"The earth is like an animal. When an animal's sick, it wiggles and twitches.
And just before it dies it shakes even harder, it shakes all over. That's
what we call the earthquake and the volcano and the hurricane. Yes, its already
starting to happen. And it'll get worse -- you'll see! The world is wiggling
and twitching and shaking just before it dies!
He continued: "The Creator told us there will be three signs just before
the world ends. The first sign, he said, is that we would lose our language.
And already our young people can't speak the old language anymore. They don't
know how to pray. And the second sign, he told us, is that we'd lose our
way of dressing, our original beautiful costume of many colors that the Creator
gave us. And, you see, now we were cowboy hats and boots and white man's
clothes. Only a few of us wear the old costume anymore. We still weave some
of the old colors and patterns into our clothes -- like my many-colored vest
here -- but for most Seminole people today the color has gone out of our
lives. And the third sign, the last sign the creator told is about, is that
we'd forget how to make our sacred fire. And, see, we've forgotten. No one
really knows how do it anymore. They may try, but they don't really know
if they're doing the right way. I can barely remember myself how the Old
Ones did it. I was just a boy then in the 1890s. Here let me show you."
He took some dead fibrous material, the inner bark of the cypress tree --
the traditional sacred kindling used in Seminole ceremonies -- and held up
in the air with be little fingers of his left hand. With his left thumb and
index finger he held a small rock he had picked up off the ground. With his
right hand he then grabbed an aluminum fork from the table and, with a grunt,
sharply struck the aluminum fork against the rock. Again and again he struck
the two together as if somehow expecting a spark to shoot out from the meeting
of soft metal and soft stone. "That's how we did it in those days", Buffalo
said apologetically. "That's how we used the Flint and the steel to make
a spark to light the sacred fire. It... It doesn't work anymore..." His voice
seemed infinitely sad.