It’s Christmas Time! 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 the far West. 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 to that end, I thought I’d regale you with a 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 story reminds me of a story from one of my books, Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, an older title that’s no longer in print. That story was based on a similar legend, only the legend that Soaring Eagle’s Embrace was based on was the story of a young man who fell in love with a star. Okay, here is the story.
Long ago, there were two sisters, one whose name was Earth and the other’s 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 husband 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. Don’t forget that I am running a holiday contest. All you have to do is leave a comment or email me personally. And as always, the contest applies only to the greater US 50 states and to Canada — also void where prohibited.
Remember, too, that Black Eagle is still on sale at bookstores everywhere. Merry Christmas!