“Dismantling of Baapúxtahachkash”
8.457” x 10.747”
Ink, graphite, colored pencil on antique Montana Ledger Paper. 2022
The tiny birds carried pieces of the monsters to all corners of the earth. The Warrior who defeated the beasts called his four medicine arrows back to him and removed the hot stones from the insidious mouths. Baapúxtahachkash were dead, with their corpses feeding all the birds of the land. After this point, the Thunderbird fledglings could grow to maturity without molestation by the water monster pair.
As a gift, the Thunderbirds transformed the capable Warrior into a bald eagle at the man's request placing arrowhead shapes in his wing feathers as reminders. Finally, after many years and many more water beings slain, the man sat upon the banks of what is now the Elk(Yellowstone) River in Montana, de-lousing his plumage. Combing through the insects with his beak, he noticed the arrowhead pattern on his wings and remembered his life as a human, and became somewhat nostalgic. In time a consortium of powerful water beings captured the eagle man and built him a sweat lodge. The beings switched him in the dense hot steam until he confessed to his proper form.
"We do not wish to kill you, only to make you suffer, for you have already killed too many underwater beings. You are a person of the earth, go home, go back to your camp and become a human being again."
So, the powerful ones released him. Exiting the sweat lodge, he again transformed into his original human self. His people were nearby, and he went to them.