I Was Shy

By First Nations Artist Nokomis

I was shy.

It's true.

Once upon a time I was bashful, a quiet child, a little reticent. There were times, I'm embarrassed to say, that I even hid behind my mother's skirts.

But then I got a taste of what it was like to be the REAL me! This is a story about how one starry night there was a loud clap (not of thunder) and a little girl changed from timid to intrepid.

It happened on the night of my first Christmas concert.  There were five of us in Grade One and we were going to do a song and dance.  Each of us was to sing a verse all by ourselves and then, all together, we would chime in for the chorus and do a twirl (the dance part!). 

It was awfully exciting. 

The night of the concert my mother braided red ribbons in my hair and I felt very special.  I skipped along the path to town with joy in my heart until SUDDENLY across the lake I could see the lights of the village!  Reality overwhelmed me.  There was no way I was going to sing and dance on any stage! Sobbing, I wanted to go home. 

I was shy.

But then my father saved the occasion and unknowingly created a flamboyant little "artiste". He bent over and told me that he thought I sang so well that when I finished my turn singing that he bet it wouldn’t just be my own family that would clap in appreciation of my talent.  He said he thought I was such a good singer that everyone in the room would clap!

They did.

I haven’t been shy since.