Yellow Bird: A tale from the Fort Berthold Reservation
"Readers who live in New York or Dallas may not believe the tale I am about to tell, and even people in my former hometown of Grand Forks may have their doubts. But I like to think of this as a tale of a nun, an elder and a mountain lion.

In the 2.1 million-acre Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, there are some untamed spaces. The Badlands are one. The northwestern part of the reservation contains land that is beautiful and wild but can be unforgiving to those who venture there without experience and knowledge.

When I stand on the edge where the prairie drops off into the wild lands, I always think that some huge and roaring river must have cut through in ancient times because you can see how it carved the land. There are tall, rounded buttes that look like earth lodges for giants. The buttes are encircled by the colors of the land, including deep, red scoria.

The Badlands are good territory for bighorn sheep, elk, deer and other wild animals. And more recently, mountain lions have made it their home, perhaps because there is such an abundance of deer and other game.

Mountain lions, by the way, don’t seem to have boundaries and go where they please. If there’s game, they follow.

It’s an unexpected visit from a mountain lion that I write about today. "

Get the Story:
COLUMNIST DORREEN YELLOW BIRD: A nun, an elder and a mountain lion (The Grand Forks Herald 6/3)

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