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Longer Narrative Poems

By Josie Whitehead

Legend of the Blue Bonnets (The) .jpg


By Josie Whitehead

The Legend of the Bluebonnets

There’s a girl in this story who’s gone down in fame
And you’ll hardly forget her unusual name:
     A native American, but, as then, quite unknown,
Whose friends sadly called her: 'She-Who-Is-Alone,'

Yes, this poor little girl had no family at all
As they’d died in a drought when she was quite small.
     Well Texas was hot and exceedingly dry
     With never one drop of rain from the sky.

No water for crops, nor for animals too
And if you’d been in Texas: no water for you.
They prayed and they prayed and looked up at the sky
     But without any rain, became ill and soon died.

One leader suggested: 'Here’s what we should do.
I’ll sacrifice something and you must do too.
    The Great Spirit needs presents, sent with our love,
    And be sure that he’ll watch us from far up above.'

'He’ll know if we’ve chosen the things we love best
And each of us here will be put to the test.'
     Each villager thought of the things which they had
And to lose them was something that made them feel sad.

She-Who-Is-Alone had just one special thing -
No, not silver, not gold nor a valuable ring -
    But a dear little doll that her Granny had made
    And the thought of her loss left her feeling dismayed.

Made of buffalo skin and with such a sweet face -
She was someone most children would love to embrace.
    On her head were blue feathers from a beautiful bird,
And if you saw this doll, then your heart would be stirred.

She-Who-Is-Alone knew just what to do
But the doll was her only possession, it’s true.
     She walked in the darkness to a bright blazing fire
     With courage that even the brave would admire.

She kissed the small doll and, with heart full of pain,
Threw her onto the fire with a prayer for some rain.
    The wind blew the ashes into the night air
    And then carried them far without any care.

She-Who-Is-Alone then slept soundly that night
But awoke the next morning to a wonderful sight.
     You may not believe me, but they all say it’s true
That the hillsides were covered with flowers of blue.

They were blue like the feathers on the little doll’s head
And these are the words that the villagers said:
    'This must be a sign: The Great Spirit is pleased,'
      And, thinking of this, their worries were eased.

Rain clouds soon appeared and then down from the sky
Came the soft gentle rain on the fields burnt and dry.
     The grass grew again, and sweet berries came too,
     And the wishes and hopes in that village came true.

She-Who-Is-Alone knew her doll had sent rain,
Which splashed on the fields and far out on the plain.
     Her friends in the village changed the girl’s name
 For to call her this name seemed to be such a shame.

'The One-Who-Loves-Others' - and whom others loved too 
Was quite right for a girl who was caring and true.
     Every year, now it seems, nature too gives her thanks
     With the tiny blue flowers that cover the banks.

The name of these flowers?  'Bluebonnets' you see,
And in Texas each year they grow rampant and free.
     All those people who see these sweet flowers of blue
     Now remember a child, loved by all whom she knew.

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