“I cannot go back there.” “You must”, came the answer. “No, they should kill me and throw me in the river”, Red Hawk was surprised they had not done it already. “I will be with you”, came the answer. “You will?” “Yes”.
The Great White Buffalo further explained, “There needs to be a healing within the people, and fear must be removed. You can explain that you were sick, but many will not understand that, so you can apologize for harming them.” This all made perfect sense of course, and Red Hawk knew it was right. The White Buffalo continued, “Over time the people will begin to trust you again.” With this statement, Red Hawk had hope that began to grow, maybe it was all possible. He did want to repair any damage he had done.
“First we need to take care of that pebble”, The Great White Buffalo was filled with compassion. Red Hawk closed his eyes again and shook his head yes. This time there was only a bright light. He could not tell if it was coming from the outside of his body, or if it was only in his mind, or if it was both. It did not hurt, but the light was so intensely bright that he covered his eyes with his hands. Then there were flashing images of his mind, where he could see the pebble in his mind shrinking until finally it disappeared, and his mind became well! He also saw the tree branches, but this time they became untwisted, and untangled, as he watched. Red Hawk knew that blood was flowing properly again.
A little while later they were walking towards the village, side by side. The Great White Buffalo explained that Red Hawk should talk to his father first and go from there. Healing would flow like a river. Red Hawk was thinking he needed a new name, and knew right away what it should be – Buffalo Medicine.
Then they stood at the top of the small hill that overlooks his village. Would they accept him? Either way, at least he would do everything he could to make things right. There were several people milling around the village, and two women noticed them first. They saw both Red Hawk and the Great White Buffalo. They froze where they were, with shock. Others saw the two women and wondered what they were looking at and they saw the man Red Hawk, and the Great White Buffalo too. Ten people saw the Great White Buffalo, which was a sign of abundance and restoration. Then they all fled to get their families to come and see this wondrous sight.
When they returned to look, there was only Red Hawk. Eyes were popping, and jaws were dropping as he walked into the village, now obviously in his right mind. He found his father, and they went inside his lodge, where they had a long talk. He told his father everything. As he was listening War Chief wept, grateful to have his son back.
Epilogue: Buffalo Medicine (formerly Red Hawk) did all he could to gain the trust of the people. He went hunting and gave the food away. He caught horses and gave them to the families of women he had injured. He made things, like bows, arrows, knives, anything he could think of, and gave them as gifts.
Gradually the people began to trust him, but it took time. There was a healing process, and fear had to let go of the people. Fear walked away from the village with its head hanging low, looking for other victims elsewhere.
War Chief decided not to be the chief anymore. He did not feel right about it, and he told the people they should decide who their leaders should be. He also changed his name to reflect who he was now. His new name was – Grateful Man.
Years later Buffalo Medicine married, and they had three beautiful children.
Note: There will be more microfiction in the future but this weekend I’ll share some poetry. I long to return to the village where the Tsi and some of the Grie people live together. After all there is a marriage pending! I call this village the village of “Two Peoples”.
Peace to all of you!
Thanks for reading!
Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree