It is the custom of Native Americans of all tribes to pass down the stories and the history of their people from one generation to the next. This practice has been done at campfires, in teepees, and in living rooms. It has always been the habit of the elders of the tribe or of the family to tell the stories to the young sitting at their feet. This elder becomes a storyteller to the children. This method of passing down history and culture by telling stories results in something called “oral tradition.”
The stories in this book are based on real stories that can be found in the Bible. These stories are the tales of people who were God’s people in the earliest days after the Creation. They have been written in such a way as to grasp the attention of Native American children growing up during this time in history. However, because young people love to learn things in many ways, it is our belief that they will also appeal to all children.
In the Bible stories, we find God teaching and leading His people. He is called God, Lord, the Almighty and many more names. In the Native American languages spoken today there are many different words for the name of God. The names most commonly used for God are the Creator and the Great Spirit. These names have been used in the stories told here. When we use these words for the Supreme Being, we mean God as we find Him in the Old Testament of the Bible.
In this book, a grandfather is visited many times over the years by the grandchildren he adores and who adore him. He tells them stories that come to mind as they share the daily events of their lives with him. You, the reader, get to sit with this loving man and listen as he tells his stories to his grandchildren and to you. Maybe one day telling these stories will become part of your own family tradition.
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LESSONS OF HONOR AND WISDOM
Old Testament Stories
As Seen Through the Eyes
of a Native American Grandfather
“Grandfather, tell us another story .... Please!!!” Four children come bouncing into the living room of their grandfather’s house - he is sitting there listening to a CD of flutes and drums - just relaxing - now the rest is over - most would consider the peace and quiet to have come to an end but the Grandfather feels more peace in the noise and confusion than he had felt in the quiet before they came "Grandfather, we love the stories you tell. Can you tell us more? Please, please! Oh Grandfather, we love to hear your stories!!" The littlest one, Cody, is hanging onto the grandfather’s leg, hugging it. Another little one, Shaylen, is holding his hand. Grace, who is older is pulling her grandfather up from his chair to bring him to the couch, so they can all sit next to him. The oldest, Garrett, the one who has always been the most like his grandfather, solemnly watches and waits for his grandfather to do the thing he loves best - to tell him a story. The grandfather walks over to the couch. He sits and laughs, loving these precious little ones with whom the Creator has blessed his family. Suddenly his attention is drawn to the doorway where his two grown children, Anoki and Aleshanee, stand smiling. They remember the fun they used to have with their father in their younger days when they sat on the couch with him to hear his stories. The grandfather puts Shaylen on the couch at his right. Grace climbs up on the back of the couch, and sits with her against the wall. She starts to play with her grandfather’s long black hair that now has silver strands appearing here and there. He puts Cody on his knee. Garrett sits on the floor staring at his grandfather adoringly as he waits for the story to begin. There are giggles and squirming. Grandfather waits for his four grandchildren to be settled. When all is finally quiet, the grandfather begins his story… “High in the Heavens, far above where the birds dance in the wind, and where the stars sing to the moon....”