December 19, 2008 Hi Everybody! We just returned from the Western Bison Association meetings in Ogden, Utah, where we had a great time with old and dear friends. There’s something special about people who love animals, and we’ve found this to be nowhere more true than with people who care for buffalo. Probably because associating with untamed animals like buffalo rubs off and creates wild human characters. We also had the pleasure of spending five days looking at some of the most beautiful buffalo in the world. Our three-year old bull, Clovis (yeah, like the paleo-Indian culture), won Grand Champion male, which was a delightful surprise. Our next buffalo conference will be the National Bison Association meetings in Denver in January–that’s like the Superbowl of the buffalo world. We’ll let you know how Folsom (yeah, yeah, okay), Snowy Girl, and Chickadee, fare with the judges. On the book front, we’re having fun working on People of the Longhouse, the Iroquois book set in A.D. 1425. For those who’ve asked, yes, you will find some familiar references from People of the Masks–about the False Face Child, and great heroes like Rumbler and Little Wren. People of the Longhouse deals with the warfare and strife that led the Iroquois to form the first Confederacy, one of the truly monumental moments in American prehistory, and follows the lives of four children who’ve been captured as slaves by enemy warriors. An inside clue here, one of those children will grow up to be called the “Heavenly Messenger,” and will plant the Tree of Peace. But you won’t find out which child until People of the Forests! We like to keep you guessing… People of La Florida, about the De Soto expedition, is almost finished. This morning, our heroes Black Shell and Pearl Hand are squarely in the middle of Napetuca–the horrific battle that turned the tide for the Native peoples. By ‘turned the tide’ we don’t mean they won. They lost big time. But the horror created such a backlash that De Soto would not have long to enjoy his victory. We have so many amazing Native heroes in our history, and in the case of De Soto, they were fighting true evil. And to those who’ve asked about our first childrens’ book, Children of the Dawnland will be out in July of 2009. We just saw the final cover, and it’s wonderful. Well, we’re off to go break the ice out of the water tanks for the buffalo. Our high today was five degrees below zero. The only people happy about that are the buffalo, they’ve been running and playing all day. Happy holidays to all! Mike and Kathy