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Lakota Indian Christmas Story
"Twas the Night Before 'Indian' Christmas"

Adaptation by Albert Lee Moran
Written Monday, December 25, 1995
Copyright © 1995 Albert Lee Moran
All Rights Reserved



Gather Love Close - Figurine
(Friends of a Feather Collection)

Twas the akpaza before Christmas, when all through the tipi,
not a creature was skinciya, not even the cikci.
The moccasins were laid by the aun with care,
in hopes that Waziya soon would be there.
The wakanyeja were nestled all snug in their skins,
while visions of wojapi and fry bread drooled down their chins.
And Wakanyuza in her shawl, and miye in my braid,
had just settled our brains for Aihanbla to be made.

When TiiMeyapaya there rose such a clatter,
Miye psil from my deerskin to see what was the matter,
away to the tiyopa miye flew like a deer,
Tore open the ha through the akpaza to peer.
The wimima on the breast of the new fallen snow,
gave a luster of omaste to objects below.
When, what to my wondering ista did miye see,
but a miniature drag and isagalogan tiny buffalo.
With a little akan wicasa, so lively and quick,
Miye knew in a moment it must be Chief Nick.

More rapid than anunkasan his coursers, they came,
and he whooped, and he howled, and he called them by name.
Now Wanji, now Yamni, now Zaptan, and Nunpa.
on Sakpe, on Sakowan, on Sagalogan and Topa.
The top of the bloaliya, to the top of the hide,
Now dash away, dash away, now let us ride.
As dry leaves that before the wild canska fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up on the tipi top the coursers they flew,
With a drag full of games, and Waziya, too.

And then, in a twinkling, miye heard on the ground
the skeheya and pawing on each little mound.
As miye drew in my pa, and was turning around,
over the aun Waziya leaped with a bound.
He was dressed ataya in fur, from his pa to his foot,
and his ogle was all tarnished with dirt and soot.
A pahtapi of games he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just kablaga his pack.

His ista, how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like onjinjintka, his papinkpa like a chokecherry!
His droll little wicai was drawn up like a bow,
and the braid on his pa was as skaya as snow.
And the smoke, it encircled his pa like a wreath,
seeming to cloak the wicasa  beneath.
He had a broad aposin and a big cesiksice belly,
that shook, when he pahyutibya, like a bowl of buffalo berry jelly.
He was chubby and cesiksice, a right jolly akan elf,
and miye laughed when miye saw him in spite of myself.

A wink of his ista, and a twist of his pa,
soon gave me to know miye had nothing to kokipa.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
he filled all the moccasins, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his napsu aside his nose,
and giving a pakahunka, up the tent pole he rose.
He psil to his drag, to his team gave a jingle,
and away they ataya flew, okaho like an eagle.

But miye heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,
Waziya Wayuwaken to ataya and to ataya a good-akpaza.


Story Adaptation by Albert Lee Moran (Lakolya) Originally adapted in 1971, revised 1995. If you would like english translations, send e-mail to: Lakolya@aol.com.


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