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A Thundering Rain

Thunder Horse never got along with Raging Buffalo. Thunder Horse wasn’t born into this tribe. They took him when they killed his father in a war many freezes ago. All the other boys had tormented him for that. But Raging Buffalo was the worst. He was the son of the Chief, Standing Bear. Standing Bear was a large man, as was his son. And they had tempers to match their size. It was hard to say which had the worse temper. Raging Buffalo was known to fight with anyone who dared to, and he always won. Standing Bear was known to send a war party after anyone who dishonored him or his family. He once sent a war party after a man who did not pay the required tribute to be protected by the tribe’s warriors. Thunder Horse knew all of this, and he held resentment and anger in his heart. That anger grew and grew as he did among the new tribe. Until he met Singing Fox. Singing Fox was a beautiful girl, as lovely as the rising sun. And she had a voice that could make a man weep. When she sang to the spirits of her ancestors, even the birds stopped to listen. They were the same age. And they were meant to be. But they could not be together, for Thunder Horse was not of their tribe. But their love grew, and they married in secret. A tribal elder who favored Thunder Horse wed them, and they were one. Soon after, Singing Fox was with child. Raging Buffalo seemed to notice the two’s love, for he wanted Singing Fox for himself. One day, when she was down at the river, washing her secret husband’s favorite deer hide, he approached her. He tried to take her by force. Singing Fox used her voice, her voice that once was used to make beautiful sound, to scream for help. Thunder Horse recognized his love’s voice, and ran to her. But he was too late; Raging Buffalo had already taken the life from her, and her spirit was gone. Thunder Horse screamed in a rage, the strength of which he had never felt before. He attacked Raging Buffalo, tearing him from Singing Fox’s lifeless body. He beat him until he too was dead. As Thunder Horse began to realize what he had done, he became scared that he would be put to death. He heard someone yell, and he realized that others must have heard Singing Fox’s scream and come to her aid, but arrived to find only Thunder Horse alive. Thunder Horse, terrified, raced to his love’s body. He felt her soft hair, her smooth lips, and kissed her one last time. Then he ran, ran for the hills that hide the sun at night. He ran until he reached to forest, and in that forest a cave he had discovered when he was a boy.

When Standing Bear discovered his dead son and was told who had killed him, he was so angry he killed the man who told him. He then sent for every man in the tribe. Once they all arrived from the fields or the woods where they had been hunting, Standing Bear sent them all after Thunder Horse, telling them to bring him back dead or alive.

As Thunder Horse hid in the cave, covered in blood, he thought of what would happen if he was caught. He knew he would either be killed, or taken alive back to Standing Bear, who would surely kill him himself. He grieved for his lost love, and he wept. Night began to fall. When the moon was high above the plain, Thunder Horse heard voices. The war party must have tracked him to his cave. He knew he was about to die. Then something strange happened: it started to rain. Slow at first, then faster and heavier. It grew to such power and the rain drops were so large that they make loud smacks against the rock around the mouth of the cave. Thunder Horse, his heart pounding as fast as the rain fell, listened to his pursuers. The rain must have ruined the trail, for they soon were gone. Yet Thunder Horse dare not move or make a sound. But soon, he had to, for his body ached with idle pain. He slowly made his way to the mouth of the cave. The rain was stronger than ever. He stepped out into it. It was cold, for it was still night. He turned his face to the sky, outstretched his arms, and begged the spirits to protect his beloved and forgive him for his crime. He looked at his arms, and the blood was slowly washing away, as if the spirits had answered his prayer. He stood there and watched the sun rise through the rain. He felt the first rays of its warmth, and knew that Singing Fox was with him, that she would love him, as he loved her. Always.




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