In the valley of the Blue River lived Grey Eagle of the Tea’chu. A great warrior, Grey Eagle was tall, slim, and handsome.
His childhood rival Yellow Arrow once bet that he could find and kill the Black Stag. The two set out on to find the beast. After a week of tracking, they cornered him. Both shot, but Grey Eagle brought him down with a single arrow.
Grey Eagle puffed out his chest.
“I am the best hunter in our tribe,” he said.
Everyone agreed except Crooked Spear. “That you may be. There always is one you can not best.”
Grey Eagle glared and shook his fist at the puny Crooked Spear. “You lie.”
His lover, Morning Star came to him and convinced Grey Eagle to ignore the short man. “He is a tool maker and jealous of you.”
Perhaps Yellow Arrow was Grey Eagle’s greatest rival, but Crooked Spear was the best shot. Even Grey Eagle knew this. However, Crooked Spear had been touched by the Spirit and could not hunt with the others.
The others had said he had lost his mind in the wilderness and that he gave up his ability to run to see into the future. Yellow Arrow told him once he had seen Crooked Spear eating a deer alive, which was forbidden by the chief.
Grey Eagle forgot about it until a Hauyen, a rival tribe, attacked. He was out hunting with the others. Screamed rent the silence and they forgot about the buck they were tracking.
They returned to find the dwellings in ashes and their wives bloody, those still alive and not captured. Yellow Arrow wailed over his children’s bodies, his wife rushed to the medicine man. Grey Eagle’s wife was gone.
Such was Yellow Arrow’s grief that he shaved his head for the funeral. His wife had passed of fever and joined their children.
Crooked Spear had been left for dead, but the survivors said he put up a fight. He insisted on going with the war party.
“You did not see what I saw,” he told Grey Eagle.
“What can a tool maker do? Stay here.”
Crooked Spear limped to a horse. “You can not stop me. They must have vengeance!”
“We do nothing in the name of vengeance Crooked Spear, but justice.”
Crooked Spear sneered. “Justice is a pretty word for fools who would make war. We both agree that this beast must be put down, so let us not fight over the truth: they must die.”
They met with the Hauyen on the plains. Many men died. Grey Eagle searched for the man who had taken Morning Star and when he found him he rang the life out of them.
Still healing from his injuries, Crooked Spear barely dodged the arrows and skullcrackers aimed at him. He couldn’t get a shot in, stoking the flames of his rage.
Before long the Hauyen warriors laid dead before them. Their men and women wailed and screamed in a foreign tongue.
Crooked Spear snapped. He plunged his knife into men and began to eat of their flesh. As he ate, he calmed considerably.
“What are you doing?!” Yellow Arrow shouted. “That is forbidden!”
“Stop this Crooked Spear,” Grey Eagle said. “They have paid the price.”
“They are animals and they shall have an animal’s funeral,” Crooked Spear said.
Grey Eagle argued with him as the lithe man waded knee deep in guts.
Neither noticed the Hauyen shaman approaching him.
“The mighty Eagle should not quarrel with a Vulture. An Eagle merely kills his prey, but the Vulture purifies the earth. So you shall be until you remember.”
At least, that was the story Yellow Arrow told the chief when they returned without Grey Eagle and Crooked Spear [Vulture]. He brought Morning Star back and she took him as husband.
They loved each other as no other, but they both always looked towards the sky.