This is a traditional story from the Ojibwa.
Coyote was walking along a lake and saw a flock of ducks, which put him in the mood for a good duck dinner. So he stuffed a bag full of grass and
walked past the ducks, stepping lively and singing a catchy tune. "Where are you going?" asked one of the ducks.
"I am going to a circle." replied Coyote. "What's in the bag?" asked the duck.
"Songs that I am bringing to the circle," replied Coyote.
"Oh, please sing your songs for us," the ducks all said. "I'm very busy."
"Please, please, please, please..." "I'm running late." "Please, please, please, please...." "Oh, alright.
"I'll sing a song for you, but I need your help. All of you stand in three lines. The fattest ones in the front, those in the middle who are neither fat nor
thin, and the thin ones in back.
"All of you close your eyes and dance and sing as loud as you can. Don't anyone open your eyes or stop singing, because my songs are very powerful
and if you do that you may go blind! Is everyone ready?" "We are!" replied the ducks, and they fell into lines and began dancing and singing along
with Coyote's tune.
Coyote moved up and down the line, thumping the ducks on the head and stuffing them into his bag. The ducks were singing and dancing so hard that
no one could hear the thumps or know what was happening.
This would have gone on till none were left, if not for one scraggly duck in the back who opened his eyes and saw what was going on. "Hey, he's
going to get us all!" cried the scraggly one.
At this, the other surviving ducks opened their eyes and made their getaway. Coyote wasn't too upset; he already had a lot of ducks in his bag. He
went home and ate good for a good while.
The ducks went home and mourned their dead, and gave thanks to The Great Duck that one of them had been wise enough to open his eyes. and that
the rest of them had been wise enough to listen to the one who gave warning.
|A Coyote Story
A Ojibwa Legend
Music: Eagle Dances With the Wind by Red Tail Chasing Hawks
|A Gust of Wind
A Ojibwa Legend
Before there was a man, two women, an old one and her daughter were the only humans on earth. The old woman had not needed a man in order to
conceive. Ahki, the earth, also was like a woman -female- but not as she is now, because trees and many animals had not yet been made.
Well, the young woman, the daughter, took her basket out one day to go berrying. She had gathered enough and was returning home when a sudden
gust of wind lifted her buckskin dress up high, baring her body. Geesis, the sun, shone on that spot for a short moment and entered the body of the
young woman, though she hardly noticed it. She was aware of the gust of wind but paid no attention.
Time passed. The young woman said to the old one: "I don't know what's wrong with me, but something it." More time passed. The young woman's
belly grew bigger, and she said: "something is moving inside me. What can it be?"
"When you were going berrying did you meet anyone?" the old woman asked.
"I met nobody. The only thing that happened was a big gust of wind which lifted my buckskin dress. The sun was shining."
The old woman said: "I think you're going to have a child. Geesis, the sun, is the only one who could have done it, so you will be the mother of a sun
The young woman gave birth to two boys, both manitos, supernaturals. They were the first human males on this earth -Geesis's sons, sons of the sun.
The young mother made cradleboards and put the twins in these hanging them up or carrying them on her back, but never letting the babies touch the
earth. Why didn't she? Did the Old Woman tell her not to? Nobody knows. If she had put the cradleboards on the ground, the babies would have
walked upright from the moment of their birth like deer babies. But because their mother would not let them touch earth for some months, it now
takes human babies a year or so to walk. It was that young woman's fault.
One of the twins was named Stone Boy, a rock. He said: "Put me in the fire and heat me up until I glow red hot." They did, and he said: "Now pout
cold water over me." They did this also. That was the first sweat bath. The other boy, named Wene-boozhoo, looked like all human boys. He became
mighty and could do anything; he even talked to the animals and gave them their names.
This story is about the Crow.
Andek when the Great Spirit was creating the flyers of creation. All the flyers had great purpose. The Eagle was to be the peoples messenger of the
prayers and thanks. The Hawk too was a messenger of the peoples needs and good medicine. The Loon was the teacher of love and relationships.
Andek (the crow) however was without purpose.
He had no special color, nor had he the powerful wings of the Eagle. So he flew around looking for purpose, like many people today are doing. So
Andek visited Mkwa (the bear) and requested the bear to teach him of his ways. Mkwa did and eventually Andek got bored and unsatisfied with
Mkwa. For some reason the ways of the bear didn't fit with him. So Andek went off and sought a new way and hopefully would find purpose. The
beaver, the loon, the wolf, the coyote, the fish, all of creation he learned from. And still no purpose nor satisfaction with life.
