Before the Horse came to The People, he lived in a sacred place that no man could enter, a place Creator kept. During this time, the Horses ran free across their sacred place on the Plains, wild and untamed without the strain of man's bit in their mouths. The grass was always green and sweet, and the sun was always warm; no winter.

The Horse was not like he is today. His feet were not hooves, but rather paws, such as those had by the Great Cat in the Mountains. This did not bother the Horses, for they were content with their appearance. Along with their paws, their manes were long and silky, and they shone in the cheerful sunlight. Their tails were like their manes, flowing in the gentle wind.

The only thing the Horses were not happy with was their neighbors, who also shared the sacred land with them. Their neighbors were the Biting Teeth, creatures similar to the Horses, but had long fangs and many sharp teeth. They were a proud tribe, and full of arrogance. They often taunted the Horses, and made war with them over land, for their tribe grew fast and needed much space. Their appearance was something to be feared. Their manes were shaggy and short. Their tails were hairless, and hung down like a Great Cat's. They eyes were white, making them seem blind. Most of all, save for their terrible teeth, their claws were curved and wicked. Going to war with the Biting Teeth was most certainly suicide for the Horses. They seemed to fear nothing, not even the strongest of stallions, except one thing: thunder.

After a particularly bloody battle with the Biting Teeth, the Horses were weary of fighting with their horrible neighbors. They greatly desired to end the warfare, but there was no way to negotiate peace with their foes. It seemed their fate was sealed.

A young stallion, named Sipping Water, was determined to help his tribe in some way, in any way he possibly could. Now, Sipping Water was no one of importance in his tribe. He was a small horse, stalky with big paws. He often grazed at the edge of the herd; he was a loner. No one would ever guess him to be the heroic kind. He even once ran away from a prairie dog! But because of his love for the other Horses, he decided to meet with the elders of his kind to make a suggestion.

"Perhaps we should consult with Creator for an answer to our woes with the Biting Teeth?" he said. "Certainly if we can get Creator to help us, we can defeat our enemies and finally end the warfare!"

The elders considered Sipping Water's idea, and one of them stepped forward.

"We feel that consulting with Creator is a wise choice, but please be wary. To address Creator is no easy task, nor should it be taken lightly. Few have had the ability to do so."
Sipping Water thought hard about what the elders had said, and came to the conclusion that he would give anything to Creator in order to help his people, even his own life. He loved his people.

There was a place Sipping Water knew of where Horses went to pray to Creator, even speak with him. It was a lake, whose waters reflected the crystal blue sky above. Within the center of the lake was a small island, only large enough so that one Horse could stand. This is where prayers were sent up to Creator.

Sipping Water journeyed to the lake, and ran fast like the wind, sparing no time to rest and graze. It wouldn't be very long before the Biting Teeth plotted another attack on his people. If they did, his people would be doomed, for their numbers had diminished.

When the stallion reached the shores of the lake, a wind had come up, whipping his mane and tail about. There was something about this wind that Sipping Water felt was divine. He approached the refreshingly cool water of the lake with respect and caution.

The lake was not a very large one, so the small island in its center was not far off. Sipping Water swam to that little mound of earth, the waves of the lake beginning to lap violently against him. As he hauled himself onto the island, he glanced around and above him. It felt as though all of the world and heavens watched Sipping Water expectantly.

When the young stallion found his voice, he raised his head to the sky.

"Creator, hear me!" he cried, and a wind slipped past him, carrying his words to the sky. There was no answer, but Sipping Water waited patiently.

He thought he spied a rain cloud in the distance, coming toward him. The stallion began to worry if he would be caught in a storm, and that his search for Creator had been in vain, but suddenly a thunder roared out of the rain cloud that halted above the Horse.

"I have heard you," a surprisingly gentle voice said from within the cloud. Sipping Water nearly collapsed to his knees at the sight of the roiling, massive cloud above him.

"Creator." he whispered. "Creator, I have come to ask something of you." The cloud waited. "My people are in need of your assistance. Our enemies, the Biting Teeth, are set on destroying all of my kind, but we have no means of protecting ourselves."

The cloud was silent, and the waves in the lake began to calm. Suddenly, an ear-splitting crack caused Sipping Water to jump, and then cower before the mighty cloud. Lightning had struck the shore of the lake.

"I have given you a solution, but hear me. A sacrifice must be made. It exchange for the solution to your woes, you must roam about the earth, no longer protected in the sacred land. Your kind shall be captured, broken, and tamed, all in the hands of Mankind. This shall be the way it will always be henceforth." Creator paused, and then continued, "Now, go forth to the shore of the lake, and there you will find the answer to your request."

Sipping Water stood up, thanked Creator (though he could never thank him enough), and leapt into the now calm lake. When he reached the shore, he saw only the sand that was suppose to be there. He looked back up into the sky, and realized that the cloud Creator had spoken through was now beginning to disperse.

"Creator," Sipping Water called, "I don't understand!" There was no reply from the cloud except a rumble of thunder. When the stallion turned his eyes back to the sand, he realized that his paws had sunken into it! When he tried to pull them out, they stuck fast. Sipping Water raised his head to call Creator again, but the disappearing cloud spoke first.

"Pull harder," it said simply, and was gone. Sipping Water understood, and pulled with all his strength. When his four feet popped out, he saw to his horror that he no longer had paws, but rather stones for feet! The stallion shook off his fright, and thought that if this was what Creator had intended then he had no choice but to trust him.

Sipping Water's new feet felt awkward, but he accepted them. He left the shore, with no other plan except top return home and tell his people about his meeting with Creator.

As he ran, Sipping Water found in odd how his hard feet drummed loudly under him. The stallion also contemplated the "sacrifice" Creator had mentioned, but defeating the Biting Teeth was more important now.

Sipping Water arrived home to his herd and told them his story while they examined his new feet, awed by the power of Creator. He then led his people, mares, foals, and stallions, to the shores of the divine lake, where they all sank their paws into the sandy shore, and pulled out new feet hard like stones.

Gathering all of the strongest stallions, Sipping Water began devising an ambush on the Biting Teeth, who were not far from the lake in their own territory.

When the plan was well thought out and ready, Sipping Water then led the army of stallions out onto the plains, onward to the Biting Teeth.

But something amazing happened, something that Sipping Water hadn't noticed before. As all the stallions galloped together, a sound like thunder seemed to roll under their new feet. An idea struck him, and the same thought seemed to work through the minds of the others. They now possessed the one thing the Biting Teeth feared: thunder. A sense of power came over them as they approached the enemy tribe in the distance.

The Biting Teeth were feeding on the carcasses of a buffalo herd when a sound like thunder reached their ears. They cast their dead eyes about fearfully, for there were no clouds in the sky. Then, over a small hill, they saw their hated enemies spilling into their lands, the clamor of thunder resonating from their feet.

The Biting Teeth were frozen still, too afraid to move. Their foes fell upon them in a massive wave, smashing the skulls and breaking the bones of the Biting Teeth. This continued until every last member of the Biting Teeth was dead, their remains left on the grassy plain to be picked apart by birds, coyotes, and wolves.

It is said that after this mighty battle, the barrier of the sacred land was lifted, and the Horses spread out across the land where they encountered Mankind, just as Creator had said they would, but Creator let them keep their hooves, to remind them forever of who gave them the power of running thunder.