‘Owhwhe: Finding the Good Ones

By JACQUELINE LETALIEN, Kim Yerton Memorial Libary

Sometimes it takes a while to find a book.   I started and stopped three books, none of which caused me to commit to the writing.  I thought perhaps I needed to stay with nonfiction.  But then I think about Harry Potter and I surely found that of great interest.  So I found out it takes persistence some times.

And then with patience, the good one comes.  I am reading “Dance House” by Joseph Marshall III, of the Rosebud Indian Reservation of the Sioux.  These are stories of life on the Plains, the land of wandering people.

One is the tale of a mysterious couple who helps a person from freezing to death.  This is a story that puts faith to a test.  Can we believe that it happened?  My second favorite is the story of a growing friendship between a man and a horse.  This expresses the faith that a human has for an animal critter.

Each story led me to read the next one for its insight, for its appreciation of what is human, what is animal and how our fates are often linked with each other.  The stories are filled with the wisdom of elders.

Some stories make me sigh at the absurdity of what we have created.  There’s the story of a man sent to a mental institution for several years because of a misinterpretation of the Sioux language.  The story speaks of a woman’s faithfulness to her betrothed because she waits until he is released quite some time after he is incarcerated.

We have lost millions of people, millions of buffalo, a way of life.  We have become estranged from the land.  However, we have our heritage and that will keep us true to the natural world and to ourselves if we listen to our hearts.

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