Then came the day where Andek heard Idiom (squirrel) crying in a hole of the oak. So he flew to Idiom and asked, "Hi Idiom, what troubles your
heart today?" Idiom says to Andek, "I am sad and feeling drained about my life" so Andek advised Jitimo to visit Mkwa for some medicine for his
health, and then they went to visit turtle here turtle was a great helper in finding ones heart of the problem. Turtle travels slow and is paced in all
matters never missing a thing. And sure enough Jitimo felt balanced and returned to its purpose with vigor and refreshed spirit.
Andek flew around the bush feeling great about what had happened. Then there was another cry in the woods...sure enough Andek went to
investigate. Rabbit was crying in its hole.
Andek asked it, "Waboose what troubles you today?" "I wanna die Andek (sob, sob)." "What is it that has brought you to such ends?" Waboose was
crying about Wagoosh (fox) and how there is no peace with wagosh around. So Andek listened like he learned from turtle and then told Waboose its
purpose for its legs and long ears...Why a permanent solution for a temporary problem. "Waboose surely you can out run Wagoosh." "Yes,"
Waboose thought to it self... "I can and I will feel good about it too"...."Thank you Andek."
As time went on as it does....The word traveled all across the lands...about this Flyer whom was born without purpose, so it thought...However the
purpose was found when Andek traveled and made friends with all of creation.
Andek to many of us is our traveling companion....always reminding us that with work and dedication the purpose you look for is always ahead of
you. You will not find your purpose is you sit on your path, however it will meet you ahead, in the meantime create good connections and work with
spirit of friendship and before you know it.
You become your purpose as did Andek. Walk your path and I guarantee you that You will meet that purpose. You can walk up, down, left, right, it
makes no difference as long as you walk forward. Always forward.
|Chi Ca Go
An Ojibwa Legend
Once an Ottawan hunter and his wife lived on the shores of Lake Michigan. Then the hunters went south, toward the end of the lake, to hunt. When
he reached the lake where he had caught Beaver the year before, it was still covered with ice. Then he tapped the ice to find the thinner places where the
Beaver families lived. He broke holes at these weaker points in the ice, and went to his wigwam to get his traps.
Now the hunter's wife chanced to pass one of these holes and saw a Beaver on the ice. She caught it by the tail and called to the hunter to come and kill
it quickly, before it could get back into the water. "No," said the hunter, "if I kill this Beaver, the others will become frightened. They will escape from
the lake by other openings in the ice."
Then the woman became angry, and they quarreled. When the sun was near setting, the hunter went out on the ice again, to set more traps. When he
returned to his tepee, his wife had gone. He thought she had gone to make a visit. The next morning she had not returned, and he saw her footprints.
So he followed her trail to the south.
As he followed her trail, he saw that the footprints gradually changed. At last they became the trail of a skunk. The trail ended in a marsh, and many
skunks were in that marsh. Then he returned to his people. And he called the place, "The Place of the Skunk." Between Milwaukee and Chicago, going
south where Chicago now stands.
|Cloud Catcher and the Moon Woman
An Ojibwa Legend
Here is the myth of Endymion and Diana, as told on the shores of Saginaw Bay, in Michigan, by Indians who never heard of Greeks. Cloud Catcher, a
handsome youth of the Ojibways, offended hid family by refusing to fast during the ceremony of his coming of age, and was put out of the paternal
wigwam. It was so fine a night that the sky served him well as a roof, and he had a boy's confidence in his ability to make a living, and something of
fame and fortune, maybe. He dropped upon a tuft of moss to plan for his future, and drowsily noted the rising of the moon in which he seemed to see a
face. On awakening he found that it was not yet day, yet the darkness was half dispelled by light that rayed from a figure near him --the form of a
"Cloud Catcher, I have come for you," she said. And as she turned away he felt impelled to rise and follow. But, instead of walking, she began to move
into the air with the flight of an eagle, and, endowed with a new power, he too ascended beside her. The earth was dim and vast below, stars blazed as
they drew near them, yet the radiance of the woman seemed to dull their glory. Presently they passed through a gate of clouds and stood on a beautiful
plain, with crystal ponds and brooks watering noble trees and leagues of flowery meadow; birds of brightest colors darted here and there, singing like
flutes; the very stones were agate, jasper and chalcedony. An immense lodge stood on the plain, and within were embroideries and ornaments,
couches of rich furs, pipes and arms cut from jasper and tipped with silver. While the young man was gazing around him with delight, the brother of
his guide appeared and reproved her, advising her to send the young man back to earth at once, but, she flatly refused to do so, he gave a pipe and bow
and arrows to Cloud Catcher, as a token of his consent to their marriage, and wished them happiness, which, in fact, they had.
