Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

STORY

Expand Messages
  • winterfury@webtv.net
    How Coyote Got His Cunning {Karok} Kareya was the god who in the very beginning created the world. First he made the fishes in the ocean; then he made
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 1, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      How Coyote Got His Cunning
      {Karok}

      Kareya was the god who in the very beginning created the world. First
      he made the fishes in the ocean; then he made animals on land; and last
      of all he made man. He had, however, given all the animals the same
      amount of rank and power.

      So he went to the man he had created and said, "Make as many bows and
      arrows as there are animals. I am going to call all the animals
      together, and you are to give the longest bow and arrow to the one that
      should have the most power, and the shortest to the one who should have
      the least."

      So the man set to work making bows and arrows, and at the end of nine
      days he had turned out enough for all the animals created by Kareya.
      Then Kareya called them all together and told them that the man would
      come to them the next day with the bows, and the one to whom he gave
      the longest would have the most power.

      Each animal wanted to be the one to get the longest bow. Coyote schemed
      to outwit the others by staying awake all night. He thought that if he
      was the first to meet the man in the morning, he could get the longest
      bow for himself. So when the animals went to sleep, Coyote lay down
      and only pretended to sleep. About midnight, however, he began to
      feel genuinely sleepy. He got up and walked around, scratching his
      eyes to keep them open. As time passed, he grew sleepier. He resorted
      to skipping and jumping to stay awake, but the noise waked some of the
      other animals, so he had to stop.

      About the time the morning star came up, Coyote was so sleepy he could
      not keep his eyes open any longer. So he took two little sticks and
      sharpened them at the ends, and with these he propped his eyelids open.
      Then he felt it was safe to sleep, since his eyes could watch the
      morning star rising. He planned to get up before the star was
      completely up, for by then all the other animals would be stirring. In
      a few minutes however, Coyote was fast asleep. The sharp sticks pierced
      right through his eyelids, and instead of keeping them open, they pinned
      them shut When the rest of the animals got up, Coyote lay in a deep
      sleep.

      The animals went to meet the man and receive their bows. Cougar was
      given the longest, Bear the next longest, and so on until the next to
      last bow was given to Frog. The shortest was still left, however.

      "What animal have I missed?" the man cried.

      The animals began to look about, and they soon spied Coyote lying fast
      asleep. They all laugh heartily and danced around him. Then they led
      him to the man, for the Coyotes eyes were pinned together by the sticks
      and he could not see. The man pulled the sticks out of Coyote's eyes
      and gave him the shortest bow. The animals laugh so hard that the man
      started to pity Coyote, who would be the weakest of them all. So he
      pray to Kareya about Coyote, and Kareya responded by giving Coyote more
      cunning than the other animals. And that's how Coyote got his cunning.

      -A tale reported by E.W. Gifford in 1930.

      If anyone wants me to send this to them with a lighter background for
      printing purposes let me know.

      Peace~Love~Light
      Dancing Wolf
    • XxDancingWolfxx@aol.com
      Men Visit the Sky Seminole Native American Lore Near the beginning of time, five Seminole Indian men wanted to visit the sky to see the Great Spirit. They
      Message 2 of 13 , Feb 9, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        Men Visit the Sky
        Seminole
        Native American Lore
        Near the beginning of time, five Seminole Indian men wanted to visit the
        sky to see the Great Spirit.
        They travelled to the East, walking for about a month. Finally, they
        arrived at land's end. They tossed their baggage over the end and they,
        too, disappeared beyond earth's edge.
        Down, down, down the Indians dropped for a while, before starting upward
        again toward the sky. For a long time they travelled westward. At last,
        they came to a lodge where lived an old, old woman.
        "Tell me, for whom are you looking?" she asked feebly.
        "We are on our way to see the Great Spirit Above," they replied.
        "It is not possible to see him now," she said. "You must stay here for a
        while first."
        That night the five Seminole Indian men strolled a little distance from
        the old woman's lodge, where they encountered a group of angels robed in
        white and wearing wings. They were playing a ball game the men
        recognized as one played by the Seminoles.
        Two of the men decided they would like to remain and become angels. The
        other three preferred to return to earth. Then to their surprise, the
        Great Spirit appeared and said, "So be it!"
        A large cooking pot was placed on the fire. When the water was boiling,
        the two Seminoles who wished to stay were cooked! When only their bones
        were left, the Great Spirit removed them from the pot, and put their
        bones back together again. He then draped them with a white cloth and
        touched them with his magic wand. The Great Spirit brought the two
        Seminole men back to life! They wore beautiful white wings and were
        called men-angels.
        "What do you three men wish to do?" asked the Great Spirit.
        "If we may, we prefer to return to our Seminole camp on earth," replied
        the three Seminoles.
        "Gather your baggage together and go to sleep at once," directed the
        Great Spirit.
        Later, when the three Seminole men opened their eyes, they found
        themselves safe at home again in their own Indian camp.
        "We are happy to return and stay earthbound. We hope never to venture
        skyward again in search of other mysteries," they reported to the Chief
        of the Seminoles.
      • XxDancingWolfxx@aol.com
        The Wolf Dance Native American Lore I wanted to give something of my past to my grandson. So I took him into the woods, to a quiet spot. Seated at my feet he
        Message 3 of 13 , Feb 14, 2002
        • 0 Attachment
          The Wolf Dance
          Native American Lore
          I wanted to give something of my past to my grandson. So I took him into
          the woods, to a quiet spot. Seated at my feet he listened as I told him
          of the powers that were given to each creature. He moved not a muscle as
          I explained how the woods had always provided us with food, homes,
          comfort, and religion. He was awed when I related to him how the wolf
          became our guardian, and when I told him that I would sing the sacred
          wolf song over him, he was overjoyed. In my song, I appealed to the wolf
          to come and preside over us while I would perform the wolf ceremony so
          that the bondage between my grandson and the wolf would be lifelong. I
          sang.
          In my voice was the hope that clings to every heartbeat. I sang.
          In my words were the powers I inherited from my forefathers. I sang.
          In my cupped hands lay a spruce seed -- the link to creation. I sang.
          In my eyes sparkled love. I sang.
          And the song floated on the sun's rays from tree to tree.
          When I had ended, it was if the whole world listened with us to hear the
          wolf's reply. We waited a long time but none came. Again I sang, humbly
          but as invitingly as I could, until my throat ached and my voice gave
          out.
          All of a sudden I realized why no wolves had heard my sacred song. There
          were none left! My heart filled with tears. I could no longer give my
          grandson faith in the past, our past.
          At last I could whisper to him: "It is finished!" "Can I go home now?"
          He asked, checking his watch to see if he would still be in time to
          catch his favorite program on TV. I watched him disappear and wept in
          silence. All is finished!
          by Chief Dan George (chief of the Salish Band in Burrard Inlet, B.C.)



