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Tatanka Olawan (Buffalo Song)


Nancy is a friend of mine who owns a bison farm.
Her skin is White, her heart is Red, her spirit bright and warm.
I stopped in to her store one day and saw a flute 'twas there.
We began to chat about it and she had this tale to share:

'I love the sound of the Native flute, but I don't play well, I fear.
I'd often go and sit out back where no one else could hear.
I didn't know if it was right for someone such as I
To play a Native instrument, but I felt compelled to try.

Just me and my flute, up on the hill and the bison down below...
A simple tune would come to me and I'd play it soft and low.
It seems each time I tried to play, it was these same notes that came.
Eventually I understood: 'Buffalo Song' was its name.

Ev'ry chance, for the longest time, I'd go out on that hill.
I didn't let others hear me play but the flute gave me a thrill!
But in time, as it often does, life just got in the way.
There were so many things to do, I no longer went to play.

And I rarely spoke about it, for I'm no Carlos Nakai
And I'm sure no Kokopelli, but I'd think of it and sigh.
So, life went on as normal 'til a woman came one day
Who could talk to animals and hear what they had to say.

'I'd like to sit, if you don't mind, near the bison for a while,
To see if they might speak to me', she requested with a smile.
'Go right ahead', I answered her, 'but then please come back in
And let me know just what they said, these bison who are my friends.'

In a little while she returned and I ask what she had heard.
The story she told astounded me -- I could not speak a word!
'The bison,' she said, 'are worried and wonder if something's wrong.
They said to tell you that they miss what they called 'The Buffalo's Song',

I'm not sure just what they meant, but thought that you might know.
It was very special to them, now it's gone and they feel low.''
When Nancy had finished speaking, I wasn't the least surprised
For this story that she told to me was easily surmised.

She doesn't need a human's voice to say where she belongs:
The buffalo know this woman, the buffalo know her song.
Years have passed since I heard this tale, yet its lessons still live on
And I rarely think of 'Nancy' -- she's 'Tatanka Olawan'.

By darkdeer

© 2010 darkdeer (All rights reserved)

Written for Pick Your Form week

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This Poem is part of a Challenge: FOS - Weekly Form: Narrative Poem (challenge has been closed)

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