I could not be at Story Hour this Wednesday night and apologize to our Story Teller for the evening.  The Wednesday night Story Teller for May 11, 2011 was Soulful Stuff.    As is our custom, 1 Egg Man (Ron) opened the evening with a blessing:   Oh Great Spirit

Let your voice whisper righteousness in our ears through the East Wind at the break of day.
Let us be blessed with love for all our brothers & sisters on Earth so we may truly live in peace.
Let us have good health mentally & physically to solve our problems and accomplish something for future generations.
Let us be sincere to ourselves and make the world a better place to live

 

Gawonisgo gvdodi Waya (Talks with the Wolf)

Art of Kicking Bear.

 

Soulful Stuff dedicated her story to our wise man and mentor, Kicking Bear.  In Soulful’s words, she did this because: “He has shared much wisdom with us and we have been blessed.  The story I tell tonight is one of listening and the responsibility we hold to listen.
It is a simple story of a Grandfather (Dudu) and his grandson, Usdi.

The original story was told by Bill Martin, Jr. some time ago…but the message seems to speak even today….
Tonight’s story is dedicated especially to Kicking Bear, who shares his wisdom to guide the crow and the beaver….and opens our hearts to know…..

 

Grandfather, tell me the story again.
Tell me who I am.

I have told you many times, Usdi, how you came to be.

But tell me again, Grandfather.
Tell me how my name was given.

You know your name, Usdi, and you know the story by heart.

But it sounds better when you tell it, Grandfather.
Please tell the story again.
I like to hear you say my name.

Then listen carefully, Usdi.
This may be the last time for telling the story.
The counting rope is almost filled with knots.

Usdi sat quietly staring into the fire.
Ever so quietly, he said…
Please, Grandfather, this cannot be the last time.
Promise me.

Grandfather sat quietly staring into the flames as his grandson’s eyes beheld him with much love and intent.

Softly, the Grandfather whispered,
“I cannot promise you anything, Usdi.”
Grandfather leaned back and lit his pipe.
The smoke swirled and danced as it rose.
“I love you, Usdi….very, very much.
That is better than a promise.

Usdi looked deep into his Grandfather’s eyes,
“And I love you, Grandfather.
Please….tell me the story….”

Grandfather breathed in deeply and smiled…

 

Once there was a boy child….

That was me, wasn’t it, Grandfather?

Yes, Usdi….you were the boy child in this story.

And I was very, very strong, wasn’t I, Grandfather?

No, Usdi….you were not strong at all.
You were little and sick.
We thought you might die.

But you knew I wouldn’t die….right, Grandfather?
Tell me that part again…how you knew I would live….

One day when you were very sick,
And your breath was too weak from crying ,
Two great blue horses came galloping by.
Suddenly, they stopped…turned…and looked right at you…
And you, Usdi…you reached your little arms right up to them.

And what did you say to the people then, Grandfather?

I said, “See how the horses speak to him. They are his brothers from beyond the dark mountain. This boy child will not die. The blue horses have given him strength to live”

And that is when you named me, isn’t it, Grandfather?

Yes, Usdi…we named you Boy Strength-of-Blue-Horses. It is a good, strong name.
All children need strong names to grow strong.

Did I grow strong, Grandfather?

Yes, you grew strong, Usdi…and you are growing stronger every day.
Someday, you will be strong enough to cross over beyond the dark mountains.

You must become so strong that you will want to know what other people are thinking even when you are listening to your own thoughts.

Tell me the last part, Grandfather…please…

You must become so strong, Usdi, that you will stop to think of what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow as you choose what you want to do today.

Is it hard to be strong like you, Grandfather?

Strong people were not born strong, Usdi.
They become strong by thinking they are strong.
They think of themselves as being strong enough to cross over the dark mountains.

Will I ever cross over the dark mountains, Grandfather?

You have already crossed some of the mountains, Usdi.
The dark mountains have no beginning and no ending.
They are all around us.
We are always crossing over the dark mountains, especially when we are troubled or afraid.

Maybe I will not be strong enough to cross over the dark mountains, Grandfather.

Oh, yes, you will be, Boy Strength of Blue Horses.

Then you must keep telling me the story, Grandfather.
You must never stop telling me the story.

But I must stop telling you the story, Usdi….
When I have tied the last knot on the counting rope.
Now that I have told the story again, I tie another knot.
When the rope is filled with knots, you must begin to tell the story yourself.
Then, you will truly know that you ARE strong.

What name do you call yourself? Do you know your name…or only what others call you? Do you know your story? Do you hear names in side you that do not make you feel strong? Do you listen to the good names that those you love you share? Listen to your self-talk. Guard your thoughts. Listen….then become the strong and courageous warrior who walks in truth and beauty.

Laying a cedar log on the fire for healing…and sourwood for blessing……and an extra log for Kicking Bear and all elders who tie knots in our counting ropes.

Story Tellers Note: 

A knot was tied in the counting rope every time the story of how you came to be was told…with the understanding that one day…someone outside yourself would not need to tell the story….it would be written in your heart…..and you would not need to hear…you would know and become.

We have the power to encourage and create good memories…share stories…plant seeds of support and nurture. It is a great power that in this day and age is often forgotten…..it is an osda gift to share.

Simple gifts are the best…..the toys may break and the expensive outings may fail…but being truly present…remembering the love and the gift…that changes lives…these are sacred stories….full of blessing.
Presence is the best present……Kicking Bear…and others who see as he does…know the power of that gift…the wisdom that is not always comfortable…but always joyfilled. The beauty and love is all around us…like music from the Creator…all we have to do is be still and listen!

Soulful is a valuable member of our team.  She sells wonderful photographic work and Native American arts and crafts on Etsy.  Here is a sample of her work.

Sloop Fiery Sunset---matted image  

To purchase one of her prints or to view more of her work, please go to:

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