The Water Dance of the Scout


And welcome to another wonderful Tuesday, and another give-away.  Because THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF is recently out in Tradepaper, I had originally wanted to do another give-away of that book (a $15.00 value).  However, I am away from home at present, which would make giving that book away rather difficult, and so I thought we could have a give-away of an e-book of mine instead…your choice.  So come on in and leave a message — that’s all you have to do to be entered into the drawing.  Void where prohibited.

Also, let me say again, that I rely on you coming here tomorrow — usually in the evening — to see if you have won.  I might have mentioned in my last blog that my schedule is rather intense, and although I’d like to chase up the winner, I usually don’t have a moment to myself to do that.  So please, do check back tomorrow.

apachescout4Because in my latest book, THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF, the hero is a scout, I have been wanting to post a little bit about scouting.  In my last post, we went into a little detail on how it is that a scout could tell many different characteristics of a person — even to his emotions — from the prints left on the ground.  In my last post I also promised to tell you a little about “the water dance of the scout.”

We all know that if one drops a rock into the water — or any object — it makes concentric circles in the water.  Any movement, it would seem, would cause water to move and to announce the presence of man or animal in the water.  So, how did the scout of old manage to move in the water without being seen, without making those telltale concentric circles, and so stalk his prey, or obtain information on the enemy that could help his tribe?

I’m going to rely heavily upon the book by Tom Brown, Jr., THE WAY OF THE SCOUT to tell you a little bit more about this.  As I said in my last post, Mr. Brown was taken under the wing of an old Apache, whom Mr. Brown and his friend, Rick, called Grandfather.  Grandfather had been trained as a young man into the old ways of the scout, and Grandfather wished to pass along some his knowledge so that it didn’t pass out of existence.

cheyennescoutI’m going to quote from the book now.  Grandfather is speaking:

“You must first understand that it (water) is the blood of our earth Mother, the same blood that courses through your veins.  Once entering the water you must blend your mind with that of the water, thus becoming part of the water and ultimately becoming invisible while wrapped in its mind…  …You must learn to move with the water, for to disobey its laws and move against its power is to perish.”  THE WAY OF THE SCOUT by Tom Brown, Jr.

And so started the lesson, which is at first a little humorous to read.  As Mr. Brown and his friend, Rick, were learning to become part of the water, they were having a tough time of it — trying to keep clear of brushes and fallen logs in the water.  However, he goes on with the lesson and says in his book, “After nearly two full hours of being impaled, battered, and tangled in sharp brush, Rick and I gave in to the stream’s energy and began to move freely, silently, and quickly.”  He goes on to say, “The stream and Grandfather had somehow taught us a great lesson without uttering a word…”  THE WAY OF THE SCOUT by Tom Brown, Jr.

siouxscoutHowever, they had been going downstream.  Now they had to somehow go upstream.  Says Mr. Brown that he and his friend Rick were struggling even more now and really fighting the currents of the water.  He says that both he and Rick were being beat up by the struggle to fight upstream.  Imagine then, these two boys, who upon emerging from the water being beat and tired, with no energy left, then found Grandfather waiting for them — for he had gotten far ahead of them in the water.  Says Mr. Brown, “He had that smile on his face, unruffled and relaxed, depicting an air of not having struggled at all.  Rick and I, on the other hand, were cold, exhausted, bruised, and cut…”

Grandfather then told the boys that they had chosen to fight the water, instead of moving with it.  But how can one move with the water upstream?  Grandfather answered their questions by signaling them to follow him back into the water.  And here’s what Mr. Brown writes:

“We began to follow Grandfather closely.  His motions were like those of a well-choreographed water dance, a flowing ballet, where he moved effortlessly.  He weaved back and forth, riding whirlpools, slipping through backwaters on the inside parts of bends in the stream, and dancing across submerged logs without a struggle.  He used the power of the waters to move him.”  THE WAY OF THE SCOUT by Tom Brown, Jr.

Isn’t that a beautiful description?0[5]  There is more, of course, as Mr. Brown and his friend, Rick, learn how to move in the water by watching herons and egrets who were in the shallows.  They learn how to raise up out of the water without leaving any of the telltale concentric circles, and they learn to stalk the more aware animals — a fox for example — from the water.  Mr. Brown says that he and his friend, Rick, went on to stalk all kinds of animals from the water, and he says, “We laughed at the antics of our local wildlife population around the waters of camp.  They had become a bit neurotic when approaching the water, but nonetheless seemed happy to join in the game.”

This is an incredible book and an even more incredible journey that Mr. Brown takes you on in this book.  It’s an older book, copyrighted in 1995.  But in the book, Mr. Brown makes mention of a school, a Wilderness Survival School.  If you’re interested, you might pick up the book and see if the school still exists.

SpiritoftheWolf-The-R -- first draftI hope you’ve enjoyed the blog today and I hope you’ll leave a message.  Please visit my page on the Samhain website at: and read more about the book.

Pick up your copy today!


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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.
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23 thoughts on “The Water Dance of the Scout”

  1. I learn something new every time I read your posts. This book seems very interesting. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. Hi Karen. I love the information about the scouts. I always thought they had to be very smart. But then, I couldn’t believe how our armies would line up in a row and play the bugle at the start of a battle. I think the Indians were smarter in the way they fought. Why would you announce your presence for the enemy? I would love another of your books. Thanks, Maxie
    > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

  3. I always find your posts to provide such fun and interesting new information! I shared this one with my son, who recently discovered that he is part Native American. As his father passed away when he was an infant, we just found this out while talking to relatives for a family tree. Thank you for sharing!!

  4. Hi Corey!

    Thanks so much for your thoughts. That’s really interesting that your son has found out about his American Indian heritage. Nice. Appreciate your post.

  5. I am never disappointed with posts at this site. I enjoy anything about the old West, and learn so much, plus add to my TBR stack with some great stories.

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