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Falling Rock

Falling Rock

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Published by John Villa
This is a campfire story I have told for many years at Boy Scout and private camping trips. I was asked to write it out. You can add as many details as you want at your retelling of the story (if you dare to tell it in the first place).
This is a campfire story I have told for many years at Boy Scout and private camping trips. I was asked to write it out. You can add as many details as you want at your retelling of the story (if you dare to tell it in the first place).

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Published by: John Villa on Nov 30, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/19/2012

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The Legend of Falling Rock
(abridged version)
Many, many years ago, before the coming of the White Man to thegreat plains of what was to become the United States of America, livedmany great Native American tribes. They lived in peace with the land andwith one another.During a Great Council meeting of the tribes, there were seen manysigns and portents of trouble to come. It was decided that all the people bemade stronger and fearless leaders and soldiers were to be trained.Many summers passed. The People became stronger. The bravesfiercer. It was decided by the Great Council that one should emerge to leadthem all in battle if that was needed. A Great Competition was announced.All the best warriors were to meet at the Bluffs on the first day of Spring.There they would challenge each other in contests of skill: wrestling,archery, canoe building, story telling, running and many others. Throughoutthe long competition, which lasted for two full moons, two bravesdistinguished themselves: Flying Eagle and Falling Rock. They were the bestof all the tribes. They were so evenly matched that the Great Council couldnot decide who should lead. It was decided to send the two on a quest.The Tonka. The great symbol of the Great Spirit. In the past, manyhad gone out to seek it. None had ever returned. The braves wereinstructed to prepare themselves. They purified themselves in sweat lodgesand made sacrifices to the Great One.In a vision, Flying Eagle saw the Tonka "in the east". Surely, the GreatOne would place his symbol in the place where the day began; where theEarth began. He decided to travel east to find the Tonka.Falling Rock, too, had a vision. The Tonka, he saw, must be on the topof the highest mountain. Where elso would the Great One hide it but
 
somewhere close to himself? So, Falling Rock decided to travel west to findthe Tonka.So, on the first day of Summer, with all the tribes assembled, FlyingEagle and Falling Rock set off on their quest. He who returned with theTonka would be the leader of all the tribes.By the time of harvest, neither brave had returned. By the time ofretreating to winter quarters, neither brave had returned. By the time ofthe Great Council meeting, in the Spring, neither brave had returned. Thechiefs and elders of tribes met. They had to decide what to do. Just asthey were going to enter sweat lodges for purification, a figure, a person,appeared on the eastern horizon. A war party was sent out to capture or killthe man, for he may be the coming trouble. But, the chiefs and elders sawan unusual sight. There was rejoicing in the war party as they approachedthe man. Flying Eagle had returned.Flying Eagle was thin, weary, hardened and dismayed. He had notfound the Tonka. He told, however, of a great danger he had seen in theEast. Men, white men, where coming. He warned the tribes that the menonly seemed friendly. They were actually evil spirits in disguise. The tribesmust prepare for them.As Flying Eagle was the only warrior ever to return from a quest, itwas decided to make him Great Chief of All the People. So it was. Heunified the tribes and made them stronger.But, what of Falling Rock? What had become of him? Was he lost?Maybe after being in the high mountains, he could not find the People on theprairie? Flying Eagle decreed that a signal would be made for Falling Rockto follow. A large fire was to be lit in all the major camps. Fire at nightwould be a beacon and smoke columns each day would serve the samepurpose. So, it was done.

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