"One hot day Sitting Bull lay down to rest in the shade of the trees by the river. He noticed a yellow flicker (woodpecker) looking down, watching him. In a state of dreaminess, somewhere between walking and sleeping, Sitting Bull wondered if he could also hear an animal moving around in the undergrowth.

"Suddenly — tap! tap! — he was awakened by the flicker tapping loudly on a branch, warning him: "Lie still! Lie still!"

"All in a moment Sitting Bull was wide awake with a huge grizzly bear standing over him, it's hot breath sniffing his face. Summoning all his courage, Sitting Bull closed his eyes and lay still, just as the flicker told him.

"After what seemed like an age, he heard the great bear sauntering off. Sitting Bull raised his arms in blessing to the yellow bird, improvising a song of praise:

"O beautiful bird
You took pity on me.
You want me to live among my people.
O Feathered People
You will always be my relatives.

"It was ever after that, they say, that Sitting Bull, famous leader of his Hunkpapa people in peace and war, always listened closely to what the birds told him.