An Old, Old American Indian Legend — My Christmas Gift to You

bannerIt’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 for the winner.

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 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 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 story reminds me of a story from one of my books, Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, which is now in ebooks — I’ll leave a link at the end of this post.  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, that said, 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 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.

The picture below and to the right is a picture of my husband, Paul, and myself at a fairly recent Romance Writer’s Convention.

Now one more thing before I end.

THE LAST WARRIOR was just recently released on November 25th in ebook from Samhain Publishing.  Isn’t this a beautiful cover?

LastWarrior-The72lgIt’s one of my favorite stories, if only because it is a song that is the key to unlocking the mystery that enslaves the last band of a clan of people.  I’m including a link to buy this book that is so close to my heart.

I’ll be giving away a free ebook today to some lucky blogger.  All you have to do to enter into the drawing is to leave a comment.  Oh, and here’s the link for SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE:

PHOT0043The picture to the right is of myself and my husband with Chief Mountain in the background, the setting in the book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE — on the Blackfeet reservation.

And so from my heart to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas!


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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
Please refer to for all contest rules.

40 thoughts on “An Old, Old American Indian Legend — My Christmas Gift to You”

  1. Thank you for sharing this story. I had heard it before but it is beautiful and it was great reading it again.

    Merry Christmas to you!

  2. Hi Karen. I loved this story. I would love to win your book. And, by the way neither of these links works. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

  3. I’ve been wanting to get this book!!! Love all your books!!! I don’t have an ereader but would love to win the book!!!

    Thank you and Merry Christmas!!!!


  4. What a beautiful story about sacrificing what you love out of love for another. Very moving story!

  5. I just love reading your posts, Karen. This was such a beautiful story, thank you for sharing. I will be getting your book for sure!

  6. Great post! I love the story behind “Soaring Eagle’s Embrace.” It’s a beautiful story. Indian legends are so brilliantly told; combining their knowledge of the universe with dreams and real life encounters. And you, you write beautiful stories as well.

    • Hi Lisa!

      Oh, my gosh, what a gracious thing to say. I do agree with you on the Indian legends. There’s something about them that set them apart, I think. : )

  7. Karen i love your stories on this site and yr bks. I love legends of native americans. Will this bk be in print.

  8. Hello Karen,

    As always I’m anxious to drive into your new book. It’s uncanny, each story seems to be better than the one before! Thank you for offering is giveaway, and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

  9. Thank you for sharing this story. I have several books of Indian Legends and may have this one (I am too lazy to go upstairs and check). There are some lovely legends and this is one of them. The parallel of a being in the heavens sending his only son to Earth to be loved and raised is an interesting coincidence. I am always fascinated by the number of stories that involve celestial beings and mortals.

  10. What a delightful story! I love these old Native American legends. Thank you for sharing it with us. It definitely does tell of the gift of sharing.

    Your book sounds wonderful.

    Robyn Echols writing as Zina Abbott

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