tagNon-EroticWhite Buffalo

White Buffalo


White Buffalo

Smoke . . .

Smoke . . .

He sits naked in the smoke of the lodge fire, legs crossed, arms limp at his sides. Hours have passed, outside the sun slowly crosses the sky. Blankets of heat curl beneath the buffalo skins, tears form in the shimmering waves, roll down his soot stained face. The smoke purges his body with its purity, as fluid dreams pour from him. Visions, after so long the visions finally appear before him. This strange one tastes the acrid smoke as his visions spiral in an odd light.

Endless herds roam under cloudless skies coloring the wide plains in their dust. The sunrise touches the buffalo with bright finger rays and their shadows cover the ground. Dark apparitions flow over the soil, strange forms stain the hoof prints, silence murmurs breathlessly.

Smoke . . .

Smoke . . .

Vultures circle, their dark silhouettes mark the gray skies. Beneath them the skinned carcasses rot in the afternoon sun, as blood stains the prairie. The foul wind wafted slowly, following the footprints, disappearing boots.

Smoke . . .

Smoke . . .

Empty plains at sunset, red skies fade to black as distant storms rumble. Over the miles twin rails disappear into the horizon. A white buffalo silently trots near the rails, each breath steams from its nostrils. The buffalo screams into the night, as the wheels roll over iron rails and a trail of smoke drifts skyward. Darkness swallows the sound, the buffalo’s silence soon echoes, its quiet is deafening.

Wisps of smoke rise in the lodge and the Oglala warrior prepares to return to his tribe. One by one he removes the skins from the lodge, ties them to his horses and begins his ride homeward. Tomorrow, his tribe will begin the journey to the white man's fort to surrender and the strange man, like the white buffalo, will fade into the earth. Behind him the smoke spirals upward, dark curling shapes rise from the remains of the lodge fire.

Smoke . . .

Smoke . . .

They walk in long lines, carrying everything they own on their backs and on the few horses that walk with them. One man rides, leading his people to the future. Dust follows them, gently settling into the footprints, silently covering their path.

In the camp outside the white man’s fort Little Owl held the tipi flap open and waited for permission to enter. He watched as trails of sacred smoke poured out of the opening and flowed upward. The pungent air quickly rose, the curling patterns disappearing in the breeze.

"You may enter Little Owl." Running Elk spoke slowly, with a raspy voice. The oldest of the tribal elders, he also acted as their medicine man. "What troubles you silent one?" he asked, looking up at the young brave.

"I saw the strange Oglala ride in with his tribe. He gave his rifle to the White Father and climbed off of his horse."

"I saw that too. We all knew the day may come."

"Running Elk, I must confess, I had a vision. Last night, before the moon slept, I saw an open plain. On the plain stood a single buffalo, its hide bright in the moonlight. I watched as his shadow rolled over the grasses and then I saw it stumble and fall to the earth. It lay motionless on the ground with no legs and no hair. Its eyes glowed bright in the moonlight as it slowly faded away. Soon all I saw was the glow of eyes, then soon I saw nothing."

"Ah, Little Owl, your powers are strong. Don't worry, I too had that vision. It is as White Buffalo Woman taught us: ‘when the buffalo falls without legs and hair, the great waters will cover us.’"

"But there's no water nearby, not for many miles."

"Can you count the rain in the storm? Can you count the white man? The raindrops fall, feel them splash on your face, listen for the storm, a flood is coming."

Suddenly, a great noise rumbled from the Oglala tents. Little Owl stepped out of the tent to listen to the commotion, wanting to know what was happening. Over the murmuring of the people a voice cried out: "The strange one, the Oglala is dead."

Little Owl stepped back into the tent and fell onto the ground whispering, "Crazy Horse is dead? How can it be? The great warrior, the Oglala is gone."

"The flood is coming," was all Running Elk could say.

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