Native American Tales

A Legend of Devil’s Tower

A Legend of Devil's TowerA Legend of Devil’s Tower


Devil’s Tower looks like it came out of the ground from nowhere and the scratches on the side look like bear claw marks. Lame Deer say’s why this is.

There used to be a giant bear, bigger than any bear you could imagine. Two boys were out and had wandered far from the village. All of the sudden a bear was chasing them. The boys knew the bear would get them if something didn’t happen. They prayed to Wakan Tanka for help.

Wakan Tanka heard their prayers and caused the Earth to shoot straight up under their feet. The bear tried to get at the boys with his claws, but he could not. He tried to get the boys for a while, until the Earth was scratched all around. The bear finally gave up and went away.

It is supposed that the eagle Wanblee rescued the boys from the top of Devil’s Tower, but now it’s there for always.


Devil’s Tower is real, as you can see from the picture. It’s in Wyoming, here’s the thing–no one can agree on how it actually came to be. We don’t have a fool-proof explanation, so for all we know, Wankan Tanka, really did cause it to rise up suddenly out of the Earth. Most likely, the tower is magma of some sort that hardened long ago underground, in some manner, and the software materials eroded away to reveal the tower.


The boys in this story remembered to pray in their time of danger, and ultimately, that saved them. If one believes in a higher power, why not call on that higher power in a time of need? Makes sense. Maybe your answer is nothing as dramatic as a tower of solid rock coming out of the ground to save you from a gigantic bear, but if you feel it helps you to pray, just go ahead and do it. Have faith, and maybe you too will be saved in some manner.

It may seem a bit trite, but really, that’s what a higher power is for, to watch over you.


I wonder what happened to the bear.

Weigh In

Do you buy this story?

How do you think the boys really got down?


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