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  1. […] story is compellingly told by Kent Nerburn in his book The Wolf at Twilight: An Indian Elder’s Journey Through a Land of Ghosts and Shadows. […]

  2. […] Ride” story last week, I was incredibly moved, so much that I immediately wrote to the writer Kent Nerburn, an accomplished author and much sought after speaker – I just had to. Crazy part is, he […]

  3. […] various blogs today, I found this story. Wow. There are a couple of life lessons in this one. Kent Nerburn is a very decent, wonderful human being. No dry eyes after reading this […]

  4. […] consider a small one. Note: For more inspiring writing by Kent Nerburn, see his beautiful website: http://kentnerburn.com. The above story is taken from his book Make Me an Instrument of your Peace: Living in the Spirit […]

  5. […] For more inspiring writing by Kent Nerburn, see his beautiful website: http://kentnerburn.com. The above story is taken from his book Make Me an Instrument of your Peace: Living in the Spirit […]

  6. […] came across this author/speaker, Kent Nerburn, who seems to be its source.  To learn more about Kent, <– just click on his name here. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); […]

  7. […] Kent Nerburn-Editor and complier of “The Wisdom of the Native Americans […]

  8. Anonymous says:

    […] By Kent Nerburn […]

  9. […] beautiful story originally appeared as part of a chapter in Kent Nerburn’s book Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace: Living in the Spirit of the Prayer of St. Francis (pp. […]

  10. […] more inspiring writing by Kent Nerburn, see his beautiful website: http://kentnerburn.com. The above story is taken from his book Make Me an Instrument of your Peace: Living in the Spirit […]

  11. […] Kent Nerburn – see his blog www.kentnerburn.com  –  is the highly acclaimed author of several books on spiritual values and Native American themes. Kent is also the author of the famous Cab Ride Story. You can support Kent’s work by purchasing autographed copies of his books directly from his bookshop Wolfnordog.com, which also features a range of  beautiful gift baskets. […]

  12. […] This biography was adapted from kentnerburn.com. Learn more about Kent Nerburn by reading the origin… Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace. […]

  13. […] the author of the above story. He is a religious seeker rather than a conventional Christian, though his […]

  14. […] beautiful story originally appeared as part of a chapter inKent Nerburn’s book Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace: Living in the Spirit of the Prayer of St. Francis (pp. […]

  15. […] his book, Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace, Kent Nerburn had a piece titled And where there is sadness, joy. Chances are that you have seen this as an email […]

  16. […] This is written by Kent Nerburn and is a true story. There are many versions of this story floating around. This is the most […]

  17. […] his book, Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace, Kent Nerburn had a piece titled And where there is sadness, joy. Chances are that you have seen this as an email […]

  18. videobam.com says:

    I was recommended this web site via my cousin. I am no longer certain whether or not this post is written by him as no one else realize such exact approximately my difficulty. You’re incredible! Thanks!

  19. Antonia Zima says:

    “… come let us put our minds together…..” Was the quote from Chief Joseph? or Sitting Bull, as you say here. Just listening to an interview with you where you said Joseph.Just curious.

    Getting ready to order your books and read them! Thank you.

  20. mike says:

    Your book Neither wolf nor dog was pretty good. I am a late college student and do not or have not enjoyed reading novels in the past. Seeing as this was an assignment for one of my classes in communication I was dreading the read. How ever once I started the book it was hard to put down. It was an easy read and it was of a familiar topic and setting. I am from the TC’s but often drive to northern MN and travel through several reservations and of course have heard of several of the problems regarding the indian people. I have a different perception of who’s territory I am driving through especailly when I see a reservation car. I wonder if Dan or Grover are still around let alone fatback. In any event I enjoyed the read and I think I was the first to finish it in the class.

    Now I am putting a little paper about what I have found out about you the author.

    Thanks again.

  21. Chris Edgette says:

    Hi Ken,

    Thank you for all three of these books. I have bought a bunch of copies and have been giving them out to friends and family. I am going to get one to a friend who teaches US history, as I think they tell stories that need to be heard.

    I know it might seem contrary the spirit of the books, but having read – and loved – all three, I cannot help but wonder what in them is “true”, in the sense of events that actually happened.

