there was a Mouse. He was a Busy Mouse, Searching Everywhere, Touching
his Whiskers to the Grass, and Looking. He was Busy as all Mice are,Busy
with Mice things. But Once in a while he would Hear an odd Sound. He would
Lift his Head, Squinting hard to See, his Whiskers. Wiggling in the Air,
and he would Wonder. One Day he Scurried up to a fellow Mouse and asked
him, "Do you Hear a Roaring in your
no," answered the Other Mouse, not Lifting his Busy Nose from the Ground.
"I Hear Nothing. I am Busy now. Talk to me
He asked Another Mouse the same Question and the Mouse Looked at him Strangely.
"Are you Foolish in your Head? What Sound?" he asked and Slipped into a
Hole in a Fallen Cottonwood Tree. The little Mouse shrugged his Whiskers
and Busied himself again, Determined to Forget the Whole Matter. But there
was that Roaring again. It was faint, very faint, but it was there! One
Day, he Decided to investigate the Sound just a little. Leaving the Other
Busy Mice, he Scurried a little Way away and Listened again. There It was!
He was Listening hard when suddenly, Someone said Hello.
little Brother," the Voice said, and Mouse almost Jumped right Out of his
Skin. He Arched his Back and Tail and was about to Run. "Hello," again
said the Voice. "It is I, Brother Raccoon." And sure enough, It was! "What
are you Doing Here all by yourself, little Brother?" asked the Raccoon.
The Mouse blushed, and put his Nose almost to the Ground. "I Hear a Roaring
in my Ears and I am Investigating it," he answered timidly."A Roaring in
your Ears?" replied the Raccoon as he Sat Down with him. "What you Hear,
little Brother , is the River."
River?" Mouse asked curiously. "What is a River?"
with me and I will Show you the River," Raccoon said.
Mouse was terribly Afraid, but he was Determined to Find Out Once and for
All about the Roaring. "I can Return to my Work," he thought, "after this
thing is Settled, and possibly this thing may Aid me in All my Busy Examining
and Collecting. And my Brothers All said it was Nothing. I will Show them.
I will Ask Raccoon to Return with me and I will have Proof.""All right
Raccoon, my Brother," said Mouse. "Lead on to the River. I will Walk with
you." Little Mouse Walked with Raccoon. His little Heart was Pounding in
his Breast. The Raccoon was Taking him upon Strange Paths and little Mouse
Smelled the Scent of many things that had Gone by his Way. Many times he
became so Frightened he almost Turned Back.
they Came to the River! It was Huge and Breathtaking,
and Clear in Places, and Murky in Others. Little Mouse was unable to See
Across it because it was so Great. It Roared, Sang, Cried, and Thundered
on its Course. Little Mouse Saw Great and Little Pieces of the World Carried
Along on its Surface."It is Powerful!" little Mouse said, Fumbling for
is a Great thing," answered the Raccoon, "But here, let me
Introduce you to a Friend."
In a Smoother, Shallower Place was a Lily Pad, Bright and Green. Sitting
upon it was a Frog, almost as Green as the Pad it sat on. The Frog's White
Belly stood out Clearly."Hello, little Brother," said the Frog."Welcome
to the River."I must Leave you Now," cut in Raccoon, "but do not Fear,
litt Brother, for Frog will Care for you Now." And Raccoon Left, Looking
along the River Bank for Food that he might Wash and Eat.
Mouse Approached the Water and Looked into it. He saw a Frightened Mouse
Reflected there. "Who are you?" little Mouse asked the Reflection. "Are
you not Afraid of being that Far out into the Great River?" "No, answered
the Frog, "I am not Afraid. I have been Given the Gift from Birth to Live
both Above and Within the River. When Winter Man Comes and Freezes this
Medicine, I cannot be Seen. But all the while Thunderbird Flies, I am here.
To Visit me, One must Come when the World is Green. I, my Brother, am the
Keeper of the Water. " Amazing!" little Mouse said at last, again Fumbling
for Words. " Would you like to have some Medicine Power?" Frog asked. ""Medicine
Power? Me?" asked little Mouse. "Yes, yes! If it is Possible." "Then Crouch
as Low as you Can, and then Jump as High as you are Able! You will have
your Medicine!" Frog said.
Mouse did as he was Instructed. He Crouched as Low as he Could and Jumped.
And when he did, his Eyes Saw the Sacred Mountains. Little Mouse
could hardly Believe his Eyes. But there they were! But then he Fell back
to Earth, and he Landed in the River! Little Mouse became Frightened
and Scrambled back to the Bank. He was Wet and Frightened nearly to Death."You
have Tricked me," little Mouse Screamed at the Frog!"
said the Frog. "You are not Harmed. Do not let your Fear and Anger Blind
you. What did you See? "I," Mouse stammered, "I Saw the Sacred Mountains!"
