This Wednesday we were proud to have a new camp site.  This was our first story hour in Tahlequah, Oklahoma…home of the Tsalagi.

We decided to have the story be delivered from this wonderful amphitheatre.  This is in Tahlequah and is the home of on-going dramatic presentation of the Trail of Tears Drama. It is done live and en-acted by Native Americans.


It is a wonderful play and if you are ever near Tahlequah, you must check the schedule and try to see it.

I have done so several times and it is as good the last time as it was the first time.

So….all of November stories will be told with the story teller front and center here.  Join us.


Prior to the story telling, our gusdi, Ron, 1 Egg Man shared this beautiful opening blessing

Great Spirit, ae we gather around our campfire once again, in anticipation of reading another enlightening story, surround us with your loving arms.  

Even though we had to abruptly travel to another camp, our fire will always burn bright and prayers will always rise with the smoke. It has been almost a year since the flicker, that has spread to become a blaze, was started by our Gusdi Joni, and with the help of many newcomers, it has become an Eternal Flame, offering warmth and protection, comfort and joy.

We are many, all different but all joined together to become one heart. We strive to Walk the Red Road and with Your help, and that of our Elder and Teacher, KickingBear, we will continue to do so.

Like those who made the long journey to Tahlequah many moons ago, this fire, in this new camp, will be a new beginning. We have many members of our family who are feeling poorly right now, please hear our prayers and help them through their troubling time.

Oh Great Spirit, help me always to speak the truth quietly, to listen with an open mind when others speak and to remember the peace that may be found in silence.


                                      Tsalagi…..For The Brands Rescue

The Pact of Fire ~ a Sioux Legend as told by Heart Works (Jan Rice)
When the world was created, First Man and First Woman struggled to stay alive and warm through the first winter. First Dog struggled also. Deep in the winter, First Dog gave birth to her pups. Each night, she huddled in the brush of the forest, longingly watching the fire, which kept First Man and First Woman warm.

First Winter was severe, so cold that First Dog dared not leave her pups to search for food to fill her own belly, fearing that her pups would freeze to death in her absence. She curled around them, but the wind was bitter.

Her belly shrank with hunger, and soon she had no milk. The smallest pup perished, and First Dog felt her own life draining away as she struggled to care for the remaining pups. Fearing for the fate of the others, she knew she had no choice but to approach the fire and ask First Woman and First Man to share their food and the fire’s warmth.

Slowly, she crept to the fire and spoke to First Woman, who was heavy with child. I am a mother, said First Dog, and soon you will be a mother too. I want my little ones to survive, just as you will want your little one to survive. So I will ask you to make a pact. First Woman and First Man listened.

I am about to die. Take my pups. You will raise them and call them Dog. They will be your guardians. They will alert you to danger, keep you warm, guard your camp, and even lay down their life to protect your life and the lives of your children. They will be companions to you and all your generations, never leaving your side, as long as Mankind shall survive.

In return, you will share your food and the warmth of your fire. You will treat my children with love and kindness, and tend to them if they become ill, just as if they were born from your own belly. And if they are in pain, you will take a sharp knife to their throat, and end their misery. In exchange for this, you will have the loyalty of my children and all their offspring until the end of time

First Man and First Woman agreed. First Dog went to her nest in the brush, and with the last of her strength, one by one, she brought her pups to the fire. As she did so, First Woman gave birth to First Child, wrapped her in Rabbit skins, and nestled First Child among the pups by the fireside. First Dog lay down by the fire, licked her pups, then walked away to die under the stars.

Before she disappeared into the darkness, she turned and spoke once more to First Man “My children will honor this pact for all generations. But if Man breaks this pact, if you or your children’s children deny even one dog food, warmth, a kind word or a merciful end, your generations will be plagued with war, hunger and disease, and so this shall remain until the pact is honored again by all Mankind.” With this, First Dog entered the night, and returned in spirit to the creator.

Double Feature
No Pets Allowed
A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them. After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, “Excuse me, where are we?”

“This is heaven, sir,” the man answered.
“Wow! Would you happen to have some water?” the man asked.
“Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.” The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

“Can my friend,” gesturing toward his dog, “come in, too?” the traveler asked.
“I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.”

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book. “Excuse me!” he called to the reader. “Do you have any water?”

“Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there” The man pointed to a place that couldn’t be seen from outside the gate. “Come on in.”
“How about my friend here?” the traveler gestured to the dog.
“There should be a bowl by the pump.”

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them.
“What do you call this place?” the traveler asked.
“This is heaven,” was the answer.

“Well, that’s confusing,” the traveler said. “The man down the road said that was heaven, too.”
“Oh, you mean the place with the gold streets and pearly gates? Nope. That’s hell.”

In view of the fact that we had just experienced a little dust-up on Etsy due to our desire to create a “heaven” on earth for some unfortunate dogs and honor the pact made in the first story, these stories could not have been more timely or appreciated. 


                                                        Heart Works

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