    I realize, of course, that storytelling is part of the Indian tradition, and that each of the stories contains elements of truth. I know also that you are legitimately protecting the people involved. However, when dealing with elements that the European culture would call supernatural, I feel like it is important to know which of these events actually took place. I am open to the spirit world expressed in the book, but my relationship to it changes if the events in the book are essentially true versus essentially fiction. Does that make sense?

    I ask with all respect, and I have no interest in finding the people or places involved. I doubt this is even something you will answer, but I do think it matters. Did a little girl really exist? Did she really connect with animals in this way? Did a person like Benais really have this mystical connection with her and with the buffalo? If one of the key messages of the last book is that white culture denies the truth about the world as it is, it seems like it would at least be nice for you to say that you really did experience, as much as you can know, that other reality.

    Regardless, thank you again. I hope the whole series gets into the American consciousness. They have brought me great reflection, and will stay forever close to my heart.

    Best,

    Chris

  22. knerburn says:

    A most interesting and thoughtful email, and one that raises real and important questions. First off, thank you for recognizing the reality of teaching stories. This is a first hurdle that many readers never get over. Then, as to the characters and events, I should first refer you to a blog of a few years ago that you can probably find on my site by looking for an entry that is something about thoughts on fiction and non-fiction. It tells you what I do and why I do it.

    As to the characters and events, every one of the occurrences is either something I experienced personally or something that is well documented in testimony from objective observers and participants. Benais and his knowledge is based on a real person with real spiritual training and powers. It was getting too close to these powers that made me decide to end this series. I wanted to “document” them and then get the hell out of Dodge. It is important for non-Native people to know of these things, and for spiritual dabblers and dilettantes to realize that they are in territory that is not a game and in which they don’t belong. You will note the dedication to Vine Deloria. It was his last book, The World We Used to Live In, that served as my “spine” for doing this book.

    Other occurrences that are referenced, such as the old woman who could extract the sickness from people, are documented events. My encounter with the buffalo is based on a real experience in my life, and the story of the buffalo surrounding Zi reflects an oft-shared story about the prescience in spiritual presence of “tatanka.”

    Wherever my work touches Native belief or experience I dare not — indeed, would not — make anything up. My goal is to bring my readers to Native experience through the use of myself as narrator, then to hand them over to the Native world as I know it and have experienced it. There can be no false notes where expression of Native values or experiences are involved, though I will conflate historical experiences in the stories of individual characters, and build my narrative for the sake of dramatic story telling.

    I hope this helps, Chris. Thanks for being such a caring and insightful reader. You are the kind of person with whom I could have a long and meaningful dialogue about what I do, why I do it, and whether or not it is legitimate within the framework of Western literary traditions of fiction/non-fiction. Interestingly, no Native person has ever had the slightest difficulty with that aspect of the works. They know too well that “truth” and “fact” do not mean the same thing.

    My best to you. Please pass the books along to others if you think their teachings are worthy of being shared.

    Kent

  23. AP Lang class @ EPHS says:

    We are curious as to wether or not Dan is one man or if Dan is the compilation of multiple people?

  24. AP Lang class @ EPHS says:

    We just read your book for class, and really enjoyed it. The book provided a new perspective for many of us in class.

  25. knerburn says:

    Which book? Thanks for writing.

  26. knerburn says:

    The core of Dan is one person — his actions, his mannerisms, his attitude. His appearance is based on a second man. His call to me is based on my experience with a third man. Interestingly, all were named Dan. Please look at my website and go to the blog about fiction and non-fiction. It discusses the issues at the heart of your query. It is subject for fruitful discussion about fact versus truth, fiction and non-fiction, the function of storytelling, modes of teaching, etc.

  27. Barbara Bowlin says:

    It is about time…we have a writer who embraces the beauty of the Native American culture. We should all seek forgiveness for our ancestral cruelty.

  28. Eileen Snell says:

    Dear Mr. Nerburn,

    Thank you for this wonderful story. Some one just sent this to me in an email. I have a question: I am the editor of our church monthly newsletter and I won’t use anything without giving credit and I’m asking if you would give me pemission to use this story—The Cab Ride. Thank you for considering this request.

