A Gift Of Love

There was an Indian maid whose eyes were as kind and brown as a doe’s, whose neck was as graceful as a fawn’s, whose figure was as trim as the swaying willow after which she had been named. Moreover, in disposition she was as gracious and favorable as ever a maid could be. But alas, the years were passing and no brave had asked her father for her hand. It was known that her father required a dowry of six ponies. The most ponies ever paid for a bride had been seven. This had become a matter of great distress and concern, but not so much that she could not muster a smile on her face and a sparkle in her eye when Grey Eagle passed.

As for Grey Eagle, he was young, strong and handsome, had learned to shoot the bow and hunt the deer. He kept his ponies with care. Their increase was pleasing and his gelded colts were known to make the finest buffalo horses that could be found. Grey Eagle was brave too, except when he passed Willow’s teepee. Then his heart melted and he was sure his tongue would fail him if he tried to speak.

But what could have been a sad tale became a wonderfully glad tale, when one morning’s sun arose to shine on ten ponies tethered to the hitch pole in front of Willows tent! Willow was happy, Grey Eagle was happy, and Willow’s father was very, very happy when the deal met the approval of all involved and Willow became Grey Eagle’s wife, but the other Indian braves weren’t happy, they were puzzled. “Grey Eagle,” they said, “Why did you give ten ponies? Her father asked for only six and no one in the history of our tribe has ever given more than seven.” Grey Eagle replied in a simple manner, “I wanted Willow to know I love her more than any brave has ever loved a maid.” The other braves thought he had gotten into some loco weed. He thought his action made perfect sense. And Willow didn’t care what anybody else thought; she knew Grey Eagle was the most wonderful brave that ever rode a pony! But Willow’s father thought, “We can never send this lad on a horse trading mission to the Nez Perce!”

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5

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