The star blanket lit up the sky, and the elders saw and prayed to their ancestors. They cried out for answers. “Why are we left here to starve? What has happened to Tatáŋka Oyasiŋ (the Buffalo Nation)?”
The scouts had traveled very far to search for the once huge herds of Buffalo. All of the hunters returned only to report the same mystery. After many weeks, their greatest hunter set out to find the answer to the mystery. His name was Fire Deer.
Fire Deer traveled for many days. Eventually, he came across the massive buffalo stampede tracks that plowed deep into the black soil on the grassy plains. He followed them all the way into the mountains to the west. From there, the tracks headed to the pure north.
It was up north where he noticed they went straight up the mountainside. The mountain was the largest and steepest one around. He labored his way all the way to the top of the mountain, expecting to see the great herd. At the top, he found nothing but the end of the tracks. But, the buffalo trail did not end; instead, it changed from the churned-up earth to a flowing river of light in the night sky. Fire Deer returned to tell his story to the elders.
The elders announced that the Buffalo was saved from the destruction of the children from overseas. They now live closer to our ancestors in the sky.
If you travel up north, you may see there is a great stampede of colors in the sky. One day, when the Nations of people can live with all the animals in harmony, all of the Buffalo Nation elders, who miss the earth, shall return.
This legend has been edited from historical documents and is believed to be of public domain.