          Peace~Love~Light
          Dancing Wolf a.k.a. WinterFury

          http://d21c.com/DancingWolf/HomePage/NativeAmericanPoems1.html
        • winterfury@webtv.net
          The Origin of Earth Tuskegee Native American Lore Before the beginning, water was everywhere. But no people, animals, or earth were visible. There were birds,
          Message 4 of 13 , Feb 28, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            The Origin of Earth
            Tuskegee
            Native American Lore
            Before the beginning, water was everywhere. But no people, animals, or
            earth were visible.
            There were birds, however, who held a council to decide if it might be
            best to have all land or all water. "Let us have land, so we can have
            more food," said some of the birds. Others said, "Let's have all water,
            because we like it this way."
            Subsequently, they appointed Eagle as their Chief who was to decide one
            way or the other. Eagle decided upon land and asked, "Who will go and
            search for land?"
            Dove volunteered first and flew away. In four days he completed his hunt
            and returned, reporting, "I could not find land anywhere."
            Crawfish came swimming along and was asked by the council to help search
            for land. He disappeared under the water for four days. When he arose to
            the surface again, he held some dirt in his claws. He had found some
            land deep in the water.
            Crawfish made a ball of the dirt and handed it to Chief Eagle, who then
            flew away with it. Four days later he returned and said to the council,
            "Now there is land, an island has been formed-- follow me!"
            The whole bird colony flew after Eagle to see the new land, though it
            was a very small island. Gradually, the land began to grow larger and
            larger as the water became lower and lower. More islands appeared and
            these grew together, creating larger islands into one earth.
            Tuskegee Indians say they were chosen by the Great Spirit to be the
            first people to live upon the new earth, a long, long time ago.
          • winterfury@webtv.net
            Chipmunk and Bear Native American Lore Long ago when animals could talk, a bear was walking along. Now it has always been said that bears think very highly of
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 15, 2002
            • 0 Attachment
              Chipmunk and Bear
              Native American Lore
              Long ago when animals could talk, a bear was walking along. Now it has
              always been said that bears think very highly of themselves. Since they
              are big and strong, they are certain that they are the most important of
              the animals.
              As this bear went along turning over big logs with his paws to look for
              food to eat, he felt very sure of himself. "There is nothing I cannot
              do," said this bear.
              "Is that so?" said a small voice. Bear looked down. There was a little
              chipmunk looking up at Bear from its hole in the ground.
              "Yes," Bear said, "that is true indeed." He reached out one huge paw and
              rolled over a big log. "Look at how easily I can do this. I am the
              strongest of all the animals. I can do anything. All the other animals
              fear me."
              "Can you stop the sun from rising in the morning?" said the Chipmunk.
              Bear thought for a moment. "I have never tried that," he said. "Yes, I
              am sure I could stop the sun from rising."
              "You are sure?" said Chipmunk.
              "I am sure," said Bear. "Tomorrow morning the sun will not rise. I,
              Bear, have said so." Bear sat down facing the east to wait.
              Behind him the sun set for the night and still he sat there. The
              chipmunk went into its hole and curled up in its snug little nest,
              chuckling about how foolish Bear was. All through the night Bear sat.
              Finally the first birds started their songs and the east glowed with the
              light which comes before the sun.
              "The sun will not rise today," said Bear. He stared hard at the glowing
              light. "The sun will not rise today."
              However, the sun rose, just as it always had. Bear was very upset, but
              Chipmunk was delighted. He laughed and laughed. "Sun is stronger than
              Bear," said the chipmunk, twittering with laughter. Chipmunk was so
              amused that he came out of his hole and began running around in circles,
              singing this song:
              "The sun came up,

              The sun came up.

