The Rescue of Red Hawk

New Day After Snow by livcivic1948
New Day After Snow by livcivic1948

The crazy man had disappeared. In the old village where Bull Elk, Holds the Fire, and the others used to live, the people were terrified. If there was anything more terrifying to them than Red Hawk wandering around, it was that Red Hawk’s ghost would come to their village after he died, and haunt them for an eternity. He had not been seen for days.

No one put together a search party. Only his father went looking for him. First he went to Red Hawk’s lodge, and saw that his son had taken some warm clothes and blankets, his weapons, and his fire making tools. He also noticed that his son left on foot, so he followed his trail in the snow, down to the river. The tracks ended. Did he drown?

War Chief went back to get his horse and searched further. He rode up and down both sides of the river for long distances, and saw no sign of him. It was if his trail had been wiped away. Why did his son leave? Did he go hunting? Did he go off to die? There was no way to know. His heart ached, for the son he used to have. He was not always crazy, and War Chief had always hoped and prayed for his son to return to his right mind. As he looked across the plains beyond the river, he saw a herd of deer playing in the snow. He prayed that the Creator would protect his son.

In a way he did go off to die. Since no one was following him Red Hawk figured they didn’t care, or he did an excellent job covering his trail (it was easy with snow), or both. He was seeking answers, and he was going to find answers even if that meant he froze to death trying to find them. He had not eaten in seven days, and didn’t care. It was just him and the wilderness, and that’s the way he wanted it. He did make fires, and he did make water from the snow and that was all.

And then the pain started again, his vision went blurry, and he could hardly see or walk. He passed out from the pain, and fell in the snow. When he awoke he was still in pain, and he crawled in the snow, not knowing where he was, or where he was going. He heard a voice call his name, but he could not see through the pain, so he ignored it. He was crawling, and the voice called again, “Red Hawk”. He turned over on to his back and could only see the outline of some trees, the sun became incredibly bright, and he passed out again.

The pain was less when he woke this time, and when he sat up, he noticed a herd of buffalo, very close at his feet. He thought he should be terrified but he was not. Should he care that he would die this way? Suddenly he felt the hot breath of an animal on the back of his neck. The animal snorted and a blast of hot air came from its nostrils and went all over the back of his head. If it was time for him to die, he thought he should face it, so he slowly turned his whole body, and came face to face with the Great White Buffalo.

But the huge animal was not angry, in fact, there was kindness in his large eyes. He spoke to Red Hawk but his lips did not move. He said, “I am here to help you”.

Print by Marylyn Wiedmaier - from Fine Art America
Print by Marylyn Wiedmaier – from Fine Art America


Note: Part II of the Rescue of Red Hawk is coming up, and then we will return to the village of two peoples, where both the Tsi and the Grie live together. I also have some poetry to share! Peace!

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

Two Peoples


It was something Bull Elk had never heard of before. Women at a council meeting? This was something he would have to get used to. His wife, Holds the Fire, thought it was a wonderful idea, when he told her about it later. The men from both groups of people had had their first big meeting and Hawk in the Sky, explained the reasons for having women involved. If there is something that affects all the people, shouldn’t all the people hear the same thing from each other, and have a chance to speak? Bull Elk said he would have to think about it, but privately he thought it did make good sense. The Tsi men did explain though that there were social gatherings of men where they would smoke the pipe, and talk about hunting.

For two groups of people that could hardly talk to one another, the good will between them was amazing. There were a lot of smiles, and people everywhere were learning each other’s language. Considering how tight the living conditions were now, it was incredible. It turned out that Grie and Tsi living with each other in the same lodge added to the good will. They were so curious about each other! It was discovered that the ground was too frozen to set up a lodge properly, and the Grie would have to wait until warmer weather. No one wanted their lodge to blow over in a storm.

Thunder Speaking was frustrated though. He was just getting the Tsi language down, and now he had to learn another one at the same time? He also had difficulty speaking to the love of his life! He tried talking to Spotted Bull about it, but Spotted Bull told him to slow down, … “she will learn Tsi and you will learn Grie”. “You will both do well, you need to relax”. He could not relax, so he went to talk to his mother, Cricket in the Meadow. She gave him a knowing smile, and said, “love speaks all languages”. Why did she have to know so much? He was thinking, why bother talking to someone that knows the answer before you ever ask the question! He went off in a huff, so much so that he apologized to her later.

