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Article: The Blizzard

Wise 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 fur.

Then the last day of August, a circle appeared around the sun. Brave Bear knew that the circle around the sun meant snow.

The next morning, when Brave Bear awakened, the ground was covered with snow. The snow fell for five days.

Many 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.

Brave 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.

As 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.