              Bear is angry,

              But the sun came up."
              While Bear sat there looking very unhappy, Chipmunk ran around and
              around, singing and laughing until he was so weak that he rolled over on
              his back. Then, quicker than the leap of a fish from a stream, Bear shot
              out one big paw and pinned him to the ground.
              "Perhaps I cannot stop the sun from rising," said Bear, "but you will
              never see another sunrise."
              'Oh, Bear," said the chipmunk. "oh, oh, oh, you are the strongest, you
              are the quickest, you are the best of all of the animals. I was only
              joking." But Bear did not move his paw.
              "Oh, Bear," Chipmunk said, "you are right to kill me, I deserve to die.
              Just please let me say one last prayer to Creator before you eat me."
              "Say your prayer quickly," said Bear. "Your time to walk the Sky Road
              has come!"
              "Oh, Bear," said Chipmunk, "I would like to die. But you are pressing
              down on me so hard I cannot breathe. I can hardly squeak. I do not have
              enough breath to say a prayer. If you would just lift your paw a little,
              just a little bit, then I could breathe. And I could say my last prayer
              to the Maker of all, to the one who made great, wise, powerful Bear and
              the foolish, weak, little Chipmunk.
              "Bear lifted up his paw. He lifted it just a little bit. That little
              bit, though, was enough. Chipmunk squirmed free and ran for his hole as
              quickly as the blinking of an eye. Bear swung his paw at the little
              chipmunk as it darted away. He was not quick enough to catch him, but
              the very tips of his long claws scraped along Chipmunk's back leaving
              three pale scars.
              To this day, all chipmunks wear those scars as a reminder to them of
              what happens when one animal makes fun to another.
            • winterfury@webtv.net
              The First Fire Cherokee Native American Lore In the beginning of the world, there was no fire. The animal people were often cold. Only the Thunders, who lived
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 21, 2002
              • 0 Attachment
                The First Fire
                Cherokee
                Native American Lore
                In the beginning of the world, there was no fire. The animal people were
                often cold. Only the Thunders, who lived in the world beyond the sky
                arch, had fire. At last they sent Lightning down to an island. Lightning
                put fire into the bottom of a hollow sycamore tree.
                The animal people knew that the fire was there, because they could see
                smoke rising from the top of the tree. But they could not get to it on
                account of the water. So they held a council to decide what to do.
                Everyone that could fly or could swim was eager to go after the fire.
                Raven said, "Let me go. I am large and strong."
                At that time Raven was white. He flew high and far across the water and
                reached the top of the sycamore tree. While he sat there wondering what
                to do, the heat scorched all his feathers black. The frightened Raven
                flew home without the fire, and his feathers have been black ever since.
                Then the council sent Screech Owl. He flew to the island. But while he
                was looking down into the hollow tree, a blast of hot air came up and
                nearly burned out his eyes. He flew home and to this day, Screech Owl's
                eyes are red.
                Then Hooting Owl and Horned Owl were sent to the island together. But
                the smoke nearly blinded them, and the ashes carried up by the wind made
                white rings about their eyes. They had to come home, and were never able
                to get rid of the white rings.
                Then Little Snake swam across to the island, crawled through the grass
                to the tree, and entered it through a small hole at the bottom. But the
                smoke and the heat were too much for him, too. He escaped alive, but his
                body had been scorched black. And it was so twisted that he doubled on
                his track as if always trying to escape from a small space.
                Big Snake, the climber, offered to go for fire, but he fell into the
                burning stump and became as black as Little Snake. He has been the great
                blacksnake ever since.
                At last Water Spider said that she would go. Water Spider has black
                downy hair and red stripes on her body. She could run on top of water
                and she could dive to the bottom. She would have no trouble in getting
                to the island.
                "But you are so little, how will you carry enough fire?" the council
                asked.
                "I'll manage all right," answered Water Spider. "I can spin a web." so
                she spun a thread from her body and wove it into a little bowl and
                fastened the little bowl on her back. Then she crossed over to the
                island and through the grass. She put one little coal of fire into her
                bowl and brought it across to the people.
                Every since, we have had fire. And the Water Spider still has her little
                bowl on her back.
              • winterfury@webtv.net
                UNKTOMI AND THE ARROWHEADS Sioux Native American Lore There were once upon a time two young men who were very great friends, and were constantly together. One
                Message 7 of 13 , Mar 28, 2002
                • 0 Attachment
                  UNKTOMI AND THE ARROWHEADS

