Back in the late 1800's a man named James Mooney collected folktales from some of the over 1400 Cherokee of North Carolina who survived the Trail of Tears and wrote them into a volume known as the Myths of the Cherokees. According to Joseph Bruchac, the Cherokee traditionally did not discipline their children through physical methods but instead taught them lessons that were impressed upon them through story. Yonder Mountain is one of the lesson stories that was not included in James Mooney's volume.
Once upon a time there was a Cherokee chief named Sky who knew he was getting old and would not be able to lead his tribe much longer. He called three young men to him and gave them a quest. They were to travel to the top of the great mountain in the distance, climb to the top, and bring back what they found. Each young man in turn went out to the mountain. On his way to the top of the mountain, the first young man found gleaming stones. The second young man found herbs that would make great medicine. They waited for over a week for the third man to return and when he did, what he found earned him the cloak of leadership. Appealing to the spirit of us all, this story is familiar in form yet piques our curiosity as we turn the pages to learn what was so unique, special and powerful about the third young man's journey. Ages 5-10 32 pages