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The Origin of Sunflowers

Chief Fiery Flame of the Navajos prayed intensely because famine had fallen upon his tribe. In fact, none of the crops could even sprout since the weather was constantly cloudy and gloomy. The Navajos were impoverished, for they had no possessions that the Europeans were willing to trade for. The tribe had never before been in such a weak condition. Fortunately, Chief Fiery Flame persisted in fervently praying and fasting for a week.

Finally, Chief Fiery Flame's prayers were answered. He was greeted by the Great Spirit, who had a pure heart and was wise. Chief Fiery Flame told the Great Spirit what had happened to his tribe and then asked him what he should do. He replied, "Have members of your tribe start showing kindness to each other, and, eventually, their problems will be replaced with joy and peace."

When Chief Fiery Flame returned to his tribe, he told all of the people and animals what the Great Spirit had commanded. The Navajos were initially reluctant to obey because they did not want to change their actions. Remarkably, however, they eventually decided to be nicer to each other because they wanted their tribe to be healed.

Slowly, the Navajos became a tribe of love. They developed a sincere respect for everyone. Additionally, they started to genuinely care about others. They helped all people in any way that they could. This, consequently, caused them to feel happier.

Gradually, the sun shone more often upon the Navajo village. Actually, it seemed to enjoy beaming upon the Navajos because it began to follow their kindness. Whenever someone did a good deed, the sun radiated even more brightly upon the tribe. This allowed the tribe, along with its crops, to flourish.

While the rich sunlight seeped into the ground, it condensed to form seeds of sunlight. These seeds quickly grew and became the brightest and largest flowers that the Navajos had seen. Since these flowers resembled the sun, the Navajos called them "sunflowers."

Soon, European traders in the New World saw these flowers for the first time. Enchanted by the dazzling sunflowers, they bartered their most coveted pelts, jewelry, and pots for them. This is how the Navajos were able to trade for what they wanted from the Europeans.

Sunflowers have spread throughout our world. Many people today are amazed about the resemblance that sunflowers share with the sun. To the Navajos, sunflowers convey this message: "Be kind to others, and the sun's flowers will bloom gloriously for you, manifesting the promise that you will be blessed abundantly.”



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