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The Origin of Strawberries

(In Charles Frazier's novel, Thirteen Moons, the wise Cherokee chief by the name of Bear shares this story, as related by the narrator, Will Cooper...)

But when I tried to put what I had taken from his stories into an overall theory of fearlessness, Bear was uninterested in abstract experessions of life truths. He only responded by telling another story, The Origin of Strawberries. A man and a woman fall in love, which is always a good start. Then, of course, they quarrel bitterly. The woman flees from him. The man follows behind. So it is also one of the good stories of journeys and trails. Various things happen, but the man makes no headway against her flight. Then, taking pity on the man's yearning and despair, the Sun creates little green spring plants with crimped heart-shaped leaves and red heart-shaped berries and casts them in the woman's path. She picks the berries and eats a few, and their sweetness and their stains on her fingers and lips remind her of love and desire. She picks all that she can carry, and the strawberries bleed in her cupped hands. She turns back on the trail and begins traveling retrograde to her anger. She meets the man and holds the red berries out to him. He eats one, and together they follow the road home.

- Charles Frazier, Thirteen Moons (Random House, 2006), pp. 86-87.
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