This brother, who was commanding, tall, and so dazzling in his gold and silver ornaments that one could hardly look upon him, was abroad all day,
while his sister was absent for a part of the night. He permitted Cloud Catcher to go with him on one of his daily walks, and as they crossed the lovely
Sky Land they glanced down through open valley bottoms on the green earth below. The rapid pace they struck gave to Cloud Catcher an appetite and
he asked if there were no game. "Patience," counseled his companion. On arriving at a spot where a large hole had been broken through the sky they
reclines on mats, and the tall man loosing one of his silver ornaments flung it into a group of children playing before a lodge. One of the little ones fell
and was carried within, amid lamentations. Then the villagers left their sports and labors and looked up at the sky. The tall man cried, in a voice of
thunder, "Offer a sacrifice and the child shall be well again." A white dog was killed, roasted, and in a twinkling it shot up the feet of Cloud Catcher,
who, being empty, attacked it voraciously.
Many such walks and feasts came after, and the sights of earth and taste of meat filled the mortal with longing to see his people again. He told his wife
that he wanted to go back. She consented, after a time, saying, "Since you are better pleased with the cares, the ills, the labor, and the poverty of the
world than with the comfort and abundance of Sky Land, you may return; but remember you are still my husband, and beware how you venture to
take an earthly maiden for a wife."
She arose lightly, clasped Cloud Catcher by the wrist, and began to move with him through the air. The motion lulled him and he fell asleep, waking at
the door of his father's lodge.
His relatives gathered and gave him welcome, and he learned that he had been in the sky for a year. He took the privatations of a hunter's and
warrior's life less kindly than he thought to, and after a time he enlivened its monotony by taking to wife a bright-eyed girl of his tribe. In four days
she was dead. The lesson was unheeded and he married again. Shortly after, he stepped from his lodge one evening and never came back. The woods
were filled with a strange radiance on that night, and it is asserted that Cloud Catcher was taken back to the lodge of the Sun and Moon, and is now
content to live in heaven.
|How The Bat Came To Be
An Ojibwa Legend
Long ago, as the sun began to rise one morning, he came to close to Earth and got tangled up in the top branches of a very tall tree.
The harder Sun tried to escape, the more he became caught. So, the dawn did not come.
At first, all of the birds and animals did not notice. Some of them woke up, then went back to sleep, thinking that they had made a mistake, and it was
not time to get up.
Other animals, who loved the night, like the panther and the owl, were really glad that it stayed dark, so they continued to hunt.
But, after a while, so much time had passed that the birds and animals knew that something was wrong.
They gathered together, in the dark, to hold council.
"Sun has gotten lost," said the eagle.
"We must look for him," said the bear.
So, all of the birds and animals went out to look for Sun.
They looked in caves and in the deep forest and on the mountains and in the swamps.
But, Sun was not there. None of the birds and animals could find him.
Then, one of the animals, a small brown squirrel had an idea. "Maybe Sun is caught in a tall tree," he said.
Then, the small brown squirrel began to go from tree to tree, going further and further toward the east. At last, in the top of a very tall tree, he saw a
glow of light.
He climbed up and saw that it was Sun. Sun's light was pale and he looked weak.
"Help me, Little Brother," Sun said.
The small brown squirrel came close and began to chew at the branches in which Sun was caught. The closer he came to Sun, the hotter it got. The
more branches that he chewed free, the brighter Sun's light became.
"I must stop now," said the small brown squirrel. "My fur is burning. It'd all turning black."
"Help me," said Sun. "Don't stop now."
The small brown squirrel continued to work, but the heat of Sun was very hot now and it was even brighter. "My tail is burning away," said the small
brown squirrel. "I can do no more."
"Help me," said Sun. "Soon I will be free."
So, the small brown squirrel continued to chew. But, the light of Sun was very bright now.
"I am growing blind," said the small brown squirrel. "I must stop."
"Just a little more," said Sun. "I am almost free."
Finally, the small brown squirrel chewed the last of the branches free.
As soon as he did, Sun broke free and rose up into the sky.
Dawn spread across the land and it was day again. All over the world the birds and animals rejoiced.
But, the small brown squirrel was not happy. He was blinded by the brightness of Sun. His long tail had been burned away and what fur he had left
was now all black.
His skin had stretched from the heat and he clung there to the top branches of that tall tree, unable to move.
Up in the sky, Sun looked down and felt sorry for the small brown squirrel. It had suffered so much to save him.
"Little Brother," Sun said. "You have helped me. Now, I will give you something. Is there anything that you have always wanted?"
