Once 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 Ears, my Brother?"
"No, no," answered the Other Mouse,
not Lifting his Busy Nose from the Ground. "I Hear Nothing.
I am Busy now. Talk to me Later."
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.
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."
"The River?" Mouse asked curiously.
"What is a River?"
"Walk with me and I will Show you the River,"
Little 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. Finally, they Came to the River! It was
Huge and Breathtaking, Deep 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 Words.
It 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
"Welcome to the River."
"I must Leave you Now," cut in Raccoon,
"but do not Fear, little Brother, for Frog will Care for
you Now." And Raccoon Left, Looking along the River Bank
for Food that he might Wash and Eat.
Little 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?"
"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!"
Little 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!"
"Wait," said the Frog. "You are
not Harmed. Do not let your Fear and Anger Blind you. What did
"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 of your Head. Go Opposite to the
Sound and you will Find your Brother Mice."
Jumping 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 Sacred Mountains.
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.
"Hello," said Old Mouse. "Welcome."
Jumping 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
"That is Marvelous," Jumping Mouse
said. "Can you also See the River and the Great Mountains?"
"Yes 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."
"How can he Say such a thing?" Thought
Jumping Mouse. "The Medicine of the Sacred Mountains is
Nothing One can Forget."
"Thank 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 the Prairie! Just Look up there!" Old Mouse
said, with even more Conviction. "See all those Spots!
They are Eagles, and they will Catch you!"
It was hard for Jumping Mouse to Leave, but
he Gathered his Determination and Rand 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 the Greatness of 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.
"Hello, 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
"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
"He will Die." Thought Jumping Mouse.
"If I do not Give him my Eye. He is too Great a Being to
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 World.
"Thank 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 Buffalo Stopped.
"This 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
"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
"Hello, Brother Wolf," Jumping Mouse
The Wolf's 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 Quiet. 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.
"Brother Wolf," Jumping Mouse said.
"Wolf! Wolf," said the Wolf ....
"Please 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.
"You 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
"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."
Jumping 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.
Then 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
"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)
Written by alginanhawkeye, Designed by Sol for