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The Guardian of the
From Legends of the Mighty
Sylvan Lake, SD
Long ago there was a great drought
even in the Black Hills. The mountain streams no longer san
their way over the rocks. Slowly the streams grew smaller until
they were dry, and the grass turned brown. Only the spring in
a certain gulch was flowing and water stayed in two pools nearby.
To the pools came all living things.
Men, women, and children came to quench their thirst and to
forget the hard season. And to the pools also came the beasts--the
beavers, deer, bears, and buffaloes, as well as the snakes and
There was water enough for all,
but the animals were not clean and left it dirty. It brought
sickness to many of those who had to drink it. Not other springs
could be found, and the people were very sad.
Then the Mighty Spirit took pity
on them and said, "I will send a guardian who will drive
away the animals and keep pure the water of the pools."
When morning came the people saw
a strange sight. Over the pools stood a woman, tall and stately,
her head bowed as she gazed into the precious water.
The stone figure of the woman who
guards the pools still stands in the gulch below what is now
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