Friday, July 22, 2022

Class 12 Optional English Note || Summary of This is a Story by Jeannette Christine Armstrong || Fiction || Short Story

Lesson: 3

Class 12 Optional English Note || Summary of This is a Story by Jeannette Christine Armstrong || Fiction || Short Story

This is a Story by Jeannette Christine Armstrong


Place: Okanagan (British Columbian State)

Time: colonial period


Kyoti (personification of Coyote, a north American wild animal of the dog family)


colonization, migration, dream vs reality, tradition vs change


'This a Story' by Jeannette Christine Armstrong is about colonization and loss of the Okanagan culture after the arrival of the Swallow people (colonizers). The story revolves around Kyoti, a native of the Okanagan and the dams built by the swallows. Kyoti used to bring salmon to the Okanagan people and leave them at the people’s villages. They were his favorite people. Salmon symbolizes life and existence of the Okanagan people.

After waking up from an unusual nap, Kyoti wanted to visit the people in the Okanagan. While walking along upstream, he noticed a lot of new things. There were a lot of swallow people and they had houses everywhere. He didn’t find any Okanagan people. Kyoti came to a huge dam across the river at Grand Coulee. He had no idea what it might be.

Kyoti saw another dam at Chief Joseph. Two people were fishing there. He went up to them and waited for a greeting and some respect. One of them tried to speak the swallow language. He was sure that they couldn’t understand the language of the Okanagan people. These people told him that they were Indians.

Kyoti went to Nespelum where he found that people used words in swallow, lived in swallow houses and ate swallow food. He asked one person who could speak the Okanagan language properly was a very old woman. She was from an old headman family. She recognized Kyoti. She said that the swallows came and did lots of worse things. She kept on crying. She cried for a long time to express her bitter experience she had after the Swallows built the dams, and for Kyoti didn't come back to Okanagan. She suggested him to meet their headman, Tommy.

Kyoti continued on up the river stopping at each village. He knew that the people had moved into Swallow homes. They were easy to find because they looked more different than the way swallows kept their houses. People were sick after they consumed Swallow food. Even Kyoti himself was pretty sick and gaunt from eating stuff that didn't taste or look like food. For him the fresh salmon was real food. The headmen suggested Kyoti to get out of Okanagan. He also said that they wanted to get money and have jobs for survival, and couldn't go back to old times. They needed the Swallows.

Kyoti met a young man who was looking after the river during Salmon-run time though there were no salmons. He understood the native language and greeted Kyoti. His father and grandfather were once the Salmon Chiefs. The boy dreamt of clean water and salmons, but in reality, there were no salmons. Finally, Kyoti knocked at Tommy's door, and invited all Okanagan people to break the dams so that they could reestablish the salmon migration and save the people of Okanagan.

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