Red Bird & the Bear! LbNA # 40882
|Placed Date||Jun 7 2008|
Once upon a time there was a Winnebago Indian boy named Red Bird. He was named after the famous war chief Wanig-suchka which means red bird in English. Red Bird could not hunt with the men in his village until he spent the night alone in the woods as a sign of his bravery.
For his special night, Red Bird packed his bedroll, knife, bow and arrows, and a flask for nina, the Winnebago word for water. His bedroll was made from the hides of two animals killed by his father in another hunt. The Wapiti skin would be his bed and the Bison skin would be his blanket. Red Bird prepared his Pinto named Loomis and set out to scout the lake and the woods.
Red Bird traveled on Loomis until he passed under a small over-pass. To the East was an area where other scouts had left their horses to rest, so he decided to do the same. The scout walked northeast along the main trail and saw a small lake. To his right was a small bridge which he crossed. He decided to take the high trail and scout the area to the east-southeast. Wishing for a look-out point, he continued on the high ground. After a short walk, the trail forked and Red Bird decided to stay on the trail closest to the setting sun. Along the trail he saw wood violets and snacked on some wild strawberries. To the young scout’s surprise, the trail descended. Wishing to sleep on high ground, he chose to continue on the north bound pass. Wanting to remember these crossroads, Red Bird counted his steps as he walked up the rising trail. At 120 steps he found a mighty oak tree. He decided that this tree would serve as a safe place to sleep and did not go up the hill any further. It is at the base of this mighty oak where Red Bird placed his gear and settled down for the night.
The next day a bear woke up Red Bird by pushing him off his bed roll. The hudj, Indian for black bear, began to bite and claw at the young scout. The boy had to get to his bow and arrow and kill the bear or suffer a cruel death himself. With his heart racing, he scrambled to get to his gear. With not much time to spare, Red Bird took aim, shot and hit the bear in the heart. Within minutes the boy became a man.
Now Red Bird had to drag the carcass back to his village for a feast. He went southward back toward the crossroads he saw the previous day. The battle left him hot and thirsty so he went west toward the lake for some water. After he filled his flask, the scout returned to his pinto for his journey home.
Upon Red Bird’s return, his people cheer and say “haho” which means welcome. They will use the bear meat for food and the hide for clothing. But first they will celebrate the young scout’s bravery. And from now on, Red Bird will be allowed to join the hunt with the other men in the village.
Last visitor 6/24/08 Box intact.