Summary of "The Man to Send Rain Clouds" Essay

1032 Words Aug 17th, 2010 5 Pages
"The Man to Send Rain Clouds" is a short story about the death of an old man on a Pueblo Indian reservation and the issues that arise from conflicting spiritual traditions and Christian traditions.
As the story opens, the dead body of an old man has been found under a cottonwood tree on an Indian reservation. The sheep that had been under the old man's care are grazing in scattered locations up and down an arroyo (ravine). Two men, Leon and his brother-in-law Ken, have discovered the body, which has apparently been lying under the tree for at least a day. Leon and Ken herd the sheep back to the camp and return by truck to the body.
Ken has brought a red blanket in which to wrap the body, but, before this is done, Leon ties a small grey
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Leon has no response and begins to leave. Father Paul leaves the room and returns with his overcoat prepared to accompany Leon to Teofilo's grave.
As Leon and Father Paul descend the hill to the cemetery, the sun is almost set over the mesa, and the priest wonders how the gravediggers were able to break the frozen ground. Father Paul surveys the small group of people gathered at the gravesite standing among the tumbleweeds.
Father Paul focuses on the red blanket and thinks the size is too small to be Teofilo's body and wonders for a moment if the people are playing some sort of Indian prank on him. The priest cannot help but wonder if this is just a ritual to ensure a good harvest and that Teofilo is at the sheep camp herding the flock in for the night.
Reality shakes the priest back to the situation at hand and he glances at the parishioners gathered in the waning light. The cold makes Father Paul's hands stiffen and removing the lid from the jar of holy water is difficult. Soon, though, the priest has access to the water and sprinkles the grave where the moisture disappears immediately into the sandy soil.
Father Paul shakes the jar over the grave until the water is gone and the sight reminds the priest of something, although it is not quite clear what it is. The same wind that blows the priest's robe now blows the pollen and corn meal which had also been spread over the grave. Teofilo's body is lowered into the ground as the

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