| Raven Eyes was small for her age. Always smaller then the other girls. But she was so quick to learn things. She was always curious, always eager to learn more. Where ever adults were gathered, talking, she would try to be there. Try to learn, to understand, to know. If they saw her, sometimes they would shoo her away. But usually she was out of the way, silent, listening. She even listened where girls should not. When anyone would see her, they would scold her and shoo her away. But next time, she would try again.
By the time she was ten she knew much. Yet she never bragged or boasted of what she knew. She kept it to herself. Some of the elders seemed to know she had this knowledge. Some of them started to watch her. One watched her more then the others. Every time Raven Eyes looked up, she saw Bear Tooth watching her. Bear Tooth was the shaman of the tribe. He was very old and very wise. Raven Eyes became used to being watched. Yet it did not stop her from going on with her daily life. Or from learning all she could.
A few months after Raven Eyes became a woman, word was brought to her Mother that Bear Tooth wanted to speak with Raven Eyes. So Five Baskets brought her daughter to Bear Tooth's Tepee. River Stone, Bear Tooth's wife, greeted them and bid them enter. They all sat and ate smoked fish as politeness called for. Finally Bear Tooth said to Raven Eyes, " You listen much and you know much."
To this Raven Eyes just nodded. Then Bear Tooth said, " you also see things." Raven Eyes just looked at him. She had told no one, so how did he know?
Then Bear Tooth said, "You always listen and you think you have heard all there is to hear. But there are things that have been only passed down from one Shaman to another. Things not told to others. In two moons there will be a gathering of all the shamans. We will send for you and you must come alone to speak of the things you have seen. We must hear of the things in your visions. We will also tell you what you must do."
Raven Eyes looked at her mother. Her mother nodded to Bear Tooth. Then Raven Eyes nodded to him also . Then they thanked River Stone and Bear Tooth for their hospitality, and left.
Two moons later the shamans were in council for three days before they sent for Raven Eyes. She was brought to the large tepee, set away from the others of the village, by a shaman apprentice. All shamans had at least one apprentice, and some had two. These apprentices were on guard all around this large tepee. The apprentice that had brought her here told her to enter, but he stayed outside.
Raven Eyes entered and Bear Tooth gestured for her to sit in the place of honor. She was not sure this was right, but she did as she was told. There was a few whiffs of smoke inside the tepee. They smelled of sage, sweetgrass, and tobacco. The two shamans closest to Raven Eyes waved their feather fans to pass some of this smoke over Raven Eyes. After greetings and polite conversation, Bear Tooth stood.
Bear Tooth looked at the other shamans and said, "We all know why we are here. I believe this girl is the one we have been told would come. But I have asked her nothing. Now we must each ask and learn for ourselves if this is the Raven we were told to expect."
They all nodded to each other. Bear Tooth sat back down. Snake Skin said to Raven Eyes, "Do you know why you are here?" She nodded and said, " I believe it is because I see things." Snake Skin said," But many have visions. Why should you be here and not others?" "This," Raven Eyes said, " I do not know."
Tamarack said, "Do you see the bear and wolf and places you have been?" She nodded and said, "Yes sometimes I do. But sometimes I see other things also. Things I do not understand."
The shamans all looked at each other. "Then tell us," Tamarack said, "of these things you see that you do not understand."
For a minute Raven Eyes was quiet. Then she looked at the far wall of the tepee, without seeing it, and started to speak. "I have seen an animal that is strange. Big as an elk, yet not an elk. I have seen this animal running with braves on its back. I have seen our tribe at war with a new tribe. A strange tribe of ghost people.. They fight with sticks that have fire on one end. I have seen our land covered with strange tepees. Shiny tepees that are tall. Taller then the trees that once stood where the shiny tepees stand. I have seen birds fly through the sky that are strange. They have no feathers and are shiny in the sun. I have seen fish die because the water kills them. I have seen animals die because the plants they eat kills them. I have seen trees and bushes and all manner of plants die because the land kills them. I have seen strange people of different colors all together as if they are of one tribe. I see this tribe does not take care of the water and the land and soon they start to die. One after another die until they are no more. "
Raven Eyes stopped talking and closed her eyes. For a few minutes it was deathly silent in the tepee. Then Blackberry said, "It is the same. Yet she has seen more."
"Tell us," Rabbit Ears asked Raven Eyes, "did you see any hands?"
At this question Raven Eyes opened her eyes wide and said,"Yes! Red hands. Red hands on rocks. But how did you know?"
All the shamans looked at each other and nodded their heads. They were satisfied that this was the one they had been told of.
Bear Tooth said, "Someday you will see those red hands on rocks. When you do, come to me and I will give you the sacred red paint. You will put the things you have seen on the rocks with the red hands. It is for the future generations to find, and from that they will learn how to make things right again. You are not the first Raven, and you will not be the last. Each one will see more and more until one Raven can see the answer."
"But where are the red hands?" Raven Eyes ask, "Where will I find them?"
Bear Tooth said, "We can not tell you where they are. Only shamans know where these sacred places are. We are not allowed to tell you or show you. But the true Ravens will find one. There are many places with the red hands. Many. If it is meant for you to find one, then you will do so. But you must not speak of what you have seen to anyone. Not of your visions, or of the sacred places with the red hands."