                  Sioux
                  Native American Lore
                  There were once upon a time two young men who were very great friends,
                  and were constantly together. One was a very thoughtful young man, the
                  other very impulsive, who never stopped to think before he committed an
                  act.
                  One day these two friends were walking along, telling each other of
                  their experiences in love making. They ascended a high hill, and on
                  reaching the top, heard a ticking noise as if small stones or pebbles
                  were being struck together.
                  Looking around they discovered a large spider sitting in the midst of a
                  great many flint arrowheads. The spider was busily engaged making the
                  flint rocks into arrow heads. They looked at the spider, but he never
                  moved, but continued hammering away on a piece of flint which he had
                  nearly completed into another arrowhead.
                  "Let's hit him," said the thoughtless one. "No," said the other, "he is
                  not harming any one; in fact, he is doing a great good, as he is making
                  the flint arrowheads which we use to point our arrows."
                  "Oh, you are afraid," said the first young man. "He can't harm you. just
                  watch me hit him." So saying, he picked up an arrowhead and throwing it
                  at "Unktomi," hit him on the side. As Unktomi rolled over on his side,
                  got up and stood looking at them, the young man laughed and said:
                  "Well, let us be going, as your grandfather, "Unktomi," doesn't seem to
                  like our company." They started down the hill, when suddenly the one who
                  had hit Unktomi took a severe fit of coughing. He coughed and coughed,
                  and finally small particles of blood came from his mouth. The blood kept
                  coming thicker and in great gushes. Finally it came so thick and fast
                  that the man could not get his breath and fell upon the ground dead.
                  The thoughtful young man, seeing that his friend was no more, hurried to
                  the village and reported what had happened. The relatives and friends
                  hurried to the hill, and sure enough, there lay the thoughtless young
                  man still and cold in death. They held a council and sent for the chief
                  of the Unktomi tribe. When he heard what had happened, he told the
                  council that he could do nothing to his Unktomi, as it had only defended
                  itself.
                  Said he: "My friends, seeing that your tribe was running short of
                  arrowheads, I set a great many of my tribe to work making flint
                  arrowheads for you. When my men are thus engaged they do not wish to be
                  disturbed, and your young man not only disturbed my man, but grossly
                  insulted him by striking him with one of the arrowheads which he had
                  worked so hard to make. My man could not sit and take this insult, so as
                  the young man walked away the Unktomi shot him with a very tiny
                  arrowhead.
                  This produced a hemorrhage, which caused his death. So now, my friends,
                  if you will fill and pass the peace pipe, we will part good friends and
                  my tribe shall always furnish you with plenty of flint arrowheads." So
                  saying, Unktomi Tanka finished his peace smoke and returned to his
                  tribe.
                  Ever after that, when the Indians heard a ticking in the grass, they
                  would go out of their way to get around the sound, saying, Unktomi is
                  making arrowheads; we must not disturb him.
                  Thus it was that Unktomi Tanka (Big Spider) had the respect of this
                  tribe, and was never after disturbed in his work of making arrowheads.
                • winterfury@webtv.net
                  Great Serpent and the Great Flood Chippewa Native American Lore From Maine and Nova Scotia to the Rocky Mountains, Indians told stories about the Great
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 19, 2002
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Great Serpent and the Great Flood
                    Chippewa
                    Native American Lore
                    From Maine and Nova Scotia to the Rocky Mountains, Indians told stories
                    about the Great Serpent. More than a century ago the serpent was
                    considered to be "a genuine spirit of evil." Some version of the story
                    of the Great Flood of long ago, as recounted here, is told around the
                    world.
                    Nanabozho (Nuna-bozo, accented on bozo) was the hero of many stories
                    told by the Chippewa Indians. At one time they lived on the shores of
                    Lake Superior, in what are now the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin and
                    the province of Ontario.
                    One day when Nanabozho returned to his lodge after a long journey, he
                    missed his young cousin who lived with him. He called the cousin's name
                    but heard no answer. Looking around on the sand for tracks, Nanabozho
                    was startled by the trail of the Great Serpent. He then knew that his
                    cousin had been seized by his enemy.
                    Nanabozho picked up his bow and arrows and followed the track of the
                    serpent. He passed the great river, climbed mountains, and crossed over
                    valleys until he came to the shores of a deep and gloomy lake. It is now
                    called Manitou Lake, Spirit Lake, and also the Lake of Devils. The trail
                    of the Great Serpent led to the edge of the water. Nanabozho could see,
                    at the bottom of the lake, the house of the Great Serpent. It was filled
                    with evil spirits, who were his servants and his companions. Their forms
                    were monstrous and terrible. Most of them, like their master, resembled
                    spirits. In the centre of this horrible group was the Great Serpent
                    himself, coiling his terrifying length around the cousin of Nanabozho.
                    The head of the Serpent was red as blood. His fierce eyes glowed like
                    fire. His entire body was armed with hard and glistening scales of every
                    color and shade.
                    Looking down on these twisting spirits of evil, Nanabozho made up his
                    mind that he would get revenge on them for the death of his cousin. He
                    said to the clouds, "Disappear!"
                    And the clouds went out of sight.
                    "Winds, be still at once!" And the winds became still. When the air over
                    the lake of evil spirits had become stagnant, Nanabozho said to the sun,
                    "Shine over the lake with all the fierceness you can. Make the water
                    boil."
                    In these ways, thought Nanabozho, he would force the Great Serpent to
                    seek the cool shade of the trees growing on the shores of the lake.
                    There he would seize the enemy and get revenge. After giving his orders,
                    Nanabozho took his bow and arrows and placed himself near the spot where
                    he thought the serpents would come to enjoy the shade. Then he changed
                    himself into the broken stump of a withered tree.
                    The winds became still, the air stagnant, and the sun shot hot rays from
                    a cloudless sky. In time, the water of the lake became troubled, and
                    bubbles rose to the surface. The rays of the sun had penetrated to the
                    home of the serpents. As the water bubbled and foamed, a serpent lifted
                    his head above the centre of the lake and gazed around the shores. Soon
                    another serpent came to the surface. Both listened for the footsteps of
                    Nanabozho, but they heard him nowhere.
                    "Nanabozho is sleeping," they said to one another. And then they plunged
                    beneath the waters, which seemed to hiss as they closed over the evil
                    spirits.
                    Not long after, the lake became more troubled. Its water boiled from its
                    very depths, and the hot waves dashed wildly against the rocks on its
                    banks. Soon the Great Serpent came slowly to the surface of the water
                    and moved toward the shore. His blood-red crest glowed. The reflection
                    from his scales was blinding--as blinding as the glitter of a
                    sleet-covered forest beneath the winter sun. He was followed by all the
                    evil spirits. So great was their number that they soon covered the
                    shores of the lake.
                    When they saw the broken stump of the withered tree, they suspected that
                    it might be one of the disguises of Nanabozho. They knew his cunning.
                    One of the serpents approached the stump, wound his tail around it, and
                    tried to drag it down into the lake. Nanabozho could hardly keep from
                    crying aloud, for the tail of the monster prickled his sides. But he
                    stood firm and was silent.
                    The evil spirits moved on. The Great Serpent glided into the forest and
                    wound his many coils around the trees. His companions also found
                    shade--all but one. One remained near the shore to listen for the
                    footsteps of Nanabozho.
                    From the stump, Nanabozho watched until all the serpents were asleep and
                    the guard was intently looking in another direction. Then he silently
                    drew an arrow from his quiver, placed it in his bow, and aimed it at the
                    heart of the Great Serpent. It reached its mark. With a howl that shook
                    the mountains and startled the wild beasts in their caves, the monster
                    awoke. Followed by its terrified companions, which also were howling
                    with rage and terror, the Great Serpent plunged into the water. At the
                    bottom of the lake there still lay the body of Nanabozho's cousin. In
                    their fury the serpents tore it into a thousand pieces. His shredded
                    lungs rose to the surface and covered the lake with whiteness. The Great
                    Serpent soon knew that he would die from his wound, but he and his
                    companions were determined to destroy Nanabozho. They caused the water
                    of the lake to swell upward and to pound against the shore with the
                    sound of many thunders. Madly the flood rolled over the land, over the
                    tracks of Nanabozho, carrying with it rocks and trees. High on the crest
                    of the highest wave floated the wounded Great Serpent. His eyes glared
                    around him, and his hot breath mingled with the hot breath of his many
                    companions.
                    Nanabozho, fleeing before the angry waters, thought of his Indian
                    children. He ran through their villages, shouting, "Run to the
                    mountaintops! The Great Serpent is angry and is flooding the earth! Run!
                    Run!"
                    The Indians caught up their children and found safety on the mountains.
                    Nanabozho continued his flight along the base of the western hills and
                    then up a high mountain beyond Lake Superior, far to the north. There he
                    found many men and animals that had escaped from the flood that was
                    already covering the valleys and plains and even the highest hills.
                    Still the waters continued to rise. Soon all the mountains were under
                    the flood, except the high one on which stood Nanabozho. There he
                    gathered together timber and made a raft. Upon it the men and women and
                    animals with him placed themselves. Almost immediately the mountaintop
                    disappeared from their view, and they floated along on the face of the
                    waters. For many days they floated. At long last, the flood began to
                    subside. Soon the people on the raft saw the trees on the tops of the
                    mountains. Then they saw the mountains and hills, then the plains and
                    the valleys.
                    When the water disappeared from the land, the people who survived
                    learned that the Great Serpent was dead and that his companions had
                    returned to the bottom of the lake of spirits. There they remain to this
                    day. For fear of Nanabozho, they have never dared to come forth again.
                  • winterfury@webtv.net
                    The Raccoon and the Bee-Tree Native American Lore The Raccoon had been asleep all day in the snug hollow of a tree. The dusk was coming on when he awoke,
                    Message 9 of 13 , Aug 4, 2002
                    • 0 Attachment
                      The Raccoon and the Bee-Tree
                      Native American Lore
                      The Raccoon had been asleep all day in the snug hollow of a tree. The
                      dusk was coming on when he awoke, stretched himself once or twice, and
                      jumping down from the top of the tall, dead stump in which he made his
                      home, set out to look for his supper.
                      In the midst of the woods there was a lake, and all along the lake shore
                      there rang out the alarm cries of the water people as the Raccoon came
                      nearer and nearer.
                      First the Swan gave a scream of warning. The Crane repeated the cry, and
                      from the very middle of the lake the Loon, swimming low, took it up and
                      echoed it back over the still water.
                      The Raccoon sped merrily on, and finding no unwary bird that he could
                      seize he picked up a few mussel-shells from the beach, cracked them
                      neatly and ate the sweet meat.
                      A little further on, as he was leaping hither and thither through the
                      long, tangled meadow grass, he landed with all four feet on a family of
                      Skunks---father, mother and twelve little ones, who were curled up sound
                      asleep in a oft bed of broken dry grass.
                      "Huh!" exclaimed the father Skunk. "What do you mean by this, eh?" And
                      he stood looking at him defiantly.
                      "Oh, excuse me, excuse me," begged the Raccoon. "I am very sorry. I did
                      not mean to do it! I was just running along and I did not see you at
                      all."
                      "Better be careful where you step next time," grumbled the Skunk, and
                      the Raccoon was glad to hurry on.
                      Running up a tall tree he came upon two red Squirrels in one nest, but
                      before he could get his paws upon one of them they were scolding angrily
                      from the topmost branch.
                      "Come down, friends!" called the Raccoon. "What are you doing up there?
                      Why, I wouldn't harm you for anything!"
                      "Ugh, you can't fool us," chattered the Squirrels, and the Raccoon went
                      on.
                      Deep in the woods, at last, he found a great hollow tree which attracted
                      him by a peculiar sweet smell. He sniffed and sniffed, and went round
                      and round till he saw something trickling down a narrow crevice. He
                      tasted it and it was deliciously sweet.
                      He ran up the tree and down again, and at last found an opening into
                      which he could thrust his paw. He brought it out covered with honey!
                      Now the Raccoon was happy. He ate and scooped, and scooped and ate the
                      golden, trickling honey with both forepaws till his pretty, pointed face
                      was daubed all over.
                      Suddenly he tried to get a paw into his ear. Something hurt him terribly
                      just then, and the next minute his sensitive nose was frightfully stung.
                      He rubbed his face with both sticky paws. The sharp stings came thicker
                      and faster, and he wildly clawed the air. At last he forgot to hold on
                      to the branch any longer, and with a screech he tumbled to the ground.
                      There he rolled and rolled on the dead leaves till he was covered with
                      leaves from head to foot, for they stuck to his fine, sticky fur, and
                      most of all they covered his eyes and his striped face. Mad with fright
                      and pain he dashed through the forest calling to some one of his own
                      kind to come to his aid.
                      The moon was now bright, and many of the woods people were abroad. A
                      second Raccoon heard the call and went to meet it. But when he saw a
                      frightful object plastered with dry leaves racing madly toward him he
                      turned and ran for his life, for he did not know what this thing might
                      be.
                      The Raccoon who had been stealing the honey ran after him as fast as he
                      could, hoping to overtake and beg the other to help him get rid of his
                      leaves.
                      So they ran and they ran out of the woods on to the shining white beach
                      around the lake. Here a Fox met them, but after one look at the queer
                      object which was chasing the frightened Raccoon he too turned and ran at
                      his best speed.
                      Presently a young Bear came loping out of the wood and sat up on his
                      haunches to see them go by. But when he got a good look at the Raccoon
                      who was plastered with dead leaves, he scrambled up a tree to be out of
                      the way.
                      By this time the poor Raccoon was so frantic that he scarcely knew what
                      he was doing. He ran up the tree after the Bear and got hold of his
                      tail.
                      "Woo, woo!" snarled the Bear, and the accoon let go. He was tired out
                      and dreadfully ashamed. He did now what he ought to have done at the
                      very first---he jumped into the lake and washed off most of the leaves.
                      Then he got back to his hollow tree and curled himself up and licked and
                      licked his soft fur till he had licked himself clean, and then he went
                      to sleep.

