A Narrative of Wasco Legacy
In a time when the world was young, and elders spun stories by the light of the campfire, there lived a hunter whose heart beat in unison with the wild. His name was Plain Feather, a name that belied the depth of his spirit. At the foot of the towering Mount Hood, Plain Feather lived, but he was not alone. A great elk of celestial origin had chosen him, guiding him, whispering the secrets of forest and field.
The wisdom of the elk spirit was pure and unwavering. “Honor the ebb and flow of life,” it urged. “Take only what sustenance you require. In this balance, all shall flourish.” Plain Feather heeded these words with a devotion that set him apart, his arrows striking true only when need whispered its quiet plea.
Others mocked his restraint, casting jests like stones upon his path. Yet, as the braided rivers through the woods, so too did Plain Feather’s resolve run deep and unwavering.
In the shroud of shadows, an envious heart beat within Smart Crow, an elder cloaked in deceit. He wove a tale of dire prophecy, an echo of harsh winters whispered by a spirit’s breath. “Lay your harvest thick upon the ground,” he urged the hunters. “For the voice of the Great Spirit has painted a vision of ice and endless night.”
The hunters, swept in a current of fear, brandished their weapons with fervor misplaced, each seeking to cast the longest shadow as the greatest provider. Yet Plain Feather, bearer of the elk’s trust, remained anchored to the spirit’s wisdom.
Entangled in Smart Crow’s web of falsehoods, doubt began to gnaw at our young hunter’s spirit. “Could such treachery wear the mask of wisdom?” he wondered. With a heavy heart, he joined the hunt, his bow singing a mournful tune.
Down by the Hood River’s embrace, he loosed arrows that danced with death, leaving a trail of silent spirits in wake. A myriad of elk fell before his might, all but one—a noble creature wounded, spirited away like a shadow caressed by dawn’s light.
Compelled beyond sense, Plain Feather tracked this final prize, through bristle and briar, unto a hidden lake, mirror to the sky, cradle to his guardian. There, the wounded elk lay, its eyes gleaming with a light not of this earth.
A mystical force, like the pull of the moon on tides, beckoned him closer. “Draw him in,” sang the voice of the unseen. And Plain Feather, in a dance as old as time, drew near.
“Why have you broken the sacred circle?” lamented the great elk. “Around you swirl the souls of the fallen, my kin, your kin. Our bond is severed, and the lake shall be your testament.”
A chorus of the lost intoned, “Cast him out,” and the spirits pierced the veil, thrusting Plain Feather upon sorrow’s shore.
A man but a shell, he staggered to his village, his voice but a whisper of his tale. “Lost am I, a spirit adrift, bereft of the great elk’s guidance. The lake cradles him now, home to those who once danced beneath the stars.”
With a final breath, he gifted his tale to the winds, and the Lake of the Lost Spirits was thusly named. Nestled in that tranquil basin, the reflections of Mount Hood stand as sentinels, guardians of memories submerged and spirits ever wandering.