This book is a collection of short stories writtent by the author.
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Native American Short Stories
By Jim Red Fox
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2016 Jim Red Fox
All rights reserved.
By Jim Red Fox
Along time ago, there lived an old Indian by the name of Gray Wolf. He lived in what is now known as the Hudson Valley Range of New York State.
One fall night, as he sat at a bond fire with many young braves, he was asked by one, "Old Gray Wolf, everyone knows that you were one of the best hunters of our tribe. If you were a young brave, say, our age; where would you go to get your first deer?" Before he could answer, another young brave spoke up. "The only way to get a deer at his age, is to have one run up to him." All the young braves laughed until the chief stood up. No one said a word. "There is a saying among our people." "If you make fun of an old hunter, you will never be a successful hunter yourself."
"The old brave just sat there, starring into the fire. Finally Gray Wolf spoke. "When I was your age, I too looked forward to my first deer hunt." "I too sought the most experienced hunter of our tribe." "He told me of a place that no other hunter knew." All the young braves were now listening to every word." "He told me to ride toward the rising sun for two miles." "There I would come to a very big oak tree." "Tie your pony to this tree," He said. "Then climb the tall mountain nearest the old oak tree." "It will take a while to reach the top." "Once you are on top, you will find a wide plateau." "In the center is a very large rock; climb it and sit down." "Deer that approach this rock will not see you, because you are so high up." "Be patient; in time, you may see a large buck."
The young brave who had asked Gray Wolf for advice stood up, grabbed his bow and arrows, thanked Gray Wolf, and left. Once outside, he got on his pony and rode off toward the rising sun. It wasn't long before another young brave grabbed his bow and arrows and followed the first brave. One after the other they left until they were all riding toward the rising sun.
Slowly Gray Wolf stood up, grabbed his old bow and arrows and started walking toward his pony. Before he had gotten very far, one of the elders said, "Gray Wolf, where are you going?" Gray Wolf stopped, slowly he turned around and said with a smile on his face, "I am going to the other side of that tall mountain." "I will be there at the bottom, waiting for the young braves to drive all the deer down to me."
The EndCHAPTER 2
By Jim Red Fox
Along time ago, there lived a young Indian boy by the name of "Star Gazer". He acquired this name when he was about three or four years old. One night when most of the people of his village were sitting around a large bonfire; Star Gazer was standing, staring at the stars. From that night on, everyone called him, "Star Gazer".
Time went by quickly, and soon he had become a fine fourteen year old. Like most boys of his age, he wanted to accompany the braves when they went out on hunting trips. He knew that he would have to prove himself to the older braves. Star Gazer also longed for the time when he would get his own tomahawk, one just like the chief of his tribe owned. It was one of the most impressive tomahawks anyone had ever seen. All the braves hoped that when the time came for the chief to pass on, he would leave his tomahawk to one of them.
One day, Star Gazer decided to go fishing, as it would make his mother very happy if he came home with some trout. As he sat on the river bank, watching his line, he started to daydream. He dreamed that he owned the chief's tomahawk, and when all the boys his age saw him, they were envious. He stared into the crystal clear water while he daydreamed. In time, he noticed something very shinny lying on the bottom of the stream. It wasn't long before his curiosity got the best of him. He took off his moccasins and walked out to the middle of the stream. Star Gazer reached down into the water and grasped the object. When he opened up his hand, he realized that it was just a very shinny yellow rock. It surprised him that the little rock was so heavy. He first thought of throwing it back into the water but decided, he might find a use for it later on. A pouch he carried over his shoulder was used for storing things he found, like this rock. Star Gazer walked back to the shore but something caught his eye; more of those shiny yellow rocks.
The more he looked, the more he found. There was no way he was going to pick up any more of those stones, as his legs were turning blue from the ice- cold water. He caught six trout by the end of the day.
When he arrived at his tepee, his mother greeted him and told him how happy she was with his catch. That night, just before he went to sleep, he took the bright yellow stone out of his pouch. It was about the size of a chicken egg. He wrapped it in deer skin and stuck it under his buffalo skin bed. In time, he forgot about the yellow stone.
Summer was quickly replaced by fall. Everyone in the tribe was working feverishly to ensure that they had enough food in their tepees for the winter. The fall had not been very productive for the hunting parties. The chief was concerned that some of his people might not make it through the long, cold winter.
