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Please enjoy this new life story of Crazy Horse, with fresh new facts never before revealed, along with the ONLY fully authenticated picture of Crazy Horse known to exist.
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Some of the American Indian Clipart designs shown on these pages date back to the 19th century. Other Indian Clipart images are more recent tribal creations.
Crazy Horse is my hero. I trust he will be your hero too.
The sacred image of this great man means so much more to so many people than any American Indian Clipart photo image ever did.
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American Indian Clipart shown below: The cover design of Crazy Horse's Vision, by Joseph Bruchac
by Judee Shipman
As I thought of that moment, a tingling ran across my neck and shoulders, left-to-right.
“You Are Here.” something said.
“Say it, Jay,” I lightly demanded.
Whooosh!, went the tingling again, right-to-left, as the memory of the moment engulfed me like a flame!
My chin dropped to my chest.
The cup fell from my hand.
Warm coffee bled its way across the plywood floor.
I felt like Helen Keller at the well!
The entire conversation had come back to me all at once, and this is just about exactly how it went:
“Judee, please stop asking! You can't come over. There's nothing I could ever do or be for you, or anyone! I really wish there were, but there isn't!”
In the dreary pause that followed, I wondered if Jay could give me what I had always wanted.
“Actually, Jay, there IS something you could do for me. It's something I've always wanted. If you could do this, it would be the best thing anyone has ever done for me. No gift could ever be greater. I could never want anything more.”
Jay's eyes flickered with something still wanting to live. Something resembling hope.
“What is it?” Jay asked, with genuine curiosity. “If it's anything I can do, I will, but don't get your hopes up.”
“Don't worry,” I assured him. “I won't. But okay. Here it is. If you should have to... go...”
“You mean… die?”
“Yes. If you should have to... do… that...” (At the time, I couldn't say 'die') “I want you to reach me and prove you still exist. If you're still here, then so is everyone else. If something is true, there must be some way of knowing it. But it wouldn't be enough to just show yourself to me, because that might be just my imagination. You'd have to help me find something lost, some special treasure, something I couldn't have known about. Something I could hold in my hand and show people and say, 'Look! Here's the proof!' ”
“Oh! I see what you're saying!” said Jay, nodding with the satisfaction a fresh idea can bring to an open mind.
“Yes. If I can, I will. Not that I'm in any hurry to honor your request.”
“Oh, Jay! Do you PROMISE?” I pleaded, like a wide-eyed little girl whose daddy might someday build her a castle.
“Yes,” said Jay. “I do promise. Maybe that's something we'll do together someday. But, if you couldn’t want anything more after that, what exactly would you do with the rest of your life?”
That was a good question. I had to think on it a moment.
“Things that are important to other people, I guess,” was the only reply I could muster.
“Good answer,” said Jay.
Even as these words were exchanged, I was fairly convinced that no such thing could ever actually happen, which is probably why I had forgotten all about it. I was just glad to have lifted Jay's spirit, even if only for a little while.
I had made that same request to some small number of people before, but Jay was the only one who ever took me seriously.
The memory now paid in full, my head and my heart pounded with the overwhelming sensation of something too good to be true, yet true!
I stood up in that attic and said plainly out loud,
“JAY!!! Is THAT... what you're... DOING???”
“YES!!” came his emphatic-yet-soundless reply. People behind him were cheering.
“Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you, Jay!!!” I said without words, but every single cell of my being screamed it from every rooftop. “I love you much! I will always be your friend! Meet me when I get there! Guide me through the New World!”
After that, Jay began receding from my vision, but never disappeared entirely.
I hadn't any proof, but I believed it really was Jay, just in case it really was Jay. I was not about to look the mother of all gift horses in the mouth!
Still, at some point I began to second-guess myself. I wondered if I might be “pulling a Marki.”
It's a term I coined to describe the notion that my subconscious mind remembered the conversation all along, and the mystical experiences were just my brain's unique way of reminding me.
Like that Twilight Zone episode where a lady comes home from work to find an odd, staring little girl named Marki perched on the stairs just outside the door of her apartment.
She invites the girl in for a snack, because all creepy strangers on TV are immediately invited to come in, by all defenseless women who live alone.
