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  • A little while back, I wrote a small piece about Devils Tower in Wyoming. The photograph in that story shows Devils Tower standing proud, but it doesn't really convey the scale or size of the monolith. It stands 1,267 feet tall, and the boundary covers an area of 1,347 acres.

    I guess you can get a glimpse of scale when you look at the tree line.

    However, I also took this photo, which really does show you how massive Devils Tower really is. Look closely, there, yes, two climbers! Now you get an impression of scale.

    The two climbers also remind me of another one of the Sioux folklore legends of how Devils Tower was formed.

    Two young Sioux boys had wandered far from their village. Mato the bear, a huge animal with claws the size of teepee poles, saw them and decided to eat them for breakfast. He had almost caught them when the two boys prayed to Wakan Tanka the Creator for help.

    Wakan Tanka caused a huge rock to rise up, carrying the boys out of reach of Mato's claws. Mato tried to get them from every side, gouging deep scratches in his attempts to reach them. Finally, disappointed and discouraged, Mato wandered off to seek breakfast elsewhere. Wanblee, the eagle, helped the boys off the rock and back to their village.

    Mato eventually came to rest east of the Black Hills at what is now Bear Butte.
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