What Pegman Saw – An Educated Wife

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. Using the location provided, you must write a piece of flash fiction of no more than 150 words. You can read the rules here. You can find today’s location on this page,  from where you can also get the Inlinkz code. This week’s prompt is the north coast of Finland.

The last indigenous people of Europe, the Sami, live here and in the north of Norway, Sweden and Russia, and have done from time immemorial.

WPS - An Educated Wife 180203

WPS - Sami flag 180203

The Sami flag

An Educated Wife

“I wish you weren’t going to Kautokeino to study, Suoinná.”

Suoinná looked up at fiancé Gábe with a smile. ”Look at Njáveš! Already walking and not one year old!” She held out her hands; her tiny niece took three wobbly steps and sat down. Both girls laughed.

“Let’s not wait to get married; let’s marry next Easter. Then you can be with me as a reindeer herder. My co-operative have agreed to train me as a helicopter pilot to round up our beasts.”

“Oh, Gábe, that’s great news!” Suoinná popped Njáveš into the playpen, and hugged Gábe.

“So – you’ll marry me at Easter?”

Suoinná drew away.

“Gábe, I’m going to study. I shall learn how to share our songs with foreigners to teach them about the Sami people.”

“So – you won’t marry me?”

Suoinná regarded him with exasperation.

“That depends entirely on whether or not you want an educated wife!”

26 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw – An Educated Wife

  1. In doing research for my own story, the Sami are an interesting and complex people and just like many other indigenous populations, they’ve suffered significant discrimination. I’m glad you chose to reveal a little about them in your tale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear James
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      I came across the Sami people some years ago when I heard a programme about their music. As you say, they are an interesting and complex people, and I was glad of the chance to learn more about them for this story. You’re right that they’ve suffered significant discrimination in the past, but I got the feeling that Norway and Sweden, and to a lesser extent, Finland, were now making an effort to give them appropriate representation. It would seem that they have lived in Sapmi (their traditional lands, extending over four countries) for nearly 10,000 years.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Alicia
      Thank you for reading and commenting. How interesting that your husband is Norwegian, with a link to Sapmi (I understand that many Sami dislike the names Lapland and Lapps). I’m glad you liked where I took the story. It was prompted by a radio programme I heard some years ago where a young Sami woman was talking about yoik (Sami traditional song).
      I’m afraid I hardly ever go to the movies, and I haven’t seen The Eagle Huntress, but I’m glad you saw Suoinná as strong.
      With best wishes
      Penny

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      • We rarely go to the movies, either. The Eagle Huntress showed at our local self-owned theater. The movie is a documentary about a young Mongolian woman who crosses the border that stipulates only men can hunt with eagles. Her mother and father approve of what she wants to do, as does her grandfather ~ a well-established eagle hunter. The girl’s father takes her out to capture a young eagle, helps her train the bird and accompanies her to a competition of eagle hunters. You must rent the movie to find out what happens. The photography is spectacular and family pride illuminates the screen. It truly is a must-see.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Josh
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed my story about the Sami. One of the sources I was researching observed that among the 10% of Sami who still work as reindeer-herders, the women had more qualifications.
      With best wishes
      Penny

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    • Dear Karen
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Suoinná and Gábe are still working out the dynamics of their partnership, and they’re taking up ‘rigid’ positions – as you do, at their age! They’ve got some serious talking to do!
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Everybody should get the opportunity to get educated. The way, what people think about education is still very different.
    He does not want an educated woman?
    For us it is probably the other way around, nobody wants uneducated women. I think that’s a statement too and can be a reason to refuse a marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear anie
      Thank you for reading and commenting. It’s not really about the level of education, is it?
      Kautokeino is a long way from where Gábe is living and working. He doesn’t want to be separated from Suoinná for three years, and he’s afraid she will find the ‘big city’ too attractive, so he’ll lose her altogether.
      With best wishes
      Penny

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  3. Gabe, for goodness sake, tell Suoinná you’ll wait for her! Tell her you’ll use the helicopter to fly to Kautokeino and visit her. Suoinná, kiss him, tell him you love him, and stay strong.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. well it sounds like there is good communication from the start, and the ability to put boundaries in place – which suggests to me that they will end up in healthy relationships even if not with each other (although I found myself having Gabe saying, “yes, yes, I do honey – how can I support you. Let’s do this…” ha

    and a turn in the story came for me with the word helicopter. Up until that point I was feeling the history, still feeling the vibrant colors of the Sami flag, the nice accented words ((and wondering what kind of advanced keyboard you use… – “Njáveš” and “Gábe”)) and then reindeer herder was fitting – but that one word – helicopter for rounding up – brought it into modern times and really gave it depth as to why our educated wife aims to keep this heritage alive and shared.

    side note – dated a guy who was getting lots of helicopter hours – he noted they were worth more than airplane hours

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Prior
      Thank you for reading, and for your detailed comments. I was surprised by the helicopter, too, when I came across it in my research for the story. I was also surprised by the flag, which is quite recent – late twentieth century. Although I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised; the Sami are a people, not a nation. For a long time they were mistreated by the Scandinavian nations in which their traditional lands lie. There is some move to strengthen their position, and they have representative bodies, but like all indigenous people they struggle to hold things that should be theirs by right.
      As regards ‘advanced keyboard’ – the accents in this story were produced in Word with a standard keyboard. In Word, on the top menu bar the third from the left option is ‘insert’. Clicking this opens the insert ribbon, and on the extreme right of that is the command ‘symbol’. Open that and you can – rather laboriously – insert accents. It’s easier on an ipad. Simply press the key for a second or so and a range of options opens, and you just select the one you want. I hope this helps!
      BTW I noticed that in the comments to your Friday Fictioneers story, somebody addressed you as ‘Yvette’. Do you mind if I call you that? It feels friendlier than prior, somehow!

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  5. I love the relationship you depict here, with him wanting her to stay, to support him and her wanting to be educated, to go out and strive for herself, and all against the backdrop of a familysetting. I can feel the research that went into this, though it comes through softly in the story, not forced. Loved the dialogue, Penny, and the yearning from both characters to be together but also fulfill their own futures, Lovely

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lynn
      Thank you for reading and for your generous comments. I first heard of the Sami some years ago, in the context of their music; a young Sami woman was talking on Radio 3 about the yoik, which is a traditional Sami song. They seem to be a fascinating people who are succeeding (so far) in balancing the traditional with the modern. They have, apparently, very strong family bonds which must help them achieve that balance.
      I’m glad you loved the dialogue, Lynn, and the yearning. I don’t feel any doubt that they’ll marry – but Suoinná will first complete her studies!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

      • There was a lovely programme on the BBC a couple of Christmases ago following a couple of Sami herders taking their reindeer across country, through the snow. There was no sound, only the noise of the reigns, the Sami talking among themselves, the crunch of snow. It was beautiful. I can’t imagine how hard that life is, but it had its beauty

        Liked by 1 person

    • the yearning to be together AND fullfill their own future. This seams to be a big issue. But just thinking about does not help anything. Just go on and do…never let your partner ponder all the time, go ahead and meet, hug and talk, live and go ahead…if there is love there is a solution….but if everybody just get lost in his thoughts, about what doing, it´s lost anyway sooner or later.

      Liked by 2 people

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