The Legend of the Bluebonnet

One of the great pleasures for millions of Texan's, and visitor alike, is the arrival every spring of a flower called the Bluebonnet. It is the Texas State Flower. This is a very old legend. I have simply put a 'Cappy Twist' to it. Let me transport you back in time. The opening scene finds us on the Llano Estacado. The Comanche are in dire straights. This is before they became the greatest mobile fighting force that the world had ever seen.

It was an unusually cruel year on the Llano. The Comanche suffered greatly under the intense sun, baking the marrow of their bones until it sucked the life out of man and beast alike. With no rain, the grass did not grow and the buffalo did not thrive. There had been many rain dances until their legs felt like reeds in the wind. Whole families had been wiped out and those that were left wept in sorrow for their losses. Children were orphaned, with little hope of being taken in by another family. There wasn’t enough food to share. The Great Spirit had forsaken them. Their beautiful land was being laid to waste.

This tale is about a child that did survive after her parents journeyed to the happy hunting grounds. She lived by begging from one meager camp after another. Her name was She-Who-Is-Alone. Her only possessions were a tattered deerskin that barely covered her body, and a doll her grandmother had given her before she passed away. The doll was made of cornhusks wrapped in leather. One vivid blue feather stuck out from the top where the head should be. She-Who-Is-Alone did not weep, even though she missed her family very much. She was worried about the surviving members of her tribe. She did not want to see them go the way of her family. The People were all she had left.

One day, the Chief addressed the tribe and told them of a visit from the Great Spirit. He explained that they would have to bring something very precious with them and sacrifice it to the bonfire they would build that evening. There was a lot of grumbling, as all of the past efforts had gone without reward. That night, after the bonfire was lit and the tongues of flame reached overhead, tickling the star-filled sky, the tribe gathered together. It seemed no one wanted to part with their prized possessions, but slowly, one by one, the warmest blankets, strongest bows, and finest bonnets were sacrificed for the good of the People. But still … no rain came.

One-Who-Lives-Alone slowly made her way through the crowd and approached the scorching blaze. Everyone watched her as she closed her eyes and said a silent prayer to the Great Spirit. The only thing she had in the whole world to give was her doll. She was willing to part with her doll if it would help her tribe.

With no regret, and a last good-bye, One-Who-Lives-Alone tossed her doll in the flames. She sat down, next to the fire, remaining there until the fire died out. She picked up the ashes where her doll had been and threw them up into the wind. She then lay down on the hard ground and fell fast asleep.

One-Who-Lives-Alone was a beautiful little girl. She looked like a fragile porcelain doll as rain began to fall upon her cheek. Her eyes flutter for a moment, then popped open with excitement. Great joy washed over her. Leaping to her feet she ran out upon the plains. There she saw the land covered with lush green grass for the buffalo. The prairie was dotted with large patches of blue flowers that were the exact color of the feather that had adorned her doll.

The entire Comanche tribe came out to see the wondrous sight. They saw One-Who-Lives-Alone crying, unabashed, and with great joy. Her face turned towards the sky, arms spread wide, while she danced her dance of thanks to the Great Spirit. The People saw the beautiful blue flowers and knew they were the same color as her doll’s feather. They knew that the blanket of flowers and prairie grass were due to One-Who-Lives-Alone’s ardent prayers and unselfish sacrifice. The People were saved.

Her name was changed to One-Who-Dearly-Loves-Her-People. She would never have to worry about food or clothing again. And thus the Legend of the Blue Bonnet was born.

This adaptation of the Legend written by -

Cappy Sig