Bismarck, N.D. - From the last snows of winter to the first
frost of the next, from the Pasque Flowers and Easter Daisies in
the lingering snows of spring to the White and Purple Asters of
the cool fall, the native flowers of the open prairie rise from
the heart of grandmother earth and beautify the grassy steppe.
The Lakhota say that long ago the flowers could speak. Long
ago the Pasque Flower conversed with a young man and reassured him
that he would receive a vision. They say that the Prairie Rose used
to greet the Lakhota as they passed by, a shy flower anyway, became
forever silent when its greetings were either unheard or unanswered.
They say that long ago, on a bright summer day, when all the
flowers were out, dancing and bobbing in the wind with all their
bright and beautiful colors, that they flowers were talking to one
another about mortality and the hereafter. The Great Spirit listened
to their conversation.
"I wonder where we will go with winter comes and we all must
die," said the flowers. "It doesn't seem fair. We do our share to
make grandmother earth a beautiful place to live. Should we not
also go to a spirit country of our own?" they asked.
The Great Spirit carefully considered their questions and decided
that the flowers would live on and their beauty would be remembered
after the winter snows. Now, after a rain, we may look to the sky
above and see all the pretty colors of the flowers from the past
year making a beautiful rainbow across the heavens. 
In the ancient days, they say that the rainbow used to be solid,
that one could actually touch the colors. Then one day a boy, in
his rush to climb a rainbow, found sure footing and grip enough
to climb the rainbow, and so he did. When he reached the top, he
fired a blazing arrow to signal the people, but they couldn't find
it. When they searched for the boy, neither could they find him.
The spirits kept the arrow and the boy elusive. Whenever they approached
the rainbow it too proved elusive.
The Lakhota refer to rainbows as Wígmunke, or "A
Snare." It is said that the wígmunke, causes the storm
to end by trapping it, so that no more rain can fall. No one points
at the wígmunke with their fingers, but use their lips or
elbows if they gesture to it.
"When a rainbow comes everyone looks at it. But no one points
at it. If you point at it you will suffer then. Your finger will
grow very large. It gets big. It is bad to point at the rainbow."
Mrs. Amanda Grass, May 15, 1921. 
 Works Progress Administration. Legends Of The Mighty Sioux.
5th Printing ed. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2008.
 Welch Dakota