How Devil's Tower Came to Be


- Lakota -

Many winters ago in the land of Paha Sapa, the Black Hills, there lived two small boys.

One day when no one was watching them, the two boys decided to go on a hunting trip of their own. They wanted to find out what the rest of the world was like. All day they walked, looking at the country and eating much wild fruit along the way. The shadows began to lengthen, and the two boys found that they were far from home. They had never been away from the tipi before. Night was coming, and the boys were afraid.

Their fear was increased when they saw that they were being followed by Mato, the Bear. The two boys, not knowing what to do, turned and ran fast. The bear snarled and also ran fast. The bear drew close. The boys knew he would soon be upon them.

In one last effort, the boys cried out to Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit, to help them. They fell to the ground, hoping the bear might pass over them. Then they felt a trembling beneath them. They raised their heads to see if the bear was shaking them. No, the ground around them was rising toward the sky. They were on top of a mountain of solid rock. The boys were safe from the jaws of the great bear below, who in his efforts to reach them was tearing great jagged gashes in the sides of the rock with his claws.

To this day Devil's Tower in Wyoming, with its scarred sides and flat top, remains as a token of the Great Spirit's kindness to, and watchfulness over little Sioux children.

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