The Blind Man and the Loons

‘‘Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows.’ – Native American Proverb.

A family, an aunt and three adopted siblings, two young ladies and a blind young man lived together. The aunt despised the young man for his blindness. One day, while hunting, they happened upon a moose. The aunt gave the young man the bow and arrow. She helped him aim, he fired and hit the moose. However, the aunt didn’t want him to know. So she yelled at him, ‘You missed and now the moose is gone. We will starve this winter.’ Ashamed the young man left their home and found shelter under a bluff.

The sisters followed her brother and saw where he went. After seeing where he went, they went home. They found her aunt was cooking the moose their brother shot and killed. Saddened by the cruelty, they saved some meat to bring to their brother after their aunt went to sleep.

The young man was crying when he heard two loons calling in the distance. He shouted, ‘Why do you cry when you can see and I cannot? My family I can’t provide for because of this!’ The two loons heard his plea. Together they went to the young man and saw him crying. They said, ‘You are blind, but see more than those who can. Come with us and listen to the wind, it talks.’ Confused, the young man followed the loons.

‘Do you hear it?’ the loons asked. ‘The wind it speaks if you listen.’ The young man listened to the air move between branches and brush. The wind spoke to him, ‘Do not be saddened, you are cared for. You are loved. Love moves me. Do not be sad.’ Hearing the wind speak the young man understood he was not forgotten.

The wind stopped and all was silent. The loons said to the young man, ‘Listen. It is quiet. There is so much to hear.’ The young man confused, stopped and listened. Silence. All his thoughts ended as he listened for something to speak with him. ‘I hear nothing.’ said the young man. The loons responded, ‘Silence speaks peace. Do you feel better?’ The young man relieved, said, ‘I do. I’m not crying because I failed my family.’ The loons smiled and said, ‘Silence brings peace. Stop and think. All is never lost. There is so much to hear from silence.’

They continued on, the two loons and young man. He asked, ‘Where are we going?’ The loons responded, ‘You will see.’ The young man thought they went on for miles and miles, until the loons said, ‘We are here.’ The loons brought the young man to a pond nestled in tall spruce trees. ‘Come to us. Listen to your heart. Do you trust us?’ Scared, the young man didn’t know what they were going to do, but believed their intentions were good.

The loons hushed, ‘Hold your breath.’ They held him under water until he felt like he was going to explode. The loons held him up and he gasped for air. They asked him, ‘Do you hear it? Your heart speaks to you. It’s letting you know all is good with the world. Now open your eyes.’ The young man opened his eyes. He could see. The trees, the pond, and the two loons. The world was beautiful and elegant.

‘Remember, listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows.’ they said. Just as they came to him, they were gone. He looked around and could not find them. However, he saw his sisters instead holding some meat. Seeing them for the first time, he knew he was loved and not forgotten.

The Blind Man and the Loons is a tale from across all American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, including Greenland. There are many variations, this is an account of a family of siblings adopted by their wicked aunt. However, love of a family keeps them together and in his pleas to the spirit world can see again. However, he had to understand the lessons from the spirits, the twin Loons before he can see.

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