Courage


Long ago on a cold wintry day, two people wrapped in buffalo robes sat atop a hill above a snow-covered prairie. One was an old Lakota woman, and beside her was her young grandson. The sun was bright, yet the icy air nipped at their noses and ears. The boy spoke out of impatience. “Why are we here?” he asked. His grandmother pointed at black dots on the horizon. “Them,” she told him. The boy squinted and saw a small herd of buffalo walking steadily in their direction. Eventually they stopped in a wide meadow below the hill, standing shoulder to shoulder. There were about thirty cows with high with high pointed humps and large dark heads with black curved horns. All of them were facing to the northwest. “What are they doing?” the impatient boy asked. “Facing the storm.” His grandmother said. “The buffalo are telling us that because they are facing into the breeze, which will soon grow to a wind.” Looking up to the sky, the boy pointed out that there were no clouds. “The buffalo know a storm is coming from the direction they are facing.” His grandmother assured him. “That is their way – to face the storm. That is what you must do when difficult things happen,” she said. “You must face them with courage, like the buffalo face the storm. That is the lesson they are teaching you.

From The Lakota Way

Native American wisdom on ethics and character



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