I took this picture this past August 2006. Mighty was trailing behind me and it was a lovely day. Not too hot nor too cold.
I love Rocky Mountain wildflowers and have spent years trying to identify which ones can be used medicinally. When I took the picture you see of the Indian Paintbrush from outside in my yard, it was a lovely cool afternoon and Mighty was trailing behind me sticking his nose in logs and burrows. It was a very lovely memory. I've spent many hours/days/months/years with Mighty traipsing around many a mountain hill while I've been hunched over a particular plant or specie. I also think this is why I became such a rabid fan of disc golf...one would inevitably throw a disc in a bog full of Shooting Stars and Columbines...pure heaven!
I came across the story of the Blackfoot Maiden in Terry Willard Ph.D's book Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rocky Mountains and Neighboring Territories. I quote him directly
"There is a beautiful story about the origin of Indian Paintbrush in Anora Brown's Old Man's Garden which she has taken from Mabel Burkholder's book "Before the White Man Came"
Once upon a time, a Blackfoot maiden fell in love with a wounded prisoner she was attending. The maiden realised that the tribe was only nursing its captive in order to torture him later. She planned an escape of the prisoner, accompanying him for fear of the punishment for such a deed. After some time in her lover's camp she grew homesick for a glimpse of her old camp. She finally went to the site of her old camp, hid in the nearby bushes, and over-heard two young braves discussing what would happen to the maiden who betrayed them, if only they could find her. Knowing she could never return, but nonetheless longing to return, she took a piece of bark and drew a picture of the camp upon it with her own blood, gashing her leg and painting with a stick. After drawing the picture, the maiden threw the stick away and returned to her lover's camp. Where the stick landed, a little plant grew with a brush-like end, dyed with the blood of this girl, which became the first Indian Paintbrush.