Bluebird sensed his frustration, and became concerned. He changed his tone quickly one day when he saw her worried look. Besides not wanting to jeopardize their relationship, there were two things that changed his attitude. First he practiced looking into her beautiful face, which was almost completely healed. When he did, he melted and his heart sang. One time he was even so bold as to kiss a bruise on her cheek, and tell her in the Tsi language that he loved her. He thought she didn’t understand the words but she did. She blushed but did not turn away.

The other thing that happened is that Bluebird would make jokes, when they had times of language learning. When she made a mistake like, “I like your badger”, instead of, “I like your shirt”, they would both laugh! It all became fun for them. Overnight the love between them was victorious, and fear and worry were gone.

Everyone knew their feelings for each other. A wedding was being planned, and he could not wait! His dreams about her were different now. In his dreams he not only saw her stunning face, he often kissed her…..and.….well…..more. It was complicated though. Would it be a Tsi wedding or a Grie wedding? He hoped it would be soon, and he did not care what kind it was.

Lakota Pipes
Lakota Pipes

Next time the Rescue of Red Hawk!

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

A New Home


Mounds of snow began moving and shifting, as the people pushed upward and began rolling out of their cocoon of buffalo blankets. They were all alive and grateful for it. Bull Elk was especially grateful and he broke out in a song prayer, and everyone else joined in. It was an ancient prayer of gratitude, and of asking for help.

It went:

Great Spirit thank you that we are alive today,

we are the people of the earth,

the people of the earth,

help us and give us strength,

to live again today,

to live again today,

We want to live.

It was late in the day now, and there was not much time to do anything other than discuss what to do. Their horses were gone, which meant they had no supplies. Holds the Fire, and Prairie Flower each had a basket of food, which might last them a day, if they ate little. The snow was waist high now and it would be impossible to walk through without getting too wet and cold. No one wanted to die that way.

“We cannot give up, we must keep trying, and go forward.” Bluebird was surprised that it came out of her mouth, but it did. Her father was surprised too, but not her mother. Holds the Fire smiled because she was always proud of her daughter, but especially now. Bluebird came up with the idea of moving the snow out of the way, or least some of it so they could walk through it. She saw the baskets, picked one up and said, “…we can use these.”

They took turns in teams of twos, each person with a basket. It was a desperate attempt really, but at least they were trying, like Bluebird said. They moved the snow to the side, one to the left and the other to the right. By nightfall they had made some progress. Tomorrow they would eat the last of their food and they would keep trying.

Some distance away, the search party had had a tough time making it through the deep snow. Their progress had been much slower than they had hoped. When night fell, they had no choice but to stop. They camped near some trees and built a fire. They were convinced they were not far from the Grie, the trail of the Grie horses showed they were close.

Off in the far distance the fifteen Grie people were tired and hungry, and they bedded down again, without a fire. If they would have waited a few more minutes before bedding down, they would have seen a fire glowing on the far horizon. It was the fire of the Tsi search party.

The next morning they were found. Every single one of the Grie shouted, jumped up and down, and some prayed. They all hugged each other, and cried like children, even the men.

A New Home Part II will be posted next time! I love writing these.


Snow Bound

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

The Winter Journey – Part II

Western Montana by Donald M. Jones
Western Montana by Donald M. Jones


Fortunately it was a light snow and it ended quickly. It left a dusting on their heads and shoulders as they were riding, and then the sky began to clear. The biggest problem was keeping their feet warm and dry. They needed to give the horses rest occasionally, so they would walk. Each time they did, they wrapped their feet in extra pieces of hides, or even small pieces of buffalo blankets. They were well stocked with provisions, but Bull Elk worried about how long the provisions would last.

Later the same day, he looked at the people traveling with them, and took notice of their courage. His anger had cooled and he was now concerned about them, as well as for his own family. Even traveling his wife, Holds the Fire, was a beautiful woman, and he thought about how much he loved her. He was looking forward to setting up the lodge in their new home, and being with her. His daughter Bluebird was the one that had been beaten by Red Hawk, and then there was their fifteen year old son, Talking Eagle. His newly married nephew Strong Bear and his wife, Runs with Doe’s were also with them. The largest family was that of Seven Hawks, and Prairie Flower. They had three daughters, Sunburst, Magpie, and White Sparrow, ranging from age six to sixteen, and their son was Wild Horse, at seventeen. Buffalo Talker and Shining Water had the youngest child at just three years old, a son named Mountain Wolf. Bull Elk realized how much he cared, for each one.

