The Lakota Way

Last Update: October 30, 2014

What follows is a rather lighthearted story. It wasn't at the time. Keep in mind my family prepared me beforehand, picked my training ground well. I never saw or heard another living soul until my parents came back to get me. For me, FAILURE WAS NOT AN OPTION. It was over forty years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

So don't be afraid to make mistakes, that's how life teaches you lessons. Don't fear mistakes. Embrace them. They are your best teachers and you never forget.

Follow the course

Wakan Tanan kici un le mita kolapi!


My father and mother taught me to be independent at a very early age.

When I was 14 my father drove to the Uintah mountains in Utah and kicked me out for a week to survive on my own. It wasn't mean, it was the way he was taught. .His family were Lakota (Sioux to you white folks) and were big game guides and hunters in Montana and Idaho. It was the manhood test. I was ready.

My first day out I fell in a stream, my backpack washed away, my oatmeal and rice were gone, clothes wet, blanket ripped, mad as h--l. Did I mention I was ready?

That night it snowed. My lean to collapsed, put out my fire, got me wet, again. Can't see nothing. That's whats called fun.

Next day, started a big fire to dry my clothes. Put my pants to close to the fire. Went pottie break.. Came back and found out Levis dry quickly at close range, Oops! It's not helping that I have never worn underwear. Figured out wool shirt works like a kilt. Sort of.

That night I discovered that when you are alone in a strange place at night, you start hearing and seeing things where they really aren't. Yep. No bogger men in the dark.

I hope!

Next morning I was sure wishing I would have listened closer to Uncle Big Bear (changed his name to protect his innocence) when he taught my cousins and me about simple squirrel traps. I guess all the critters are eating MY oatmeal, rice and flour I happily dumped in the river for THEM first day out. Now what was that snare knot..........?????

Well, I am hungry, but my fire is nice and the lean to won't fall down anymore. This must be adventure I am having. Lost my hat.

Today I caught a break. Yup. I listened at the fish catching course taught by Uncle Raymond. I reckon I won't starve after all.

You know, if you jump naked into a stream at daybreak and take a bath, you're not cold for the rest of the day. Just shivering and blue till you dry off..

After a few more days (and nights) I learned more things. Like, fish aren't so good when that's all you are eating. Don't never grab live squirrels by the tail. When wet slate rocks get really hot in a fire, they blow up. When your private parts get sunburned it really hurts, an wool makes it worse. Pine needle tea is good for you, but tastes really bad. Next time bring honey. Wild edible weeds may help keep you alive, but next time bring salad dressing.

and yes, bears like fish too, just like dad said when I wasn't listening.

Finally I came back to our pick up point a few hours early. Its raining and I am soaking. At least its not to chilly. I brought Mom and Dad some fish.

I am sure glad to see Mom and Dad drive up.

Mom is fussing all about, worrying about my cuts, scraps and over all pathetic appearance.Sure is nice to know someone cares.

My dad looks me up and down real slow, starts grinning and says

"Thanks for the fish. Where's your pants?"

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Kay0042 Premium
It was a different world back in the day. The kids I nanny... that's what I call it... think they know everything because of the video games they play.
bobbybub Premium
My Pleasure Jenn, by the way, you like fish.....???
JennPGD Premium
hahahaha... that's a great lesson there. thanks for making my day... :D
Goldie6 Premium
Sorry to laugh at your misfortune but that was hilarious, roflmao
bobbybub Premium
Yeah, wish you could of been there, I needed some salt too.
Marcy Morgan Premium
hi bobbybub
i like your profile. nice to have you on board all the best and i hope to read you when you find your pants. marcy
bobbybub Premium
Thanks Marcy. Found new pants. Fit better.
Marcy Morgan Premium