Act 31: Each has its use... / by Steve Hart

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“The next to hold council were the fish, reptiles and amphibians,” Yufala returned to his story of the Medicine.

“They decided to send dreams of snakes and hellbenders to each hunter who killed one of their tribe. That is why even today we still dream of snakes sometimes.

“Finally it was the birds, insects and smallest animals’ time to hold a council,” Yufala continued. “Grubworm sat as chief.

“Each animal was given a chance to tell of the various crimes committed against them by humans. The frog claim his back was covered with sores because a human had kicked him. The bird claimed its feet were burned when man roasted him over the fire.

“After each animal gave its own version of human wrong, the council held a vote to decide man’s guilt and decided to punish humans by creating diseases to inflict offenders after their crimes.

“Grubworm grew more excited and happy with each new disease.

“At last, the animals decided to make menstruation sometimes fatal to women. That excited the Grubworm so much he leaped into the air with joy and fell right off his stool. He fell so hard he could not regain his feet and has been forced to crawl around on his belly ever since.

“When the plants, who were friendly with the humans, heard what the small animal council decided they took it upon themselves to provide a cure for each of the diseases devised by the animals.

“All the trees, shrubs and herbs, even the grass and moss came to the humans’ rescue with a cure to nearly every disease named by the animals.

“Thus came the Medicine,” said Yufala. “And each of the plants has a use if only we learn how to use them.”

He stood up, turned and walked toward the door of the council house.

“So, you see, if we learn the ways of Yonega we can learn the Medicine for him just as our ancestors learned the Medicine to use against disease.”

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