Prairie Crocus

Nothing seems to symbolize the prairies more than the hardy Prairie Crocus (Anemone patens), which braves our cold winters to bring us the promise of spring. It seems fitting that this beautiful First Nations legend should be part of the PrairieChic Wellness website.

How the Prairie Crocus Got its Fur Coat – A First Nations Legend

Prairie Crocus

Photo: “Prairie Crocus at Sunrise”, Grandmaison Photography

Wapee went on a vision quest, where, overwhelmed by loneliness, he was befriended by a Prairie Crocus. In response to the flower’s kindness, Wapee sheltered the flower from the cold each night.

After the second night, the flower spoke, “Yesterday, Wapee, you were sad because you had been afraid. He who never knows fear is a fool. The wise man learns to overcome it.”

When the Morning Star looked out across the prairie the following dawn, the flower said, “You have a kind heart, Wapee. It will lead you to great things.”

Next night, still sheltered under Wapee’s robe, the flower said, “Wisdom and a gentle heart will make of you a great leader. But when you are bowed with troubles and cares, remember that on a nearby hilltop you will find peace and wisdom.”

Before going back to his people, Wapee said to the flower, “Little brother, three nights you have comforted me in my loneliness and brought me visions. Tell me now three of your wishes that I may ask the Great Spirit to grant them to you.”

The flower answered, “Pray that I may have the purple blue of the distant mountains in my petals, that men may seek my company and be rested. Second, let me have a small golden sun to hold close in my heart, to cheer me on dull days when the sun god is hidden. Last, let me have a warm coat, like your robe of fur, that I may face the cold winds that blow from the melting snow.”

The Great Spirit was pleased that Wapee’s first thought had been for the flower and answered his prayers.

– With permission, an abridged version of a First Nations tale found in Old Man’s Garden by Annora Brown