Pretty bird, you saw me and took pity on me;
You wish me to survive among the people.
O Bird People, from this day always you shall be my relatives!
Sitting Bull, the Lakota holy man (wicasha wakan), was a lifelong interlocutor with the birds, including the flicker and the meadowlark, the former saving his life as a young man—celebrated in the song above—and the latter forecasting his imminent death on a North Dakota reservation. The flicker song was composed after the bird's hammering on a tree alerted Sitting Bull in time to save himself from a grizzly bear. From that time on, he was indeed a "relative" of the birds.