So many moons ago the peaceful moundbuilders called this land Their Own.
Green fields, clear streams, plentiful buffalo, deer and elk
Killed only for food, warm pelts and tepee coverings
Protection from winter’s cold.
A life of unity with Earth Mother and Great Spirit.
The tribe had existed here for as long as the Elders remembered.
Laws, teachings, customs and stories
Passed on from one generation to another-
In the sweat lodge Vision quests
From father, to son, to brother.
Young boys entered manhood
Spurred on by tales of valor
From the Great Hunters who had gone before.
Their stories guiding, instilling courage
To withstand the traditional, painful Rite of Passage.
Little girls sat patiently by the old women’s sides
Learning the intricate weaved patterns
Use of specific plant oils for medicine or dyes.
Field dressing, preparation and preservation of winter’s food-
Skinning and drying the hides with their primitive tools.
Life continued as it had for centuries
In the center of the world they loved.
Then, one fateful day, the soldiers came
With their greed, guns, hate and rage.
To eradicate the scourge with brutality and pain.
Confused Braves grappled for their spears and bows
Useless against the bluecoats’ bayonets, black powder and swords.
Horses trampled those older and too slow
Slaughtered where they stood.
No match for the Devil’s hordes.
The main tent held the women and babes
Gathered in traditional circle
The old ones shielding the outer perimeter, standing brave
As their bodies fell over the young ones
They could not save.
The maniacal soldiers frenziedly slashed and stabbed.
Where once a pretty baby had lain
Sang to sleep with lullabies
Now only silence, never to stir
The earth that soon would cover her.
As the soldiers laughed, drank and congratulated one another
On a job well done
The moonless sky grew menacingly colder, darker-
Bone chilling wind drove stinging sleet and snow.
Temperatures dropped far below zero.
Great Spirit had spoken
Father Sky covered the sun and moon forever.
Earth Mother polluted the streams and blighted the fields.
Animals, fish and fowl all disappeared.
Nothing remained of the slaughter that occurred there.
The European settlers arriving on the crest of the holidays
Would never survive the most brutal winter ever.
No crops, food, plants for medicine, sun, water or shelter.
Disease and famine would ravage and devour, one by one.
Fitting payment, for a job well done.
Personal. Native American Online. Wikipedia.