A Poem

By the shores of the South Holston Nestled high up in the mountains, Gathered braves from Nolichuckey, Ocanosta and Watauga.
Summoned by their might chieftain; Called he all of them together. When the clan had thus assembled Seated ‘round the sacred alter, Spake then Allowat Sakima
To the warriors now before him.
In the language of his fathers Told them of his knotty problem: “Long moons ago it was our custom To emulate the forest creature Who would best describe our Order. Thence the purpose of this council Is to select a proper symbol.”
Far into the night they pondered, Counting merits much sought after
In the wolf and bear and eagle;
Virtues found woodland dwellers
But in each one thing was lacking
To serve as masthead of the Order.
Then at last, as dawn was breaking
And the morning mists were swirling, Spake Meteu, tribal shaman,
Reminding braves of their first action When they were chosen as a member
To sit in council with their brothers. So with plumed’ heads bowed earthward, From youngest brave to might chief Rose a prayer to the Great Spirit,
For His guidance in their venture; For the knowledge to choose wisely
A symbol for our noble Order.
Heads were bent in reverent silence; A bolt of lightning from above Pointed like a mighty finger
To the humble beaver, crouching
Just outside the council circle;
To the beaver, Sa-ke-wa-win.
So at last, their prayers were answered And the token was accepted
By the clansmen thus assembled.
For does not the Sa-ke-wa-win
Possess the virtues so desired
By the members of our Order?
Then spake Allowat Sakima,
Mighty Chieftain of the Fire: “Mannitou has heard our voices
In our prayers and supplications.
His choice has been accepted by
The Brotherhood Of Cheerful Service.”

– S. Howard Laird Sequoyah Lodge #184 W.W.W.
October, 1951