Format: 148 x 210 mm
In a nutshell:
The little Indian boy Flying Star wants at last to be one of the grownups, for then he would be able to join the buffalo hunt. But the buffalos have disappeared since the White Man came into their land. Flying Star and his friend Grassbird secretly and without the grownups' knowledge ride over to the White Man to tell them that the buffalos belong to the Indians. And Flying Star would like to find out more about why the White Man came into their land, why they built the railroad and why they have chased the buffalos away. Does the White Man not know that because of this the Indians are struggling to survive? Flying Star has a big surprise, for he discovers that the White Man is not as wicked as he had thought but does not know a lot about the way Indians live. When Flying Star and Grassbird return from their adventure their tribe is full of admiration for their courageous deed.
The book is set in the ten years between 1890 and 1900, a period when the threat to the Indian tribes in North America by the white settlers becomes existential. At the centre of the story is the little Indian boy, Flying Star from the Blackfoot Indian tribe. Flying Star has a happy childhood in this tribe. His father, Good Hunter, goes hunting for the family, his mother looks after the tepee and children, and Flying Star moves up the child hierarchy from the "little ones" to the "big ones". He not only has to pass various tests, for example riding and fishing, but also display courage and endure pain. Flying Star shows he has courage when he finds out that "the White Man" is posing a threat to the Indians. Not infrequently do the members of his tribe have to go to bed hungry because the huntsmen can scarcely find any buffalo, the foundation of their very existence. To blame, it is said, is "the White Man", who the Blackfoot Indians see not so much as being malicious as ignorant more than anything else. This is a state of affairs Flying Star wants to change. He has decided that he and his friend Grass Bird should go and tell the White Man what the problem is. He imagines it would not only be advantageous if these people were to stop hunting the buffalo; it would be even better if they were to return immediately to where they came from. Without telling anybody the two boys set off to look for "the White Man". After a short but difficult journey they actually do come across a white settlement. Here there lives a wise man called Doctor Christopher. He knows about the Indians' problems but dashes their hopes of any change in the situation. The white settlers, Doctor Christopher makes clear to the children, will never leave the land of the Indians again. Flying Star and Grass Bird are disappointed, but on the other hand they realise that white men are not innately evil. This impression is reinforced when Doctor Christopher marks a place on a map where buffalo can still be found. The children are to give this map to the Indian chief so that the tribe can move there and survive the winter. Back home, everyone is eagerly waiting for the children to return. After some dispute about the accuracy of the map, the Blackfoot Indians travel on and really do find the long-yearned-for buffalo.
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