Two Little Savages
By Ernest Thompson Seton
Public Domain Books
Yan, though not strong, revelled in deeds of brawn. He would rather have been Samson than Moses–Hercules than Apollo. All his tastes inclined him to wild life. Each year when the spring came, he felt the inborn impulse to up and away. He was stirred through and through when the first Crow, in early March, came barking over-head. But it fairly boiled in his blood when the Wild Geese, in long, double, arrow-headed procession, went clanging northward. He longed to go with them. Whenever a new bird or beast appeared, he had a singular prickling feeling up his spine and his back as though he had a mane that was standing up. This feeling strengthened with his strength.
All of his schoolmates used to say that they “liked” the spring, some of the girls would even say that they “dearly loved” the spring, but they could not understand the madness that blazed in Yan’s eyes when springtime really came–the flush of cheek–the shortening breath–the restless craving for action–the chafing with flashes of rebellion at school restraints–the overflow of nervous energy–the bloodthirst in his blood–the hankering to run–to run to the north, when the springtime tokens bugled to his every sense.
Then the wind and sky and ground were full of thrill. There was clamour everywhere, but never a word. There was stirring within and without. There was incentive in the yelping of the Wild Geese; but it was only tumult, for he could not understand why he was so stirred. There were voices that he could not hear–messages that he could not read; all was confusion of tongues. He longed only to get away.
“If only I could get away. If–if–Oh, God!” he stammered in torment of inexpression, and then would gasp and fling himself down on some bank, and bite the twigs that chanced within reach and tremble and wonder at himself.
Only one thing kept him from some mad and suicidal move–from joining some roving Indian band up north, or gypsies nearer–and that was the strong hand at home.