I was just a boy when the white Preacher took some of our people to the creek. I held my Mothers hand firmly as he yelled and shook the book at us. Mother said it was for the good of our people to follow and learn from this man as he led us down the narrow path. Father said he was like a Holy Man only louder and all the yelling hurt his ears. Father said that as far as he knew Wah-kon-ta could hear just fine.
Most of the Mothers would listen to him knowing that after he yelled and cried for a while he would pass out things like food and beads and a few blankets.
I remember the cranes taking flight as the noisy man in black angrily coaxed us to bunch up close together at the bank of the creek. He said he would wash away all our sins and we would be like the whites. He said the white God would see us as one of them. He said we would live as civilized humans and not as savages. Most of what he spoke we didn't understand but that didn't seem to bother him. He seemed to quiet when some of the people followed him into the water and he took time to wash each one of them as he intently spoke to the sky.
Preachers came and went as the years passed and as the trees grew on the banks of Preacher Creek. The Cranes used the trees to build their nest in but every time one of those Preachers would start yelling they would take flight. Father said he knew exactly how those cranes felt.
Later they built a white building for the Preacher to yell in and in another little building on top of the big one they put a big noise maker. Father and the cranes didn't like that much either.
Our people have scattered and the white building fell down in the wind one night. The Preacher doesn't come any more, the only thing left is the big noise maker that lays quietly in the mud
and “The Cranes from Preacher Creek”
Sharing the Journey