Two Haiku

Native American Folklore: Horsetooth Rock

In a Coloradoan dot com article titled “A Walk Through History: Legend of giant’s bleeding heart attached to Horsetooth Rock,” Barbara Fleming speaks of the the same peek, the tallest (in the foothills) visible looking toward the west of Ft. Collins, Colorado. It does resemble a giant horse’s tooth. This peek is the conveyor of more than one Native American folklore tale.

Arapaho legend tells of a laborious battle between the Black Warrior and the Red Warrior. The Black Warrior is victorious and, in the end, the horse’s tooth is eternally stained (perhaps by their blood); however, this tale does not account for the shape of the rock. I have ascended “The Tooth” several times. It does bear a red tint. The Native American language in the title below (“Hinono’eino) is the name the Arapaho nation used as a descriptor for their own tribe, the “Arapaho.”

Hinono’eino Warriors

Two-warrior death match

The sky weeps angry red tears

The human blood stain

Another story tells of a beautiful valley which used to lay beneath the rocky peeks of Horsetooth Rock; once home to a peaceful Native American village, the valley was flooded in 1949 and now bears the name “Horsetooth Reservoir.”

Let’s take a step back in time…enter the “Evil Giant,” who wouldn’t allow Native American braves to hunt in the “Valley of Contentment.” This infuriated Chief Maunamoku, ” AKA “Great Buffalo.” He and his braves considered the giant rock high above the valley to be the beating heart of the Evil Giant. He would kill any hunter trespassing in the Valley of Contentment. He was guarded by the Nighthawk while he slept, but Maunamoku and his braves had to hunt for survival, and something had to be done.

Maunamoku and his braves decided that they had to slay the Evil Giant, and they figured they might be able to distract the Nighthawk from its guard over him. This may give them an opportunity to slay the Evil Giant while he slumbered.

The Nighthawk was a hunter was a hunter, as were the braves, so in the dark of night, while the Evil Giant was sleeping, the braves carefully placed a rabbit nearby, in hopes of distracting him. Sure enough, the Nighthawk took the bait, and one courageous brave, Flying Eagle, armed with his Tomahawk from Heaven, slashed at the Evil Giant’s heart! The Evil Giant sprang up from his slumber to fight back, but Flying Eagle quickly slashed at the Giant’s heart! Again and again, Flying Eagle struck, and the Evil Giant perished.

This great victory allowed the braves to once again hunt freely in the Valley of Contentment. The slashes along-side beautiful Horsetooth Rock are permanently etched as a result of Flying Eagle’s Tomahawk from Heaven, and the landscape is eternally stained red by the Evil Giant’s blood.


Hunter’s paradise

Abundant game in dark cloud

The Eagle must fly