It’s Christmas Time! Please let me remind you — because I’ll be doing a free give-away today — to be sure to check back here at the blog on Wednesday or Thursday to see who is the winner. Remember, we here at the Junction don’t contact you. So please check back either tomorrow or the next day to see if you are the winner. The books I’ll be giving away are Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, the mass market paperback version of the book, and Seneca Surrender, e-book.
Well, I’ve been thinking and thinking of what I could possibly blog today, since Christmas was not a celebrated holiday for Native Americans before the arrival of priests into this land called Turtle Island. One of my most favorite Christmas memories is being told a story the night before Christmas in an attempt to get me to go to sleep. It didn’t work very well (getting me to go to sleep). But it is a wonderful memory.
And so I thought I’d regale you with a story. Hopefully I won’t put you to sleep with this story.
This is the story of the girl who married a star. It’s origin is Sioux — I don’t know if that’s Lakota or Dakota or Nakota. All three are Sioux, just different dialects. By the way this story comes to us from the book, Favorite North American Indian Legends, printed by Dover. Before I start, I wanted to say that this legend reminds me of a similar one I used in Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, which is the book I’ll be giving away today.
Okay that said, imagine yourself in the long, long ago, all warm and cozy, curled up in front of a fire with your relatives sitting around you. The Old Story Teller has arrived, and all is quiet as the story teller begins:
Long ago, there were two sisters, one whose name was Earth and the others name was Water. This was at a time when all people and animals were in close communication with each other and so the animals supplied the sisters with all their needs.
One night the sky was clear and beautiful and both sisters looked up to the sky through their wigwam — comment, now we know that this was most likely the Dakota since they were living in Wigwams — anyway, they looked up through the hole in their wigwam and admired the beautiful stars.
Earth said to her sister that she’d had a dream about a handsome young man and that she thought he might be a star. Water responded saying that she, too, had seen a man in her dreams who was a brave man.
The sisters chose stars that they thought might be these men that they had dreamed of. Water chose the brightest star for her husband. Earth chose a little star that twinkled.
Then they slept. When they awoke, they were in the land of the Sky. The stars were, indeed, people. Now it happened that the man that water chose was an older warrior and that the man that Earth chose was a young, handsome man. Both sisters married these men and they were very happy.
One day the sisters went out to dig turnips (a much favored food at this time in history). Both of their husbands warned them not to strike the ground too hard. But Earth, in her haste to dig the turnips, struck the ground so hard that she fell through the sky to the ground.
Earth was found and cared for by two older people who tried to help her. But she was so upset about losing her husband that all she did is cry. She could not even see her husband in the sky because he had blackened his face because he was now a widower. Earth waited and waited for him to come to her, but he could not. However, he did give her a most precious gift.
That night when she went to sleep, she dreamed of a beautiful red star. It had never been in the sky before. She knew at once that it was her son.
When she awoke, she found a handsome boy by her side — her son. Although Earth’s husband could not come to get her again, and though he loved his son deeply, he gave to his wife the only thing that he could — their son, Star Boy. It was a gift from his heart.
‘Tis the season of giving. I hope you have enjoyed this story. I thought it was quite beautiful.
Now one more thing before I end.
Seneca Surrender was just recently released in October in ebook and Tradepaper — from Prairie Rose Publications. Below is the cover. I’ll be giving away a free copy of Seneca Surrender in ebook format today to some lucky blogger. So that’s two chances you have to win a free book. All you have to do to enter into the drawing is to leave a comment. But please, over to right here is our Giveaway Guidelines. Please do have a look at them. The rules are few, but are important — so give them a read.
The picture to the right is of my husband and myself with Chief Mountain in the background, the setting for Soaring Eagle’s Embrace — this is on the Blackfeet reservation.
And so from my heart to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas!