I wish I was 1 - I wish I was in the Wild West
I wish I was 1
I wish I was in the Wild West
It was early in the summer, when I stumbled over old books of my mother. The travel stories of Karl May, a German author, had been fascinating for me and so I started reading them again, immediately.
When I was a little girl, I’d been sneaking through the high grass, sneaking towards my enemies; invisible for the enemies and accompanied by my loyal Native American friends.
With time those memories faded and I forgot about them when I had to grow up. My careful motions, the passion for outdoors and camping stayed though. So it was my plan to go into the “wild” for a camping trip again this weekend, without relying on any form of luxury of our daily gadgets.
My name is Elisabeth Hofmann, at that time I was twenty two years old and quite adventurous. Normally I’d call myself normal, as far as a karate champion can be counted as normal, but besides that, I was a normal human being, with normal hobbies, normal friends and a normal life. After all, these days there are lots of people doing some sort of martial arts as a hobby, such as karate, judo or kickboxing. Starting in the age of fifteen I had already achieved a black belt in karate and a white belt in Capoeira, which is equally levelled to the black belt in most other martial arts.
I had a weekly training plan with training in a dojo, tournaments and sometimes even workshops. With a shake of my head I brought my thoughts away from martial arts and back to my equipment and checked it, as I drifted of into a different direction, back into my childhood. Our expeditions in the garden, our campaigns against the made-up enemies, our self made bow and arrows…
With another sigh I pushed those memories aside, it didn’t make any difference now. I was an adult, you should at least think so, and I had to concentrate on my future, instead of regretting and dreaming about my past. Besides I never really lost my fantasy and playing, since what else was a camping trip, if not pretending to be a Native American?
On Friday afternoon it was time to leave. After switching off my phone, I packed in case of an emergency, I also packed my equipment and a bunch of Karl May books, I put on my hiking boots and a coat, locked my apartment and walked off into the so-called wild. Unfortunately my “wild” was only a small mountain close to my flat, but it had its use.
Usually I would go camping on my own, not only to enjoy nature, but also to escape the everyday stress and to concentrate on my long forgotten human instincts. Most of the time a group-camping-trip ended with too much alcohol and a party. That’s why I went camping on my own.
After a few hours of walking, I finally reached the protected Plato that I liked to use for my camping trips and looked around. Around the Plato stood high trees that protected me from wind, a little from the rain, that came from time to time, even if the weather forecast had been good, and from curious views of other people. Skilfully I built up my tent, secured it with tent pegs and put the rest of my equipment in. After that I went looking for wood, stones and twigs to make a little fire like a Native American.
After dinner I sat down at the fire with a book I had started at home and started to devour the words. As the sun had set and I could hardly see anything, I poured some water over the fire and went to sleep in my sleeping bag.
“I wish I was in the Wild West of Winnetou and Old Shatterhand!” I thought before I closed my eyes and dived off into the world of dreams.
When I opened my eyes I wasn’t in my sleeping bag and my tent was gone as well. Confused I looked around and found myself in the shade of an old tree, surrounded by high grass, brushwood and nothing as far as I could see. Far from where I was, I could see some mountains at the horizon and I heard a river not so far away. Now I was certain that I wasn’t at home anymore.
With a puzzled shake of my head, I stood up and packed the few things I still had in my backpack and walked off in direction of the river. Where ever I was, I had to survive and my first rule for surviving was, to find water. The stream of the river, swoosh of the waves and the rapids seemed to call me and made it easy for me to find the river. Carefully I made my way through the knee high grass, while I curiously looked around.
As far as I could see, there was nobody around, so I quickly took off my clothes and shoes and hid my things under a stone. Only in underwear I knelt down in the cold water and washed myself, not only to get clean, but also to accustom my scent to my new surroundings. I quickly returned to my things and lay down on the ground, hidden in the grass, but close to my things and let the sun dry my body.
I still didn’t know where I actually was or how I got here, so I dressed myself and packed the rest of my things back into my backpack. With a sigh I checked my water bottles and headed off along the river, since I didn’t have another goal.
Carefully listening, I walked upstream and soon discovered prints on the sandy ground. Immediately I ducked down to have a closer look at the prints, something that couldn’t be called successful. It was a man, based on the size of the feet; he had a profile, if you’d take it, I’d never seen before. Somehow they reminded me of Native American tracks… But that was ridiculous of course, since Native American people had been distinct ages ago.
There were also prints of hooves. Within a few seconds I felt like a child again, searching for footprints in the garden and tried to follow them. The prints I had found couldn’t be too old, since the edges were still sharp and clear.
Alarmed I dropped to the ground and followed the prints for a bit, I had to find out whether the rider was a danger or not. Anyway, he might be able to tell me where I was. As quietly as I could, I followed the prints through the high grass and almost crawled against a dark brown horse that was looking at me with clever eyes. “Oh shit!” I whispered and crawled backwards, the same way I had come. But the animal followed!
„I don’t mean any harm; I only wanted to know who was riding there! Clever horsey, I’m not going to hurt you!” I protested as it touched me with its nose. With a sigh I stood up and let the horse snuffle, before I gently pet it.
In the twenty two years of my life I had seen lots of horses, had been riding on a few of them. But despite my inexperience I could tell that this horse was the most beautiful and graceful animal I had ever seen!
"If a horse is able to follow me, I’m sure I can stop crawling and walk properly again, my crawling isn’t good anyway, am I right?” I said with a sigh, “I’m sure your owner found me already as well!” The clever animal nodded and looked over my shoulder.
Confused I turned around and saw into the dark eyes of a tall male. His blue shimmering black hair fell openly over his shoulders and back, his skin was neither as white as the skin of Europeans, nor as dark as the African’s, it had a reddish brown colour and his facial expressions were serious and his mouth silent. It seemed like ages, when he stared at me and I didn’t dare to say something. I could be wrong, but the man in front of me had a remarkable resemblance to Pierre Brice from the Winnetou movies!
“What is a white squaw doing in the prairie on her own?” he finally said and looked at my clothes from my toes to the top of my head, but didn’t say anything about it. “I’d like to know that as well. Where exactly is this prairie exactly?” I asked. “This is the land of the Mescalero Apaches.” He said confused, “So what is the white squaw doing here?” “I guess you could say I got lost. So this is Indian territory?” I asked curiously, although I wasn’t sure how I’d gotten into this territory, especially since progress had devoured the Native American’s way of life.
The man only nodded. Now I dared to look at him more closely, he wore leather moccasins, brown leather trousers with fringes on the sides and a leather shirt with white, blue and red embroidery. Around his head he wore a brown leather band with black designs on; around his neck he had a black necklace with feathers, from his belt hung a knife, a tomahawk and a few little bags. “You are Winnetou?” I asked carefully and looked at him.
Even more surprised he nodded. “My name is Elisabeth, but Winnetou should call me Ella, please.” He nodded again, “Where does Ella come from? I have never heard a name like this.” “I’m from Germany.” I said and was wondering if he know Old Shatterhand already. “My white brother originally comes from your land as well.” He said calm, but I realised that he didn’t know what to think about me. “Old Shatterhand? I’ve heard a lot about him!” I called out happily.