Long story short, Marki is a figment of the lady’s imagination. Her appearance is the lady’s way of remembering that horrible night in her childhood when she witnessed the murder of both her parents. The killer tried to get her too, but the police broke in and saved her.
The lady's name was Helen Markowitz. She didn't at first remember that her nickname had been Marki at the time.
Whatever was the case, I needed to get back to my science fair ideas. The deadline was fast approaching. Yet, I couldn't seem to get myself started.
They were prodding me again... to read Black Elk Speaks.
So I read Black Elk Speaks, and soon realized that my thoughts were not my own. Nicholas Black Elk had appeared in the corner of my right eye, surrounded by a group of men and women unknown to me. I supposed Nicholas Black Elk visits readers of his book.
“Thanks for stopping by,” I said in silence, respectfully acknowledging what I thought might be his presence.
The people were engaged in an animated discussion. Something about a reservation. Some kind of building. Maybe a church? Or a place of learning.
They spoke of many wonderful gifts for the grandchildren. And the many good things people need. And the surprise! They discussed if or not I should bring it.
Who? Me?? Bring what??? Where????
I could neither hear them with my ears, nor see them with my eyes. It was more like a whole idea whose details are unnecessary. Like a TV on, with the sound turned off, seen from the corner of your eye.
Or imagine a beautiful movie, in hi definition 3D, but without the screen, theater, or 3D glasses – just free flowing forms made of light, against a backdrop of velvety blackness.
Then they all paused and look in my direction.
“Uhh... with all due respect, sir,” I thought to Nicholas Black Elk, “why are you telling ME this? I'm just a white lady from the west coast. I don't have enough money to matter to anyone. What gift would I bring? And where would I bring it? I don't even think I know any Indians.”
“Just go see.” said Mr. Black Elk.
“Go see what?” I inquired politely.
“Just go see,” Mr. Black Elk repeated.
“Go see what?” I repeated, too.
“Just go see,” he said again.
“But... How? With what money? Where will I go? What would I do? Who would I speak with? What will I say? Where do I sleep?”
“Just go see,” he replied once more.
Jay was standing near.
So I googled the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where Nicholas Black Elk once lived, and found a phone number for the Wakpamni Bed & Breakfast in Batesland.
Above image credit: ilsapere.org
“Hello?” said the lady named Betty who answered the phone.
“Um... Hi,” said I, then paused as if expecting her to recognize my voice and say she'd been awaiting my call.
“Can I help you?” said Betty, after a moment.
“Um, uh, yes…,” I stammered. “I’d like to make a... um... uh... an… um… appointment... to stay there,” I said, careful to voice the word “appointment,” as if the word “reservation” might offend someone.
“When will you be in town?” Betty asked.
“May is nice,” I dreamily responded, having no plan of action whatsoever.
“If you don't mind my asking, why are you coming here?” asked Betty.
“Would you believe I don't know?” came my eery reply.
“Yes,” said Betty.
Later, I canceled the plan because I couldn't really afford the trip. Still, I continued calling Betty at the Pine Ridge Reservation for more than a week, never really knowing what to say, but trying my best to explain.
“Maybe I'm just losing my marbles,” I finally offered.
“Maybe you should meet Joe Whiting,” Betty helpfully suggested.
Meanwhile, the “talking” continued, with Nicholas Black Elk among them. I'd just finished reading a mesmerizing book by Nicholas Black Elk's grandson, Wallace. Now I really needed to get back to earning a living:
Aiming True (Design the Perfect Arrow)
Indian Winter (Do early snows foretell harsh winters?)
All That Glitters (Analyze the Properties of Gold)
Still, how nice it was to see Wallace now standing to his grandfather's left. His alert, intelligent eyes danced and sparkled like sunlight on crashing waves.
I wondered who that third man was, standing in front of them. I wasn't expecting to see him there.
There was something extraordinary about him! Something I could not define, but it made my heart leap skyward to behold him! I adored him without knowing why, or even who he was. I only knew that I adored him.
Clearly, he was leading them, yet they did all the talking.
He was shorter than they were.
In his left hand, he held an object resembling a staff, which appeared to be made of light. I think it was called a “finder,” but I don’t know what it was supposed to find.
