Manataka American Indian Council
The Happy Family
by Brant Yonv Tali Beane
Once there was a man called 'Wise Owl ' and a woman called 'Deer Heart'. It is unknown as to how long their courtship lasted or even how they met, but, eventually, they married in the month of the Harvest Moon.
Not everyone was happy about the marriage, especially the mothers of Wise and Deer Heart. Wise Owl was much older than Deer Heart and Wise Owl's mother did not think he was very wise and the mother of Buffalo Heart wondered where her heart was. Some thought the marriage would not last because almost twenty-five winters passed between the couple.
Later the couple had a son and they called Little Bear because of his great size. He grew fast.
Wise Owl worked very hard every day so he could provide for his family. Deer Heart stayed at the lodge and was a good and faithful wife and mother. She took care of their son and the their lodge and prepared their meals.
They lived in a small village in a small lodge and were a happy family.
During the time of the Planting Moon, Green Corn Moon, Ripe Corn Moon, and End of the Fruit Moon, they planted a garden and raised beans, squash, potatoes, corn cucumbers, tomatoes, and melons. During the time of the Nut Moon and Harvest Moon, they planted turnips. Little was growing fast and helped his mother in the garden.
When Little Bear was only five winters old, he became a student of his uncles and elders who thought his great size qualified him to take on responsibilities like older children. Wise Owl continued to hunt as Deer Heart cared for the lodge and Little Bear's growing appetite.
It was not long before their lodge became too small as Little Bear continued to grow and grow. His parents decided to build another larger lodge near Deer Hearts' family where there was plenty of good running water. And, Little Bear continued to grow.
One day Wise Owl went to his son and said, "Son, you are not little anymore, so from this day forth you will be called Young Bear.
Many seasons passed as Young Bear and his mother and father continued to live happily by the place of the running water. Young Bear completed the instructions of his uncles and the elders and was looked upon by most of his peers with great respect.... and awe as his size had become like a mountain.
Finally, his father came to him and said, "Son, you are a young man now and already accomplished the requirements for your coming of age ceremony and you are deserving of a new name. Because of you are nearly a big as a mountain, you will be called Bear Mountain from this day forward.
Bear Mountain was proud of his new name and his good parents.
They were married thirty-three winters, when Wise Owl took his last journey. Deer Heart never remarried and followed him 10 winters later. Bear Mountain knew his parents defied the skeptics, age difference, and struggles of life to make a happy family.
Bear Mountain finally stopped growing - on the outside, but continues to grow on the inside as his parents left him with a great legacy of knowing how to be happy. Bear Mountain moved to another village and searches for his mate to make a new lodge and a happy new family.
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