men among the Dakota/Nakota/Lakota people often predicted
winter by signs of nature. Brave Bear knew that an early
winter was coming. All the signs pointed to it.
The wild geese and ducks were flying south. The leaves
on the scrub oak had turned red and the golden aspens
quaked in the wind. The squirrels were storing their nuts
earlier than usual. All the animals had unusually heavy
the last day of August, a circle appeared around the sun.
Brave Bear knew that the circle around the sun meant snow.
next morning, when Brave Bear awakened, the ground was
covered with snow. The snow fell for five days.
of the animals were unprepared for such a blizzard. The
deer, who could always find food, were hungry. The snow
was so deep that the rabbits had not eaten for days. The
bear had not found his place to sleep until spring. Many
birds, who had not yet left for the south, found themselves
trapped and unable to find food.
Bear had expected the storm. He had prepared for it. He
cleared a spot in front of his tipi. He scattered seeds
and nuts for his helpless, hungry friends. All the animals
in the area hurried through the snow to the tipi of Brave
Bear. There they found a feast for everyone.
wise men before him, Brave Bear knew that his people depended
on nature to survive and he would always protect the animals
in their time of need.