The beautiful man wore a long white robe, also made of light. His soft brown hair hung loosely below his shoulders. His face was a featureless blur.
“Who is it?” I whispered.
No answer came. Just reverent silence.
Behind them stood Jay, seemingly busting a gut in trying to contain his excitement. He was shifting his weight from foot to foot with both hands over his mouth. I had never seen Jay excited before.
The tension mounted with each passing moment.
Finally, I put my pen down, turned slightly to my right, and addressed Mr. Nicholas Black Elk as follows:
“I am honored by your visit, Mr. Elk. You are a fine and decent man. If I had anything of value, I would gladly bring it over there myself, just for you! But what would I bring? And where would I bring it? And why would anyone over there want to hear from ME?”
“Look up Crazy Horse on ebay.”
He said it without words, but I could not have ascertained the words more precisely if you tattooed them onto my flesh and screamed them into my ear.
“Uh... I really should be getting back to work,” I offered, weakly.
“Look up Crazy Horse on ebay,” said Nicholas and Wallace Black Elk, together that time.
“Okay, this is getting silly,” I stated out loud, to snap myself back to reality. “I have work to do. Things to to write. A living to earn. Why would I look up Crazy Horse on-”
“LOOK. UP. CRAZY. HORSE. ON. EBAY.” said Nicholas, Wallace, and Jay in persistent, prodding unison, their soundless voices overruling the very words I spoke.
I supposed it couldn't hurt to look up Crazy Horse on ebay.
I typed “Crazy Horse” in the search bar. Many thousand results appeared. Advertisers use his name to sell everything from gadgets and apparel to liquor and porn.
But somehow I quickly found a set of four original 19th-century photos. One was General Custer. Two were Indian men whose images were too faded or too underexposed to recognize. The last one had a name at the bottom - CRAZY HORSE.
I thought I remembered reading somewhere that no picture of this man was known to exist, and due to the poor quality of the digital image, his face was a featureless blur.
All I could detect was a man of slight build with a distinctly downturned mouth.
And a gun in his left hand.
Jay and the Black Elks surrounded me, along with that other, shorter man I so adored.
Only then did it occur to me that the shorter man was none other than the Great Chief Crazy Horse!
The tightness of their presence was like a giant held breath.
No answer. Just deafening, reverent silence.
A disturbing feeling opened in my gut. Clearly, I recalled the recent chain of events. Hairs stood up on the back of my neck as I held my breath and clicked the Buy-It-Now button.
I spent the next five days with my heart in my throat, beside myself with paranoid apprehension.
What have I done? Why did I do that? What if it isn't him? What if his features aren't visible? What if the seller doesn't send it? What if the photos get lost in the mail? How do I tell Theo I just spent nearly two thousand dollars on old photos, and I now need to borrow rent money?
Several nights later, I found myself lying in bed, wondering if I might ever sleep again.
Did he send it yet? Was it on the way? I wanted to call the seller, but what if that caused him to reexamine the photo and come to his God-given senses?
Finally, I was blessed by a vision: A US mail truck speeding down a highway, carrying a cargo load of toilet paper rolls. Flying in the air above the truck was a long-haired, half naked man on a horse.
I took this to mean that if the spirit of Crazy Horse meant for me to have the photo, then the spirit of Crazy Horse would guide it to me safely.
I fell asleep trying to figure out the toilet paper rolls.
Two days later I finally called the seller.
“Did you send my item yet? You know, the Custer photo? And those Indians... or whatever?”
“Sure did!” said the seller, “Should be there soon.”
“Great!” I replied, trying not to shout. “What kind of plastic cases are the photos in?”
“Didn't put 'em in plastic cases.”
“I mean, what kind of glass frames are the photos in?”
“Don't have any glass frames.”
“But...” (gulp) “Won't they get damaged?”
“Nah! They’ll be fine.” said the seller. “I wrapped 'em all up in a great big batch of toilet paper.”
That night, I thought of Nicholas Black Elk, and instantly he appeared, not as a man, but as a light.
Two small lightning bolts – one red and one yellow. It was the brightest light I'd ever seen, yet it didn't hurt my eyes to see it. The bolts sped by in rapid alternation, like a double bobbin on a souped up sewing machine.
