LFP is proud to announce the publication of Scapegoat, the first of several award-winning stories by Susan J. Kroupa set in Hopi Indian culture.
Kroupa lived and taught on the Hopi and Navajo reservations and studied Hopi language and history. During that time, she wrote freelance features for the Arizona Republic, High Country News, and American Forests on Hopi and environmental issues. In addition, she taped interviews with Hopi elders recounting some of the history and traditions of the people. Praised for their lyrical description of Hopi culture, compelling characters, and poignant storylines, these works offer a moving tribute to the enduring power of the human spirit.
Nine-year old Tiyo, the last member of the rainmaker clan in his village, has no memory of the great war, but he sees the aftermath in thirsty, drought-stricken land. Just as he used to see it etched on the face of his mother, before her strength slipped away like water soaking into sand. Devastated by her death, Tiyo now tends his uncle’s goat herd. When a doe gives birth to pure white kid, Tiyo cares for her and names her Nuva—Snow. Soon, Tiyo and Nuva are inseparable. But the drought worsens and the village chief tells Tiyo only one hope remains. A member of the rainmaker clan must fill a gourd from the sipapuni, the sacred pool where the world began, and beg Paloloqang, the water serpent to send rain. A dangerous quest in the best of times, but Tiyo can’t refuse to go when his people face starvation. And so, Tiyo and Nuva cross the great desert to the sacred pool, only to find it leads them into greater danger, to a valley of death, where Renegades, who prey on human flesh, guard the water. With the burden of his villagers’ fate resting upon him, Tiyo must find a way to fill the gourd. But will the cost be more than he can bear?
Originally published in Realms of Fantasy, Scapegoat tells a powerful coming of age story in a post-apocalyptic setting rich with insight into Hopi Indian culture and mythology.