"And you have a New Name!" Frog said. "It is Jumping Mouse. ""Thank you.
Thank you," Jumping Mouse said, and Thanked him again. "I want to Return
to my People and Tell them of this thing that has Happened to me."
"Go. Go then," Frog said. "Return to your People. It is Easy to Find them.
Keep the Sound of the Medicine River to the back your Head. Go Opposite
to the Sound and you will Find your Brother Mice."
Mouse Returned to the World of the Mice. But he Found Disappointment. No
One would Listen to him. And because he was Wet, and had no Way of explaining
it because there had been no Rain, many of the other Mice were Afraid of
him. They believed he had been Spat from the Mouth of Another Animal that
had Tried to Eat him. And they all Knew that if he had not been Food for
the One who Wanted him, then he must also be Poison for them. Jumping Mouse
Lived again among his People, but he could not Forget his Vision of the
The Memory Burned in the Mind and Heart of Jumping Mouse, and One Day he
Went to the Edge of the Place of Mice and Looked out onto the Prairie.
He looked up for Eagles. The Sky was Full of many Spots, each One an Eagle.
But he was Determined to Go to the Sacred Mountains. He Gathered All of
his Courage and Ran just as Fast as he Could onto the Prairie. His little
Heart Pounded with Excitement and Fear. He Ran until he Came to a stand
of Sage. He was Resting and trying to Catch his Breath when he Saw an Old
Mouse. The Patch of Sage Old Mouse Lived in was a Haven for Mice. Seeds
and many things to be Busy with.
said Old Mouse. "Welcome."
Mouse was Amazed. Such a Place and such a Mouse. "You are Truly a great
Mouse." Jumping Mouse said with all the Respect that he could Find.
"This is Truly a Wonderful Place. And the Eagles cannot See you here, either,"
Jumping Mouse said. "Yes," said Old Mouse," and One can See All the Beings
of the Prairie here: the Buffalo, Antelope, Rabbit, and Coyote. One can
See them All from here and Know their Names." "That is Marvelous,"
Jumping Mouse said. "Can you also See the River and the Great Mountains?"
and No," Old Mouse Said with Conviction. "I Know the Great River, But I
am Afraid that the Great Mountains are only a Myth. Forget your Passion
to See Them and Stay here with me. There is Everything you Want here, and
it is a Good Place to Be."
can he Say such a thing?" Thought Jumping Mouse. "The Medicine of the Sacred
Mountains is Nothing One can Forget."
you very much for the Meal you have Shared with me, Old Mouse, and also
for sharing your Great Home," Jumping Mouse said. "But I must Seek the
Mountains." "You are a Foolish Mouse to Leave, there is Danger on
Look up there!" Old Mouse said, with even more Conviction. "See all those
Spots! They are Eagles, and they will Catch you!"
hard for Jumping Mouse to Leave, but he Gathered his
the Being he Saw Lying there before him. He was so large that Jumping Mouse
could have Crawled into One of his Great Horns. "Such a Magnificent Being,"
Thought Jumping Mouse, and he Crept Closer.
and Ran hard Again. The Ground was Rough. But he Arched his Tail and Ran
with All his Might. He could Feel the Shadows of the Spots upon his Back
as he Ran. All those Spots! Finally he Ran into a Stand of Chokecherries.
Jumping Mouse could hardly Believe his Eyes. It was Cool there and very
Spacious. There was Water, Cherries, and Seeds to Eat, Grasses to Gather
for Nests, Holes to be Explored and many, many Other Busy Things to do.
And there were a great many things to Gather. He was Investigating his
New Domain when he Heard very Heavy Breathing. He Quickly Investigated
the Sound and Discovered its Source. It was a Great Mound of Hair with
Black Horns. It was a Great Buffalo. Jumping Mouse could hardly Believe
my Brother," said the Buffalo. "Thank you for Visiting me." "Hello
Great Being," said Jumping Mouse. "Why are you Lying here?" "I am
Sick and I am Dying" the Buffalo said. "And my Medicine has Told me that
only the Eye of a Mouse can Heal me. But little Brother, there is no such
Thing as a Mouse." Jumping Mouse was Shocked. "One of my Eyes!" he
Thought. "One of my Tiny Eyes." He Scurried back into the Stand of Chokecherries.
But the breathing came Harder and Slower. "He will Die." Thought Jumping
Mouse. "If I do not Give him my Eye. He is too Great a Being to Let Die."
He Went Back to where the Buffalo Lay and Spoke. "I am a Mouse." he said
with a Shaky Voice. "And you, my Brother, are a Great Being. I cannot Let
you Die. I have Two Eyes, so you may have One of them." The minute
he Said it, Jumping Mouse's Eye Flew Out of his Head and the Buffalo was
Made Whole. The Buffalo jumped to his Feet, Shaking Jumping Mouse's Whole
you, my little Brother," said the Buffalo. "I Know of your Quest for the
Sacred Mountains and of your Visit tot he River. You have Given me Life
so that I may Give-Away to the People. I will be your Brother Forever.
