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 doesn’t 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 we’ll think he’s handsome, for he appears
with green eyes, copper skin, a mouth tender as a child’s. 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. You’re 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. He’s made of gold. He’s made of beach moss. He’s a
thing of dry foam, a thing of death by drowning, the death a Chippewa cannot
survive." Fleur’s lifestyle is among one of the many topics of their
discussions surrounding her. The people on the reservation don’t 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 she’d keep to herself, live quiet, stop killing men off by
drowning in the lake. After the first time, we thought she’d 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 women’s 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 didn’t usually play cards with the