                      || From Native Lore Index ||
                    • winterfury@webtv.net
                      The Warm Wind Brothers vs. The Cold Wind Brothers Native American Lore This is a story about two tribes that lived during the last Ice Age, many years ago. One
                      Message 10 of 13 , Aug 9, 2002
                      • 0 Attachment
                        The Warm Wind Brothers vs. The Cold Wind Brothers
                        Native American Lore
                        This is a story about two tribes that lived during the last Ice Age,
                        many years ago. One of these tribes was called the Tribe of the Warm
                        Wind. The people lived in the Dry Falls-Vantafe area. Wherever they
                        camped, they were in warm country. The chief of the Warm Wind people had
                        five sons.
                        The second tribe was the Tribe of the Cold Wind. The chief of this tribe
                        also had five sons. Wherever the Cold Wind people settled, cold weather
                        followed. All the lakes and rivers froze, and snow fell.
                        When the Tribe of the Cold Wind tried to move south, they were stopped
                        by the Tribe of the Warm Wind. The Cold Wind people held council and
                        decided that if they would kill the five brothers in the Warm Wind
                        tribe, they could go south whenever they wished.
                        They asked Coyote to deliver a challenge for a duel between the five
                        brothers in the Warm Wind tribe and the five brothers in the Cold Wind
                        tribe. The challenge was accepted, and the date was set. Then Coyote
                        travelled around to tell all the people in both tribes about the
                        contest.
                        When the day arrived, both tribes gathered at the place for the duel.
                        Two warriors fought at a time, one Warm Wind brother against one Cold
                        Wind brother. The young warriors of the Cold Wind people were much
                        stronger than their rivals. Soon all the Warm Wind brothers had been
                        killed.
                        The Tribe of the Cold Wind now had the power to rule, and they ruled
                        strongly and severely. The country became cold. The rivers and lakes
                        froze solid, and snow fell until the lodges were nearly covered. As far
                        south as Dry Falls, the ice was piled as high as mountains.
                        Coyote was cruelly treated, and his work was never done. The Warm Wind
                        people were miserable. They were made the slaves of the Cold Wind
                        people. Any food they found was taken from them. They had to eat the
                        scraps of food the Cold Wind people did not want.
                        Not long before the struggles, the youngest son of the Warm Wind chief
                        had married a girl from a tribe farther south. She decided to go back to
                        her people. Before she left, she told her husband's people, "I am
                        expecting a child. Pray that it will be a boy. If I have a son, I will
                        train him to be the greatest warrior in the world. When he is grown, I
                        will send him to you. Watch for him. He will avenge the defeat of his
                        father and uncles."
                        A few moons later the woman gave birth to a son. When he was about three
                        months old, he was given baths in cold water to make him strong. As soon
                        as he was old enough, his mother and her brothers had him follow a
                        training course that would make him a strong warrior.
                        For years he trained. He became so strong that he could uproot trees and
                        throw them over hills. He could throw large boulders many miles. At this
                        time he believed himself the strongest man in the world.
                        Then his mother told him about the duel between the Warm Wind brothers
                        and the Cold Wind brothers. The young man felt that he was ready to
                        avenge the death of his father and uncles, and to set their people free.
                        But his mother insisted that he train for one more year.
                        By the end of that year he could move small mountains. Then his mother
                        told him that he was ready to go north to help his people. She told him
                        just what he should do and what he should ask his grandparents to do to
                        help him.
                        The young warrior started north, and a warm south wind went with him. As
                        he neared the home of his grandparents, the ice on their lodge poles
                        began to melt for the first time since they became slaves. They were
                        glad and asked each other, "Do you think that our grandson is coming?"
                        Before the sun set that day, the young man reached them. They saw that
                        he was strong, and they believed him when he said that he had come to
                        free them and their people from the Cold Wind tribe. He was sorry that
                        they had been treated unkindly.
                        Coyote was sent to the camp of the chief of the Cold Wind tribe to
                        deliver a challenge from the grandson of the chief of the Warm Wind
                        tribe. It was accepted. The day and the place were decided upon.
                        In the camp of the defeated people, the grandson asked them to follow
                        his mother's instructions: "Boil some salmon, and put the broth in five
                        containers."
                        On the morning of the duel, the people of both tribes gathered at the
                        river at the chosen place. The grandson fought with the oldest brother
                        from the Cold Wind tribe. The ice was very slick. But the grandson's
                        people threw down a bucket of hot salmon broth, and the ice became
                        rough. So the young warrior defeated the first of the five brothers.
                        Then the second brother stepped forth, and the grandson fought him. The
                        Cold Wind people threw water on the ice, hoping to make it slick. Then
                        the Warm Wind people threw another bucket of hot broth on the ice, and
                        it became rough. So the young warrior defeated the second brother.
                        The third, fourth, and fifth brothers he struggled with, each in turn.
                        Each time he was helped by the hot salmon broth. When he had defeated
                        the youngest brother, the Warm Wind people were free. They drove the
                        rest of the Cold Wind people so far north that they could never find
                        their way back. Soon the warm wind came in and melted all the ice.
                        When the young grandson travels north in the spring, warm weather
                        follows. If he had not defeated the five brothers of the Cold Wind
                        tribe, we still would be living in the Ice Age.

