“The purple moon will shine down on us,” said Chief Eagle Heart to his people. “The legends of our forefathers say that the Purple Moon will bring good luck to us all.”
“Ah, what nonsense!” one young warrior spoke out. “There is no such thing as a purple moon. Silver maybe, but not purple. I think Chief Eagle Heart is mistaken.”
“Hush now, Brave Warrior,” Chief Eagle Heart said, as the tribe grew quiet. “In exactly one week’s time, we will see the rays of the purple moon shine down upon us. We must prepare ourselves for this great honour. Prepare a feast, the biggest ever!”
The whole tribe whooped and hollered.
“At the feast,” Chief Eagle Heart continued. “I will announce my engagement.”
The crowd grew silent.
“Who will be your wife?” Wise Elk, the 70 year old shaman asked.
“I have three possibilities to consider,” said Chief Eagle Heart. “I will choose only one.”
The crowd knew already who their Chief’s possibilities were. They were three very beautiful women, Howling Wolf, Shining Star and Sleeps With a Smile.
It was going to be a tough choice for Chief Eagle Heart. All three women had distinctive qualities that would make him a very happy man. Howling Wolf was the grand-daughter of Wise Elk. She was very bright, energetic and out-going. Shining Star happened to be the sister of Brave Warrior, who was a great young warrior. Chief Eagle Heart held great respect for Brave Warrior and therefore, also respected his sister. And then of course, was Sleeps With a Smile. She was so shy and so delicate. She held a beauty that surpassed the other women. Sleeps With a Smile was the favoured one of the three. Chief Eagle Heart went to his tent to contemplate. He had a difficult decision to make. Of course, he could marry all three women, but Chief Eagle Heart wanted to marry just one.
Outside of Chief Eagle Heart’s tent, the little village was buzzing. The women were preparing fancy dishes for the Feast of the Purple Moon. The men were busy hunting game for the feast.
“Well!” Howling Wolf said to her grandfather later that evening. “I suppose I’d better prepare myself for my wedding. Chief Eagle Heart is going to choose me to be his wife.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure of that, my dear,” Wise Elk said. “Sleeps With a Smile is the favoured one of the village.”
“Oh her!” Howling Wolf said angrily. “I am Wise Elk’s grand-daughter. Chief Eagle Heart respects you very much. I am the obvious choice.”
Brave Warrior entered his tent to find his sister crying.
“Shining Star!” said Brave Warrior sharply. “Snap out of it. We have a wedding to prepare for.”
“Chief Eagle Heart is not going to choose me,” Shining Star cried. “He has eyes for Howling Wolf but, his heart is with Sleeps With a Smile.”
“Ah but, you have forgotten one thing,” Brave warrior laughed. “You are my blood. Chief Eagle Heart holds great respect for me, therefore, you are the obvious choice.”
“Oh great daughter,” Bear Paw said. “What do you think of Chief Eagle Hearts announcement today?”
“Well,” Sleeps With a Smile said shyly. “I know Chief Eagle Heart will choose me, but he must give this matter careful consideration before he makes his decision.”
“I know you are right,” Bear Paw said to his daughter. “I see love in the eyes of Chief Eagle Heart when he looks upon you. I also see the love that is in your eyes when you look upon him.”
Chief Eagle Heart called each woman separately to his tent. He had one question for them to answer.
Howling Wolf entered the tent first. She sat down on the dirt floor in front of the chief. Chief Eagle Heart stared straight ahead for the longest time and then he finally spoke.
“If I choose you to be my wife,” he said clearly. “How would you feel about being married to a man as great as I?”
“Look,” Howling Wolf snapped. “Everyone knows that you are going to choose me, so why all this fuss. Why not make your announcement to our people now! Why wait for the purple moon?”
“You may leave now,” Chief Eagle Heart said coldly.
Howling Wolf stalked out of the tent. Next, Shining Star sat on the dirt floor facing the great chief. Chief Eagle Heart asked her the same question.
“Chief Eagle Heart,” she answered. “I would be most honoured to be your wife. Just think of all the power I would possess, being married to the chief.”
“You too, may leave,” Chief Eagle Heart declared.
Sleeps With a Smile entered the tent. She too, sat down on the dirt floor and faced the chief.
“How handsome he is!” thought Sleeps With a Smile to herself. “He is wearing the most beautiful eagle feathers in his head band, along with a soft leather tunic.”
“Ah, my Sleeps With a Smile,” Chief Eagle Heart said softly. “What a precious being you are?”
Chief Eagle Heart reached out and took one of her long black braids into his hand. It was as soft as a new born fawn.
“If I were to choose you to be my wife,” he spoke softly as his grey eyes rested on her beautiful face. “How would you feel about being married to a man as great as I?”
“I would be completely satisfied for the rest of my life,” Sleeps With a Smile whispered softly.
The Feast of the Purple Moon was about to begin. The women were busy about the village, preparing everything, while the men helped to entertain the children.
“Let the Feast of the Purple Moon begin,” Chief Eagle Heart declared. “I will marry Sleeps With a Smile.”
Sleeps With a Smile walked up to stand beside her husband-to-be. Her shiny black hair glowed in light of the purple moon.