Crow Mystery Warrior
Oil, Not For Sale
Edited from a story by Joe Medicine Crow.
A Long time ago, the Lakota looked upon the lands of the Crow and thought that they should have them. One at the council was a captive Crow adopted by the Lakota, but he spoke in council and told those assembled that what they had planned, to annihilate the Crow in their homelands, was not a good thing and he did not think the Creator would want an entire nation eliminated. The Crow told them that he would not join them in this war party to destroy the Crow. Instead he sent his sons to the Crow to warn them.
The Crow at first were suspicious but an old man spoke for the boys. He said that they had come in personal danger, for they knew not if the Crow would hear them out, or kill them. He said that one who comes in such a way should be listened to. Finally, he convinced the Crow and they immediately set about moving camp.
When the Lakota came to the camp no one was there. But this did not stop the Lakota. They talked among themselves about this until they decided that they would go to their relations, the Cheyenne and Arapaho and ask them to help. The Lakota decided to send representatives to their relatives camps and during the winter see how many they could get to help go against the Crow. The Crow were their ancient enemy so it was not hard to get the Arapaho and Lakota warriors to join with them.
In the spring, the three nations came down upon the Crow. It is said the numbers were 12 against each Crow Warrior and yet, they could not defeat the Crow for they fought for their lives, and their lands. In a lull in the battle, a Crow warrior went out by himself and challenged the Lakota. He said, ”Lakota, you fight like women. We are going to make you run like women. We have sent for our other bands and they will be here soon.”
Unbeknownst to the speaker, but the Lakota could see clearly at this moment two clouds of dust arising in the air. They knew they had only one last chance to achieve their goal of taking these lands, so they came again upon the Crow. But as they rushed forward, a rider on a white horse that was painted came down from a hill. He carried a staff with elk antlers on it. He wore so many feathers that even the wind got out of his way. This warrior single handedly routed the Lakota, Arapaho, and Cheyenne Nations.
Years later, when all were on reservations, they visited each other and they talked about old battles and warriors and such. When the Lakota visited the Crow , they asked about that warrior. None knew who they were talking about. As the Crow thought about it, they remembered the clouds in the sky that were the dust of an elk herd and a buffalo herd that had become nervous from the noise of the battle. Then they remembered that while the young warrior was boasting, that one of their old women went up on the mountain and prayed. She said, “Ol Man Coyote, you said if ever we needed you that you would come to help us. Today is that day.”