Loa took a closer look at the copper piece. It was a coin, and it looked new. On one side there was a picture of a queen ‒ not Queen Victoria ‒ and on the other, two maple leaves and a date. To Loa’s amazement, the coin read 1987!
If she and Tipler managed to make it back to 1870, Loa would let Alan know about the Village. Together, they would take a closer look at the land all around their farm!
Loa and Tipler were getting hungry. They followed the creek north to the woods. There, Loa gathered cranberries, and Tipler chased something tasty in a clearing. Loa sat down and started to think about what she’d just seen while Tipler fell asleep at her feet. Were they ever going to make it back to her time?
Stiff from having slept on the ground, Loa woke up slowly as Tipler licked her face with enthusiasm. She heard a rustling sound from behind the bushes.
A boy ‒ about Loa’s age ‒ stepped forward. Tipler jumped straight into his arms and both fell to the ground. The boy called Tipler by a strange name. It seemed that they knew each other well!
“Is it 1987?”, Loa asked. The boy looked at her strangely, and didn’t answer. Suddenly, she realized that he wasn’t dressed like the others she had just seen. He wasn’t dressed like her either, and it didn’t seem that he spoke English.
Not knowing exactly what to do next, she picked up a stick and drew, in the dirt, the cave with shiny, silver stalactites. He took the stick and drew a picture of himself inside turning round and round.
Suddenly, they both realized they were on the same journey: she, from 1870, and he from well before. They laughed and taught each other to say their names. She learned that he called himself Tigneny (which she gathered meant Two or Second) and he learned that her name was Loa (which she said meant Spring Bird).
She also realized that Tipler belonged to Tigneny and that the two had become separated on one of their journeys through time.
Loa drew a picture of Tipler. Tigneny added a village on one side and what appeared to be the sky ‒ or the heavens ‒ on the other. Loa was starting to understand that Tipler was more than a pet. He was there to guide Tigneny…to show him the way.
Tigneny started picking plants from the forest. He added several handfuls of hemlock bark and wrapped everything in an animal skin that had been tucked under his colourful belt. He asked Tipler to follow, and touched Loa’s hand lightly so she would know she was welcome.
In the cave, Tigneny bowed his head. Tipler followed, giving Loa a quick paw before settling down next to Tigneny. Loa sat in silence. Not a word was uttered. Everyone longed to go home. The cave turned around, faster and faster. Tigneny and Tipler thought their thoughts; Loa turned her mind to her family farm. She thought of her parents, of Alan, of her four sisters…Sophie, Ellen, Catherine, and Laura.
It was Loa’s turn now to show Tigneny the way. She knew where they were by the tent and the thin man she saw in the distance. Mr. W. looked tired ‒ almost older ‒ but he was happy to see them.
Tigneny seemed apprehensive. Mr. W. knew from his research and readings that Tigneny and his people had never met any Europeans…that they lived during a pre-Contact period.
Notes: Historians and archaeologists now know that the First Nations encountered by Jacques Cartier in Hochelaga, in 1535, were members of the St. Lawrence Iroquoians. When Étienne Brûlé and Samuel de Champlain explored the St. Lawrence River in 1610-11, they met other First Nations. How did the St. Lawrence Iroquoians disappear? Did they lose a war to other First Nations or did they just move to join other tribes? No one knows.
Photo: Jacques Cartier, His First Interview with the Indians at Hochelaga now Montreal in 1535. Artist: Napoleon Sarony after Andrew Morris, National Archives of Canada