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It was only yesterday, as time is told by the ancient ones...
As the sun moved closer to the edge of the world, the sky darkened, lightning played among the clouds and thunder roared. The Mighty Buffalo lifted their heads from grazing and gathered their young about them. The young calves moved even closer to their mothers as thunderbolts filled the sky. The herd milled aimlessly and watched with fear knowing the possibility death was near.
First the sound of wind, then a dark shadow crossed over the land. The giant Bird of Thunder swooped down across the edge of the herd and a young calf was lifted into the air. Soon other shadows dropped near the earth and more of the young calves were taken. Lightning streaked across the sky while the voice of thunder spoke with a vengeance. The Mighty Birds that brought the storm disappeared in the distance as Mother Earth opened her arms to receive the rain. The herd returned to their grazing now that the danger was past. Again the Mighty Thunderbird had stolen from the herd and loosed another storm upon the land. It was as it should be, the herd had grown too large and Mother Earth had needed the rain.
As the Giant Birds vanished against the clouds of the distance sky, "She Who Ran Away", a young buffalo mother gave thanks her remaining baby had been spared, as her first calf had been given to the Birds of Thunder. Many of her friends had also lost their offspring to the Storm Bringers and spoke often of the ache the loss had instilled in their hearts. She thought again of the pain she had suffered and gave another silent prayer that this would happen no more. "She Who Ran Away" prayed this prayer with a pure heart and asked only to improve life for the herd and for future generations.
Winter passed and lost it's hold on the land. The North Wind grew weaker. The birds of the air had finished their sojourn in the south and would be returning to the land. With their return would come the storms and rain to feed new growths. Every year the Giant Birds returned to the north to build their nests in the high places and bring their young into the world. But now, as the Thunderbirds moved over the plains and looked upon the Earth, they found that the herds of Buffalo that once spaned to the horizon, were not as they once were. Without the Buffalo there was not enough food for these Mighty Giants and many died on their journey north. So few reached the nesting area that only a few chicks came forth during the hatchling season. The loss of the mighty herds made migration very difficult and many of the young birds died on their way south that fall. Soon they and the buffalo were no more.
A gigantic bird has been sighted in Pennsylvania. On the evening of Tuesday, September 25, 2001, a 19-year-old claimed to have seen an enormous winged creature flying over Route 119 in South Greensburg, Pennsylvania. The witness's attention was drawn to the sky by a sound that resembled "flags flapping in a thunderstorm." Looking up, the witness saw what appeared to be a bird that had a wingspan of an estimated 10 to 15 feet and a head about three feet long.
* In the early 1940s, writer Robert R. Lyman spotted a Thunderbird sitting on a road near Coudersport, Pennsylvania. It soon took to the sky, spreading its 20-foot wingspan.
* In 1969, the wife of a Clinton County, Pa. sheriff saw an enormous bird over Little Pine Creek. She said its wingspan appeared to be about as long as the creek was wide - about 75 feet!
* In 1970, several people saw the gigantic bird "soaring toward Jersey Shore [Pa.]. It was dark colored, and its wingspread was almost like [that of] an airplane."
* In 1948, several witnesses along the Illinois-Missouri border sighted a condor-like bird about the size of a Piper Club airplane.