A STORY OF THE RICHEST INDIAN

by Finder

        Long ago in the days of the ancestors there lived a beautiful old woman named Running Through Flowers.

         Many seasons had passed since Running Through Flowers had received her name from her People.

         Even as a child, when Running Through Flowers would wander off, the People could always find her running though the nearest flower meadow.

         Running Through Flowers had lived a long, long time, like the flowers of the meadow, her only care throughout her life was to help her People and for them to be happy.

         If any member of the People ran into trouble, Running Through Flowers was always there first ready to help.

         All the People thought Running Through Flowers was a powerful Medicine Woman, but she was always too busy helping others or running through flower meadows to find time to study the ways of the Medicine Path.

         Many many seasons passed. Through all the seasons Running Through Flowers never tired of helping her People. How lovely the flowers of spring sang to her as she ran through the meadows.

         The Chief of the People became concerned. He thought to himself, "What will become of Running Through Flowers when she gets too old and has no one to take care of her?"

         Very quietly the Chief of the People called the Medicine Woman and the Shaman together.  The three of them talked for a long time.

         Each of them had many suggestions, however, not one of them wanted to tell Running Through Flowers what to do.

         Finally the Medicine Woman said, "Let's call the People together and let them decide."

         The next day a Pow Wow was ordered by the Chief of the People. No one was told why.

         All of the People loved Pow Wows; seeing old friends, drumming, and dancing.  All of these things made the People very happy!

         During the whole week before the Pow Wow Running Through Flowers gathered colorful flowers to give out to her friends.

         She had spent her life helping others and it seemed that flowers were all she had to give.

         During the Pow Wow, the Chief of the People called everyone together.

         It was then that he shared his concern with all the People.  "What will happen to Running Through Flowers when she becomes too old to fix her own food and make her own clothes?"

         Because Running Through Flowers had never asked for anything from her People, she was embarrassed and didn't know what to say.

         Before Running Through Flowers could say a word, ten mighty warriors stepped forward. Each told a story about how Running Through Flowers had helped them and how she had made them smile when they were children.

         Ten warriors said that as long as Running Through Flowers lived, she would never have to worry about having enough to eat. They said, "Each one of us will take turns hunting and providing for Running Through Flowers."

         Many hours passed as one by one the People, especially the children, told stories about how Running Through Flowers had helped them and made them smile. You see, the People, especially the children, loved to tell kind stories about the People they loved.

         The next day when the stories had been told it was decided, by all the People together, that each one of them would give Running Through Flowers a gift of one thing that each of them owned.

         Running Through Flowers didn't know what to do.  All at once she felt the Love that her People had for her and she started to cry -- soft loving tears.

         All of the People were very very happy. All through the many seasons of Running Through Flower's life they would have given her anything she asked for. But Running Through Flowers had never asked for anything.

         Now the People knew why the hief of the People had ordered the Pow Wow. All the People thanked the Chief and the Medicine Woman for being so wise by giving the People a chance to show that Running Through Flowers was "the Richest Indian of the People."

         And so it was, after so very many seasons, The Great Spirit felt the Love that the People had for each other -- and smiled.
- the end -

(C) by Finder 1996

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