Hey there Brenda! I saw your grandmother in the paper again! Still telling stories, huh?
Oh, yeah. You know Grandma, she'll never retire!
The stories she tells, they're all just made up right?
No, no. Like many cultures, Native Americans use stories to teach real life lessons and pass on history. They might have mystical creatures to entertain or illustrate, but the legends hold important truths.
How can a legend "hold important truths?" Have you ever actually used what you learned?
I've got to hear this.
Absolutely! On more than one occasion! But I'll tell you of my favorite example.
Grandfather was getting older and felt the end coming. Since knowledge can't go with you after death, it was important to him that he pass on wisdom to each of his grandchildren. He watched them playing and looked for any that he had left out.
Grandfather noticed a grandson with whom he hadn't yet shared teachings and took him on a long walk to catch fish, teaching the whole way.
Finally, they stopped and knelt by the river. Grandfather asked if he'd like to learn how to change the course of the river. The boy agreed and Grandfather reached out and took a rock out of the bank. Water quickly came toward them and filled the hole. "You see the river will never be the same. Just a small change in your life can change its entire course. You must always think before you act."
The best part is that, since these stories are passed generationally, a child listening to their grandma or grandpa HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO learned the very same lesson from the very same story! How cool is THAT?!
That's the short version of what I heard growing up. Because I listened to those stories, I learned valuable lessons that I still use today. If I want to make a change in my life, I know that just a small change can alter the course of my life. I've stuck to that since childhood, listening to the wisdom passed on by Grandma.