Manataka American Indian Council

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Comanche Deer Medicine

One time the People camped at the base of a mountain near a rushing stream.   Over time a person disappeared, then another. The band grew troubled and took their worries to their medicine makers. After sweat lodge purification, after sage and sweet grass cleansing, the medicine makers held council.

"I do not trust those deer," Medicine Man said.

"I trust them less than you." Medicine Woman looked up at the mountain where the deer lived near a large cave.

"I suspect they are stealing our people and keeping them in their cave to eat," Medicine Man said.

"Our people depend on us to care for them."

"And we must do so.

Medicine Man and Medicine Woman walked up the mountain to the cave of the deer.

Guard Deer stood near four sticks at the dark hole of an entrance.

"Good morning," Medicine Woman said. "How are you?"

"You look plump and well," Medicine Man said.

"What food do you eat?" Medicine Woman asked.

"We eat good food," Guard Deer said. "Would you like to see?"

"Yes, we would."

Guard Deer picked up one of the sticks and knocked on the entrance. "One fat buffalo."

A buffalo trotted out.

"That is impressive," Medicine Woman said.

"Watch this." Guard Deer hit the entrance again. "One buffalo calf."

A buffalo calf walked out.

"I am really impressed," Medicine Man said.

"Now you know how we get our food," Guard Deer said. "You may see no more."

"Thank you," Medicine Woman said.

As the medicine makers walked away, they whispered to each other.

"I do not believe that is all in their cave," Medicine Man said.

"I agree. We must find out what else is in there."

They hid behind a large rock while they considered their problem.

"Maybe we could change the sticks when Guard Deer looks the other way," Medicine Man said.

"Guard Deer is too sharp."

"That is true."

"They must change guards soon and the entrance will be unguarded for a brief time," Medicine Woman said.

"We must strike then."


Without making a sound, they worked their way back to the entrance. Concealed behind rocks and plants, they watched and waited. Soon Guard Deer stepped away to consult the next Guard Deer.

They raced to the entrance.

Medicine Woman grabbed a stick and hit the cave. "Two people."

Two warriors walked out.

Medicine Man placed his hand on the stick, and they struck again. "More men."

Many men ran out of the cave. All of them carried bows with arrows in quivers on their backs.

Deer erupted from all directions, but the warriors fought together to drive them back. When the battle was won by the People, most of the deer lay dead.  The medicine makers turned to the deer still alive.

"We are the strongest so hereafter we will eat you," Medicine Man said.

"Your skin and bones, all of your body, will be used to help the People,"  Medicine Woman added.

Guard Deer raised a head. "So be it."

from Texas Indian Myths and Legends by Jane Archer
From Blue Panther Keeper of Stories.