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The First Pioneer Woman's Saga

Pioneer women were a rare breed—brave, dedicated, good wives and mothers.

Pioneer Women and Children

Pioneer Women and Children

Eons ago, when rivers flowed clear and pure as a virgin's dream,

The first pioneers pushed through the dense forest to drink from beaver-dammed streams.

The times were hard and cruel as these brave people gave up more strength, security, and an easy family life,

As they traveled into the unknown with their few possessions in crudely built wooden wagons pulled by oxen through the muddy, insect-infested forest, some had to wonder if it was worth their strife.

They would stop before dark to review the rugged daily miles they had traveled,

The men would give short orders to their sons to water and feed the livestock, and the women would do their chores then start the cookpots—no time for nerves to become unraveled.

Wagon Train

Wagon Train

Romance did not travel with them in the sense of stolen glances, sweet words, or brief kisses—during the day,

It only appeared around the cookpots or campfires, but it was so brief and warm. Loving feelings did not stay.

Prearranged marriages became popular with our brave ancestors. When beginning their journey into a new environment,

Where wedding dresses, bridesmaids, and honeymoons were not—the daily requirements.

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Most brides were chosen for their strong backs—hard work would be theirs to endure,

A show of any love for them became a nightly function, which happened fast and was unsatisfying for the new wives; no romance could accrue.

The men, when sated, would roll over to sleep and dream of strong sons to be born from the best stud—a man,

To help with plowing, planting, and harvesting the promise land, he would always need an extra hand.

Their wagons were driven closely together for protection, more than friendship, for the frequent raids from the Indians proved deadly,

After the dead were buried—mostly the men—the wives and daughters were abandoned to drive the wagons, which became a medley.

Childbirth on the journey became dangerous, painful, and unmedicated.

A pioneer woman's fate depended on the midwife, who was medically dedicated.

Labor could last for days, and the other wagons moved on, leaving the woman in labor and the midwife all alone, and forlorn,

Maybe a few concerned husbands stayed behind, but mostly they were unconcerned until the baby was born.

It was rare that a pioneer woman felt the warmth of her husband's arms,

Wrapped around her as if she were cherished and not one of his charms.

The pioneer woman worked as hard as her husband outside, and then her chores inside; she was thought of as a second-class citizen, to be seen but not heard,

It was their fate to be silent, not to voice an opinion—not a single word.

A female child was a mother's responsibility to rear,

A male child is one to hold dear.

A daughter's only value to a father was to use her as leverage for a prosperous marriage.

Her father hoped she would be beautiful enough to ride in a richly drawn carriage.

Now isn't it time to praise the brave women of the past,

They plowed and planted the fields, and then, cooked all the meals so their families did not fast.

May God bless them all, and may a crown of rubies adorn their heads,

When Judgement Day removes them from their earthly beds.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Barbara Purvis Hunter

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