Day 4 was a difficult day. Early on there was snow and sleet. The people did not complain, but traveling was slow going. They had to stop early, and change clothes, underneath their buffalo blankets. At night was the only time they were warm. Each family wrapped themselves in several layers of buffalo blankets, much like a caterpillar in a cocoon. The warmth was wonderful and they slept well.

By day 7 the journey was taking its toll. The horses were exhausted and so were the people. Would they ever find their friends?

It was day 9 when the disaster struck. A storm had been forming overnight and by morning it was snowing and the wind was blowing. It only got worse and they had to stop walking. The women got all the warm blankets they could in one place, realizing they would be bedding down to wait out the storm. The wind became intense, and the men started yelling about holding onto the horses. Even with the ropes tied around their waists, it was impossible to hold onto jumping and frantic animals. They had no choice but to let them go.

Each family wrapped themselves together, laid down, and hung on as the wind howled. It became worse and sounded like a wild animal. They tried with all their might to hold onto the blankets. Bull Elk became sick in his heart. Would they all die together? Snow began to cover the blankets, and the people inside.

In addition to sensing her father’s anguish, Bluebird was sensing something else. Was it a voice? She tried calming her spirit and began to experience an unusual peace. The peace enveloped her and filled her. The sounds outside became dim, and there was a voice! The voice said, “Do not give up! Do not give up! Don’t quit! Your future husband is waiting for you…..You can do this, and he is not only a kind man, he will love you deeply, and always. He is a very spiritual man, and he will be a leader of his people.”

Bluebird then had a vision. She saw clouds building in the summer, and a gentle refreshing rain falling. What was that noise? In the vision she heard the noise….was it?….yes it was….it was thunder. She heard the thunder….. Was the thunder talking? She did not understand it, but she knew that it was important, and that it all had to do with the man that would love her.


Note: Part III of The Winter Journey will be coming tomorrow.

 Appaloosa in the Snow


Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

The Winter Journey

Painting by Alfredo Rodriguez
Painting by Alfredo Rodriguez

In another village more than ten days away by horseback, there was weeping and mourning, even though no one had died. The people begged them not to leave. Fifteen of them were packed up and pulling away, heading west. Their families had been part of the people for generations, in fact, since anyone could remember. And yet here they were leaving, in the middle of winter. It was unheard of, no one had ever done such a thing before. What if a big storm came and they were all killed, or frozen to death? Would they ever see them again?

But Bull Elk would not listen, he was so angry he could kill someone, especially War Chief’s son, the crazy man. They were all on horseback, and as Bull Elk looked over at his once beautiful daughter, and what the crazy man had done to her face, his anger burned. She was battered, bruised, and swollen so much she could barely see.

The truth was, there were others that wanted to leave with Bull Elk, but not in the winter. It was just too dangerous. The crazy man, whose real name was Red Hawk, had been terrorizing these people for the past three years, and lately he was getting progressively worse. None of the women wanted anything to do with him. When they rejected his advances, he got violent. More than one father had to be restrained from killing the man.

There was simply no reason for the things Red Hawk did. No one could understand him, not even his father. At times he would put out the fires of people cooking, or take his knife and cut a slash in someone’s lodge without even talking to them. At other times he would walk around, yelling at people for no reason. Even an exorcism did not help him.

Finally he was told he had to live outside of the village. But he would always walk around during the day, in the village making people afraid of him. Bull Elk and the people with him, had had enough. Bull Elk was also angry at War Chief for failing to control his son.

They traveled west, towards the people they were friends with, the people that lived at the edge of the great forest. They had not seen them in more than two years. Bull Elk was looking forward to seeing the leaders, Standing Bear and his son Hawk in the Sky, Lone Horse, Spotted Bull, Whirlwind and others. It would take about ten days he thought. Once they were there, they would stay for the winter, and then start out in the spring, becoming a new people. The only problem was, it was winter.

The second day out it began to snow.

