Native American Legends
Why the Buzzard flies so high
An American Indian Legend - Nation Unknown
In the beginning, the birds had no feathers at all, and when winter
came, they were very cold. So they held council with the gods and
asked for something to cover themselves with. The gods replied that
feather coats were already made and waiting for them. The feather
coats, however, were far away and only one bird could go and bring
them back for the others.
Immediately, Buzzard offered to go because he wanted first choice
of all the coats. After beginning his journey, Buzzard traveled
for such a long time that he ate up all the food he brought along.
He became so hungry that he ate everything he could find, which
he still does to this very day.
After a very long time, Buzzard reached the place where the new
feather coats were stored. He picked out the most beautiful one
and tried it on, but it didn't fit. So he tried on another coat,
then another, always the finest and brightest, but nothing fit.
After a very long time, only one coat was left, and he tried it
It was black and not long enough to reach his neck, and there was
nothing to go on his head at all. But it fit otherwise, so Buzzard
decided to wear it and to get something for his head and neck when
he saw the gods again.
So he gathered up the all the smaller coats of feathers and started
back, flying high in the air.
The coats were so heavy that some kept falling off the pile, and
Buzzard would have to stop and circle around and around, hunting
for the coats which had dropped. When he found them, he had to circle
down, pick them up, then circle around and around to get back up
high enough to continue home. This is why buzzards fly in circles
high in the air.
When Buzzard arrived back at the council grounds, everyone was
gone, so he started out again, flying in circles for a long, long
time. As he flew, he called to all the birds, giving each one a
new feather coat, the same coats they wear now. But when Buzzard
searched for the gods, he never found them, so he couldn't get any
more feathers for himself. Since that time, Buzzard has learned
to get along as best he can without any feathers on his head and
neck. And ever since then he has had to wear the same shabby black
coat.Even to this day, Buzzard's head and neck are naked, and he
is not a handsome bird. But he can fly higher and further than most
birds and has learned to be satisfied with his short black feather
coat. This is the way everybody should be in life, to accept the
best one can have!
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