October 18, 2019
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Because of my strong love for Native Americans, I was especially interested in a story author Leonard Sweet told in a book of his. It's about a rite of passage that one tribe had for its boys when they turned 13. On that birthday, a warrior blindfolded the boy and took him several miles from camp. Then the warrior took off the blindfold and left this young teenager in this dark, dense forest. The young man was expected to stay there for the night and fend for himself. When it got dark, it got really dark. The trees were so dense he couldn't see the moon, he couldn't see the stars. Oh, but he could sure hear those eerie sounds of the wind, the howls of the wild animals nearby, and the rustling of the leaves that sounded like an approaching enemy. For most boys, it was a night without sleep. And then the dawn began to break. And then the young man could see the forest as it really was; the flowers were blooming, the majestic trees swaying in the wind, and the wildlife scurrying around for food. And then, the biggest surprise of all. The boy would see an imposing male figure, standing in the woods only a few yards away. He'd be startled at first, until he recognized the man. Unbeknownst to this frightened young warrior, his father had been there the whole time, ready to protect his son against anything that might harm him.