Native American Tales

The Siege of Courthouse Rock

The Siege of Courthouse RockThe Siege of Courthouse Rock

White River Sioux

Out in Nebraska, one would think the whole thing is flat, but in the western part of Nebraska, rocks raise from the ground. One such rock is Chimney Rock, which many settlers have stopped at, but another is Courthouse Rock and Jailhouse Rock.

The Sioux often battled the Pahani. At one point the Pahini went up on Courthouse Rock to get away from the Sioux. The pass up was narrow and could be easily defended. So if the Sioux tried to go up, the Pahani would have the upper hand. They decided to wait the Pahani out. They would need food eventually.

They were all there several days and the Pahini did in fact get tired and hungry. They decided to see if they could off of the back of Courthouse Rock. There was no place to tie their rope, but they were able to carve a grove in the rock so they could tie it there. Once it held firm, every single one of the Pahini let themselves down off of Courthouse Rock.

The Sioux eventually got tired of waiting. They were tired and they were hungry. They sent someone up to see if the Pahani had died yet. There was no one there. It’s always good to tell the story of a brave enemy, especially when the story is true.


The above photo is Jailhouse and Courthouse Rock. It does rise rather suddenly out of the ground and I couldn’t tell you why it’s there. Most likely lava of some sort that hardened and the soft soil blew away. I could be wrong on that as well. They rocks were definitely landmarks. If you told someone, “Just keeping going until you see the big rocks rising up out of the grass,” they wouldn’t mistake what you were talking about.


You don’t necessarily have to fight to get the best of your enemy. Sometimes you can outsmart them and run away and that’s just as well. You don’t have to stay and fight. What you did still deserves respect because you were smart enough to think it up. Violence isn’t the way to solve everything. Capisce?


I think this story is funny.

Weigh In

Would you have thought about climbing down the backside of the rock?

Would you tell your children a funny story of when someone had bested you?


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