Through the soles of my feet I feel the weight of the ore they’ve ripped from the soil. The heavy wheels tell me stories of machinery and guns, of steel and wealth created elsewhere.
Once this was our land; our herds could roam the land without restriction. Now every time I hear the train blow its whistle I travel with a heavy heart to the place where yet some of our animals are maimed by heavy wheels. I can only offer them the mercy of death. Reindeer have always walked these paths, and they don’t know the schedules of trains.
I couldn’t miss another week of Friday Fictioneers so today I’m entering later than I have been in a long time. The story is based on my vacation up north and a long talk I had with a woman of Sami origin. The train up in northernmost Sweden was built to transport Iron-ore from the mines in Kiruna to the harbor in Narvik (Norway), and every day there are many trains going west with yet more ore. The land it runs on has been the grazing land for reindeer for many many years. As reindeer in Sweden are kept as cattle, their paths cross the ways of the animals and many are killed or maimed.
Friday Fictioneers is a blogging community of bloggers from all around the world. The challenge is to write a 100 word story to the same picture. The community is run by railroad engineer Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and usually attract excellent stories.
April 11, 2015