The Salt Rocks Land
Ziemia Słonych Skał
The story begins on a cold winter day. It is the fifth birthday of the youngest son of a Canadian Indian tribe`s chief. The boy has no name yet. A name must be
earned. It`s Nanan-cisa day, the day when a little boy has to leave his parents` wigwam and go to the Young Wolves camp. From then on, it is there that
he shall live and learn and earn himself a name. The little one is both afraid and eager to start on his long journey to manhood. On the way to the camp he
does not cry, because men must not cry, but he is awfully glad and relieved when his big dog Tauha catches up with them, clearly bent on going together
with the little master. The nameless boy doesn`t know yet that when some years will have passed he will get himself his name thanks to trying to save his
A wonderful book, this one is! Adventure, childish joys and childish sorrows, triumph and defeat, play and responsibility, beautiful nature... No, not
"love of nature"! Being a part of nature, rather... And some authentic Indian poetry, too. Because this is not fiction, but reminiscences
(surpassing many works of fiction, I might as well add) of Sat-Okh (Long Quill), the youngest son of High Eagle, the chief of the last of free Indian
tribes, and a Polish exile Stanislawa Suplatowich - White Cloud, as the tribe named her. In 1936 White Cloud learned (a trapper told her) about her mother
country having regained independence, and so she went to Poland, taking her youngest son with her. The tribe was still free then. Not for much longer, though. And in
1939, just when White Cloud and her son were about to return to Canada, the World War II started. Sat-Okh, as "one of not pure race", was
arrested by the Nazis. He was imprisoned, and later he was sent to Oświęcim (Auschwitz) concentration camp to be "liquidated", but he managed to escape. He survived, yet he never managed to come back to his homeland. He became a writer. "Salt Rocks Land" is one of the books he wrote for children.
Written in Polish more than half a century ago, the book has been translated into many languages, but it is well worth translating anew. It IS exceptional!