Woman With Mountain Lion

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About this artwork

A Native American woman stands in the forest with her friend, a large mountain lion. The woman has a painted face, and wears a deer skin dress and a brown fur shawl. The big cat stands next to her with its head just under her hand. Both the woman and the cougar look at you the viewer as if you have disturbed them in their peaceful woods.

This was based on a story I heard as a kid. I've never been able to find the title or a reference to it though. It goes roughly like this: ___ One winter, a Creek Indian village was having a hard time. The harvest was small and the winter was cold. The people were hungry. Among them was a man named Panther. Panther went out hunting to help feed his people. Unable to find game in the village's usual hunting ground, he decided to trespass in the forest of a sorceress. In those woods, he came to a river where the sorceress was bathing. He hid behind some rocks and spied upon her. She was beautiful and Panther was smitten by her. He stayed too long and she caught him. She was angry, and he was afraid that she would use her magic on him in some bad way. So he pleaded with her and told her that he was hunting to help feed his starving village. The sorceress took pity on Panther and gave him a magic arrow. Whenever he dropped the arrow on the ground, it would point in the direction to go and find game. However, she told him that he had to return the arrow by the next full moon. Red Panther used the arrow to find many deer over the next few days which he killed and brought back to his village where he was acclaimed a hero. Soon was the day of the next full moon. Panther new he had to take the arrow back to the sorceress, but he did not want to give up the acclaim he had achieved so he decided to keep the arrow. The next week, he went out hunting but did not return. Other hunters followed his tracks. They headed towards the sorceress's woods. On the way, they changed from the tracks of a man to those of a cat. When they reached the woods, the hunters saw the sorceress. They dared not approach her though, for now she was guarded by a large panther. _____

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