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When I Was Fairly Young Boy Of About Ten, I

886 words - 4 pages

When I was fairly young boy of about ten, I ran across a book titled Red Hawk. I immediately became engrossed into the tale and spent all of my free time devouring the words page by page. The story was a combination of fact and fiction. It followed the life of a young Indian boy named Red hawk from age ten to his tragic death in the Battle of the Bighorn. While it did follow the life of one character, it also demonstrated the plight of the Ogallala Sioux Indians during this time period. Being raised in the heart of the Big Horn Mountains, I have always been lured to the myths of the Indian culture. Equally, I was appalled by the white mans aggressive destruction of the Sioux Nation.The beginning of the story tells of a young Red Hawk, playful, mischievous and yearning for his acceptance into the tribe as a man, and the challenge he must face do so. The first hunt is a test of manhood. Red Hawk sets off on this adventure with both excitement and trepidation. To succeed brings him acceptance, to fail brings another year of being considered a mere boy. The hunt, the kill, and the celebration are portrayed in a way only a young boy also seeking acceptance can relate to. This was not unlike my first hunt. To succeed meant acceptance into manhood, to fail meant another year of boyhood. The bonds of our hunts were not to kill for the sake of killing but the taking of food for our survival.The Ogallala Sioux were a people of the land. Not only did they reap their harvest from the land, they also were at peace with the land. All of their beliefs, lore, religion, and actions were based on an earthly premise. Their fear and respect were to the Gods of Wind, Fire, Rain, and the Earth. I was much attuned to their belief, take not from the land what you cannot return or cannot use. I learned in school of the near extinction of the Bison Buffalo when whites first entered the prairies of the west. Most disturbing was the fact that it was not for their meat to survive, but for their hide to prosper. The skinless bare animals were left to rot in the sweltering sun. I hung my head in shame at the senseless waste.The story progressed to Red Hawks' rise to Chief of not only his tribe but also the entire Sioux Nation. The parallelism to today's political struggles is uncanny. The infighting, negotiating, and soothing of ruffled feathers was as prevalent...

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