The sun was going down over the horizon. It had been another scorching hot day, having not rained
for weeks. 'Chief Flying Eagle' knelt down and
picked up some soil. He had not known such a dry
spell. He looked out over the dry, barren land and
wondered why all the tribes efforts to call for
rain had not worked. They had gone into their sweat
lodge, spoken with their totems, done their rain
dances to the rain god, but still no rain. This was
not his only problem, although the crops were very
His son 'Red Deer' was no longer a child, he was
becoming a young man. 'Flying Eagles' wife 'Morning
Star' had told him, that she was aware that their
son, was starting to show signs of being attracted
to some of the young women in the camp. 'Morning
Star' said she had noticed him being particularly
interested in 'Little Bird'. 'Flying Eagle' did not
want his son settling down yet.
"This is not good," 'Flying Eagle' thought to
himself. 'Flying Eagle' felt it was his duty as a
good father and as chief, to set down some ground
rules. He wanted to send 'Red Deer' on a quest. He
had been preparing him for a long time, now he felt
'Red Deer' was ready for this quest.
As 'Flying Eagle' was contemplating how to solve
his problems, he was approached by 'Morning Star'.
"What is it wife?" 'Flying Eagle' asked.
"I have had a visit from 'Little Birds' mother,
she has informed me that 'Little Bird' is showing
an interest in 'Red Deer'." 'Morning Star' replied.
This was the news that 'Flying Eagle' was dreading,
but it made up his mind to talk to his son, sooner
rather than later. 'Flying Eagle' turned to 'Morning Star' and said. "Come it is getting dark, we will return to the camp and I will talk to
'Red Deer'. I have made a descion about my plans for him. 'Morning Star' asked him to explain, as
they walked back to the camp.
As darkness settled over the camp, 'Flying Eagle'
entered his lodge. His son was sharpening an arrow
head. "At least 'Red Deer' is making himself useful." He thought to himself. 'Flying Eagle'
looked at his son and walked over to him. "Son I
need to talk with you."
"What is it father?" 'Red Deer' thought something
'Flying Eagle' sat down cross legged next to his
son. "'Red Deer'," I see you are becoming a young man.
Now that you are no longer a child, you will need to prove yourself to me and to the elders of the
tribe. I have taught you everything you need to
"What do I have to do father?" said 'Red Deer'.
'Flying Eagle' began to explain to his son.
"Big giant eagle fly very high, live on edge of
mountain cliff, very steep. 'Red Deer' must try to
take feather from giant eagle, bring home, then
become real man, you understand?"
'Red Deer' looked at his father and asked.
"How I get eagle feather father?.
His father put a hand on 'Red Deers' shoulder.
"You must work out for yourself 'Red Deer'."
'Flying Eagle' told his son that he was not to return to the camp until he had the eagle feather.
'Red Deer' did not argue with his father, he just
turned to him and said. "As you wish father," then
he got up and continued to sharpen his arrow head.
'Red Deer' was actually quite excited about going
on a quest.
That night after the evening meal, 'Red Deer' lay
down on his bed and tried to sleep. Although he was
tired, his mind was active, he could not stop
thinking about the quest and how he would go about
getting the eagle feather. That night he had a
He was floating through a cave, when he was
suddenly confronted by a big brown bear. 'Red Deer'
hovered in front of the bear, he never felt
frightened. The bear spoke to him saying, "why do
you come into my cave?"
'Red Deer' said, "I don't know how I got here."
The bear replied. "You have come to ask me a
question, haven't you?" 'Red Deer thought about it
then said. "I seek feather of big giant eagle, can
you help me?"
Suddenly the bear produced some rope and twigs,
then he said to 'Red Deer', "be brave little one,
you have strong totem to protect you." Then the
bear pointed to a light and said. "Go now and be
true to yourself."
When 'Red Deer' awoke, he suddenly knew what he
had to do. He told his father that he was ready for
the quest, but he did not tell his father of his
'Chief Flying Eagle' was pleased that his son
showed enthusiasm for the quest.
'Red Deers' mother was a little worried for her
son, as he had never been away from his family. She
told 'Red Deer' to be very careful, for there were
many dangers out there for a young indian boy.
'Red Deer' explained to mother that he was a man
now and he could look after himself. His mother
hoped 'Red Deer' was right.
'Flying Eagle' took 'Red Deer' to collect some
buffalo hair, and showed him how to make a rope.
'Red Deer' turned to his father and said.
"Father how did you know?"
"How did I know what my son?"
'Red Deer' started to tell his father of the dream
he had. 'Flying Eagle' told his son, that it was a
sign, that his son was wise and strong, and that
the bear would be his totem and protector. Then
'Flying Eagle' said that he could take one of his
stallions along on the quest. They walked over to
where the horses were kept. 'Red Deer' knew
immediately which horse he wanted.
