wolf.  Hiking trails cross the streams over bridges.  In winter they're barely visible.

This is the Starblanket family truck.

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