This story is from a very long time ago, before the White Man and what they call history.
It comes from my Tsitsitsas (Cheyenne) relations. Yes, the Lakol Oyate and the mighty Cheyenne are related, we intermarried quite a bit in the old days....
A very long time ago, a young girl lived with her mother and father. She was an only child, and her parents doted on her. She was very gifted at the art of quill work, and the people often said that she recived her talent from Pahin (the porcupine) himself. Her designs always won when she entered them into the Grassbird Society competitions.
One day she began to make a set of boy's clothing. When her mother asked her what she was doing, she replied that she was making the clothes for her brother, whom she had not met yet.
When she finished the first set, she began a second, and then a third, and so on until she had 7 sets of clothing. Each had a shirt, leggings, and moccasins, each with it's own quill work design.
The next day she went to her parents and announced that she was going to live with her brothers, so her mother helped her pack her things in a pack and load them on to her dogs. She allowed her mother to follow her to the edge of the river, hugged her mother, and went on on her own.
After 2 days of traveling, she took the bundles from her dogs, and set them free with a breath of kindness. On she went on her own, in the direction of the setting sun.
On the dawn of the 4th day, she came upon a lone large tipi beside a stream. The stream was very shallow, so she waded across with no trouble at all. As she approached she called out, "It is I, bringing gifts for my brothers."
Hearing this, a young boy of about 10 or so came out of the tipi. "I am the youngest of 7 brothers, and am glad to see you. I have been expecting you. The others are out hunting Buffalo right now, and they will be surprised to see you, because they do not have the gift of knowing, and of 'No Touch.'"
"What is 'No Touch?'" asked the girl.
"Someday you will find out" answered the boy with a smile as he led her in to the brightly painted tipi.
Inside there were seven willow back rests, and seven buffalo robe beds.
The girl took out the smallest outfit and gave it to the boy who put it on. It was a perfect fit! He danced and pranced around, showing off his new clothes. "I will take you all as my brothers! She happily excaimed as she began to prepare wazna ( Dried meat with choke cherries and rendered kidney fat).
Just then there were the sounds of the hunters returning outside the lodge. They were all laden down with huge chunks of buffalo meat!
The littlest boy ran out to greet his brothers with a huge smile on his face, thinking of the surprise he had waiting for them! "Where did you get these fine new clothes?" the brothers asked him.
"We have a new sister,and she is waiting inside for you! She has made new clothes for us all, and doesen't she create the most beautifull quill work in the world? And She is quite beautifull herself! Come and see!" And with that, he led his brothers in to the tipi to meet their new sister.
They were amazed at her wonderfull designs an colors that she had created on the clothes she had made for them, and she was happy to have such brave and handsome brothers to cook and make clothes for. Thus they lived happily together for many many months until one morning they were awakened by a certian sound outside of the lodge.
It was a yellow haired (young) Buffalo calf. "I am sent by the Leader of the Buffalo Nation,"said the calf."We have heard of your beutiful sister, and we want her for ourselves."
"You cannot have her, go away!" shouted the boy.
"Oh well, someone bigger will come," and away it went.
The next day after the hunters had left, there was a scratiching at the door, and there was a young heifer. "I have been sent by the leader of the Buffalo Nation. We have heard of your wonderfull sister and we want her for our own."
"Go away, you may not have her!" shouted the young boy.
"Oh well, someone bigger will come along." said the heifer as she galloped away like the calf before her
On the next day, there appeared a big buffalo cow grunting loudly. "What do you want?" cried the boy.
"I have been sent by the leader of the buffalo nation, we want your sister for ourselves." she grunted loudly.
"Go away, you cannot have her!" cried the boy.
"Oh well, someone very big will come after me, and he will kill you." and with that she galloped away, with her tail in the air.
On the morning of the fourth day, the hunters stayed home to protect their sister. The earth began to rock and heave. At last appeared the largest bull they have ever seen, much bigger than any of the buffalo living today!!!
Behind him came the entire buffalo nation pawing and bellowing like thunder.
The six older brothers stepped out of the entrance flap and were very afraid, but the youngest was not. He stepped boldly outside and called,"Big oversized buffalo what do you want?"
The big buffalo growled,"I want your sister, if you do not give her to me I will kill you."
"No," said the boy, "you can't have her. She does not want to go with you. Go away!!"
"If that's the case, I'll kill you now!!" shouted the mighty buffalo. "I'm coming!!" and he began to charge.
"Use your medicine!" the six older brothers screamed.
"I'm using it. Now all of you catch hold of the branches of this tree." he pointed to the tree growing beside the tipi. The boy shot and arrow into the tree's trunk and grabbed hold himself. The tree began to grow shooting up into the sky. It took less time than it takes to tell it. Next the brothers and sister were lifted out of the reach of the buffalo.
"I'll cut down the tree myself with my horns!" yelled the buffalo as he began to charge. When he hit the tree it shook like a blade of grass in the wind.
The youngest boy said, " I had better use another arrow," so he did. Then the tree grew up another thousand feet. Again the Giant Buffalo charged the tree. His horns gouged a huge chunk out of the trunk. The boy screamed," I had better use another arrow!!" and shot one high into the treetop. The bull charged for the third time and the tree rocked so hard that the brothers and the girl almost tumbled out. The boy shot a fourth arrow and the tree grew up past the clouds.
"If that bull charges again, this tree will shatter." without a word the child loosed his final arrow as the buffalo began his final charge. "Hurry, step out onto the clouds!" cried the boy, "Don't be frightened." The bulls horns hit the tree and broke the trunk into two. As the tree began to fall, the seven brothers and the girl stepped off into the sky. "What do we do now, little brother? We cannot return to earth we are too high."
"Don't cry," said the little boy, "I will turn us into stars." All at once they were bathed in a beautiful silvery light. They formed themselves into the star group that the whiteman calls the big dipper. If you look very carefully next to the brightest star, you can see a small dim star. They are the sister and the youngest brother. She is filling the sky with glimmering quillwork. Can you see them?
The background on this and other pages are courtesy of Sam Silver Hawk