Wind Dancer's Flute
By Francis Eugene Wood
Illustrated by Judith N. Ligon
"I have devoted twenty years to the digging for the artifacts of the ancient Cherokee Indians, but Francis Wood has, in this wonderful tale, Wind Dancer's Flute, allowed me to talk, walk, sing and dance with the very people themselves. In this life of a Cherokee boy, we come to realize the past is not something over and done with--it is alive within us and all that we do. By opening our minds to the lives of people hundreds or thousands of years distant from us, Francis Wood shows us their world through their eyes, and we come to understand more fully not only these people but ourselves as well. It is the gift of Wind Dancer's Flute, and its author, to transform the 'there and then' into the 'here and now.'"
Dr. James W. Jordan, Professor of Anthropology, Longwood College
"Francis Wood has written yet another wonderful tale that will appeal to all ages. In Wind Dancer's Flute, storytelling is transcended into the teaching of a great ideal--the power of forgiveness!"
Robert G. Flippen, Proprietor, Southside Virginia Historical Press, and author and publisher
"Wind Dancer's Flute is a heart-rendering journey of an Indian boy from adolescence to manhood, who experiences the 'sting of the world' in rejection, only to learn that real beauty comes from within. A moving story that all generations will relish. It is an affirmation for parents who are unafraid of letting their children be themselves."
Dr. Nancy Haga, Professor of Speech, Longwood College
About the story:
The main character, Wind Dancer, is part Cherokee, part Irish, and a free-spirited lad who lives with his adopted mother, Sarah Ogle, and roams the great Smoky Mountains. A gifted flutist, Wind plays his music in the nearby village, where he causes a bit of a stir among the children. An evil man puts an end to their good-natured abandonment, and Wind's innocence. Broken and stung by the cruelty shown him by the outside world, Wind is unable to play his music again, until he is taken by his uncle, Running Wolf, to a sacred place, where mysterious little people, known as the Yunwi Tsunsdi, help to restore his faith in man and in himself. In the end, his ability to forgive those who have wronged him garners him a power much greater than anything he could have every imagined.
Note from the author:
There are several themes which flow through the story of Wind Dancer's Flute. Racial intolerance is one, but, also, man's reluctance to find the beauty in the free-spirited among us. I have dealt with these subjects in Wind's story. But, perhaps it is the power he finds in forgiveness which is the mightiest lesson of all. Wind Dancer's Flute is a story for the whole family to enjoy and discuss, for who among us has never felt the pain of rejection?