I HAVEN’T told you about Kevin. He is one of the cowboys here at the horse ranch in Montauk, and the closest I’ve come so far to a Native American Horse Whisperer. I must admit I think Im pretty good in comunicatinig with those magic creatures, but omg Kevin is The Master. NEED a separate post about him. Anyway, this post is about a story he told me:
THE MAGIC DOG
NATIVE AMERICANS called the horse ”the magic dog”, conveying a deep, abiding appreciation for unique qalities of this animals, which they believed was given to the People by the Creator as a special gift, The Plains Indians believed that maintaining and appreciating all life forms around us, both visible and invisible, was a sacred duty. They also believed the Creator gave the People two special companions to take along on their journey. The first was the dog. Later came a second, more significant contribution to the well-being of the tribes. This ally they called ”the magic dog” - what we call Equus caballus, the domesticated horse.
This Native American folk tale explains the special connection among horses, dogs and humans. In earlier time, the ”two leggeds” (humans), the ”four-leggeds” and the ”winged-ones” all lived as one people in one great hoop: a single, great tribe of all creatures. Everyone spoke the same language, and all lived in harmony, as the Creator had intended. Each was able to see the needs of the gtreater common good. No one creature was seen as better or lesser.
One day, a cold wind began to blow out of the North, and with it came Coyote to visit his two-legged brithers. Coyote was always full of mischief and gossip. As he sat next to the humans, he talked of the need forthe two-leggeds to invent a new, separate tongue - one that only they could understand among themselves, so no other animal would be able to speak their words. Many humans nodded their heads with approval, and soon a new language was created, filled with words, something only men and women could decipher.
The Creator looked down from the sky and saw all the mischief Coyote was instigating around the campfire. Angered, the Creator ordered Coyote to leave the camp. Coyote skulked away, but he sneaked back to the campfire after nightfall to spread more gossip. This is why, to this day, Coyote comes around the campfires only when the shadows are long and dark and the Creator can not see him lurking about.
Soon all the two-leggeds were fluent in their secre tongue. Slowly humans beings forgot the other sounds they had originally shared with their fellow creatures. As time went on, the two leggeds listened less to the other animals and began to think of themselves as separate and better.
The human beings began hunting the four-legged and winged-ones. The animals became frightened and ran deep into the forrest. They learned to hide their voices from the human beings, lest their sounds help the humans hunt them down and kill them.
So it came to pass that the animals felt they could no longer trust the human beings. Thy went to the Creator and told Him how the human beings had become terrible enimies. The Creator listeded, and it became clear that human beings would allways try to maintain dominion over the animals. As punishment, the Creator decided to send a giant eqrthquake down and split the world asunder so that the animals and humans would be forever kept apart.
The Earth trembled and shook, and the ground cracked open. The chasm left two-legged on one side and all the other animals and birds safely separate on the other rim. Seeing the Earth suddenly gape open, the human beings cried out in fear. They realized how much they had angered the Creator with their hidden secrets and selfish ways. They understood they would beforever kept apart from the other creatures.
They called out across the chasm, begging the animals to forgive their past transgressions, pleading with the other creatures to jump across the ever-deepening canyon between them. Because most of the animals had learned to distrust the two-leggeds, they shrank back into the forrest. The earthquake continued, and the crack in the earth’s crust grew deeper. The human beings saw they would be exiled forever without animals.
At the last moment, the Horse and the Dog came out of hiding and jumped across the chasm to stand on the opposite rim with the human beings. The two-leggeds rejoiced and promised the Dog and the Horse they would be permitted to live forever among the humans as honored guests. And so it came to pass that the Creator was pleased and asked two-leggeds always remember that the Horse and the Dog had voluntarily joined the human beings. They were admonished never forget to honor these most special and unique friends among all the creatures of the World.
So according to Native American folklore, the horse is handed down as most special of gifts, given to us as both a friend and our teacher.
Story written down in the book Zen Mind Zen Horse by Allan J Hamilton and photo from the Montauk horse ranch (where history throws back to 1600-something !).