Long ago in the land we now call Texas there was a drought. It had not rained for a long, long time. The ground was so dry and parched that nothing grew and the animals and the Comanche Indian people who lived there were dying of hunger. The people had danced and drummed and prayed to the Great Spirit for rain, but no rain had come. Finally the leaders of the tribe climbed a high hill to pray and ask the Great Spirit to tell them what they could do to bring rain.
All the people waited for the leaders to come down the hill to tell them what they must do. Waiting with them was a little girl. Her name was She-Who-Lives-Alone. She was called that because both of her parents and her grandmother had already died of starvation and she lived alone. She listened carefully when the leaders announced that the Great Spirit had said that for rain to come the people had to make a sacrifice. They had to give up something very valuable to them to bring rain.
When She-Who-Lives-Alone went back to her tipi for the night she thought about what the leaders had announced and wondered what valuable thing she could give up. She had only one thing that she loved. It was the doll she slept with every night that her grandmother had made for her out of buffalo skin. Its face was painted with berry juice and in its hair were the bright blue feathers of a blue jay. This night, as she lay down with the doll in her arms she could not sleep. She thought of all the people who would die if rain did not come and she knew what she must do.
She got up in the dark and crept out of the tipi to the fire. She kissed her doll and said, “Oh Great Spirit, here is my doll. It is the only thing I have to give. Please take her and send rain to my people.” Then she threw her doll into the fire and she lay down beside the fire until it grew cold. Then she scooped up the ashes and threw them to the winds and went back into her tipi.
When she woke up the next morning a gentle rain was falling and in a few days, masses of bight blue flowers the color of the feathers in doll’s hair began growing, spreading a carpet of blue all over the hills and valleys. The people saw them and knew they were a sign from the Great Spirit who had been touched by the sacrifice of She-Who-Lives-Alone and they changed her name to One-Who-Dearly-Loves-Her-People.
To this day, every spring, the hills and valleys of Texas are covered with the beautiful blue flowers called bluebonnets and the Comanche people remember the sacrifice of the little girl they renamed One-Who-Dearly-Loves-Her-People.