    Sincerely, Eileen Snell

  29. Sue Esterbrooks says:

    I was given your 3 books for Christmas a year ago and finally got around to reading them. I am currently reading The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo. I cannot find the words to tell you what an impact they have had on my life. I have learned the importance of listening, waiting, suggesting, encouraging, and can now truly let things take the course they need to take for whomever I am with. The lessons in your stories have taken me to another place, a place of peacefulness and awareness. I am a Social Worker for an Non-Profit in Minneapolis and work with families of all ethnicities and backgrounds. I have the privilege to go into their homes weekly. Through your lessons and teachings, I have a deeper understanding of what it means to just sit with families/children,hold their stories, and be with them as a support. What a blessing it has been. The rest of your books are clearly on my list of must reads. Thank you for this gift.
    Sincerely, Sue

  30. knerburn says:

    Thank you, Sue. I will be doing an engagement with Larry Long, the singer, in Minneapolis on October 2. Details are not yet determined, but check in again in a month or so and I’ll let you know. It would be good to see you there.

  31. Sherry Fields says:

    Hi Kent,
    I am about to finish your book, The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo. Love it.
    I live in Ponca City Oklahoma. There is an old Indian school called Chilocco. It borders on the Oklahoma Kansas border. There has always been stories about that school. They closed the school down in 1980. Come out and visit.

    Thank you for a great book!
    Best Wishes,
    Sherry

  32. knerburn says:

    Hi Sherry, I came across Chilocco when I was doing my book on Chief Joseph. Ponca City was a definite part of the Nez Perce saga, and I would very much like to visit the area again. Maybe we will meet up. It would be a pleasure.

  33. Justin Campbell says:

    Hey Kent,
    I want to start off by saying “Letters to my Son” is by far the best book I have ever read. I wont say my 11 month old son was an accident, more of a pleasant surprise, but he was not planned. Financially, his mother and I are not yet established and it has caused much stress and at times convinced me I am less of a father than the father who can provide materialistically. It has been heart wrenching. Your book changed that (the guilt factor). In addition to that, most of the subjects you covered in the book are the very subjects I have felt so confused about on how to present and teach to my son. Your book has given me an outline, and a way to approach what the future holds for my son. Not just because your writing is presented so well and “sounds” good, but because I truly believe in every word you wrote and couldn’t agree more. Growing up without a father has made being a new dad very confusing. You’ve changed that and I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to write and publish the book for the world to read. I can honestly say you’ve changed my life, which in turn, has changed my sons life.

    Thank you Kent,
    Justin

  34. knerburn says:

    People like you are the reason why I write, Justin. Like everyone else, I did fatherhood by the seat of my pants. Through good luck, grace, and the model of a good, although wounded, father of my own, I did a pretty good job. It comes down to this: being present to your child’s life at all stages, knowing his friends and interests, and treating him with respect. Too many fathers, even good ones, think that their role is to shape their son by instruction. You shape your son by modeling and being present to him and what is important in his life. Do not be afraid to hand him off to other men who have something to offer; none of us has all the answers, and different relationships open up your son in different ways. Count yourself lucky if he finds a man other than you to serve as a mentor, because it just broadens his understanding of life. And, if there is one thing I would always counsel, it is this: starting at about 3 or 4, the two of you should take a trip together every year. Just the two of you. Camping, a day or two in a nearby city to go to museums, whatever. He will accept this when he is young, and the two of you will learn to travel and be together. Then, as he grows and feels the need to separate from you, the inevitable spaces between the two of you will always be bridged by the common experience of your travels together, and the deep knowledge that comes from sharing discoveries as equals. trust me: your lack of money doesn’t matter, though it hurts to not be able to provide for all his wants and need. But remember, money separates people, poverty brings them closer. You’re doing fine, my friend. Nothing is more important than your presence, and that costs nothing.

  35. Justin Campbell says:

    Thank You Kent. Your absolutely right. Thank You for your perspective. It means more than you know. Best wishes always.

  36. Barbara Nichols says:

    I came upon and bought The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo at the 7 Cedars Gallery near Discovery Bay in WA. Once I started reading, I was taken by your descriptions of things spiritually that I don’t question but feel I know to be true, too. Now that I have found your writing, I look forward to reading more. Thank you.

  37. Shelley says:

    I have been reading The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo for a reading group. I have not been able to locate questions for a discussion. The book reads like a narrative, so my question is if it is actually a true story, or historical fiction? Either way, it is
    a wonderful and deeply touching book. Thank you for writing it.