"I have always wanted to fly," said the small brown squirrel. "But I am blinded now, and my tail is all burned away."
Sun smiled. "Little Brother," he said, "from now on you will be an even better flier than the birds. Because you came to close to me, my light will
always be too bright for you, but you will see in the dark and you will hear everything around you as you fly.
From this time on, you will sleep when I rise into the sky and when I say goodbye to the world each evening, you will wake."
Then the small animal which had once been a squirrel dropped from the branch, spread its leathery wings and began to fly.
He no longer missed his tail and his brown fur and he knew that when night came again, it would be his time. He could look at Sun, but he held the joy
of Sun in his heart.
And so it was, long ago, that Sun showed his thanks to the small brown squirrel, who was a squirrel no longer, but the first of the Bats.
|How the Beaver Got His Tail
An Ojibwa Legend
Once upon a time there was a beaver that loved to brag about his tail. One day while taking a walk, the beaver stopped to talk to a bird. The beaver
said to the bird, "Don't you love my fluffy tail?"
"Why, yes I do little beaver," replied the bird.
"Don't you wish your feathers were as fluffy as my tail? Don't you wish your feathers were as strong as my tail? Don't you wish your feathers were
just as beautiful as my tail?" the beaver asked.
"Why do you think so much of your tail, little beaver?" asked the bird. This insulted the beaver and he walked away.
After walking for a while, he stopped for a drink by the river and saw a muskrat. He walked to the muskrat and said, "Hello little muskrat. What do
you think about my tail?"
"Well, it is very beautiful and big and fluffy," answered the muskrat. "Is it also a strong tail?"
"Why, yes it is," the beaver answered. "Do you wish you had a tail like mine?"
"I didn't say I wanted a tail like yours. I just asked if it was strong," the muskrat replied with a disgusted voice.
The beaver quickly turned and began walking back to his dam. He was angry because he felt that the animals were being rude to him. He was very
upset and decided to take out his frustration by cutting down trees. After cutting down a couple of trees, he came to a very large one. He knew that it
would be a great challenge for him. So he went to it. But as he was cutting, he kept thinking about his tail and didn't notice that he was cutting at a bad
angle. Before he knew what was happening, the tree began to fall toward him. He jumped to get out of the way, but he didn't jump fast enough, and the
huge tree fell on his beautiful tail! He tugged and pulled and finally dug away the earth to free himself. When he finally pulled his tail from under the
tree, he was horrified to see that it was flat. The beaver was very sad and started to cry. As he was crying he heard a voice. It was the Creator.
"Why are you crying?" asked the Creator.
"A tree has crushed my beautiful tail," the beaver cried. "Now no one will like me."
The Creator told him that a beaver is not liked for his tail but for his kindness and wisdom. He also told him how to use his flat tail. "Now your tail will
help you swim rapidly," the Creator said. "And when you want to signal a message to a friend, all you have to do is slap your tail on the water."
Hearing this made the beaver happy again. When the animals saw his flattened tail they were shocked! But the beaver said, "It's better this way."
From that day on, the beaver never bragged about his tail, and all the animals liked him.
That's how the beaver got his flat tail.
|How the Rabbit Lost His Tail
A Ojibwa Legend
You have heard how Glooscap came to rule over the Wabanaki and how he made the animals, and how at first some of them were treacherous and
disobedient. In time, however, he gave posts of honor to those whom he could trust, and they were proud to be Glooscap's servants. Two dogs became
his watchmen, and the loon his messenger and tale-bearer. And, because the rabbit had the kindest heart of all the animals in the forest, Glooscap made
Ableegumooch his forest guide.
And in those days Ableegumooch the Rabbit was a very different animal than he is today. His body was large and round, his legs were straight and
even, and he had a long bushy tail. He could run and walk like other animals, not with a hop-hop-hop as he does today.
One day in springtime, when the woods were carpeted with star flowers and lilies-of-the-valley, and the ferns were waist-high, Ableegumooch lay
resting beside a fallen log. Hearing a rustle on the path, he peered around his log to see who was coming. It was Uskool the Fisher, a large animal of
the weasel tribe, and he was weeping.
"What is the matter with him," wondered the rabbit, who was inquisitive as well as soft-hearted. He popped his head up over the log and Uskool nearly
jumped out of his fur with surprise. "It's only me --Ableegumooch," said the rabbit. "Do you mind telling me why you are crying?"
"Oh, greetings, Ableegumooch," sighed Uskool, when he had recovered from his fright. "I'm going to my wedding."
"And that makes you cry?" asked the astonished rabbit.
"Of course not," said Uskool. "I've lost my way, that's the trouble."
