"I dedicate this book to my beloved part-Algonquin mother, Rita Dunn Clark, who died bravely in the course of its writing, and to Joe Bruchac, the real-life Abnaki storyteller and cultural historian. Thanks, Mom and Joe, two of the great teachers I've been blessed to know in my time. I thank my husband, John Crawford, for his unfailing support. Caroline Meyer cheered me through the start to finish, and found on the Internet the phases of the moon in Weetamoo's time. My brother Mike and his family, Denise, Shaula, and Max Clark, took me on my first trip to Plimoth Plantation, where we watched the wild swans wing over, and the book began to take shape in my head. my brother Jim is in my heart always, and knows so much of what's in this book. My son Caleb accompanied me and interpreted maps on that day we poked around the Middleborough woods; my son Josh gave me the quiet retreat of his Seattle house, where I finished Weetamoo's birchbark drawings. I owe my neighbors John and Judy Mocho: she, for our calming nightly walks and talks; and he, for his techno-rescue of the manuscript. Michael RunningWolf gave generously of his ongoing wisdom and dial-a-scholar knowledge about colonial firearms and many other topics. Edith Andrews, also named Weetamoo, of the Aquinnah Wampanoag, has given generously of her wisdom to make this a more accurate account of her ancestors' lives. Susan Cohen of Writers House is not only the agent of my dreams, but fortunately of my waking life as well. Sonia Black, your patience and sensitivity through the course of editing this book have sustained me in such great measure.
Wehlalen: Thanks to you all."
"Neepunna Keeswosh Moon When Corn Is Ripe [Late August, 1653] Mettapoiset He [Father] laid his hand gently on my shoulder and told me that if I, Weetamoo, am to become sachem of us Pocassets after him, and prove a good leader, I must learn to walk more carefully through the world. I shook my hair out of my eyes and stared up at him in surprise. I said he surely could not mean that I was poor at tracking game or at passing unseen through the woods. He knows I can follow almost any trail, and he has seen for himself how I can edge my way near enough to a doe and her pair of speckled fawns to hear their three separate breaths. Did he not teach me all these skills himself, I spluttered, and was I not better at it than any boy or girl in our village?"