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The Wisemen

It is told that in the early days of the
Cherokee Nation, seven wise and holy men
went together to a certain valley
in the mountains to seek knowledge of the future.
Of all the seven Clans of the Nation
these seven men were the most truthful,
most selfless, and most heedful of
the needs and well-being
of all the people.
They carried the medicine
deerskin and medicine tobacco,
and did all the holy things along the way.
And when they came to this certain valley,
they spread out the deerskin in the
center and prayed,
saying they came with humility,
to seek truth and share it with the people.
Then they blew smoke over the deerskin, each in turn,
and they watched the smoke trails
for a sign from the Creator.
And when this was finished,
they went and prophesied to the
people the marvels that had been seen;
and one was that men would someday
fly in the air; and another was that the
trail of the Cherokee would someday
lead west to the valley
of the Mississippi, never to return;
and another was that there would be
schools to bring knowledge to all the people.
But a fourth prophecy said that in aftertimes young
people would return from the schools, and point
rudely to the old men of the Tribe, and say they
were of no account because they knew nothing.
The people considered this a long time,
and wondered what great wisdom might be
taught in these schools that the children
should point to the old people
and talk in this way.

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