THE BOY WHO BECAME A ROBIN
April 24, 2023 | Author Friend New Releases
From Linda Lee Greene Author/Artist
I am always in search of ways to connect with my Cherokee roots, and in that effort, I belong to several Facebook groups centered on Native American history and lifeways, both past and present. The following, delightful “coming of age” Chippewa legend “The Boy Who Became a Robin” was posted on Facebook initially by my Facebook friend, Katherine Collins (Lady Night Hawk).
“Once upon a time there was an old Indian who had an only son whose name was Opeechee. The boy had come to the age when every Indian lad makes a fast in order to secure a Spirit to be his guardian for life.
“The old man was very proud, and he wished his son to fast longer than other boys, and to become a greater warrior than all others. So, he directed him to prepare with solemn ceremonies for the fast.
“After the boy had been in the sweating lodge and bath several times, his father commanded him to lie down upon a clean mat, in a little lodge apart from the rest. ‘My Son, endure your hunger like a man, and at the end of twelve days, you will receive food and a blessing from my hands.’
“The boy was careful to do all his father commanded, and lay quietly with his face covered, awaiting the arrival of his guardian Spirit who was to bring him good or bad dreams.
“His father visited him every day, encouraging him to endure with patience the pangs of hunger and thirst. He told him of the honor and renown that would be his if he continued his fast to the end of the twelve days.
“To all of this the boy replied not, but lay on his mat without a murmur of discontent, until the ninth day, when he said, ‘My Father, the dreams tell me of evil. May I break my fast now, and at a better time make a new one?’
“‘My Son, you know not what you ask. If you get up now, all your glory will depart. Wait patiently a little longer. You have but three days more to fast, then glory and honor will be yours.’
“The boy said nothing more, but covering himself closer, he lay until the eleventh day, when he spoke again. ‘My Father, the dreams forebode evil. May I break my fast now, and at a better time make a new one?’
“’My Son, you know not what you ask. Wait patiently a little longer. You have but one more day to fast. Tomorrow I will myself prepare a meal and bring it to you.’ The boy remained silent and motionless beneath his covering except for the gentle heaving of his breast.
“Early the next morning his father, overjoyed at having gained his end, prepared some food. The food in hand, he took it and hastened to the lodge intending to set it before his son. Upon approaching the door of the lodge, to his surprise he heard the boy talking to someone. He lifted the curtain hanging before the doorway, and looking in saw his son painting his breast with vermilion. And as the lad laid on the bright color as far back on his shoulders as he could reach, he was saying to himself, ‘My father has destroyed my fortune as a man. He would not listen to my requests. I shall be happy forever because I was obedient to my parent, but he will suffer. My guardian Spirit has given me a new form, and now I must go!’
“At this his father rushed into the lodge, crying, ‘My Son! My Son! I pray you leave me not!’
‘But the boy, with the quickness of a bird, flew to the top of the lodge and perching upon the highest pole, was instantly changed in a most beautiful Robin Redbreast. Looking down with pity in his eyes, he said, ‘Do not sorrow, O my Father. I am no longer your boy but Opeechee the Robin. I shall always be a friend to men and live near their dwellings. I shall ever be happy and content. Every day I will sing you songs of joy. The mountains and fields yield my food. My pathway is in the bright air.’
“Then Opeechee the Robing stretched himself as if delighting in his new wings and caroling his sweetest song, flew away to the nearby trees.”
Here is a brief intro to one of Linda’s bestselling novels.
Guardians and Other Angels, multi-award-winning author Linda Lee Greene’s novel, chronicles the story of two heroic families played out against the bad and the good of the early to mid-twentieth century, years of worldwide economic depression and war, as well as the spawning of the “Greatest Generation.” Firsthand accounts of the times in authentic letters written by members of the families are peppered throughout the book.
Available in paperback and eBook on Amazon
Multi-award-winning author and artist Linda Lee Greene describes her life as a telescope that when trained on her past reveals how each piece of it, whether good or bad or in-between, was necessary in the unfoldment of her fine art and literary paths.
Greene moved from farm-girl to city-girl; dance instructor to wife, mother, and homemaker; divorcee to single-working-mom and adult-college-student; and interior designer to multi-award-winning artist and author, essayist, and blogger. It was decades of challenging life experiences and debilitating, chronic illness that gave birth to her dormant flair for art and writing. Greene was three days shy of her fifty-seventh birthday when her creative spirit took a hold of her.
She found her way to her lonely easel soon thereafter. Since then Greene has accepted commissions and displayed her artwork in shows and galleries in and around the USA. She is also a member of artist and writer associations.