  38. knerburn says:

    I have long labored to find an easy way to describe what I do, and I have never been successful at doing so. It is not a “true’ story, though all the people and the events in it are real and accurately rendered. Neither is it fiction in the sense of having been created whole cloth from my imagination. The narrative has been constructed to bring you into the presence of the people and locations and events, all rendered with as much accuracy as I can muster. I refer you to my April, 2010 blog entry for a better explanation. Stories have power, and people are changed by what they believe, not by what they think. I may be the narrator, but I’m just the vehicle to bring you into another world. I hope I have succeeded in doing so.

  39. Albert Obuya says:

    Kent,
    ‘The Cab Ride I’ll Never Forget’ is the most profound inspirational story I have ever read. It is a deeply touching story. Two days ago, I got News about the Catholic priest who brought me up and who retired to a home of the elderly in the Netherlands a few years ago. When he was leaving, he told me, ” Albert, I don’t have long to leave.” I can visualize now when he went to the home of the elderly, the doors shut. It was the sound of the closing of life. He rested in peace on 20th July, 2016.
    Kent, God bless!

  40. Eric Harrold says:

    Kent, I thoroughly enjoyed both of your books Neither Dog Nor Wolf and The Wolf At Twilight. Although I grew up in northwest North Carolina, I had the good fortune on some temporary employment stints in the Dakotas to spend time with Mandan and Sioux folks. I could colorfully imagine the conversations you had with Dan and others as a result of my own experience in that part of the country. I’ve often regarded the cultural demise of indigenous people of this continent as perhaps the greatest human tragedy of all time, given how they were able to live so simply and efficiently with the life that they were surrounded with. Thanks for producing those books which were able to come to life for me as I proceeded through them.

  41. knerburn says:

    Please read the final book of the trilogy, Eric. Its title is The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo. I think you will find it worthwhile.

  42. Roselyn Albers says:

    Several of our book club members recently attended the film “Neither Dog Nor Wolf” at the Bemidji theatre. (We are the women from Kabekona Lake…you came and spoke to us a few years ago). We all LOVED the movie and felt it was very well done. It captured the essence of all the characters and taught some valuable lessons about communicating between different cultures. It expressed the heartache that was endured by Dan and others who suffered under white rule, missions, reservations, etc. The actors were wonderful. Please get this movie out to a wider audience if possible. It was in Bemidji for only one week. Will it be at the Sundance Festival?

  43. Roselyn Albers says:

    I’m sorry- it is titled “Neither Wolf Nor Dog”!

  44. Hello Mr. Nerburn
    I just finished “The Wolf at Twilight” and am deeply moved. I became aware of “The Girl who….” late last year and read it not knowing it was the last of a trilogy, until toward the end. After reading “Neither Wolf nor Dog” I felt I desperately wanted to share it with my cousin in Germany. You are probably aware of the Germans fascination with Native American culture, that goes back to the beginning of 1900. even earlier (Karl May etc.) My cousin is not a wannabe, he has been in correspondence with a man on the Redbud Reservation and has visited him. He speaks English with limitations, I’m sure he would be able to follow the story, but I’m afraid he would miss the poetry and sensitivity of your writing. I contacted your publisher in Novato, not far from were I live in Benicia.The woman I spoke with was not sure if there is a German language version, she gave me Hoffmann and Campe, but I could not find anything on their publication list with your name. Would you please be so kind and let me know what the situation is.
    A second favor could you also let me know if any or all of the trilogy are available on tape. I have a young Lakota daughter-in-law, who had a very painful upbringing, and I know does not have the time or patience to read a book. I believe your stories could be very healing for her and helpful to her and my son in raising their two beautiful small children. Dan’s concern for the children comes to mind.
    Thank you for your gift to us.
    Blessings,
    Hedi B. Desuyo

  45. knerburn says:

    You’re in luck, sort of. The German version was published a number of years ago under the title of “the Last Holy Thing.” What that means, I don’t know. But by googling it in german I found a link to the H and C version for purchase. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Letzten-Heiligen-Spuren-indianischer-Weisheit/dp/3455111971. If you continue to google the German title you should be able to find a version for sale. As to the quality of the translation, I have no idea. In terms of the books as audio, this is in the process. Keep an eye to New World Library’s website for details. Thanks for caring.

  46. knerburn says:

    I don’t think it will go to Sundance. But I have no say in what happens. The film is the work of Steven Simpson and anything there is to know about it can be found on the facebook page for neither wolf nor dog movie.

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