“My turn for remember game, okay with you?” Nina always listened to Alicia’s memories. This was the first time the roles were reversed. Alicia thought she knew all about Nina already, but as the girls neared the village, Nina talked about her prior life among her own people.
Masagawa was the closest kin Nina had, not counting her two brothers. Her father died working as a scout for the Portolá expedition. It was up to Nina to care for her grandma, Masagawa, as she got older. This responsibility numbered her days with Alicia. Nina shared stories, all of them new to Alicia.
“Mama die when I come.” Nina twisted a long strand of grass in her hands, biting off one end. “She leave Nina brothers.” She picked up two loose stones and tossed them against a tree trunk. “Grandma take me. Masagawa carry me and feed me sweet berries and honey. When I grow and stand, she give sage bundle and songs.” When Nina spoke of her grandmother, she smiled. She bent to pick up the tiniest frog and place it in the stream.
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