By the time I got to the Folk Fest, the sun had dropped from the sky. I drove around the campground, dodging wayward hippies, until I found Rita and Gunnar’s site. When we were all sitting by the fire, I passed the bannock around and showed Rita my moccasins.
“Wow,” she said. “Those are ceremonial moccasins. Where did you get them?” I told her about the yard sale, and wondered what she was thinking. Rita is native, and an activist for Indigenous rights. So I felt sort of defensive, as though I’d stolen the moccasins or something. But she only smiled and raised her eyebrows a little.
I pulled my sandals off to try them on. As soon as I put my foot in, I felt a sharp, stinging pain on the arch of my foot. Ouch! It was a wasp …
Leslie Alexander is a writer, musician, and nurse who grew up on an Alberta sheep farm and couldn’t wait to hit the road, make a bunch of mistakes, and write about them. She wound up singing on a Vancouver street corner for spare change and does not consider this a mistake. She has since travelled across North America performing original songs from her four independent CD releases, collecting stories along the way (www.lesliealexander.com).