The Legend of the Bluebonnet LbNA # 28985 (ARCHIVED)
|Owner||Lone Star Quilter|
|Placed Date||Mar 2 2007|
|Found By||Open Space|
|Last Found||Nov 23 2012|
|Last Edited||Sep 14 2015|
The letterbox is located in Washington on the Brazos State Park.
Come springtime in Texas, the bluebonnets cover the land with blue, renewed by the gentle winter rain. But it was not always so. Long ago, the People dwelled amid the prairie grass, camping wherever the drifting herds of buffalo roamed. Content, the People lived their lives and watched the seasons pass. But then one year brought a drought, and the buffalo dispersed and the People and the beasts and the birds grew thin and weak with thirst. They prayed and wondered why the spirits made the world so dry. The old warrior chief went alone where the rattlesnake crawled through the maze of bison bone and to the north he turned. He raised his prized possession, the pipe, and addressed the spirits of the earth. He learned what the People must do and all were told when he returned: “My People, the drought is brought upon us as punishment for our greed. Too long, we’ve taken much more than we need. Now, whatever you own that you treasure, that which you would not trade for any price, that you must toss in the campfire, that you must sacrifice.” One warrior owned a bird-bone vest, but could not bear to part with it. Another had a pair of moccasins that were the envy of many, but thought it unfair to be asked to give them up. A shield, and even the chiefs precious pipe were considered but not committed to the fire. All went to their teepees, turning their backs on the campfire. Then, in the dark of the night, a solemn little girl pushed back the flap of her tent and walked to the fire, which was nearly dead. The girl knelt down and watched the burning embers.
To box number one:
Get a map at the visitors center and go to the loop at the far back of the park. Next to the pond is a sign for the start of the nature trail. Cross the earthen berm and look for a short post with a yellow arrow that marks the start of the trail. Eleven steps on the left, past the arrow is a large cedar tree. On the backside about 6 feet off the ground you will find the box hanging by a ring on a broken limb. Please make sure the ring is secure and the box sealed when you leave it. Return to the yellow arrow and follow its direction.
She clutched a Kachina doll of hide and wood that wore a bonnet, a soft hood of blue jay feathers. Night and day, in sleep, at meals, at naptime and play time, the doll had kept her company. She could make no greater offering.
To box number two:
Continue on the trail until you come to another yellow arrow. Sit at the picnic table facing the trail. Across the trail from you are two trees, one of which is a small cedar. At the base of that tree, on the trail side, lies the Kachina doll.
A dry wind rustled through a grassy tuft. The little girl lowered the doll until its feathered cap was resting on an ember. Soon, a puff, and the fire awoke. Sizzling and snapping, the feathers on the bonnet, bright and blue, caught fire. The blue ashes lifted on spiral waves of heat and drifted away into the night. The girl child prayed. The drifting soot floated like snowflakes in the dry air.
To box number three:
Continue along the trail to the third yellow arrow which points to the right, but you'll want to turn left and walk down the tree line about 30 steps, keeping the clearing on your right. When you stop, look to the left for one of those gray-white trees (I think they're called Prickly Ash, but I could be wrong). It forks at about 4 feet off the ground. There is a branch, like an arm, reaching out to your left that forms a sort of hand with fingers extending upward. The box is nestled in that hand. Please replace it as you found it.
The child at last returned to her bed, to dream. The rains returned with flashes of lightning and cracking booms of thunder. The buffalo stirred, the creatures sought shelter from the swelling streams. Frogs croaked. Then the morning came, sparkling and clear. The child awoke to hear the People exclaiming outside. She went outside and saw what caused their awe. The earth was blue, the same blue as the feathers on her doll. Voiceless with wonder, the girl stood among stems on which blue and white blossoms hung, waving in the gentle breeze of the morning. She felt a hand on her shoulder. The chief of the People had witnessed her sacrifice the night before. “Because you gave up what was precious above all else to you, the showers have come to refresh us, and the blue bonnets from your doll will forever remind us of the promise of spring.”
To box number four:
Go back to the arrow and continue in the direction that it points. If you're lucky enough to be here when the bluebonnets are in bloom, you are indeed fortunate. When you come to the fourth yellow arrow, stop and look to your right for a giant oak tree about 40 steps into the woods. The letterbox is behind this oak, at its base, covered with sticks and bark.