Lost Bird of Wounded Knee

Lost Bird of Wounded Knee

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The general's presents of food in great quantity opened a path that led to the Wounded Knee orphan. When they found the child, the disguised general stepped forward. Black-haired, dark-complexioned, standing erect, eyes hypnotic with conviction and pride, Leonard Colby spoke through an unknown interpreter:

"I am a Seneca Indian-- my grandmother was a full-blood Seneca. I have brought food on behalf of my tribe for your children. I rescued the child who survived the massacre at Wounded Knee. Take pity on me and my wife. We have no children of our own. I want to give this child to my wife. We will take good care of her..."

When Colby reached for the child in the grandmother's arms, she resisted and cried out, "Zintkala Nuni! Zintkala Nuni! ( "The Lost Bird! The Lost Bird!") But she finally released her hold on the sleeping child. Colby looked Indian. He did not appear frightened and ill at ease like a white man with one eyebrow raised. And perhaps it was better to let her go...just to make sure she had food and clothing...The grieving people turned away.