This essay was a runner-up in our first Cree Nation Youth Essay Contest. November 18, 1994 (Vol. 1, No. 23)

In English class recently, we read a story by W.R Kinsella, called “Strings.”The main character, Ellsworth, reminds me of mycousin-I’ll call him George-who lives in another Cree community. George always bosses me around.

One time he came here to Wemindji and he lived at our Aunt Minnie’s house. I went out to get him and we walked around the town. Then we went to the store and he wanted me to steal some pop and put it in my pocket. Instead of stealing, I decided to pay.

Then he said, “Clifford, buy me some chocolate.” So I bought him a chocolate bar.

When it was time for supper and I wanted to go home, he said, “Please, don’t go home,” and he forced me to eat at our aunt’s house, and so I did and he was happy. After we ate supper, he wanted me to stay over. I couldn’t believe it. He’d been here for just one day, and already he was bossing me around.

In the night time he always wanted to break something-to get in trouble. And he always wanted to fight someone who was mean and tough. He wouldn’t quit until he got beaten real bad. And he was always calling girls-even though they didn’t like him.

One time George and I went fishing at a special place. When we got there, we saw some fish in the water. There were about 20 of them. While he was trying to catch them, we heard some people talking in the bush and then we saw a dog running towards us.

We had a twenty-two rifle and George took it and he aimed it at the dog and he shot the dog. Then we heard people running towards us and we ran away and they didn’t see us. We felt tired and lazy. I didn’t believe that he killed the dog. We kept running until George fell down in a lake and we lost the rifle in the water.

When we went home, we were in trouble because of the rifle.

It was our cousin Rodney’s rifle. I went home and they sent me to bed. The next day George left.