"Can I take 'Swift as Wind' father?"
"That would be a good my son, he is fast and
'Red Deer' went to see his mother to tell her about, 'Swift as Wind', she said, "This is good,
now come and eat 'Red Deer'." 'Morning Star' had
made some porridge, which was 'Red Deers' favourite
food. Acorns were collected and dried in the sun.
The shells were then cracked off and the kernels
taken and thrown into a stone mortar and ground into flour. This was frequently sifted, the coarser
particles thrown back for repounding. Woven cloth
was used as a filter, the fine meal put into the
woven cloth and water thrown over the fine meal.
The object being to filter and wash out the tannic
acid in the flour. It then became sweet and wholesome just the way 'Red Deer' liked it.
His mother also made him some corn and chestnut
bread to take on his quest.
As 'Red Deer' was eating, they were paid a visit
by 'Little Bird'. 'Morning Star' invited her in.
"Would you like some porridge 'Little Bird'?"
'Little Bird' smiled and said, "no."
'Red Deer' asked her to sit with him. She walked
over, sat down cross-legged next to him. 'Red Deer' told her about the quest, he was to go on.
"I do not know when I will be back, I hope you
will wait for me 'Little Bird'."
"Ofcourse I wait." said 'Little Bird'.
"You go come back safe." 'Red Deer' gave 'Little
Bird' a kiss on the cheek, 'Little Bird' blushed
and giggled. 'Morning Star' smiled, she liked
'Little Bird' and felt she was a good catch for her son. 'Red Deer' finished his porridge, then
rose and took 'Little Bird' over to his sleeping
corner. "I want to give you this neckless of
buffalo teeth 'Little Bird'"
'Little Bird' was concerned. "I cannot take that, your father give you." She said pointing at
him. 'Red Deer' was adament.
"If anything should happen to me 'Little Bird',
I wish you to have it."
"Nothing happen to 'Red Deer', you brave, come
back safe." 'Red Deer' gave her another kiss on the cheek and placed the neckless over her head and
around her neck. "You look after neckless for 'Red
Deer', till he returns, yes?" 'Little Bird' said
'Flying Eagle' was very surprised that his son
had dreamt of his totem. Normally dreams like that
had to be induced. It made him all the more sure,
that his son was special, that maybe he would become a great hunter and warrior to his people.
'Little Deer' reminded 'Flying Eagle' of himself
at that age.
As 'Flying Eagle' was deep in thought, 'Two Rivers' his brother approached him.
"Brother," said 'Two Rivers'.
"What is it 'Two Rivers?"
"We worried, for crops are dying, no water, weeks gone. What we do brother?"
'Flying Eagle' had been thinking so much about
his son, he had forgotten about the crops.
"We hold another rain dance, when sun go down."
said 'Flying Eagle'. "But now I have other matters
to attend to. 'Red Deer' go on quest, seek out
eagle feather, become a man."
'Two Rivers' thought this was a good idea.
"I go tell others about rain dance and your son
'Flying Eagle' agreed, that would be a good idea.
After 'Two Rivers' had gone, 'Flying Eagle' went
back to his lodge and told 'Red Deer' to prepare
for his journey. 'Red Deer told his father he
would be taking his bow and arrows, a flint knife,
a piece of flint and the pyrite crystal to make
fire, the rope his father made for him and only a
blanket, as it was warm at night. 'Flying Eagle'
warned him that the further north he went, the
colder it got. So 'Red Deer' packed a buffalo hide
'Flying Eagle' and 'Red Deer' went outside the
lodge and walked over to where the horses were
tied. 'Swift as Wind' was waiting silently, as
'Red Deer' approached him. 'Flying Eagle' untied
the rope, and 'Swift as Wind' nuzzled him. 'Flying
Eagle' had trained him well. 'Red Deer' threw the
buffalo hide over 'Swift as Wind', then placed the
blanket over the top. Then he took the rope from
his father. As they walked back towards the camp,
everyone had come out to see 'Red Deer' off on his
quest. 'Flying Eagle' smiled with pride. All the
children started to get excited, running around
while their parents stood and watched.
'Morning Star' and 'Little Bird' came over to
'Red Deer'. There were tears in his mothers eyes.
'Red Deer' hugged his mother and wiped away the
tears, from her eyes."
"Don't worry mother, I be back soon."
She gave him another hug, and said, "I hope so
Then 'Red Deer' turned to 'Little Bird', "remember
to wait for me, won't you?"
"I will." She said and gave him a kiss.
'Red Deer' jumped up on to 'Swift as Wind', his
father wished him a safe journey. Then 'Red Deer'
rode off, looking back only once to watch his
people waving goodbye. He waved back, then he was
To be continued..............