Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Horse Appeared When Lightning Struck

"When the storm had cleared, on a great rock close by the village was plainly to be seen the hoofprint of a great horse. It is there to this day for all to see." From this summit, on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation, one can make out what appears to be three great horse hoof prints.
A Horse Appeared When Lightning Struck
Thunder Horse
By Óta Kté (Kills Many), Luther Standing Bear
GREAT PLAINS - Luther Standing Bear’s “Stories of The Sioux,” was published in 1938. Standing Bear was an Oglála Lakȟóta. He attended the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, worked in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, appeared in twelve motion pictures, and authored six books. “Thunder Horse,” appears in Standing Bear’s “Stories of The Sioux.”

The Thunder Dreamer knows that in the sky swell the warriors of Thunder[1] and Lightning,[2] for he has seen and spoken to them in his vision.

These warriors ride wildly about on the black clouds astride their handsome horses, holding in their hands the lightning-sticks which flash during a thunderstorm. Everyone has seen them flash as the warriors dash about in the stormy sky. Whenever the hoofs of the horses boom the lightning-sticks flash blindly.

One day the Sioux[3] were all in their tipis[4] waiting for a thunderstorm to pass. The Thunder and Lightning warriors were dashing back and forth across the sky. Their horses ran madly, for the noise from their feet was deafening. Mingled with the noise of trampling hoofs were the frequent flashes from the lightening-sticks. Great drops of rain fell and ran off the sides of the tipis. The women threw cedar leaves on the fire, and everyone huddled closer.

Suddenly the noise increased to one awful roar. Two lightning-sticks came together, for there was a blinding flash of white light. The tipis shook and the people were fear-stricken.

Two warriors had rushed together, and their horses, losing their balance, fell to the earth, where they struggled for an instant, then dashed back to the sky. When the storm had cleared, on a great rock close by the village was plainly to be seen the hoofprint of a great horse. It is there to this day for all to see.




[1] Wakíŋyaŋ, Thunder.

[2] Wakȟáŋgli. Lightning.

[3] Očhetí Šakówiŋ, the Seven Council Fires, is how the “Sioux” refer to themselves.

[4] Tiíkčeya, is the proper word, thípi, or tipi is also used.