Run under my Belly and I will Take you right to the Foot of the Sacred
Mountains, and you need not Fear the Spots. The Eagles cannot See you while
you Run under Me. All they will See will be the Back of a Buffalo. I am
of the Prairie and I will Fall on you if I Try to Go up the Mountains."
Little Mouse Ran under the Buffalo, Secure and Hidden from the Spots, but
with only One Eye it was Frightening. The Buffalo's Great Hooves Shook
the Whole World each time he took a Step. finally the Came to a Place and
is Where I must Leave you, little Brother," said the Buffalo. "Thank you
very much," said Jumping Mouse. "But you Know, it was very Frightening
Running under you with only One Eye. I was Constantly in Fear of your Great
Earth-Shaking Hooves." "Your Fear was for Nothing," said Buffalo, "For
my Way of Walking is the Sun Dance Way, and I Always Know where my Hooves
will Fall. I now must Return to the Prairie, my Brother, You can Always
Find me there." Jumping Mouse Immediately Began to Investigate his New
Surroundings. There were even more things here than in the Other Places,
Busier things, and Abundance of Seeds and Other things Mice Like. In his
Investigation of these things, Suddenly he Ran upon a Gray Wolf who was
Sitting there doing absolutely Nothing.
Brother Wolf," Jumping Mouse said.
Ears Came Alert and his Eyes Shone. "Wolf! Wolf! Yes, that is what I am,
I am a Wolf!" But then his mind Dimmed again and it was not long before
he Sat Quietly again, completely without Memory as to who he was. Each
time Jumping Mouse Reminded him who he was, he became Excited with the
News, but soon would Forget again. "Such a Great Being," thought Jumping
Mouse, "but he has no Memory." Jumping Mouse Went to the Center of his
New Place and was
He Listened for a very long time to the Beating of his Heart. Then Suddenly
he Made up his Mind. He Scurried back to where the Wolf Sat and he Spoke.
Wolf," Jumping Mouse said. ....
Wolf," said the Wolf ....
Brother Wolf," said Jumping Mouse, "Please Listen to me. I Know what will
Heal you. It is One of my Eyes. And I Want to Give it to you. You are a
Greater Being than I. I am only a Mouse. Please Take it." When Jumping
Mouse Stopped Speaking his Eye Flew out of his Head and the Wolf was made
Whole. Tears Fell down the Cheeks of the Wolf, but his little Brother could
not See them, for Now he was Blind.
are a Great Brother," said the Wolf, "for Now I have my Memory. But Now
you are Blind. I am the Guide into the Sacred Mountains. I will Take you
there. There is a Great Medicine Lake there. The most Beautiful Lake in
the World. All the World is reflected there. The People, the Lodges of
the People, and All the Beings of the Prairies and Skies." "Please Take
me there," Jumping Mouse said. The Wolf Guided him through the Pines to
the Medicine Lake. Jumping Mouse Drank the Water from the Lake. The Wolf
Described the Beauty to him. I must Leave you here," said Wolf, "For
I must Return so that I may Guide Others, but I will Remain with you as
long as you Like." Thank you, my Brother," said Jumping Mouse. "But
although I am Frightened to be Alone, I Know you must Go so that you may
Show Others the Way to this Place."
Mouse Sat there Trembling in Fear. It was no use Running, for he was Blind,
but he Knew an Eagle would Find him Here. He Felt a Shadow on his Back
and Heard the Sound that Eagles Make. He Braced himself for the Shock.
And the Eagle Hit! Jumping Mouse went to Sleep.
he Woke Up. The surprise of being Alive was Great, but Now he could See!
Everything was Blurry, but the Colors were beautiful. "I can See! I can
See!" said Jumping Mouse over again and again. A Blurry Shape Came
toward Jumping Mouse. Jumping Mouse Squinted hard but the Shape Remained
a Blur. "Hello, Brother," a Voice said. "Do you Want some Medicine?"
"Some Medicine for me?" asked Jumping Mouse. "Yes! Yes!" "Then Crouch
down as Low as you Can," the Voice said, "and Jump as High as you Can."
Jumping Mouse did as he was Instructed. He Crouched as Low as he Could
and Jumped! The Wind Caught him and Carried him
"Do not be Afraid," the Voice called to him. "Hang on to the Wind and Trust!"
Jumping Mouse did. He Closed his Eyes and Hung on to the Wind and it Carried
Higher and Higher. Jumping Mouse Opened his Eyes and they were Clear, and
the Higher he Went the Clearer they Became. Jumping Mouse Saw his Old Friend
upon a Lily Pad on the Beautiful Medicine Lake. It was the Frog.
"You have a New Name," Called the Frog. "You are Eagle!"
(The END, or Perhaps a new beginning)