                        || From Native Lore Index
                      • winterfury@webtv.net
                        The Wolf Dance Native American Lore I wanted to give something of my past to my grandson. So I took him into the woods, to a quiet spot. Seated at my feet he
                        Message 11 of 13 , Aug 15, 2002
                        • 0 Attachment
                          The Wolf Dance
                          Native American Lore
                          I wanted to give something of my past to my grandson. So I took him into
                          the woods, to a quiet spot. Seated at my feet he listened as I told him
                          of the powers that were given to each creature. He moved not a muscle as
                          I explained how the woods had always provided us with food, homes,
                          comfort, and religion. He was awed when I related to him how the wolf
                          became our guardian, and when I told him that I would sing the sacred
                          wolf song over him, he was overjoyed. In my song, I appealed to the wolf
                          to come and preside over us while I would perform the wolf ceremony so
                          that the bondage between my grandson and the wolf would be lifelong. I
                          sang.
                          In my voice was the hope that clings to every heartbeat. I sang.
                          In my words were the powers I inherited from my forefathers. I sang.
                          In my cupped hands lay a spruce seed -- the link to creation. I sang.
                          In my eyes sparkled love. I sang.
                          And the song floated on the sun's rays from tree to tree.
                          When I had ended, it was if the whole world listened with us to hear the
                          wolf's reply. We waited a long time but none came. Again I sang, humbly
                          but as invitingly as I could, until my throat ached and my voice gave
                          out.
                          All of a sudden I realized why no wolves had heard my sacred song. There
                          were none left! My heart filled with tears. I could no longer give my
                          grandson faith in the past, our past.
                          At last I could whisper to him: "It is finished!" "Can I go home now?"
                          He asked, checking his watch to see if he would still be in time to
                          catch his favorite program on TV. I watched him disappear and wept in
                          silence. All is finished!
                          by Chief Dan George (chief of the Salish Band in Burrard Inlet, B.C.)

