|Run On Sentences, Comma Splices, and Fused Sentences
Directions: Punctuate the following sentences where necessary or combine independent clauses using a comma and a coordinating conjunction.
Fools Crow, if defined by Western conventions of time and place, is a narrative about several Indian tribes who once lived in the subhills of the Rocky Mountains of Montana in 1870, if, however, one describes the story in Blackfeet terms, it is the tale of life and death still being lived out in the memories of Indians living along the Backbone of the World (Rocky Mountains) below the Medicine Line (United States and Canadian border) immediately upon entering the novel, the reader is thrust into an unfamiliar place populated by unfamiliar tribes and strangely named characters, it is therefore useful to provide a guideline that identifies the major characters and locates the action of the plot.
Welch identifies the three major tribes of the Blackfeet nation on the first page the central and first named character, White Man’s Dog, contemplates the people who live to the north, south, and west of Chief Mountain: the Pikuni, the Kainahs, and the Siksikas, these groups are further divided into societies or clans such as the Lone Eaters among the many societies mentioned in Fools Crow are the All Crazy Dogs, the Raven Carriers, and the Tails.
White Man’s Dog is a Blackfeet and a member of the Lone Eater’s society and he refers to his enemies from rival tribes as: the Parted Hairs (Sioux) and the Entrails People (Gros Ventre) far to the north lies the land of the whiskey traders White Man’s Dog envies their “many-shots guns which could bring down five blackhorns with five shots the guns are repeater rifles and the blackhorns are bison, White Man’s Dog envies the traders for with such a gun, he could “bring his own luck”. The enormous irony is that the one’s whose weapons White Man’s Dog Desires are soon to be the Blackfeet’s greatest enemy the interloping whites are called many names and some of these names include: traders, soldiers, seizers, white faces, and bluecoats all of these groups constitute the enemy or Napikwans.
Characters and Animals
For almost half of the novel, the central character, whose birth name was Sinopa, is named White Man’s Dog he is given the name because as a child he was constantly seen with an old storyteller, Victory White Robe White Man’s Dog followed the old story teller around like a dog after he distinguishes himself as a warrior, he earns the name Fools Crow for he had fooled the Crow into losing their horses during a Pikuni raid.
Other major male characters are as follows: Rides-at-the-door, Fools Crow’s father; Running Fisher, Fools Crow’s handsome brother; Yellow Kidney, who is captured by the Crows; Boss Ribs, father of Fast Horse, a young warrior whose loud boasting results in Yellow Kidney’s capture; Owl Child, a Blackfeet who seeks bloody revenge against the Napikwans; Heavy Runner, Mountain Chief, and Three Bears, three chiefs who attempt to negotiate with the seizers; and Mikapi, the medicine man who tutors Fools Crow ad helps to initiate his quest.
The principal female characters are Double Strike Woman, Rides-at-the-door’s first wife and Fools Crow’s mother; Striped Face, Rides-at-the-door’s second wife; Kills-close-to-the-lake, Rides-at-the-door’s third wife; Heavy Shield Woman, wife of Yellow Kidney and leader of the Sun Dance ceremony; and Red Paint, Fools Crow’s wife.
In addition to the Blackfeet people, there is a strong supernatural presence in the book, one of these figures is Na’pi or Old Man, the creator of the trickster to whom White Man’s Dog prays for guidance however the most important figure from Blackfeet mythology is Scarface, also called Star Boy or Poia he is the legendary hero on whom Fools Crow is to some extent modeled both heroes go on a vision quest and both are rewarded with visions Scarface brings the Sun Dance ceremony back to the people, whereas Fools Crow gets to see the future by reading the skin presented to him by Feather Woman, mother of Poia however the stories are not identical Fools Crow is human and Poia is a supernatural being able to reach the Above Ones.
Cold Maker is a supernatural agent who figures prominently in the early raid on the Crow tribe he lives in the Always Winter Land in a dream he orders Fast Horse to remove a rock that has fallen across an ice spring the dream is not fulfilled although Yellow Kidney is suspicious of Fast Horse’s dream, he decides to continue the raid without obeying Cold Maker’s request the fingers missing from Fast Horse’s hand symbolize their loss by frostbite to Cold Maker.
Feather Woman is the fallen wife of the Morning Star, forced to leave the Above Ones (Sun and Moon) when she digs a forbidden turnip Fools Crow has great sympathy for Feather Woman. Many marvelous animals also appear in the story these animals intervene in human affairs, talk, tell jokes, suffer pain, and guide the hero on his quest Fools Crow is guided by numerous animals—his horse, a raven, a wolverine, and a puppy the strongest of these is Raven, who is intimate with Mikapi and serves as his messenger the other major animal is Skunk Bear or Wolverine this animal is Fools Crows tutelary spirit Fools Crow rescues Skunk bear twice, once in wake time and once in a vision for Welch talking animals were simply part of the belief system of the Blackfeet they are necessary to convey the notion of another reality.
Fools Crow is a novel meant to capture the lives of an entire people at a given stage of history much of the early action in the story involves the competition between the Pikunis and the Crow Welch describes in vivid detail the Lone Eaters raid on the Crows although the raid is successful, there are two setbacks: White Man’s Dog is forced to kill a young Crow boy to silence him and Yellow Kidney, leader of the raid, has disappeared, when the horse hunters return, Kills-close-to-the-lake unsuccessfully tempts White Man’s Dog to have sex with her he refuses in reality but later submits in a dream when she seduces his brother, Running Fisher, she is sent home to her father.
Eventually White Man’s Dog receives his new name, Fools Crow, at a ceremony in his honor he has married Red Paint and has achieved respectability the couple go on a journey together and Red Paint learns she has conceived on the journey Raven orders Fools Crow to kill an offensive Napikwan, who is suspected of lusting after Red Paint the killing of the Napikwan represents the killing of the monster in Western epic tradition
After Fools Crow tells the tribal council of his encounter with the Napikwan, the elders decide there will be no more killing of Napikwans with the passage of moons Fools Crow learns to accept the wisdom of the tribe and the medicine taught to him by Mikapi the final sections of the novel follow Fools Crow on his vision quest under the guidance of Wolverine after meeting Feather Woman in a dream vision, he gains the dreadful knowledge that his people will suffer disease and death his reward is knowing that the traditions can survive.