A very long time ago, long before the white man came to our land, there was only one very large tribe of our people. Everyone lived in harmony with each other and with our Mother the Earth.
Each man and each woman trusted all other men and women. This was a perfect way to live as the Grandfather had intended it to be.
Then, something horrible happened.
One day a young brave was hunting close to the place where everyone went to pay homage to the Creator. According to tribal law this was not permitted. The young brave, Red Hawk Sitting, saw a deer near the edge of the thicket on the border of the special place of worship. He raised his bow, fitted an arrow to it and sighted in on the deer, and loosed the arrow. As the arrow was released the deer heard a noise from the clearing and jumped. The arrow missed its mark and flew into the clearing. A scream filled the air. Red Hawk Sitting knew his arrow had found its mark in a place it was never intended to go. Red Hawk Sitting was afraid. He had broken a tribal law. If he stayed he would be blamed for the injury or death of one of the tribal members. He might be banished from the tribe as had happened before when some one committed a serious breach of the tribal law. He would be shamed.
He was a very proud man and could not stand this. Red Hawk Sitting went back through the woods. He moved quietly, careful not to step on a twig or leave a track. He went well around the village and entered from a different direction. At that time arrows were not marked as they would be in later years. It was not necessary in a society where all people trusted each other. No one must ever know it was he who had loosed the arrow.
Many people had gathered on the other side of the Village near the path to the holy place. Red Hawk Sitting walked rapidly across the village and asked what had happened. He was told the medicine man, Wing of the Eagle, had gone to the sacred place to offer a sacrifice to the Creator. His grandson, Young Buffalo had accompanied him to aid him in making the sacrifice. As he stood beside Wing of the Eagle an arrow had come flying from nowhere. It had struck him in the neck. Young Buffalo had died quickly. It was not known who had loosed the arrow. Only unidentifiable tracks were found. The trail had been lost at the near by creek.
All through the tribe unrest and distrust began growing. When Horns of Buffalo left the gathering he returned to his tepee. His wife, Spring Doe, had also gone to see what had happened and had not yet returned. When Horns of the Buffalo entered his lodge he could see that some one had been there during his absence. His favorite buffalo robe was missing, the one so soft and supple that Spring Doe had made for him. She has sewn the fur of the mink around the edge so that he could show others how much his wife loved him. As he looked about the lodge Spring Doe returned. He spoke to her of his robe. It was there on his bed when they had left only a short time before. Horns of the Buffalo walked outside the lodge and asked if anyone had seen his robe. No one had seen it. As he asked, Legs of the Elk, who lived near by, turned and walked away.
Legs of the Elk sat in his lodge holding the beautiful robe, rubbing it against his face. He had often looked at the robe Spring Doe had made for her husband. Each time he saw it he envied Horns of the Buffalo. When the arrow had struck Young Buffalo, and he had uttered his death scream, all the people of the village had run toward the sacred clearing. Legs of the Elk saw his chance. He waited until all the had gone to investigate the source of the scream. Then Legs of the Elk went quickly into the lodge of Horns of the Buffalo and Spring Doe. He picked up the robe and just as quickly went back to his lodge. Now he sat, contemplating the beautiful robe and thinking of what he had done. He knew he had committed an unforgivable crime against his brother tribesman. He had taken
something that did not belong to him, something which everyone would know did not belong to him. He could not be seen with the robe. Any one who saw him with the robe would know what he had done. It then came to him that since he could not use the robe he had no use for it.. He could not take it back to Horns of the Buffalo. He had already told him he had not seen it. He could not take it into the forest and dispose of it for fear that some one would see him. There was only one thing to do. He cut the beautiful robe into small pieces. He dug a hole in the floor of his lodge under his cot. He buried all the pieces of the robe in the hole except for one small piece. This small piece he threw into the fire pit and burned it. For many days to come, each time he was alone in his lodge he would burn another of the small pieces of the robe. For just as many days, as he burned the small pieces of the robe, he suffered. It hurt him in his heart and spirit to destroy something so beautiful.
The tribe knew some one had taken the beautiful robe of Horns of the Buffalo. Each one knew that some one among them had killed Young Buffalo. The unrest and distrust grew. Then small groups of people began moving away. Before the summer was gone only a very small band of the people was left. There were now many separate tribes, each one with distrust for the other.
This is how The Grandfather separated the people. It was done because of distrust. It was done due to the envy and greed of one man and the lies of another.
We should always remember the acts of Red Hawk Sitting and Legs of the Elk.
This should forever be a lesson to us.
Do not violate the laws
Do not lie
One lie must always be justified by another lie. One cannot remember all of the lies and soon no one will trust you.
Don't steal another persons possessions
When you are seen with them everyone will know where and how you got them. If you take something that does not belong to you and you must hide it to keep from being known as a thief then it is of no use to you so there is really no reason to take them.
Don't Lie----Don't Steal is a copyrighted creation of Dick One Eagle and may not be used except by express written permission of the author.