                          From Native Lore Index
                        • XxDancingWolfxx@aol.com
                          Ableegumooch, the Lazy Rabbit Native American Lore ... It s a lovely day to do Nothing, nothing All the day through! ... It s a lovely day to do Nothing,
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jan 9, 2003
                          • 0 Attachment



                            Ableegumooch, the Lazy Rabbit



                            Native American Lore





                            In the Old Time, as you know, Ableegumooch was Glooscap's forest guide and helped wayfarers lost in the forest. However, as time went on, Indians and animals learned to find their own way through the trees and did not need the rabbit's services so often. Ableegumooch grew fat and lazy. If there was something easy and pleasant to do, he did it. If the thing were difficult or tiring, he did not. Now that is no way to keep a wigwam stocked with food. Often, poor old Noogumee, his grandmother, with whom he lived, had to hunt for food herself, or they would have gone hungry. And no matter how much she scolded him, Ableegumooch refused to mend his ways.


                            Glooscap, far away in his lodge on Blomidon, saw that the rabbit was becoming a thoroughly useless creature. He must be warned against the dangers of laziness. So, wasting no time, Glooscap descended from his lodge to the beach in three huge strides, launched his canoe, and paddled across the Bay of Fundy to the shore near the rabbit's home.


                            It was a fine bright morning, the air cool and tasting of salt, as it always does in the Maritime Provinces. And presently along hopped the rabbit, singing with fine spirit:


                            It's a lovely day to do



                            Nothing, nothing



                            All the day through!


                            He paid no attention to the tasty leaves and berries he might have been gathering for dinner. He was much more interested in watching other people work. There was Miko the Squirrel scampering up the big maple tree, his cheeks bulged out with nuts, pausing only long enough to scold Ableegumooch for coming too near his storehouse. There was Mechipchamooech the Bumble Bee, busy at the golden rod, gathering honey for his hive. And there was Teetees the Blue Jay, flying worms to his family in the big pine. It was all so interesting that Ableegumooch stopped beside a stately fir tree to enjoy the scene. Suddenly behind him, he heard a voice.


                            "Ableegumooch, be careful!"


                            The rabbit jumped and whirled about, but there was nobody there. The voice spoke again, from somewhere over his head.


                            "Take care, Ableegumooch, or your lazy ways will bring you pain and sorrow."


                            The rabbit looked up and saw the fir tree shake like a leaf in a storm, yet not a breath of wind stirred. Frightened out of his wits, he ran--and he never stopped running until he was safe at home, where he told his grandmother what had happened.


                            "Glooscap has given you a warning," said his grand mother. "Be sure to obey him, grandson, or you will be sorry."


                            The rabbit's legs were still trembling from fright and exertion, and he promised at once that he would take care to mend his lazy ways in future. And indeed, for a while, he went busily about his hunting and kept the wigwam well stocked with food. But, when autumn came, he grew lazy again and went back to his old careless ways.


                            It's a lovely day to do



                            Nothing, nothing



                            All the day through!


