Native American Story of Respect for Elders

There once was a man, who was raising his young son. The mother had passed away at childbirth and he was teaching his son all that he knew. This son grew up and in time wanted to go to a nearby village and find him a companion. Many months passed and the young man returned to his home and with him he had a woman, his wife. They lived in the home with his father.

Shortly after, they had a son. The father, now a grandfather began teaching this young boy all that he knew. How to respect the forest, the animals and life. His mother, tiring of sharing her home with the old man told her husband that she wanted the old man out of the house. The father spoke “I cannot, this is his home and he built it for us.” She spoke, “If you do not make him leave, then I will take our son and I will leave.” The father agreed and spoke to the son. “My son, tomorrow I want you to take Grandpa out and leave him. Give him this blanket.” The young boy cried. “Why do you do this? The father spoke. “Son, follow the wishes of your father.” The next morning, the father went hunting to the North. The son took Grandpa as far as he could walk to the South.

That evening the young boy was sitting on the bed crying when his father came in. He saw the blanket on the bed. “Son, I thought I told you to give Grandpa the blanket.” The son said, “I gave Grandpa half the blanket, the other half, I will give to you some day.” The mother and father understood the message. And they went out and brought Grandpa back home.

Joyce Bidwell…. Respectful Planning for Seniors and Elders
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