The tale of the Wind Horse
A Choctaw Legend
At the time when day and night were still deciding who comes first, there lived a Horse that will never be seen again. The Horse was not one that would become as the dying buffalo, for this Horse had no enemies.
The reason that this Horse would not be seen again was because of love.
It is a story that begins this way.
The Horse, who was called Wind Horse, was the fastest and gentlest of all the Indian ponies. He felt no fear, there was not one that would harm him. If there was an Indian wounded or that needed a ride, Wind Horse was there to care and to carry the Indian. Because of the kindness of Wind Horse, there is no more.
One day, as Wind Horse was feeling the good feeling from being free, he heard a cry for help. He ran to the edge of the forest and saw an Indian child Boy caught in a trap meant for Bear. The boy's foot was cut off and the Boy could not move. Wind Horse went to the side of the Boy and as the Boy leaned against him, he bent to let the Boy get on his back.
The Boy, who had no name, could not believe that this beautiful Horse would come to him as a friend. All his life he had lived alone, for with his bad leg no one wanted him. As he rode the wind on the horse, he could feel the good feeling that Wind Horse felt. It was as if he were whole and that he was with family.
Wind Horse knew that the wound that the Boy had was one that could not be fixed or healed. He was taking the Boy to the place of the Indian Hunting Ground. This place was where all were made whole and had no fear or need. Wind Horse felt sadness that one as young as this Boy had to go to the Ground but he knew that it would be for the best.
As they traveled, the Boy noticed that the trail was always changing. First it was as it was when the Boy had been hurt, then it was as it was when he had been happy. Then it was the time when he had not been born. Soon he saw things that he did not recognize. The Boy became more close to Wind Horse, for he began to fear.
Wind Horse had seen the times and had seen the Boy and his life. He had felt the feelings of the Boy. Wind Horse knew that if he continued this ride, he would not be free any more. For the feelings that the Boy felt were now becoming the feelings of Wind Horse. For Wind Horse was the last of his race, the race of Horses that would feel the feelings of the rider.
Should the rider remain on the Horse of Wind, he would share the fate of the rider, for then a bond would be made that would not and could not be broken. Wind Horse knew of this bond, and as a result, always put off the rider before any bond was made. This time, Wind Horse knew this would be his last rider.
As they traveled, the Boy began to talk to Wind Horse and Wind Horse listened. He listened to the hopes of the Boy that someday he would run with the leaves that blew across the ground. He listened as the Boy wished for someone to care and love the Boy who had the bad leg. As Wind Horse listened, he began to feel the love for the Boy that the Boy had wanted to give a friend.
"Yes," Wind Horse thought, "This is my last ride for I have found one that needs the feelings that I can give. Since I am the last of my race, I will spend the rest of my time with the one that can and will give the feelings that I need."
Wind Horse turned his head and nuzzled the Boy's head. He began to slow, for the end of the journey was near. The Boy looked up and saw the home of those who had gone before. He realized that his journey was the last one he would ever make. He began to feel fear. But as the Horse stopped to let the Boy down, the Boy realized that he had two good legs and that all his wounds, hunger, need, and hurt were gone. The Horse made no move to leave and the Boy knew that the Horse had also made his last journey.
Wind Horse had never brought his riders to the Hunting Ground, so he was not familiar with the place. He had a new world to explore and he had a friend to explore it with. As Wind Horse and the Boy walked into their new world, the Indian People felt a great sadness. Even though the People could not know what was happening, the feeling of great loss and unhappiness was all around. Wind Horse could hear their cries of despair, but he knew that with the passing of many suns and moons, they would soon forget him and his race.
Wind Horse had made his last journey. He would miss all his travels and the friends that he had made and helped along the way. He prayed to the Great Spirit to send a reminder to the Indian People of the friendship that he and the Indian People had shared. And with Wind Horse's prayer, the Horse was given to the Indian People as friends.
We are as a People as We are Our Heritage. We must always Remember and allow Ourselves to Be Reminded by Those Who Came Before and Watch us Still.
Copyright Teresa Janice Pittman - Choctaw Nation.
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