T Nation

Perfect Quote


"A little while and I will be gone from among you, whither I cannot tell. From nowhere we came, into nowhere we go. What is life? It is a flash of a firefly in the night. It is a breath of a buffalo in the winter time. It is as the little shadow that runs--"

Dying words of Chief Crowfoot, Alberta Blackfoot warrior and orator, looking over Bow River, Alberta, April 25, 1980.


Did he die mid sentence there?

I take it he was a Native Canadian. Do they live on reservations like in the US? There always seems to be a certain sadness in Native American/Canadians.


no. there was a pause to insert the glycerin teardrop that would down his cheek as he watched people litter from their vehicles. oh wait, that was sometime in the early/mid '70s. never mind.



Didn't he get eaten by Woodsy Owl and Smokey the Bear?


No... Prof X.


I've re-read the quote a few times and now I have a couple of questions:

  1. Who used whither in 1980 (or was it 1880, which I could then understand because they spoke funny back then)?

  2. "It is as the little shadow that runs--"
    What the hell does that mean? Shadows don't move by themselves. Maybe he should have stopped after the first few comparisons. Maybe that's why it trails off in mid-sentence, like he understood that he'd gone too far already and there was no way to salvage the thought.



it's supposed to be a metaphor for something. Frankly I'm impressed the guy was that lucent and creative as he was dying.

I remember what they said my Uncle Mikes last words were..."You said your husband wouldn't be home till 9."