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The Gift
by The Storyteller Ken Edwards
In Alaska, so, so long ago, there lived a woman named Rainbow Dress. She
lived alone and learned to hunt for herself and could do what most any man
could do. But as the years went by and Rainbow Dress got older, these tasks
became harder. Yet she never complained. She had fewer hides from which to
make warm clothes, but she would repair her old clothes and be happy for
that. Also, meat was not at every meal anymore. As age came upon her, it
was harder to hunt. On good days she would fish and enjoy it like a feast.

One day, as she was in the woods picking roots and berries, she heard a
sound like none she had heard before: a low moan of pain. She looked around
her and saw nothing, so she went on just picking her berries. Again she
heard the sound. Rainbow Dress couldn't pick anymore. She had to find out
what was moaning.

She walked through the bush and came upon a big group of trees. There,
leaning on a tree, was Kone (Bigfoot). "Kone," she spoke, "are you all right?"
Rainbow Dress was not at all afraid. Her mother and father had told her the
story of Kone, who was a peaceful being, and there was no need to be afraid
- so she wasn't!

Kone told Rainbow Dress his leg was hurt and he could not walk. She quickly
looked around and found big branches which she tied onto Kone's leg. She
ripped her dress to tie it together. "Thank you," Kone moaned.

"You cannot stay here," Rainbow Dress told Kone. "Come home with me and I
will take care of you." Kone nodded yes, and Rainbow Dress did the best her
small old body could do to help Kone back home.

As days passed to weeks, and weeks to months, Kone got stronger and better.
One day he told Rainbow Dress it would soon be time for him to leave. She
was sad, for they had become good friends. But the day came when Kone
called her to say his goodbyes.

Rainbow Dress had dreaded this day, and was sad. Kone gave her a gentle pat
and said, "You have been so kind to me. You are not a selfish woman and
have shared all you have with me. I want to give you a gift. Every time the
moon is full, go to the place you found me. You will know I was there by
what your eyes see. But if the moon goes full three times and you cannot
see I was there, then you know I have died. But also know of our
friendship." Rainbow Dress was sad but promised she would do as he told.
Before she knew it, Kone had disappeared into the forest.

Weeks went by and the moon grew full. Rainbow Dress set out to go to the
woods where she had found Kone. As she came to the tree on which Kone had
leaned, she was amazed. On every branch were hides, meats and baskets of
berries; and at the base of the tree, piles of wood to burn along with
baskets of fish. Rainbow Dress didn't know what to do at first, she was so
surprised. She went back home and dragged her sled back, put all the gifts
on it and took it all back home. She made clothes and coats and smoked the
fish. She had so much!

This went on for two more moons, so Rainbow Dress wanted to share with
everyone. She put on a big potlatch and invited the whole village. There
was food for everyone and hides to make warm clothes. The people also saw
how sharing Rainbow Dress was. So after that, it seemed they would visit
her more often, bringing her wood and always making sure she had food.

The full moon was upon the woods again and when Rainbow Dress came to the
tree of gifts, there were only a few hides and some wood. She got worried
that Kone was hurt or sick, but she took the gifts home and shared with
all. Many moons passed and, little by little, the gifts became smaller and
then there were none at all. Rainbow Dress was very sad, for this meant her
friend Kone had died.

So she got all she had of food and got the village to help and they put on
another big potlatch for her friend Kone. As the years went on, Rainbow
Dress never needed to worry about food, clothes or being warm again, for
all had leaned a lesson from Kone: the gift of giving. When we give, it is
a gift but ... it can be contagious. But when we give from our hearts, it
always comes back in the most wonderful ways.

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Birthdays ~Happy Birthday from Warrior Nation!

For the Warriors who fight and Die...

so the rest of us may fight to Live.

*****

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