"Well, just take your time," said the rabbit sensibly, "and you'll soon find it again."
"But I have no time to spare," groaned the fisher. "My future father-in-law has sworn that if I do not arrive for the wedding by sunset today, he will
marry his daughter to Kakakooch the Crow. And, look, already the sun is low in the sky."
"In that case," said Ableegumooch, "I'd better show you the way. Where are you going?"
"To a village called Wilnech," said Uskool eagerly, "near the bend in the river!"
"I know it well," said the rabbit. "Just follow me."
"Thanks, Ableegumooch," cried the happy fisher. "Now I shall be sure to arrive in time."
So off they went on their journey. Uskool, who was not very quick on the ground, being more accustomed to travel in the trees, moved slowly.
"You go ahead," he told the impatient rabbit, "and I'll follow as fast as I can."
So Ableegumooch ran ahead, and sometimes all Uskool could see of him was his long bushy tail whisking through the trees. So it was that Uskool,
looking far ahead and not watching where he stepped, fell suddenly headfirst into a deep pit.
His cries soon brought Ableegumooch running back, and seeing the fisher's trouble, he cried out cheerfully, "Never mind. I'll get you out."
He let his long tail hang down inside the pit.
"Catch hold, and hang on tight, while I pull."
Uskool held on to the rabbit's tail, and Ableegumooch strained mightily to haul him up. Alas, the weight of the fisher was too great. With a loud snap,
the rabbit's tail broke off short, within an inch of the root, and there was poor Ableegumooch with hardly any tail at all!
Now you would think that this might have discouraged the rabbit from helping Uskool, but not so. When Ableegumooch made up his mind to do
something for somebody, he did it. Holding on to a stout tree with his front paws, he lowered his hinder part into the pit.
"Take hold of my legs," he cried, "and hang on tight. I'll soon pull you out."
Ableegumooch pulled and he pulled until his waist was drawn out thin, and he could feel his hind legs stretching and stretching --and soon he feared he
might lose them too. But at last, just as he thought he must give up, the fisher's head rose above the edge of the pit and scrambled to safety.
"Well!" said the rabbit as he sat down to catch his breath. "My waist isn't so round as it was, and my hind legs seem a good bit longer than they were. I
believe it will make walking rather difficult."
And sure enough, it did. When the rabbit tried to walk, he tumbled head over heels. Finally, to get along at all, he had to hop.
"Oh, well," said the rabbit, "hopping is better than nothing," and after a little practice, he found he could hop quite fast. And so they hurried on through
At last, just before the sun touched the rim of the trees, they arrived at the bride's village. All the fishers were gathered, waiting, and they smiled and
cheered at sight of Uskool and his guide --all but Kakakooch the Crow, who was far from glad to see them! In fact, as soon as he saw Uskool take the
bride's hand, he flew out of the village in a temper, and never came back again. But nobody cared about him.
Ableegumooch was the most welcome guest at the wedding when Uskool told the other fishers what he had done. All was feasting and merriment, and
the rabbit danced with the bride so hard she fell into a bramble bush and tore her gown. She was in a dreadful state when she found she was not fit to be
seen in company, and ran to hide behind a tree. The rabbit was terribly sorry and wanted to help her, so he hopped away to get a caribou skin he had
seen drying in the sun, and made a new dress out of it for the bride.
"You must have a fine girdle to go with it," said he, and he cut a thin strip off the end of the skin. Then he put one end of the strip in his mouth and held
the other end with his front paws, twisting the strip into a fancy cord. He twisted and twisted, and he twisted it so hard the cord snapped out of his teeth
and split his upper lip right up to his nose! And now you see why it is that rabbits are hare lipped!
"Never mind," said Ableegumooch, when the bride wept at his mishap, "it can't be helped," and he gave her the cord just as it was, to tie around her waist
"Wait right here," said the bride, and she ran off. In a moment she was back, carrying a lovely white fur coat.
"This is for you," she said shyly. "It is the color of the snow, so if you wear it in winter, your enemies will not be able to see you."
Ableegumooch was delighted with his present and promised not to put it on till the snow came, as his brown coat would hide him better in summer. The
wedding was over now, and he said good-bye to Uskool and the bride, and started for home.
Now it happened that before h e had gone far, he came to a small pool in the woods, so smooth it was like a mirror. Looking into it, the rabbit saw
himself for the first time since his accidents, and was aghast. Was this he --this creature with the split lip, the hind legs stretched out of shape, and a tail
like a blob of down?
"Oh dear, oh dear," sobbed Ableegumooch, "how can I face my friends looking like this?" Then, in his misery, he remembered Glooscap, his Master. "O
Master! See what has happened to your poor guide. I'm not fit to be seen any more, except to laugh at. Please put me back to my former shape."
