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Stalking the Elusive Talking Crow


"Talking Crow" drew comment from other readers. We are sharing these here, with permission of the authors.

Dear Sir,

You might be interested to know that in 1991 I started work on the biography of the-talking-crow, a Native American herbal healer who plied his trade in northeast Kansas and southeast Nebraska amongst the white settlers from 1873-1924. His claim to the name the-talking-crow was his ability to detect by smell the presence of men or game up to a mile away, and his hearing was about the same category--he could hear game rustling around up to about a mile. He was working for Bill Cody as a railroad scout and I suspect Cody used him to tell him where the buffalo were so Cody could win the name "Buffalo" Bill. In other words, Cody cheated a little. His Indian name the-talking-crow is the reason I stopped by your site just to find out if you see any conflict between the two usages.

Gale Wollenberg

(PS: I might add that while t-t-c was a Sioux captive at age 10 his adoptive indian mom was from the crow tribe , she also being a captive of the Sioux.)


Link: for more information about the remarkable Mr. Wollenberg, see the Topeka Capital-Journal article by Lisa Sandmeyer:

Magic lanterns a fascination for local man

Enticed by a love of history and fascination with gadgets, a Topekan is re-creating magic lanterns in his garage with a view toward taking his show on the road...

The article is principally about the "magic lantern" projectors that amazed our great-grandparents before the advent of the moving pictures. Lisa Sandmeyer also writes of "The Legacy of Talking Crow," Mr. Wollenberg's "story of Indian John, a medicine man who lived in this area 100 years ago. His cures were legendary, said Wollenberg, who has published biographical papers on Indian John. He also has the recipes for the herbal cures. But that's another story."


The talking crow paradox: What if the black bird that says, "I am a talking crow" is a Raven? - JHN, 2/8/2002


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