The geese honk, cackle, and moan, their calls ringing off the sheet water that forms amoebic patterns across the field. Echoes double each sound, and the din over the decoys brings to mind the ancients who hunted the ancestors of these same birds, in this same open country, long ago. Just a few miles away from this patch of barley, the two lobes of massive Lake Manitoba neck down to a rock-rimmed hourglass waist barely a half mile wide. To the aboriginal Cree, the crash of lake surf on the narrows’ limestone bluffs was the beating of a giant drum by their great spirit, Manitou. Now I lie in a row of raked grain, elbows soaked from the muck, surrounded by the haunting sounds of past and present.