Little Elk Remembers
Little Elk and his pony sat on the crest of the hill over looking the river and watched as the white man carved long swathes in mother earth's skin, He was ruining the Buffalo grass along the banks of the river.
Little Elk didn't understand, the Shoshone had never desecrated Mother Earth like that, why did this white man hate Mother Earth so much that he would mutilate her in this manor? Little Elk watched until his heart grew heavy and he could no longer bear to look at such a thing. He swung onto his pony, he would return to camp and ask one of the elders why the white man was being so cruel.
The tribes Medicine Man, Red Feather was also concerned the white men may be practicing some bad medicine to put fear in the Shoshone and make them move further onto the bad place across the big river where the flat rocky land that makes smoke come out of the ground. A place where there's no game except snakes and lizards.
It was decided to hold a tribal meeting so everyone could discuss the white man coming to their valley and doing bad things to everything they held sacred. Little Elk was the first to speak, he told of the white men carving long slashes in Mother Earth's skin. He told of how the white man was treating his ponies not riding them and making them pull the large knife that cut into Mother Earth.
Little Elk was sad to have to tell such a story to all the members of the tribe, he would rather have kept it to himself and not burdened others with what he saw. Little Elk sat down very sad.
The discussion went on for hours, each person who saw something the white men was doing that went against Shoshone tradition was given the opportunity to speak. Many sad stories were told that evening, what could they do the white man was like a rabid coyote, too elusive to be caught and too dangerous to challenge.
The tribe knew the white man would breed and make more white children like the coyotes breed and makes more cubs. It was decided they would hold a dance condemning the white man. That's what the Shoshones do when they have no answers, they dance their problems away.
The white man hears the commotion the dancing creates and load their rifles expecting the Shoshones to retaliate like white men would had he been so offended.
The years have passed and Little Elk has become Old Elk but the memories of that day on the ridge stay with him as though it was yesterday. He's seen much of what the white man calls progress.
What he doesn't see are the deer antelope and buffalo once so plentiful feeding in the open spaces that are now fenced in farmed and called the Reservation.
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