I recognized this light as Nicholas Black Elk, as clearly as if it were a picture of the man.
Then I thought about Jay, and Jay appeared, not as a man, but as a light.
Jay's light was a smooth white orb, tinted near the bottom in pale green, and ever so equally bright! Jay's light rotated slowly around, observing the cosmic landscape like a sentinel.
I recognized this light as Jay, as clearly as if it were a picture of the man.
It occurred to me that each spirit has its own individual light, just as people are recognizable by the uniqueness of their faces.
Then I was struck by the thought that spirit energy exists in four dimensions: form, color, brightness, and motion.
Then I snapped out of the trance.
Disappointment overtook me for a while. I wanted to see other people's lights.
above Indian Clipart image: Stephen K, fineartamerica.com
One fine afternoon some days down the road, the package arrived. I held it on my lap for an hour before carefully tearing it open.
Hidden within the folds of an unruly wad of toilet paper were four original antique photos.
The first three, I looked at. The fourth one, I saw!
My hand shook when I held it. I couldn't catch my breath. The muscles in my face relaxed involuntarily as tears spilled freely from my eyes like two large glasses of warm water, soaking to my knees the clothes I wore.
The card was badly damaged, but the image was completely unharmed - A wiry, light skinned, 19th-century Lakota man with eyes of laser-like intensity. A scar clearly visible on the left side of his face.
By this time I had examined practically every 19th century Lakota photo ever published. That’s how I knew this man was one not seen before.
And the image I held in my quivering hand fit every reliable description of Crazy Horse ever given.
Later that evening, with wincing uncertainty, I called a phone number I now knew by heart.
I don't remember what I told Betty at the B&B that time, but I'm pretty sure it was incoherent.
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I fancied it my civic duty to learn all I could about Crazy Horse, reading everything I could find that mentioned his name.
His brave and selfless deeds filled me with empathy and awe. It became my deepest wish to try to be like him, try to follow his example, as short as I would ever fall in trying.
He still appears to me from time to time. I know when he is near. The sweetness of his presence makes me cry.
To honor this great man, I wrote what I hope is a truthful, accurate, detailed account of his life. It offers fresh, new, meticulously researched facts, some of them never before revealed, along with the only image of Crazy Horse known to exist.
This book is a work of creative nonfiction.
In other words, all of the events in this story (including this introduction) are true, and the man in the photo really is Crazy Horse.
But the historical dialogue and some of the small details had to be inferred, and so I did my best to make them plausible.
This book is my attempt to detail the life of an amazing man with physical talents to this day unmatched, combined with an extraordinary spiritual wealth.
He lived not far from where you live, and not too very long ago.
Since finding the image of Crazy Horse, I've made many journeys to the Pine Ridge Reservation.
My first Lakota friends (who I could swear I met by accident) are directly descended from Spotted Elk, also known as Bigfoot, the man who died at Wounded Knee with most of his family and followers.
Spotted Elk was a first blood cousin to Crazy Horse, which means, in the Lakota Way, that my friends are Crazy Horse's grandchildren.
But that is a whole other story.
This is the story of Crazy Horse.
above Indian Clipart image: worldgathering.net
Indian Clipart: Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 1
Indian Clipart: Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 2
Indian Clipart: Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 3
Indian Clipart: Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 4
Indian Clipart: Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 5
Indian Clipart: Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 6
Indian Clipart: Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 7
Indian Clipart: Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 8
Indian Clipart: Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 9
Indian Clipart: Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 10
Indian Clipart: Crazy Horse Appearing - Appendixes
above image: myhero.com
Here are some Classic Short Stories from the public domain:
Told in the Drooling Ward, by Jack London
The Ransom of Red Chief, by O. Henry
The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter
Go here for selected Moral Stories.
See this page for Aesop's Fables, other short stories, printable poems, and more.
Click this link to learn Why Reading Is Important.
Greetings From South Dakota (Indian Clipart)
Flags of Indian Nations (Indian Clipart)
Photos of Famous Native Americans (Indian Clipart)
Indian Reservations Listed by State (Indian Clipart)
Tribal Tattoo Designs (Indian Clipart)