Fools Crow

Fools Crow

by

James Welch

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Kills-close-to-the-lake Character Analysis

Rides-at-the-door’s third wife and near-mother to Fools Crow and Running Fisher. Kills-close-to-the-lake is a young and beautiful girl from a poor family of the Never Laughs People, and Rides-at-the-door marries her as a favor to her father. Double Strike Woman and Striped Face, Rides-at-the-door’s first and second wives respectively, treat Kills-close-to-the-lake like a slave, and she spends most of the novel lusting after Fools Crow. After Fools Crow marries Red Paint, Kills-close-to-the-lake turns her attention toward Running Fisher. Rides-at-the-door soon discovers their affair and gives Kills-close-to-the-lake her freedom by divorcing her. He feels guilty for stealing her youth and questions if he married her to help her survive, or as a symbol of his own wealth and power. When Rides-at-the-door rejects Kills-close-to-the-lake, he also rejects the traditional Pikuni custom of multiple wives—especially young, beautiful ones—as a form of wealth and a reflection of power.
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Kills-close-to-the-lake Character Timeline in Fools Crow

The timeline below shows where the character Kills-close-to-the-lake appears in Fools Crow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
War Theme Icon
White Man’s Dog thinks of his father’s youngest wife, Kills-close-to-the-lake, and the way she looks at him. He often catches her staring at him, and... (full context)
Chapter 2
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...Fisher, shows much more promise of becoming a respected member of the tribe. Now, as Kills-close-to-the-lake serves White Man’s Dog roasted meat, Rides-at-the-door has a renewed sense of optimism that his... (full context)
Chapter 9
War Theme Icon
...instructions for his ride, Striped Face, her sister and Rides-at-the-door’s second wife, braids her hair. Kills-close-to-the-lake cooks and serves them—their husband’s youngest wife is little more than their slave. Double Strike... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
White Man’s Dog is not interested in Little Bird Woman, and while Kills-close-to-the-lake frequently looks at him, he is not interested in her either. As White Man’s Dog... (full context)
War Theme Icon
...changed. Now, he envies White Man’s Dog and does not pity him. Running Fisher notices Kills-close-to-the-lake hand White Man’s Dog a package of meat and touch him softly on the shoulder.... (full context)
Chapter 10
War Theme Icon
...care of Yellow Kidney as well. Rides-at-the-door gives his son permission to marry Red Paint. Kills-close-to-the-lake sits nearby, never looking up from her quillwork. (full context)
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...but he can’t see it. Suddenly, he hears a voice and looks up to see Kills-close-to-the-lake. “I am happy for you,” she says. “I wish you to have this.” She gives... (full context)
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...him during his raid on the Crows. He asks for forgiveness for his thoughts of Kills-close-to-the-lake, the he backs away from the pole and dances. He dances harder and harder, pulling... (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
...turns to leave, he sees a figure in white fur by the river. It is Kills-close-to-the-lake. She asks if he desires her, and when he says that it is not right,... (full context)
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
As White Man’s Dog’s family prepares to move camp, he sees Kills-close-to-the-lake. He has not seen her at all during the ceremonies and now notices that her... (full context)
War Theme Icon
Kills-close-to-the-lake tells White Man’s Dog that she had a dream about him. She describes the white... (full context)
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
Kills-close-to-the-lake wept uncontrollably, and then she felt “lighter.” She found the white stone that had been... (full context)
Chapter 19
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Kills-close-to-the-lake listens quietly as White Grass Woman spills her gossip. Kills-close-to-the-lake feels like an outsider in... (full context)
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
Outside, Seven Persons is partially hidden behind the clouds. Kills-close-to-the-lake makes her way to a small tipi nearby and slips inside. Running Fisher lays inside... (full context)
War Theme Icon
...near-son with his near-mother. After all, she had suspected Fools Crow of behaving inappropriately with Kills-close-to-the-lake, not Running Fisher. She will tell Rides-at-the-door tonight, she thinks. (full context)
War Theme Icon
Striped Face grows angry at the thought of the camp learning about Running Fisher and Kills-close-to-the-lake’s betrayal. She can’t stand the thought of White Grass Woman gossiping about them, and she... (full context)
Chapter 32
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
Kills-close-to-the-lake enters the lodge and Rides-at-the-door feels the same sadness he felt when Striped Face first... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Running Fisher enters the lodge and sits. He openly admits to his affair with Kills-close-to-the-lake and Rides-at-the-door feels sadness enter his body—part of him had hoped that his son would... (full context)
War Theme Icon
Rides-at-the-door reminds Kills-close-to-the-lake that to dishonor a husband is the worst offense a woman can make. Most bands... (full context)
War Theme Icon
As Kills-close-to-the-lake listens to her punishment, her thoughts wander to Fools Crow. “She would have gladly committed... (full context)