A very long time ago, they say, two scouts were out looking for bison. When they came to the top of a high hill and looked north, they saw something coming a long way off, and when it came closer they cried out, “It is a woman!” and it was. Then one of the scouts, being foolish, had bad thoughts and spoke them; but the other said: “That is a sacred woman; throw all bad thoughts away.”
When she came still closer, they saw that she wore a fine white buckskin dress, that her hair was very long and that she was young and very beautiful. And she knew their thoughts and said in a voice that was like singing: “You do not know me, but if you want to do as you think, you may come.” And the foolish one went; but just as he stood before her, there was a white cloud that came and covered them. And the beautiful young woman come out of the cloud, and when it blew away the foolish man was a skeleton covered with worms.
Then the woman spoke to the one what was not foolish: “You shall go home and tell your people that I am coming and that a big tepee shall be built for me in the center of the nation.” And the man, who was very much afraid, went quickly and told the people, who did at once as they were told; and there around the big tepee they waited for the sacred woman. And after a while she came, very beautiful and singing, and as she went into the tepee this is what she sang:
A voice I am sending as I walk.
In a sacred manner I am walking.
With visible tracks I am walking.
In a sacred manner I walk.
John G. Niehardt, “Black Elk Speaks”