Stepping upon a stone, making it her
throne, all dressed in a long silver gown
trimmed in lace.
The March wind forms hands that reach
beneath her golden hair sending each curl
The clouds now become her domain. Soft as a feather she
dances, feet waltzing, carrying light upon her wings.
Sweet smell of freedom? A smile takes form on her lips.
Tips of fingers gently caress
each passing cloud.
Silently with sunrise she opens her eyes, a soft whisper,
wake...from dancing in the wind.
Soft, fuzzy fur
Twitching quieted animal
Attaining a goal
Accomplishing a life dream
A long time ago lived a little girl named White Feather who lived in an Indian village. Her father was the chief of the Cherokee tribe. Two other tribes, the Chickasaw and the Miami, lived near by. Although the three tribes didn't get along, when trouble arose they would try to help one another.
One day White Feather's mom told her to go out and play. She went out to play with the other children in the village. They were running until the boys and girls decided to climb a small hill. White Feather would not climb because she was afraid of falling. She said, "I'm going home."
But she didn't go home. She sat down under a tree and she watched the other children. All of a sudden she saw a beautiful eagle flying through the sky. The bird was so graceful in flight. White Feather forgot about the other children playing. She was caught up in the birds flying. White Feather said to herself, "I wish I could fly like the mighty eagle." Then two of the children came down the hill and told her to quit daydreaming. White Feather and the rest of the children went back to the village because it was getting late.
The next day White Feather was told to watch their sheep. Two of the sheep had wandered off up into the hills. White Feather knew that she was responsible for the sheep. She knew she would have to climb the hills to get the sheep and bring them back down. She began to climb up into the hills telling herself all the way up that "I won't fall if I don't look down."
Half way up the hill she heard birds chirping. She turned her head to look. When she did, she saw two beautiful birds in flight. She forgot about the sheep, and she just watched the birds. All of a sudden she slipped and fell. She was not thinking when she put her arms out like the great eagle. All of a sudden she turned into a beautiful white bird. She began to soar and fly around the Indian villages. She flew toward her village and landed a few feet from the village.
When she landed on the ground, she turned back into a little girl. She had to rest for awhile before she could walk back to her teepee. When she got there, her dad was waiting. He was very upset with her. He said to her, "I gave you a small job to do. And did you do it? You ran off to play instead of watching the sheep. Now there are two missing. We depend on our sheep for food as well as for clothing."
White Feather said, "Dad, you don't understand. I was going up into the hills to get the two sheep that wandered off, when all of a sudden I fell. Then something amazing happened. I turned into a bird and I began to fly. I flew all around the villages."
Her father said, "That will be enough. Do you want the other children and villagers to make fun of you? I will never hear this spoken of again."
The following day White Feather did all of her chores and headed to the hills. When she began to climb to the middle, she turned and spread her arms. Then she jumped and automatically she turned into that white beautiful bird. She began to fly and soar around the mountains and the hills. She flew low to the ground. Then all of a sudden she saw wagons. Horses and cows were pulling the wagons and settlers. They seemed to come out of nowhere. She hadn't seen such things before. She flew toward her village and landed on the ground. She rested for awhile. When she got her strength back, she ran to her teepee. Her father asked, "What are you doing?"
She said, "I've seen something, something I've never seen before. Please Dad, come with me and I'll show you." Her father said, "White Feather I have no time for your games today." White Feather said, "But Dad, this is not a game. It is something that I think is very important." Her father told her to go play.
She went to her mother and asked her mother to go with her to see the amazing thing. So her mother and White Feather got two horses and rode them to the tall grasses. Her mother asked, "How much farther is it?" White Feather said, "It's right up here Mom." They rode a few more feet and all of a sudden White Feather's mother saw the settlers and their wagons.
Mother grabbed White Feather's hand and said, "Let's hurry back to our village." White Feather had never seen her mother act like this before. She seemed afraid. They rode so fast that White Feather could hardly get her breath.
When they got back to the village, mother jumped off the horse. She went running and yelling for her husband. She began to tell him about the settlers and wagons coming into their valley. White Feather's father got some of the other Indians together. They rode up to the tall grass to see what his wife was talking about. When they got to the tall grass they could see the settlers and wagons.
When the Indian chief got back to the village be called a meeting of all the tribes. At the meeting he told them about the settlers that had come into their valley. The Indians began to ask one another if the settlers were peaceful or if they had come to take their land. So the chief of each tribe sent out warriors to watch the settlers.
White Feather decided to do her own watching. She became the beautiful white bird again. She began to soar and fly around the settlers to watch the women walk in their long dresses with bonnets on their heads. She did not know what they were saying since their language was foreign to her. But she loved to watch them walk and to look at their trinkets. Over time she learned some of their language.
One day she heard the settlers talking about the Indian tribes and how they needed their lands. She flew home. She went to her father. She told him the words the settlers had said. She hoped her dad would know what they meant. Her dad went to the elders, and he began to tell them what his daughter had heard. He asked them if they knew what the words meant. One elder spoke up. He said, "I understand the settlers' words, because I heard them as a child." The elder told the chief it was very bad news. He told him they had two choices. They could stay and fight the settlers, or they could go and search for another place to live.
The chief called a meeting of all the tribes. He told them about what the settlers' plans were. The Indians had to decide what to do. The chief told them that he was taking his tribe and finding another place to live. But the other two tribes decided to stay and fight.
White Feather went to her father and told him that she would become a bird again. She would fly to find them a new valley to live in. Her father told her, "White Feather, what am I going to do with you?"
White Feather said, "But Dad, how do you think I knew about the settlers and their plans to take our land?" Her father stood there looking at her. And she said, "If you don't believe me, come with me and I'll show you." White Feather began to go into the mountains. Her father went up the mountains with her when all of a sudden White Feather spread her arms and jumped off the mountain. He watched as his young daughter turned into a beautiful white bird. Then she flew to the ground and waited for her father to come down the mountain.
When he got down to the bottom of the mountain he saw his daughter sitting there. White Feather said to her father, "Now do you believe me?"
Her father said, "Yes, I believe you. I don't understand how you did what you did. But I'm sure it had something to do with our gods."
So White Feather said to her father, "Will you let me fly to find a new valley for us to live in?" Her father agreed to let her fly to find a new valley to live in. White Feather went back up the mountain. She turned into a bird, and she flew away. Her father went back to the village and told his wife and the rest of the tribe to pack.
White Feather had flown for a day and half when she came upon a valley that was different than theirs. It had water running down the mountain side, beautiful waters and big tall trees. It seemed to be the perfect place for their new home. White Feather flew home and told her father of the valley. It was a good thing that White Feather had come home at that time. The settlers were beginning to fight the Indians. White Feather turned into a beautiful bird again. Her father told the village to hurry. They were leaving.
They followed White Feather up the mountain. They looked back at their valley. They could hear the noise of the settlers' guns. They could see the other Indian villages burning. White Feather's father turned and led his tribe down the other side of the mountain. They had walked for many days when they came upon the water running down a mountain side. They stopped to rest by the mountain. White Feather flew down beside her father. She turned back into a little girl. Her father asked how much farther to the new valley. White Feather said, "I will show you. It is right up here."
White Feather started up the mountain with her father and the rest of her tribe. They got partially up the mountain when White Feather moved toward the water. They went under the water. There under the water it was like a cave. She led them through the cave to the other side. On the other side was the beautiful valley in which they would make their new home.
They were very happy in their new valley. White Feather lived out the rest of her life in the new valley.