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Indigenous Peoples' Literature

The Ancient One

by Bearwalker

Ancient One sat in the shade of his tree in front of his cave. Red People came to him and he said to Red People, "Tell me your vision."

And Red People answered, "The elders have told us to pray in this manner, and that manner, and it is important that only we pray as we have been taught for this has been handed down to us by the elders."

"Hmmmm," said the Ancient One.

Then Black People came to him and he said to Black People, "Tell me your vision."

And Black People answered, "Our mothers have said to go to this building and that building and pray in this manner and that manner. And our fathers have said to bow in this manner and that manner when we pray. And it is important that we do only this when we pray."



"Hmmmm," said the Ancient One.

Then Yellow People came to him and he said to Yellow People, "Tell me your vision."

And Yellow People answered, "Our teachers have told us to sit in this manner and that manner and to say this thing and that thing when we pray. And it is important that we do only this when we pray."

"Hmmmm," said the Ancient One.

Then White People came to him and he said to White People, "Tell me your vision."

And White People answered, "Our Book has told us to pray in this way and that way and to do this thing and that thing, and it is very important that we do this when we pray."

"Hmmmm," said the Ancient One.

Then Ancient One spoke to the Earth and said, "Have you given the people a vision?" And the Earth said, "Yes, a special gift for each one, but the people were so busy speaking and arguing about which way is right they could not see the gift I gave each one of them." And the Ancient One asked same question of Water and Fire and Air and got the same answer. Then Ancient One asked Animal, and Bird, and Insect, and Tree, and Flower, and Sky, and Moon, and Sun, and Stars, and all of the other Spirits and each told him the same.

Ancient One thought this was very sad. He called Red People, Black People, Yellow People, and White People to him and said to them. "The ways taught to you by your Elders, and your Mothers and Fathers, and Teachers, and Books are sacred. It is good that you respect those ways, for they are the ways of your ancestors. But the ancestors no longer walk on the Face of the Earth Mother. You have forgotten your own Vision. Your Vision is right for you but no one else. Now each of you must pray for your own Visions, and be still enough to see them, so you can follow the way of the heart. It is a hard way. It is a good way.




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The Indigenous Peoples' Literature pages were researched and organized by Glenn Welker.


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