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Long Arrow Returns Home With Elk Dogs
It was many, many times many days that Chief Good Running prayed and waited for the day that his grandson, Long Arrow returns home after the dangerous mission. Grandfather prayed day and night for the safety of his grandson. If Long Arrow returned home with Elk Dogs, that would be wonderful, Grandfather thought -- but, if he returned home with no Elk Dogs, it would still be wonderful to see his grandson again.
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Long Arrow listened carefully to Spirit Grandfather and remembered all he was told. The old chief and his wife packed a bag with lots of food for Long Arrow and his dog. He was told to walk for four days to the north and never look back, and to wear the robe and belt at all times. The grandfather told him that the Elk Dogs will begin to follow him on the fourth day, yet still he was not to look back. After the Elk Dogs began to get ahead of Long Arrow, he was to use the magic rope to catch one of the animals. Long Arrow remembered, walked and remembered all instructions, never looking back. Long Arrow walked north to where his dog waited. He fed his dog and put the food pack on the travois, and headed north, never looking back.
The Elk Dogs came and passed him on the fourth day, the dog running after them. Using the white buffalo rope, Long Arrow caught the beautiful, powerful and fiery black Elk Dog to ride. He caught another to carry the the pack of food and the travois. Long Arrow rode north, the herd always following them. Swiftly they galloped home to Grandfather and Grandmother.
The people saw some strange animals coming. One animal looked like half man and half animal -- they were afraid and hid from the monster. Long Arrow, when he was close enough called out to his Grandfather.
"Grandfather Good Running," he yelled. "I am home and brought you what I said I would." Knowing that it was the voice of his grandson, Good Running came out to meet the young warrior and to see the Elk Dogs. The old man wept for joy and embraced his grandson. The people came out timidly and stared at the strange animals.
"Grandfather, Grandmother! You adopted me and raised me. I want to repay you for your good hearts and kindness. Please, these are your gifts. Accept these Elk Dogs and we will never again be poor, and we will be proud and brave hunters and warriors. We will ride swiftly and hunt buffalo easily now. Take them, Grandfather, I will keep only this black one and his black female for myself. They will give me a fine herd of my own."
"You have done a great thing, Grandson," said Good Running. And it was a great thing Long Arrow had done, for the people became brave and bold riders of the plains. Good Running was rich and honored by all who knew him.
One day, Good Running asked Long Arrow to lead him and the people to the Great Mystery Lake, to visit the Spirit Grandfather and the Spirit Boy, in hopes that they would be given some power and magic gifts.
Long Arrow did lead Grandfather and the people south to the great lake. When they arrived at the Great Mystery Lake after a long journey, there was nothing there to see, except a few fish.
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Content copyright © 2013 by Phyllis Doyle Burns. All rights reserved.
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