I came across “Moon Flower” in the recesses of my basement today. I wrote this short story for a Social Studies assignment when I was in the eighth grade. The objective was to spin an original folktale using particular words, (highlighted in bold here), as many times as possible. In my handwritten story—the pages of which were held together by a strand of white yarn—these particular words were accompanied by hieroglyphics, also a requirement for the assignment.
I hope you enjoy this Native American fairytale…spun by a descendant of “Willing Wing West Moon” (on my father’s side) at a tender age.
I am Blue Buffalo, and this is the story of Moon Flower.
Many moons ago, a contest was held in the Dakota Indian camp. It was a contest determining which young Indian woman would wed Son of Top Man—the Chief’s son. This contest consisted of several near-impossible tasks. There was only one woman brave enough for this undertaking, and her name was Moon Flower.
The first feat was to spear a buffalo and bring back its horns. With no directions at all, Moon Flower ventured out with her bow and arrow, unsure of what was to come.
After walking for hours, Moon Flower spotted a buffalo. She aimed her bow and arrow squarely and speared it. She removed the buffalo’s horns and returned to the Indian camp.
Her second task was to pluck a feather from a white hawk. The trick was to not kill the white hawk in order to get the feather.
Moon Flower set out once again. When night came, she climbed the highest mountain. With only the stars as her light, Moon Flower tracked a white hawk, crept up to it, and plucked a tail feather before fleeing down the mountain.
Once back at the Indian camp, the tribe celebrated Moon Flower’s victory, but the worst was yet to come.
Moon Flower’s third and final undertaking was to squeeze and drink the juice out of a cactus, which would give her power to find a medicinal plant believed to heal all diseases.
Moon Flower walked all day until she found a cactus. She skillfully squeezed it and drank its juice. Immediately, she knew she must go across the river to an island.
She found a canoe hidden in some high grass and set out across the river. Once on the island, Moon Flower encountered many animals: black deer, antelope, moose, lynx, foxes and wild horses. She also discovered the medicinal plant and started back to her Indian camp with it.
When Moon Flower returned, she was met by her proud, excited tribe. Moon Flower married Son of Top Man, and they later had a son. That boy was me, Chief Blue Buffalo.