An enlightening exert from Caught Up Into Paradise, by Richard E. Eby, D. O. copyright 1970. It was one of many books with truth that I carried home from my Grandpas. This story was told to Richard by his Mother.
“When I was a little girl on the farm somewhere near a place called Dowagiac, I came home one day from the little red school house where a big bell hung on top. I felt very sick. Your Grandma put me to bed because I was hot and dizzy and could not walk a straight line. Daddy sat up with me during the night. That was the last I remembered, for quite a while. He told me later, that in the morning he saddled up Whoa-Nellie and rode her to Elkhard looking for a doctor who came the next day as fast as he could to find his way across the fields.
He told your Grandpa to go to the next farm where the carpenter would help him make a coffin my size because I was already mostly dead, and there was no hope. When he got back with the coffin tied to his saddle, he found the local Indian Medicine Man waiting with two warriors on their ponies. The Chief asked him, “Where is Pretty-girl-that-runs-out –to meet-us? Great spirit told me come see her.” They dismounted and went inside. Grandma was crying over my stiff, grey body on the little bed. “She’s gone!” Grandpa exclaimed.
The Chief tapped him on the shoulder. “No die! Great Spirit say, “Let medicine man use sacred medicine. He bring girl back. When Great Sun rise in morning, little girl want water. You give her some! I go now, get Indian medicine for Pretty-girl.” He bowed and backed out of the door.
My parents told me later that they were reluctant to let the Indian do anything to me when I was already stiff and apparently dead. But Grandpa realized he was the President’s Commissioner of these Indians, ( that means he was the special white man to whom they brought their troubles), and he must not offend them if he wanted their respect. Besides, he wanted them someday to love the God who made us people red or white! So he gave permission to the Indians to get their sacred medicine.
Just before sunset the Chief rode back into our front yard carrying a red pot full of black goo. ( Goo consisted of a mixture of swamp herbs, roots and barks boiled and mixed with blood of birds, frogs and snakes to make a black liniment for use by a Medicine Man only.) They told me that he rubbed it all over me, except my nose, and rode away.
When the sun came up Grandpa heard the Indian pony gallop into the front yard just when I cried out for water! ( He cried too.) The Chief had another potful of goo that he spread all over me again. He told my father this time: "Great Spirit talk to me on horse. Say girl want food when Great Sun go down tonight. He say feed her then!" And away he rode.
Mother swung off the bed. “More Mommy, more. Did you live?”
boys, you figure that out while I get some milk and cookies like we used to give our Indian friends every time they came to see me afterwards……
"Now, to go on with the story… Watch those crumbs, they’ll tickle! Well, that evening the little girl ate some food, and could hear the Chief tell her Daddy that the next day the Great Spirit would make her walk by sunset. And I did!
Boys, we have a word for things we can’t explain; it’s MIRACLE. The doctor called me a real miracle. Years later he explained that I had a kind of brain fever that the city doctors were calling ‘Infantile Paralysis” Other such children had died in hospitals even with pills and hot packs.
I learned that the Indians Great Spirit is the same God who can do miracles for us. When you learn to read you will find that the Great Spirit was first called ‘Jehovah,” and He made this earth and the lightning and the thunder that we watched tonight.”