Tuesday, February 1, 2011
The Pale Prophet "Chee-Zoos" visits the Pawnee
Many Tribes have tales of the Healer, and how at one time He came amongst them. He missed very few tribes it seems. No matter how distant or poor, or lost in the ways of other religions. But to the Pawnee he came twice. This last time was in anger.
The Prophet had gone westward to that place we call Oklahoma today where the Paunts had a thriving city, and there He was busy erecting temples and instructing a priesthood. Some wild young braves among the Puanee, who today are known as the Pawnee, formed a secret league to prey on the country, to make themselves rich by attacking the merchants and returning to the old war-religion. The merchants thus captured they would give to the Fire God, who would protect them, said the young men.
Accordingly, one night the Pawnee waited in a glen of the Mississippi where the fleet came to camp and rest on its long journey from the Southern Sea to the Capitol City. Quietly flowing was theFather of Waters when to the glen came the long-ships of the merchants, to discharge the weary rowers for a good night's sleep in the forest shadows. They suspected no mischief and no watch was placed over the camp site since the Puans had long been at peace.
They laughed and joked as they built a camp fire, and in a noisy fun cooked their dinner. Then came the time of conversation; of remembering the long trip; small talk of girls in distant cities' of the customs of other nations and of the man in the flowing white mantle, of whom there was great awe for the miracles He had accomplished. One youth was a skeptic.
"It is strange that we always seem to miss him" This young man sighed, "for I would like to see Him - this creature that we call the Dawn God, and others the Lord of Wind and Water."
Then the talk became hushed and the head man prepared the tobacco, starting the Smoke himself by breathing it to the four directions,taking a few deep puffs of satisfaction before passing it onward to the man to his right in the circle.
At last, each got out his blankets, wove a bed of branches for comfort,and rolling tightly in the blankets was soon asleep beside the low fire.
Then with the yells of Skiri, the Grey Wolf, the wild Pawnee leaped upon them, snatching from sound sleep their surprised prisoners, now forced to carry their own trade goods back to the camp of the bandits.
That was a mad night for the Pawnee, leaping and yelling in the firelight as they staked out two men for the fire death, for sacrifices to the Fire God. Savage was the untamed dancing as they lit the flames about the Puans.
Only one old man protested. He pointed to the East where the Star of the Morning was rising, but the young men paid no attention. Who cared about the Star of the Morning? No one but the One they had called the healer when first he had come to see them. But now that One was far away His magic weak here, as they chanted the wolf-song. Laughingly they pointed at the prisoners where one was dead and another dying.
"Let Him come and revive these men! That would be much better magic than stopping a windstorm or walking on water!"
Then a fire lit up the east sky, where cloud banks had been piled up, and everyone turned in wonder as consternation hushed the chanting. Suddenly He was there among them! strange radiance, each hair of His head luminescent, a weird glow rippling from His garments and His sea-eyes flashing with lightning, He stood staring at the Pawnee People.
"Is this the way you keep my commandments? Is this the manner of your insult to the Spirit called Tir-aw-wa? I come to shield you from his anger, or lo, great wind would ignite the forest! And to ashes would be consigned the Pawnee Nation!"
While the Pawnee stared at Him as if frozen, a weak voice cried from the fire:
"Chee-Zoos, Master! From these flames, release me!"
The Healer turned and looked at the tortured man. "You are free, my son. Walkaway from the fire."
The burned one moved and the chains fell from him. Then he staggered toward the Healer, falling and clutching the hem of the white robe embroidered with its line of crosses.
Those who watched saw a miracle happen, one which they had said could not happen, for the man straightened up without a blemish. Nor was all over, for toward the dead man moved the Prophet.
"Arise! Another day is dawning. Thou art not yet for the Land of Shadows! Arise and return to the Land of the Living."
The fire died away and the blackened corpse stirred and lifted its head and its burned arms.
"Arise, my son. No chains are on thee. Come toward me and be made whole in body, for such this day is the will of my Father!"
The man arose and left the dark flames, staring at his good flesh with eyes unbelieving, murmuring over and over:
"To think that I had questioned they power- forgive,my Master, an unbeliever."
Sealed where the lips of the Pawnee People, with both shame and the terror of a child lost and bewildered. Yet down through the ages has come the story, and sometimes the old ones repeat it on winter evenings beside the camp fire" the legend of the Son of Mighty Tirawa who came back in anger on a shaft of the dawn light, and by His presence, saved from extinction the entire Pawnee Nation.
Foot note: Chee-Zoos was the Puan name for the Dawn God, the Pawnee have a different name.
"He Walked The America's by Taylor Hansen"
Published by Ray Palmer, Legend Press, 9533 Clinton Road Amherst, WI 54406
A link to buy this book is located at the bottom of this blog if you would like to read 256 pgs of Hansen's 30+ years of research of these legends.