The Medicine Bag

By Blanca Arreola


  • he short story, “The Medicine Bag” by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve is about a boy named Martin who learns. What martin learned is that he when his grandpa came he was embarrassed that his friend will make fun of him .But when he came from school he with his friend home but he did stare at grandpa but then when his friend were walking where grandpa was he said if you want to hear a story so they said yes when he started to say the boy friends like it .So every time they came he kept telling story until one day they came martin mom said not today so they left .When she said that martin notes that grandpa was sick. So when he found out that he had whatever he had was something bad that way he was sleeping a lot. But he was going to give martin the medicine bag grandpa said no you are not ready for this. But in the end he gave it to him but for his funeral he put the medicine bag where he died and they were so sad.

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“No, you need not wear it.” He placed the soft leather bag in my right hand and closed my other hand over it. “It would not be right to wear it in this time and place where no one will understand. Put it safely away until you are again on the reservation. Wear it then, when you replace the sacred sage."Grandpa turned and sat again on the bed. Wearily he leaned his head against the pillow. “Go,” he said. “I will sleep now.” “Thank you, Grandpa,” I said softly and left with the bag in my hands.That night Mom and Dad took Grandpa to the hospital. Two weeks later I stood alone on the lonely prairie of the reservation and put the sacred sage in my medicine bag.“Iron Shell became a blacksmith and worked at the trade when he returned to the reservation. All of his life he treasured the medicine bag. When he was old, and I was a man, he gave it to me, for no one made the vision quest any more.”Grandpa quit talking and I stared in disbelief as he covered his face with his hands. His shoulders were shaking with quiet sobs and I looked away until he began to speak again. “I kept the bag until my son, your mother’s father, was a man and had to leave us to fight in the war across the ocean. I gave him the bag, for I believed it would protect him in battle, but he did not take it with him. He was afraid that he would lose it. He died in a faraway place.”