It was a hot and dry summer night
in the high desert, in the Mojave;
the young Indian girl stood in the
center of a circle of maidens,
following the instructions of the
Elder, He Who Makes it Rain.
She stood with her arms outstretched
to receive the gift of water.
It had been a long and hot dry summer
and water was badly needed for
For the livestock
For mother earth herself.
The circle of maidens,
young girls like herself,
joined hands and walked in a
circle, clockwise, while she,
her arms still outstretched
began a slow tentative step
and so they continued this dance
while the elders and all others
remained asleep inside their teepees;
it was not fitting for any of them to
witness the Rain Dance of the Maidens;
None dared peek outside their teepees.
One hour passed,
and the young maiden’s outstretched
arms grew heavy and tired,
such was her burden.
Tears filled her eyes and ran down
her face and yet she continued the
rain dance as prescribed by the Elder,
He Who Makes It Rain.
Time lost all meaning.
The night was dark,
but in the third hour,
the magic hour of three,
a bolt of lightning filled the sky
and hope filled the hearts of
all the young girls performing
The Rain Dance of the Maidens;
They continued on–for lightning
did not always mean a storm;
Near the end of the third hour,
the young maidens felt drops
falling on their heads;
Renewed energy filled the hearts
of all the young maidens
and they danced a little harder,
a little faster,
and the girl in the center turned
so fast she seemed to be spinning.
Soon, the Elder, He who Makes It Rain
came out of his teepee and declared
his endeavor a success.
He had, indeed, made the rain fall.
The maidens fell into a heap on the
ground and slept, mindless of the rain
falling on and around them.
All the members of the tribe
went one by one up to the Elder
to give thanks and present him
with a gift for making it rain;
They gave him feathers from
an owl and a crow and some
pretty sun-like stones from
the riverbed and all reaffirmed
that HE WHO MAKES IT RAIN
was a most wise Elder, indeed.
Sandra Lee Smith
originally posted August 12, 2010
Updated August 2, 2018