The Legend of the White Tatanka
Stories and their tellings are an integral part of the Clay Giant Culture, traditions rely on stories passed down through retelling after retelling during celebrations and hours of relaxation and work. Without these stories, the history of the Clay Giants would be lost to time, erased without the careful curation of their oral traditions. Storytelling is a way of life, but some stories have greater importance than others. Some are so ingrained in the culture that everyone knows the story word for word. The Legend of the White Tatanka is one of those stories that everyone in the Cradle of Clay knows. Throughout the year, the story is told multiple times, during celebrations such as Storybrook to long days in the fields or traveling over the hills. Children know the story nearly word for word from a young age, reflecting on the teachings that come from such a story. Some may say it is just a fairy tale, a fable with some moral at the end, but to the Clay Giants, the story of the White Tatanka is a reality that can come true for those that have lost their path. Over the years, the story has changed slightly, changing through retellings and as the landscape and animals changed. The message that one gains from the story never varies, hoping to teach the new generations to stray away from the greed and other thoughts that led to the lifestyles of the Giants. This story is seen as a way to keep the Clay Giants from following the horrific path of their ancestors, instead following the path of growth and progression laid out for them by the goddess Rerena.
For as long as our people have struggled in the hills of the Cradle, so has existed the White Tatanka and the blessings that it brings. When those who struggle and are lost on their journey find there is no place else to turn, the White Tatanka appears to them, leading them along the path to what they desire most. This creature brings hope even in the darkest of places.
But the legend of the White Tatanka is not as simple as it seems. For one young man found the fabled beast, but his decisions and greed dictated his path, far away from the prosperity the Tatanka was leading him to. When the days grow long and the potential of a day is greatest, we storytellers share the happenings of the past so that others do not make this man's fatal mistake.
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I love how the value of the story being kept in its oral format is backed by the storyteller's strength because writing does strip away vocal tone, and not all onomatopeia have a ready spelling (if any are in the tale). I also love how circumstances came about so the story could be told by nearly everyone and anyone, but the story didn't used to be so well known before those events. The summary of the story itself is really nice in how it still feels like a story being told. Thank you for the delightful read!