One day, a white trader came into the village to trade. Everyone came to see what he had with him. He sat with the chief in the large counsel tepee and showed him what he had to trade. When he brought out a large bag of flour, the chief's eyes got big. "This, he thought, would help feed my people in the long, cold winter." Next, the trader brought out a large bag of beans and a barrel of molasses. The chief's eyes got really big. This impressed him. He turned toward the trader and asked him what he wanted for these things. The trader placed a few shinny, yellow stones on a small mink fur he had brought with him. Star Gazer, who was way in the back of the tepee, saw the yellow stones. His eyes lit up as he remembered the yellow stone he had placed under his buffalo blanket. He slipped out of the counsel tepee, and ran back to his own tepee. He grabbed his yellow stone, still wrapped in the deer skins, and ran back to the meeting place. This time, he came through the main door. Star Gazer walked up to the chief and placed the yellow stone in front of him. The chieflooked at the stone and then up at the young man who said, "My chief, if this is what it takes to feed our people, then take it." "I alone know where we can get many more of these yellow stones." The chief then spoke to the trader, "Come back in one week and we will have enough of these yellow stones to buy all the food you can bring to us," "Tell me," asked the chief, "What do you call these yellow stones?" "Gold" said the trader as he rode away.
When the trader returned the following week, he found a large pile of gold stones waiting for him on a trading blanket. The chief was able to trade gold for enough bags of food for everyone in the village. No one went hungry that winter, and not one person died.
In the spring, the chief called all the people together by the bonfire. He then called Star Gazer to come forward. When he stood in front of the people, the chief said, "Because of your smart thinking, not one person starved last winter." "To show you our appreciation, I am hereby awarding you my own tomahawk." The chief then handed it to Star Gazer, who just stared at it. Finally, he thanked the chief and then held it high in the air for everyone to see.
The white trader was there also. He walked up to Star Gazer, put his hand on his shoulder and said, "I know that you have your own Indian name, but I am going to give you a name from me, a white man." "That name will be Evan.
THE ENDCHAPTER 3
WHO, WHO, WHO
By Jim Red Fox
Once upon a time, there lived an old wise owl. His home was in a very large hemlock tree deep in the pine forest. All the animals used to go and see him if they needed advice. Everyone knew that there was no one smarter than the old owl except for maybe the red fox.
One warm fall evening, as the owl was sitting on the branch next to his front door, a young raccoon climbed up and sat on the branch next to Mr. Owl. Mr. Owl turned his head sideways toward the raccoon and asked, "Why are you sitting on my branch"? "Excuse me, Mr. Owl, but I have a question for you." "I see," said Mr. Owl. "Very well, what is your question?" "I was just wondering how is it that you can turn your head all the way around?" "Are you kidding me?" "That's the only question that you have for me?" "How do I turn my head around?" "Do me a favor, Mr. Raccoon, go and bug somebody else with your questions." "Well, I have always wondered about that," said Mr. Raccoon. Mr. Owl said nothing, just kept looking straight ahead. "I guess I could see how that would be something you would wonder about." "O.K., listen and I will tell you how all owls are now able to turn their heads around."
A long time ago, way before you and I were born, owls could only look straight ahead. Then one warm sunny fall day, when the forest was very dry, Mother Nature asked Mr. Owl if he would help her keep an eye on the forest for forest fires. She said that if he flew to the top of the tallest pine tree on top of a hill, he could see all over the forest. Mr. Owl said that he would be glad to help. Mother Nature thanked him and off he flew to the tallest pine tree that he could find.
He found a nice branch at the top and sat down. He searched and searched, but found no fire. After a while, as he sat there, he thought, "While I can see everything in front of me, I can't see anything behind me." He jumped up in the air, spun around, and sat back down on the branch. Now he could see everything that was behind him. After a while, he would do it all over again; hop up in the air, spin around and sit back down on the branch. Soon Mr. Owl started feeling very, very tired. It wasn't long before he fell asleep. The smell of smoke woke him. He quickly hopped up, spun around, and sat back down on the branch. His eyes grew very big as he stared at the big pine trees being swallowed up by the tall red flames of a forest fire. "It's my fault, it's my fault," He kept shouting as he flew off to find Mother Nature. She had already seen the fire and caused the clouds to open up. This let the heavy rains put out the fire.
When Mr. Owl found Mother Nature, he landed on her shoulder. He felt so bad and ashamed. She smiled at him, for she knew how he felt. "It was not your fault,
Mr. Owl," "You tried your best but you were so exhausted that you couldn't stay awake." "I don't blame you for you tried your best, and in life, that's all that matters." "Because you tried so hard, I'm going to give you a gift." "This gift will make it easier for you to watch for forest fires." She placed her hand on top of his head and let it slide down over the back of his neck. "There, that's it." She said. "What did you give me?" Asked
Mr. Owl?" "You will see in time," She said. Mr. Owl gave a sigh of relief. After a while, he said good-bye to Mother Nature and off he flew. Below him, he could see some of the trees that were still smoldering from the fire. He knew the falling rain would soon put them out. He flew high up into the valley to the tallest hemlock tree on top of the mountain. From there he could see all around him. When he wanted to see behind him, all he had to do was just turn his head around. As he sat there, he thought he heard Mother Nature call his name. He answered, "Who, who, who?