Horse in Snow Storm

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

Thunder Speaking – Part II

colorized photograph
colorized photograph

The next day, Standing on the Mountain met with all the people outside. There was no lodge big enough to hold everyone, so they built a large fire in the center of the village. Once everyone was assembled he began telling the people about the dream, and what the horse had said. He told them all about what he saw and heard, and why Thunder Speaking had left his village. He was a man without a people.

As he was finishing, the people heard the hoof beats of a horse running very fast. It was the horse of Thunder Speaking! They were in shock as the horse circled the village at top speed. Thunder Speaking was the only one not in the crowd, but when he heard the horse running, he came out of his lodge. He knew it was his black and white. He went to the edge of the village, and watched the blur that was his horse. He was so fast it was hard to tell the exact coloring of the animal.

After four times of circling the village, the horse stopped right where Thunder Speaking was standing. The horse greeted him with loud snorting, foot stomping, and head shaking. Thunder Speaking gently spoke to the great animal and stroked his nose and neck. They seemed to talk to each other. By this point all the people were watching them, and their circle opened up, so everyone could see them better.

In the distance some rolling thunder could be heard. This was very unusual because the sky was blue and it was cold. The people could not understand the noise. The man Thunder Speaking now had his head against the horse, and his lips were moving. Was he praying? Were they saying goodbye? No one could tell.

The sound of thunder came closer, and a dark cloud suddenly appeared over the people. As it did, the black and white stallion rose up on his hind legs and yelled in the horse language a loud yell. A bolt of lightning cracked open the sky, and the earth shook with thunder. The people crouched down instinctively and looked at the sky, fearing for their lives. They held onto each other, and many closed their eyes.

And then all was quiet. They looked up and there was no more cloud, the sky was blue again. There was no lightning or thunder. As one, they looked over at the man called Thunder Speaking, and he was alone. The horse had vanished! No one saw or heard the horse leave, but he was not there.

Thunder Speaking was not afraid of what he had seen or heard, but he did turn toward the people hoping they would accept him. He wanted this village to be his home, and these people to be his people.

No one ever saw the black and white stallion again. Thunder Speaking did become part of the people, and he became the son of Cricket in the Meadow.

by Miriam Sweeney
by Miriam Sweeney

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

Thunder Speaking

by bern.harrison
by bern.harrison


Two weeks after Thunder Speaking came to their village, Standing on the Mountain had a dream he would never forget. At first he saw a picture of Thunder Speaking’s horse, the black and white stallion. The horse was running, and was as wild as ever, but then he heard the horse’s voice. He did not know how the horse was talking but he was for sure.

The horse began telling him about Thunder Speaking, and why he left his home. He also saw pictures of the man. He could see him leaving his village, where almost no one lived anymore. The people of the village had been killed by a series of wars, and by poison water, given to the people by traders from the coast. He saw people sick, and dying, and others walking into the woods never to return. Thunder Speaking had left the ghost village with a sick heart and in despair. The horse explained all this to Standing on the Mountain, as he watched the pictures in the dream.

Thunder Speaking walked about three weeks until reaching the great mountains. The man decided to go into them, even though he realized he may not be able to find his way, and that he may never come out again. After wandering in the mountains for a week, and getting more lost each day, the horse was sent to Thunder Speaking, in order to help him. Standing on the Mountain could see the man lost in the great mountains vividly. He did not ask who had sent the horse to Thunder Speaking, he just watched the vision and listened.

The dream continued, and Thunder Speaking called to the horse and they spoke to one another. Thunder Speaking was very gentle, and he got on the horse as if they had been friends a long time. The horse easily led them out of the great mountains, in just a few days, and they traveled another month. They hunted together and Thunder Speaking began to heal inside. He was an excellent hunter. Everything went well until the wolves attacked, early one morning after their fire went out, and the sun was beginning to rise.

They fought hard, they both did. The horse knew that there was something wrong with these wolves. They were sick in their bodies, and in the minds. There was nothing they could do but fight to survive. Many of the attackers were killed, but then Thunder Speaking fell down a ravine and broke his arm. The few remaining attackers fled, and then the horse went down into the ravine, and helped the man to wake up. The horse got on the ground to help him get on, and they traveled two more days to this village.

In the dream the horse turned to Standing on the Mountain, and said, “I will be leaving soon”. The dream ended and Standing on the Mountain bolted straight up, in a cold sweat.

Note: Part Two of Thunder Speaking will be posted tomorrow.

Gypsy Vanner

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree