The Novice

There was a novice Hand Game player who showed great promise. He also was a soul of good intentions. With his beginning understanding of this game, he sought one of his family’s medicine men, to ask for a ‘power’ of ‘protection’ when he played.

He knew enough to approach this teacher in the correct way and said what it was he wished to acquire. The medicine man told him to return in a few days. When he did so, the medicine man handed him a necklace with a tiny bit of a buckskin bag attached and told him ‘wear this when you play.’

As it happened, this young man also had a young friend in dire trouble, his luck had been persistently failing him. Motivated from good intentions, he handed his necklace to this friend and told him how he’d received it. This true friend of the young man was exceedingly grateful for the ‘protection.’

But the friend’s luck didn’t get better, it got by far worse. But knowing he could trust the source of the ‘protection’ he’d received, he told himself he only needed to believe more strongly in the protection and so it went like that, his luck kept going downhill, rapidly, and he kept telling himself he only needed to believe more strongly until all was a perfect disaster.

When the novice Hand Game player checked in with his dear friend, to see how things might be going, he was shocked. Returning to the medicine man, he explained what he had done and the result.

The medicine man took awhile and finally spoke to the novice.

“My boy” he said “The Hand Game is a game of sorcery. When you asked for protection as a player, I provided something specific to that. It is a bit of severe bad luck in your necklace I gave you immunity to, to ward off the seers from the opposing side. It is meant to damage their sight when attempting to see through you. It was never meant to protect you otherwise, it is only meant to protect bones you’re hiding, from the divination. It was intended to destroy another person’s luck.”


Life in Indian Country