High up on Blomidon, Glooscap heard the rabbit and came striding down from his lodge to see what was wrong. When he saw poor Ableegumooch, all
out of shape, he had all he could do to keep from laughing, though of course he kept a sober face so as not to hurt the rabbit's feelings.
"Come now," he said, "things may not be as bad as you think. You know how fond you are of clover, Ableegumooch?"
The rabbit nodded piteously.
"And you know how hard it is to find. With, with that long cleft in your lip, you will be able to smell clover even when it is miles away!'
"That's good," said the rabbit, cheering up a little, "but it's very uncomfortable having to hop everywhere I go."
"Perhaps, for a time," said Glooscap, "but have you noticed how much faster you hop than you used to run?"
The rabbit did a little hop, and a jump or two, just to see.
"Why I believe you're right!" he cried, but then his face fell again. "But my tail, Master! I mind that most of all. I was so proud of it."
"It was certainly a handsome tail," admitted the Great Chief, "but recall how it used to catch in thorns and brambles."
"That's true!" cried the rabbit, excitedly, "and it was very awkward when Wokwes the Fox was chasing me! Now I can slip through the narrowest
places with no trouble at all!" And he laughed with delight. "Why --with my new legs, my cleft lip, and without my long tiresome tail, I'm a better
rabbit than I was before!"
"So you are!" said Glooscap, and at last he was able to laugh. When Glooscap laughs heartily, the land shakes and the trees bend over, so the rabbit had
to hold on tightly to a tree to keep from being knocked over. "So you are indeed!" laughed Glooscap.
And that is why the rabbit and the rabbit's children, and his children's children have had, ever since that day, a little white scut of a tail, a cleft lip, and
long hind legs on which they can hop all day and never tire. And since then, too, in winter, rabbits wear white coats.
And thus, kespeadooksit --the story ends.
|In the Beginning
A Ojibwa Legend
In the beginning there was nothing but soft darkness, and Raven beat and beat with his wings until the darkness packed itself down into solid earth.
Then there was only the icy black ocean and a narrow strip of shoreline. But people came soon to live along the coast. And Raven felt sorry for them,
poor, sickly things, who never had any sunshine. They lived by chewing on nuts and leaves, and crushed the roots of the alder trees for something to
"I must help them," thought Raven; and he flew down to Earth, calling, "Ga, ga, ga!" and gathered the people together. Like ghosts, they were, shadowy
and pale in the misty darkness.
"Raven has come!" they told each other. "It is Raven-Who-Sets-Things-Right."
The poor things were encouraged, and they gathered round to see what he would do.
Raven plucked a branch from an alder, and scattered the leaves on the surface of a pool. At once the leaves were sucked under, and the water started to
bubble. After the pool had boiled for a moment, the surface cleared and fish began to jump there. So that was how Raven gave the people fish.
But now that they had fish to eat, they were thirstier than ever. They called on Raven, and down he came, and the people said, "Here is
Raven knew that there was only one spring of fresh water in all the world. A man named Ganook had built his house around it, and refused to give any
"Maybe," thought Raven, "I can drink enough to carry some back to the people."
So he went to the house and asked to come in, and Ganook was very glad to have his company. Raven sat down and made polite conversation, and
pretty soon he asked for a drink of water.
"Very well," said Ganook grudgingly, and showed him the spring, a crystal pool welling up in a basin of rock.
"Don't drink it all!" Ganook warned him. "You know that's the only fresh water in all the world."
Raven knew it well; that was what he had come for. But he said, "Just a sip!" and drank until he staggered.
"Hold on there, Raven!" cried Ganook. "Are you trying to drink the well dry?"
That was just what Raven was trying to do, but he passed it off lightly. He made himself comfortable close to the fire and said, "Ganook, let me tell you
Then Raven started out on a long dull story about four dull brothers who went on a long dull journey. As he went along he made up dull things to add
to it, and Ganook's eyelids drooped, and Raven spoke softly, and more and more slowly, and Ganook's chin dropped on his chest.
"So then," said Raven gently, with his eyes on Ganook, "on and on through the long gray valley through the soft gray fog went the four tall gray
brothers. And now, snore!" And Ganook began to snore.
Quick as a thought, Raven darted to the spring and stuck his beak into the water. But no sooner had he lifted his head to swallow than Ganook started
up with a terrible snort, and said, "Go on, go on, I'm listening! I'm not asleep." Then he shook his head and blinked his eyes and said, "Where are you
Raven? What are you doing?"