THE ENDCHAPTER 4
THE HIDDEN VALLEY
By Jim Red Fox
There was once a beautiful valley, like no other. It was protected on three sides by very high mountain ranges. The fourth side was open to the mid-western desert. A small stream of clear water flowed from the foot of one of these ranges. It was this stream that supplied the life-giving water to the tall grass, shade trees and beautiful flowers that filled the valley. The fish that swam in its' currents and the wild life that drank from it, also thrived. There were many types of birds that made their nests in the trees and bushes. This valley would be completely barren, if it were not for this little stream.
Life in the hidden valley went on day after day, undisturbed by the outside world.
One day, a young native brave came riding into the valley. He was looking for game to bring back to his village, when he came upon the small stream leading out into the desert. The brave decided to follow the stream and discover where it guided him.
The elders of his tribe used to tell of a hidden valley where whoever entered, never came out. They told of how the valley had a way of protecting itself from the outside world and how it was not wise to venture into it. The young brave had heard of this old tale and had thought it to be ridiculous. Slowly his pony proceeded up the stream bed. The water here was only about six to eight inches deep. When they had traveled about half way, the brave stopped to let his pony drink.
The brave sat, staring into the stream's depths, when his eyes were drawn to something shining among the stones. He slowly got off his pony, and bending down, he picked up the yellow shining stone. The brave had heard stories of white traders who would pay a lot for these kind of stones. "Gold", he thought they called it. He did not know what the white man saw in them. The young brave held this one stone and started looking around. He soon discovered more and more of these stones. The farther up the stream bed he went, the more gold he found. He thought, "With all this gold, I will be the most important person in my tribe." "I will have everything I want." "People will bow down to me." Greed slowly filled his mind. He finally came to the base of the mountain, where the water was flowing out of an opening. It was just large enough for a man to crawl into. The brave could see many gold stones, as he stared into the dark opening. The greed he felt overcame his caution as he started crawling into the darkness. His pony raised his head from the water as he heard the deep rumble from within the mountain. The sound stopped and the pony turned and started walking, eventually reaching the village. When the elders saw the pony, they knew what had happened. No one said a word about it. The white prospectors would have come and destroyed the beautiful valley, if word had gotten out.
Once again, the serene valley had kept it's secret of it's gold from the outside world.
THE ENDCHAPTER 5
THE LAST BEAR HUNT
By Jim Red Fox
Once upon a time, there lived A very old Native American Indian by the name of "Hunter". He lived near the Canadian boarder in North Dakota, and was born around 1839 in South Dakota. The years had been both good and bad to him.
It was now 1929 and he was all alone. His wife had died and his children had all moved far away. He lived in an old hotel on Main Street and spent the days in his favorite rocking chair, watching the towns people bustling here and there.
One day, while rocking on the porch, he noticed that the towns people were all excited. The men were running all around, stopping briefly to speak to each other. He heard that somebody had spotted a very large old grizzly bear near the mountain range that divides the United States from Canada. It was common knowledge that all the grizzlies in North Dakota had left or had been killed. This was the very last one. A few of the wealthy men of the town had put a bounty on his head. I believe it was $5,000.00. That amount of money back then, was more than many of the towns people had ever seen. Hunter watched as many so-called hunters got on their horses and galloped out of town toward the big mountain. He could care less and was content just rocking in his chair on the front porch. He kept telling himself that an old Indian of 90 should not be out climbing up and down mountains.
His best friend, Charlie Walker, stopped on his way out of the hotel. "Hunter, Hunter, aren't you going after that grizzly?" he asked. "Listen friend, you are only 80 years old, while I am 90." "My big game hunting days are over." "You go and I wish you all the luck," Hunter said.
Excerpted from Native American Short Stories by Jim Red Fox. Copyright © 2016 Jim Red Fox. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Table of Contents
Contents1 Gray Wolf, 1,
2 The Tomahawk, 5,
3 Who, Who, Who, 11,
4 The Hidden Valley, 15,
5 The Last Bear Hunt, 19,
6 The Water Falls, 25,
7 The Bet, 29,
8 The Water Hole, 37,
9 Daisies, 41,
10 Morning Lily, 47,
11 How The Buffalo Got Its Hump, 53,
12 Don't Close Your Eyes, 57,
13 Did I Ever Tell You The Time, 61,
14 The Little Girl Who Played The Flute, 65,
15 A Day Of Fishing, 71,
16 The Moss-Covered Fallen Tree, 75,
17 The Fence, 81,
18 Tiny, The Prairie Mouse, 87,
19 Two New Friends, 91,
20 Fairy Music, 95,
21 The Necklace, 101,