The Wolf, the Fox, the Bobcat and the Cougar
Sage brush growing on lava bed
Before the lava field was actually here, this used to be forested rivers where the Shoshone Bannocks used to live in harmony. There used to be lots of water and food for them, so they were very happy here.But then all of a sudden, as the legends say, there was a warrior group. They were very vicious little people who drove the Shoshone Bannocks away from this prime forest area. These warriors were very vicious. They were experts with their bows and arrows. And so the Shoshone Bannocks held a council, a great council, and they were wondering what they were going to do with these vicious beings. So they elected one of their most prominent medicine man to journey out, say a prayer, do a vision quest and try to figure out how to get rid of the vicious little people that came in and invaded their territory. The old medicine man agreed and he took a journey into a forest. He was following a bright star until the bright star led him into an opening. There was the wolf, the fox, the bobcat and the cougar. The cougar had a head of an Indian and his paws were hands, which made the medicine man scared. But that cougar turned around and talked to him in Shoshone and said, "Do not be scared." He heard from the animals that the medicine man was coming, so he said, “Don’t be scared of the bobcat, the wolf, the fox because they are spirits. We’ll help you. What do you need?” So the medicine man told them that these vicious little people got into their territory and ran them off and they were wondering how to get rid of them. The spirits held a council and then the leader turned around and said, "We will help you, under one condition: that none of your people, be it Shoshone or Bannock, will hunt the cougar, hunt the bobcat, hunt the fox, hunt the wolf—and don’t eat them, don’t kill them. Stay away from them. If you guys agree on that, then the spirits will help the Shoshone Bannocks drive these people out."
Green bushes and Larkspur growing in lava beds