Old Elk's Buffalo Hunt

Old Elk was the longest lived of all the elders of the tribe. His hair was the color of spring snow. His eyes danced even when the drums did not beat. He had seen seventy winters, and was called Great Grandfather by any in the village who wished to partake of his wisdom.

Young Eagle was a promising lad of ten summers whose curiousity was legend. From first light to last, he questioned the way of the world of anyone who would stop to answer.

“Great Grandfather,” Young Eagle asked one day. “What is death?”

Old Elk replied, “Death is when a human being lays down his body so that his spirit may join in the Great Buffalo Hunt in the sky.”

This answer seemed to satisfy the boy for only a few moments, then he asked, “Why would a spirit need to hunt buffalo?”

Old Elk replied, "It is the destiny of the buffalo to provide human beings with food and skins for clothes and tipis. Not all buffalo can fulfill that destiny, so continues the hunt after death.

Young Eagle considered this answer, then ran away to play.

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