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The First Indian Paintbrush
The legend goes: once upon a time, a Blackfoot maiden fell in love with a wounded prisoner she was attending. The maiden realized that her tribe was only nursing its captive in order to torture him later. She planned an escape of the prisoner, accompanying him for fear of the punishment for such a deed.
After some time in her lover's camp, she grew homesick for a glimpse of her old camp. She finally went to the site of her old camp, hid in the nearby bushes, and overheard two young braves discussing what would happen to the maiden who betrayed them, if only they could find her.
Knowing she could never return, but nonetheless longing to return, she took a piece of bark and drew a picture of the camp upon it with her own blood, gashing her leg and painting with a stick.
After drawing the picture, the maiden threw the stick away and returned to her lover's camp. Where the stick landed, a little plant grew with a bush-like end, dyed with the blood of this girl, which became the first Indian Paintbrush.
Adapted from "Old Man's Garden" by Annora Brown
On a drive from Austin to Houston I passed a beautiful patch of Indian Paintbrush. This oil painting was made from memory.
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