Fleur By Latina Blacknall

“Fleur” a story written by Louise Endrich is a tale about a young Chippewa
Indian woman who is feared by all the people that live on her reservation,
Argus. They believed that she has been cursed by the water monster of Lake
Turcot who seeks her life for his own. Her general lifestyle is an awe to them
because she lives outside of traditional ways. She stirs things up with her
uncanny luck and the circumstances that surround her. I believe this is a good
story because I like the way that Fleur did things in her own way, she never let
the people dictate her life. The story begins with Fleur being rescued from Lake
Turcot after her boat capsizes and she goes down into the water. The two men
attempt to rescue her and shortly after they succeed their lives are
mysteriously taken. The second time that Fleur almost drowns in the lake a
similar scenario occurs and it is then believed that every man that saves Fleur
from the lake will replace her station in death. This causes the people of the
town to be very suspicious and weary of her. Everyone pretty much steers clear
of her just because she is a little different from them. They are too afraid to
try to understand her and get to know her. Fleur lives the life of a very modest
person, but she is hard working and strong. Despite the towns fear of her she
continues to live and do things as normal as she can. She really doesnt have
many friends or any family so she spends most of her time at the butchery where
she works. She helps cut and load meat for the Kozka family and while there she
is able to mingle with some of the citizens in the town. She resides in an
unused smokehouse behind the butchery where she worked and owned pretty much
just the clothes on her back. Despite her apparent poverty she is very beautiful
and the men all look at her in awe. However, even though she is very wonderfully
attractive, the men of the town are too afraid of her and the curse to attempt
to date her. She lives most of her life alone which is unusual for women of her
age. I respect Fleur because she was never bothered by the fact that she lived
alone she acted as if her life was as full as she needed it to be. The people of
the town however did not believe that she was alone. The unusual events that
occurred with Fleur and the lake made people believe that her hand had already
been spoken for. Misshepeshu, the water monster of Lake Turcot had already
claimed her. This water monster was a well-known myth of the people living in
Argus. “Our mothers warn us that well think hes handsome, for he appears
with green eyes, copper skin, a mouth tender as a childs. But if you fall
into his arms, he sprouts horns, fangs, claws, fins. His feet are joined as one
and his skin, brass scales, rings to the touch. Youre fascinated , cannot
move. He casts a shell necklace at your feet, weeps gleaming chips that harden
into mica on your breasts. He holds you under. Then he takes the body of a lion
or a fat brown worm. Hes made of gold. Hes made of beach moss. Hes a
thing of dry foam, a thing of death by drowning, the death a Chippewa cannot
survive.” Fleurs lifestyle is among one of the many topics of their
discussions surrounding her. The people on the reservation dont agree with
the way that Fleur lives. She does many things that would not be deemed as
honorable by the traditional thinking of the people of Argus. “After the first
time, we thought shed keep to herself, live quiet, stop killing men off by
drowning in the lake. After the first time, we thought shed keep the good
ways. But then, after the second drowning, we knew we were dealing with
something much more serious. She was haywire, out of control. She messed with
evil, laughed at the old womens advice, and dressed like a man.” Fleur was
a mystery to the people. Her arrival gave them something to talk about,
something to gossip on to make the day pass by. They were especially amazed by
her card playing abilities. Women didnt usually play cards with the men so
they were pretty stunned when she invited herself into a poker game with a few
of the men who she worked with. After sometime the men got used to Fleur and
continued to let her play. Another interesting contribution to her luck is that
each game she started with one dollar and ended up with one dollar. The
coincidence of her luck and the mysteriousness of her nature made her a very
interesting character. To finish up the amazing coincidents surrounding Fleur, a
huge tornado comes and almost destroys the town. Fleurs last furry was caused
by her being attacked by three men who were sour over a lost a sum of money in a
poker game. These three men were found frozen in the meat freezer at Kozkas
butchery. Is this just a freak occurrence or does Fleur hold some power that
allows her to reek her vengeance upon those that do her wrong? Maybe. I believe
that she does. The cosmic forces of the earth are truly a mystery and those that
have the power to control it is conceivably an enigma also. I really like the
end when Fleur goes off to live on the lake and gives birth to a child with
green eyes and a dark coppery skin complection. It leaves you wondering what
would happen next and allows you to create your own ending. I believe that Fleur
lives a happy life with her daughter and now she has someone to love and love
her back. The interesting circumstances that surround Fleur and the lake is a
mystery to all. Indeed she may have been cursed by the water monster of Lake
Turcot because every time she went out on the lake she found herself almost
being drowned, and the ones who saved her life eventually wound up taking her
place. I think there is tremendous irony in a situation when people try to save
others but really need to save themselves. Fleur Pillager is a very interesting
character in this story. I like her because she is strong, willed and determined
to live her life how she wants to. She never listened to the gossip about her
and let it get her down. I liked the fact that no one could quite understand
Fleur. She represented a puzzle that no one could solve, no one was meant to. No
one really knew where she came from, they just know that she appeared and with
her presence they knew that their lives would be changed forever.

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