"Just walking around for exercise," Raven assured him, and back he went, and in a low, unchanging voice he went on with the dull story of the four
brothers. No sooner had he started than Ganook began to nod, and his chin dropped down, and he jerked it back and opened his eyes and scowled at
Raven, and nodded his head and said, "Go on! What next?" and his head dropped down upon his chest.
"So on and on," said Raven slowly, "over the hills, went the four tall gray brothers. The air was thick and gray around them. Fog was stealing softly
over the mountains. Fog before them, fog behind them, soft, cloudy fog. And now, snore!" And Ganook began to snore.
Quietly raven slipped to the spring, and, glub, glub, glub, he drank up the water until the pool was dry. But as he lifted his head for a last long gulp,
Ganook leaped up and saw what he was doing.
"So, Raven!" shouted Ganook. "You think you can lull me to sleep and steal my water!"
He picked up his club and started to chase Raven around and around the fire. Raven would run a few steps and flap his big wings and rise a few inches
off the floor. Then with a last tremendous flap he went sailing towards the open smoke hole. But he had swallowed so much water that he stuck fast in
the opening, and there he struggled, while Ganook shouted, "You squint-eyed Raven, I've got you now, Raven! You miserable thief!" And Ganook
threw green alder logs on the fire and made a great smoke which came billowing up and almost choked Raven to death.
Raven hung there, strangling and struggling, until at last he pulled free with a mighty wrench and went wobbling heavily across the sky.
He was so heavy he flew in a crooked line, and as he flew he spurted little streams of water from his bill. ?These became rivers, first the Nass and the
Sitka, then the Taku and the Iskut and and the Stikine. Since Raven flew in a crooked line, all the rivers are crooked as snakes. Here and there he
scattered single drops, and these became narrow creeks and salmon pools.
And so Raven brought fresh water to the people but he bore the mark of that smoke hole ever after. He had gone to Ganook as a great white, snowy
creature, but from that day on, Raven was black, as black as the endless sky of the endless night.
|Jingle Dress Origin
A Ojibwa Legend
This story was passed on from generation to generation in the Ojibway Nation and it came as a vision.
An elderly man had a daughter who was very sick. He prayed and offered tobacco to his creator for his daughter to get well. A vision came to him to
make his daughter a dress (a jingle dress) made of jingles. She was to wear this dress to make her well.
In the Ojibway Tribe from the Lake of the Woods area this is called "Odiizioon". That means it is something given through a vision for a particular
person from the spirit world. They were instructed to prepare a feast for the dress to give thanks to the Creator.
This jingle dress is held very highly in the Ojibway Nation. It is very sacred because of its origin and purpose it was given. Because it was given in this
manner it is to be treated with respect.
A Ojibwa Legend
A certain village was visited by a dreaded disease. Even the medicine man died; and with his death all hope vanished.
Although the delivery of messages in winter was unheard of and had never before been attempted the chief asked his mizhinihway (messenger) to go to
the next village for some medicines.
In those days each chief had a messenger who delivered notices and messages to distant places. Journeys even is summer were difficult; unheard of
during the winter when there were no moccasins.
Nevertheless Koo-Koo-Lee prepared to go. But like the rest, he too fell ill. His wife, anxious for his life, left the lodge and slipped out into the cold.
Oblivious to the cold, almost indifferent to the snow crusts, and anxious only to get medicines for her husband and the people of her village,
Koo-Koo-Lee's wife ran swiftly over the drifts.
The next morning the people of the village were startled to hear her cries coming from the forest. "Koo-Koo-Lee; come and get me."
Men and women recognizing her voice ran out into the forest where they found her lying in the snow, her feet swollen and bleeding from frost bite, but
with the medicines in her bundle for her husband and the rest of the sick people in the village. The men carried her back to her lodge and wrapped her
feet in thick warm deer skins.
For her sacrifice to her husband and devotion to her people, she was named thereafter Wah-on-nay. On her death her foot wrappings became little
flowers of yellow, called by some Wah-on-nay moccasinum; by others Koo-Koo-Lee moccasinum. they are also known as Lady's Slippers.
|Legend of the Mountain Ash Berries
A Ojibwa Lengend
In late autumn or winter one will see an entirely different kind of tree dotted here and there among the green pines and spruce. These are Mountain Ash
trees covered in a mass of brilliant red berries. The more berries on the tree, the more severe the winter will be. Why is this so? Legends relates that
many years ago, even before Canada had a name, a severe and terrible winter set in. Snowdrifts formed in great heights and temperatures dropped to
extraordinary degrees below zero.
