The Bear and the Boys

Written by Brant Parker

Kuruc and Kuruck were from the great bear tribe of the Shawnee Indians. Both boys wanted to follow in the footsteps like their grandfather and Father who were great chiefs. Kuruc and Kuruck were twins, and both had the name of a great bear Ni’ta who roamed among the village. Ni’ta was the king of the bears and facing Ni’ta meant courage.

At one time or another a brave would have to find Ni’ta and face him to become a great warrior and eventually Chief of the tribe. This was a great honor and privilege to encounter Ni’ta because this meant they embodied the great bear spirit. This also meant the warrior given this honor was seen as gentle, calm in his demeanor, but very capable of being fierce with courage and humbled by the sight of him.
The twins wanted to prove to the tribe they were ready to face the great bear! But the boys father laughed and would always say my son’s I love that you are eager to place yourselves as leaders and young braves have much to learn before facing the great Ni’ta! The twins would let out small sigh and respond as they always did yes father.

One day the twins were out in the woods hunting, and they felt that they were being watched! Kuruc said brother do you see anything that I am missing? Kuruck responded no brother I have the same eyes as you! Both boys laughed and Kuruc said my brother you have a great sense of humor! The boys came upon the creek that the village fished from, and the brothers sat and dipped the birch wood cane poles and began fishing. Again, Kuruc asked Kuruck brother I still feel as if we are being watched Kuruck said brother I too feel as something has been following and watching us since we have arrived.

Blackfish (a great chief) was visiting his brother Black Hoof (the boy’s father and chief) He asked the boys how the fish were biting, and he sat down with the young braves! Both boys loved hearing the stories their uncle talked especially about their father when they were young braves.
The boys and their uncle were having a great time and the day was starting to end. Blackfish stated young braves we should be returning to the village, so your father won’t be worried. The boys smiled and gathered their things to return to the village with their uncle. The boys had done well fishing and with the help of their uncle they had caught enough fish for a wonderful dinner! Blackfish told both Kuruc and Kuruck that their father would be very proud of their catch and that they would be great braves! As he smiled Ni’ta came out from the woods behind them Blackfish jumped up and tried to get the great bear to go away…but today Ni’ta was hungry, and he wanted the fish the young boys had caught. Blackfish told the boys not to run and to stand behind him. Ni’ta today was being more aggressive, and he let out a big cry and stood up on his hind feet! Both the boys were still behind their uncle, and he begun to speak with the great bear as he was trying to convince him he and the boys would not bring any harm to him…but again Ni’ta roared and was determined to get the fish.

Blackfish began to run toward the big bear, and he grabbed a big stick…trying to Wisk the bear away but his attempts were failing. The twins afraid that the bear would hurt their uncle ran past him and threw the fish at Ni’ta the bear…again he stood up and roared with great power but Kuruc and Kuruck stood their ground! They told Ni’ta to take the fish and go away! Blackfish was surprised at the courage of his young nephews. Ni’ta began gathering the fish the twins had thrown to him and just as fast as he appeared he hurriedly ran back in the forest. Both Kuruc and Kuruck was sad, and they looked at their uncle and stated we have lost our meal for tonight! Father will be very disappointed that we lost our catch! Blackfish smiled and stated my young braves I think your father will understand as he smiled. Not much was said walking back to the village, so they decided to check a few traps on the way back. The traps had captured a few rabbits and both the boys smiled and said this will make father happy! He loves fresh rabbit! As the sun started falling and darkness soon embellished the village the boys ate their dinner and was whisked away for bed.
They thanked their uncle for the time he spent with them today and as they gave their uncle hugs the boys went to their father and done the same. Black hoof just smiled and thanked the twins for the wonderful catch, and he was very proud of them. Both Blackfish and Black hoof had to attend the council meeting.

The twins woke up and they began their chores as they do every day. Their father called for them and with a huge smile told the boys they were to clean up and they were to meet with the council that day. The boys were excited! But they had no idea why they would have such an honor…they were just young braves, and such an honor was reserved for great braves!

As the boys entered with their father their grandfather and uncle were waiting for them. Many of the braves attended the meeting. Blackfish told the council of the twin’s heroism and how they faced the great Ni’ta and the courage they showed. The council smiled and their grandfather began to speak, and all talk silenced. The twins had no idea why their uncle would tell anybody this story because they had lost their feast of fish!

The great chief began to speak directly to Kuruc and Kuruck and stated my grandsons have shown such bravery that I recommend they be given the bear claw ornament and considered vested in the tribe! All the warriors and braves nodded in agreement. The chief stated that Blackfish has told us of their great bravery and witnessed such. Blackfish claims if it was not for the bravery of Kuruc and Kuruck he may have been killed. As the boys stood, they couldn’t believe that they were being given such an honor! The boys father placed the ornament around each of their necks and hugged them. He told both Kuruc and Kuruck that he was very proud of them! Both the boys became great chiefs years later!

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