Born of pioneer parents, prairie orphaned at three, he was adopted by a Sioux warrior. Among the Sioux he was known as Prairie Cub. The name Michael was all he had of his ancestry. He lived the life of a Sioux warrior’s son until his twelfth summer. When the course of history doomed the Indian’s way of life, his father, Thunder Eagle, realizing his son’s white heritage gave him a chance for a future, sent his son back into the white man’s world. Summer of Two Worlds is the story of that summer.
“I thought it was really happening, Grandfather. It was so real!”
For a moment no one spoke. Grandfather sat with one elbow resting on an upraised knee while he subconsciously rubbed the recent scar on his other leg. Prairie Cub sat back on his heels. Thunder Eagle stood near the door opening of Grandfather’s tepee and looked thoughtfully at his father. Their eyes met in search of meaning and in understanding of what the vision might foretell. Finally, Grandfather turned to the boy.
“My grandson, your dream speaks of the future. The day will come when I will go to the other world. The day will also come when our people will be driven from the life they know to the white man’s reservations. Your dream gives me courage that I might end my life in the old ways. But it also says that our people will be violently driven from their ways. It could happen soon. It could be many seasons.” He paused, a sadness in his eyes. “When that time comes you will have to make a decision.”
The boy sensed something deeply serious in what was about to be said. He glanced at his father. An expressionless face told him that Thunder Eagle knew what Grandfather would speak of.
“You are Prairie Cub,” Grandfather continued. “But you are also Michael.” The boy flinched. “You live in one world. But you were born into another world. You must realize that the time may come when you will have to return to that other world.”
“Never!” the boy cried jumping to his feet. “I am Prairie Cub, son of Thunder Eagle! I will never leave my people.” Dashing toward the door opening he was intercepted by his father’s outstretched arm. He felt its strength draw his body from its flight. His voice faltered. “Please, don’t make me leave.” He cried. The tears welled up in his eyes and streamed unchecked down his face.
Thunder Eagle, in a rare moment of affection, knelt and held his son close to the warmth of his own body. “My son, you are always Prairie Cub until you choose to take another name. What is said must be said.” He turned the boy to face him, holding his son firmly by the shoulders. Their eyes met. “What is said must be said. It will not be spoken of again unless our destiny force it upon us. But it must be known that all our lives could change greatly one day.” His eyes, too, were moist as the warrior stood again, fully in control of his emotions. “Granny-Woman and your mother must have the tepee up by now. Let’s go and see if they have prepared some food.”