                            So sang Ableegumooch as he sauntered through the glory of autumn trees. Noogumee begged and scolded and pleaded, but he continued to spend more time visiting his neighbours than gathering food. One day, when winter had come to the land, he came to the wigwam of Keoonik the Otter. Keoonik politely asked him to dine, and the rabbit promptly accepted. Keoonik turned to his elderly house keeper and addressed her in the usual Indian fashion:


                            "Noogumee, prepare the meal."


                            Then he took some fishhooks and went off, the rabbit hopping along behind, curious to see what he was going to do. Keoonik sat on the snowy bank of the river and slid down an icy path into the water. In a moment, he reappeared with a string of eels which he carried to his grandmother, and she promptly cooked them for dinner.


                            "Gracious!" thought Ableegumooch. "If that isn't an easy way to get a living. I can do that as well as Keoonik," and he invited the otter to be his guest at dinner on the following day. Then he hurried home.


                            "Come," he said to his grandmother, "we are going to move our lodge down to the river." And in spite of all she could say, he insisted on moving it. Noogumee reminded him that the wigwam was empty of food, and he ought to be out hunting, but Ableegumooch paid no attention. He was busy making a slide like Keoonik's. The weather was cold, so all he had to do was pour water down the snowy bank, where it soon froze, and there was his fishing slide. Early next day, the guest arrived. When it was time for dinner, Ableegumooch said to his grandmother:


                            "Noogumee, prepare the meal."


                            "There is nothing to prepare," said she, sadly.


                            "Oh, I will see to that," said the rabbit with a confident laugh, and he took his place at the top of the slide to go fishing. When he tried to push off, however, he found it was not so easy. His coat was rough and bulky and dry, not smooth and slippery like the otter's. He had to wriggle and push with his heels until at last he slid down and plunged into the water. The cold took his breath quite away, and he suddenly remembered he was unable to swim. Struggling and squealing, he thought no more of fishing, for he was in great danger of drowning.


                            "What on earth is the matter with him?" Keoonik asked the grandmother.


                            "I suppose he has seen someone else do that," sighed Noogumee, "and he thinks he can do it too."


                            Keoonik helped the freezing, half-drowned rabbit out of the water and, since there was nothing to eat, went home hungry and disgusted.


                            But do you think that cold bath cured Ableegumooch? Not at all. The very next day, as he ran idly through the forest, he came to the lodge of some female woodpeckers. He was delighted when these Antawaas invited him to dinner.


                            He watched eagerly to see how they found food.


                            One of the woodpeckers took a dish, went up the side of an old beech tree and quickly dug out a plentiful supply of food, which was cooked and placed before the rabbit.


                            "My, oh my!" thought Ableegumooch. "How easily some people get a living. What is to prevent me from getting mine in that fashion?" And he told the Antawaas they must come and dine with him.


                            On the day following, they appeared at the rabbit's lodge and Ableegumooch said to his grandmother importantly:


                            "Noogumee, prepare the meal."


                            "You foolish rabbit," said she, "there is nothing to prepare."


                            "Make the fire," said the rabbit grandly, "and I shall see to the rest."


                            He took the stone point from an eel spear and fastened it on his head in imitation of a woodpecker's bill, then climbed a tree and began knocking his head against it. Soon his head was bruised and bleeding, and he lost his hold and fell to the earth with a tremendous crash. The Antawaas could not keep from laughing.


                            "Pray what was he doing up there?"


                            "I suppose he has seen someone else do that," said Noogumee, shaking her head, "and thinks he can do it too." And she advised them to go home, as there would be no food for them there that day.


                            Now, sore as he was, you would certainly think the rabbit had learned his lesson. Yet, a day or two later, he was idling in the woods as usual when he came upon Mooin the Bear, who invited him to dinner. He was greatly impressed at the way in which the bear got his meal. Mooin merely took a sharp knife and cut small pieces off the soles of his feet. These he placed in a kettle on the fire, and in a short while they enjoyed a delicious meal.


                            "This must be the easiest way of all to get a dinner," marvelled Ableegumooch, and he invited Mooin to dine with him next day. Now what the rabbit did not know was that the bears preserve food on their feet. They press ripe blueberries with their paws and, after the cakes have dried upon them, cut bits off to eat. The silly rabbit thought Mooin had actually cut pieces off his paws!


                            At the appointed time, Ableegumooch ordered his grand mother to prepare the meal, and when she said there was nothing to prepare, he told her to put the kettle on and he would do the rest. Then he took a stone knife and began to cut at his feet as he had seen Mooin do. But oh dear me, it hurt. It hurt dreadfully! With tears streaming down his cheeks, he hacked and hacked, first at one foot and then at the other. Mooin the Bear was greatly astonished.


                            "What on earth is the fellow trying to do?" he asked.


                            Noogumee shook her head dismally.


                            "It is the same old thing. He has seen someone else do this."


                            "Well!" said Mooin crossly, "It is most insulting to be asked to dinner and get nothing to eat. The trouble with that fellow is-- he's lazy!" and he went home in a huff.


                            Then at last, Ableegumooch, nursing his sore feet, remembered what Glooscap had said. All at once, he saw how silly he had been.


                            "Oh dear!" he said. "My own ways of getting food are hard, but others' are harder. I shall stick to my own in the future," and he did.


                            From then on, the wigwam of Ableegumooch and his grandmother was always well stored with food, winter and summer, and though he still sings, his song has changed:


                            It's a wiser thing to be



                            Busy, busy



                            Constantly!


                            And far away on Blomidon, Glooscap, seeing his foolish rabbit mend his ways at last, set a light to his pipe and smoked contentedly.


                            From Native Lore Index

                          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.