While in search of food, the Indian hunters became terrified when they came upon hundreds of birds and small animals lying dead on the frozen snow
banks. Immediately they banded together in great numbers and offered prayers to the Great Manitou, and they were frightened that the same evil
spirits would destroy them also.
The great-Spirit answered them by instructing them to take one drop of blood from every dead bird and small animal and smear it on the tree that
meant life and death to their people. As the Mountain Ash was the tree whence they fashioned bows and arrows, their only means of survival, they
chose it and set about as Manitou had made them do. The following morning every tree they had smeared bore thousands of berries. The birds and
small animals that had survived were perched on the Mountain Ash branches eating the life-giving food.
The happy Indians danced late into the night, giving thanks to Manitou, who in return gave his promise that whenever a cold winter was approaching
again, he would cover these trees with food.
|Legend of the Northern Lights
A Ojibwa Legend
Many of us who live in the Northern areas of the American Continent have had the delightful experience of watching the magnificent display of moving
muti-coloured, misty lights, as they flash across the night skies.
A number of theories and explanations have been advanced for this natural phenomenon known as the "Aurora Borealis" or "Northern Lights", but let
us travel in our minds, back through the eons of time and discover how they really came into being. We are in a world that spins in a perfect vertical
position upon its axis. The moderate temperature is about the same all over its surface and beautiful vegetation is everywhere.
As we return through time, we witness the great Flood where everything becomes submerged and finally lost. As the waters gradually recede their
tremendous weight throws our planet off its balance and it now tilts to one side, thus causing long dark periods in the North and South.
Not quite all is lost however, for in the North lived a simple and God-fearing race of people, known to us now as the "Mongols", whom the Great
Manitou (their name for God) had spared from this great deluge.
When they could no longer see the Sun and feel its warmth, fear came upon them and they prayed to the Great Manitou to save them. In his compassion,
the Great Spirit decided to take them to the warm and fertile plains of this Continent and he bade them gather together their families and what goods they
good carry and trek across the barren North to the "New Land".
Because there was no daylight many became lost and perished within the deep crevices caused by the flood waters.
Again they prayed for help and the Great Manitou devised a plan. Covering the Northern cap of the world with great crystals of ice, some as high as
mountains, he was able to capture the rays of the hidden sun and reflect them up into the sky, thus providing light for his people to see by. Onward these
stalwart people trekked, and became the forerunners of our many Indian tribes.
The great ice prisms split the sun's rays into all the beautiful colors of the spectrum and because of this, people for thousands of years have witnessed this
wonderful miracle, the Northern Lights!
|Okishkimonisse Saves the Summer Birds
A Ojibwa Legend
A great many years ago, a giant found that he could make the winter stay in the north country all year long if he put the birds of summer in cages. When
the time came for the weather to turn warm, there was no change. It stayed very, very cold. There were no wrens or robins, no woodpeckers, larks,
finches, nor any of the other birds that returned to the land of the Ojibwa during the spring and summer.
In the north, the Ojibwa people were in misery. All they could think of were the warm summer months, as they shivered all day long in the cold. There
was very little food left. The animals tried to eat bark from the aspen tree as they had seen the beaver do, but they discovered this was a poor substitute
for their regular diets.
Finally, the Indians and the animals gathered together in Council. They were determined to find the summer birds and make them return to the north,
bring the summer weather with them. However, out of all the men and animals, it was the small fisher (Okishkimonisse) who finally offered to go and
find the one causing all these problems and bring the summer birds back.
The next day, Okishkimonisse started out on his journey, taking only a small ball of wax to use as a weapon. Day after day, he flew southward, the
direction he had watched the summer birds fly when they left the year before. He traveled a full moon before he finally reached the home of the giant. The
giant was asleep, when Okishkimonisse arrived, but he had posted two crows as guards.
Now. Okishkimonisse was able to move quietly, and before the crows knew it, the fisher had dropped down on them, clamped their bills shut, and sealed
them tightly with the ball of wax. This kept the crows from calling out to the giant.
Then quietly, so as to not make a sound, Okishkimonisse crept inside to where the cages of the summer birds were kept. One by one, he opened the bird's
cages. The birds tested their wings after their long captivity and as soon as they began to fan the air, it began to get warm. The snow melted and the
plants began to break through the earth. As the birds flew northward, they brought summer to the waiting Indian people along the way. When the birds
finally arrived in the north country, the Ojibwa people knew that the fisher had succeeded in his mission.
Now, the giant had slept through all of this. But, eventually, the summer's heat had caused the wax on the crow's bills to melt. Suddenly, the birds called
out to their master.
"the summer birds!" they cawed. "Okishkimonisse has opened their cages and let them all escape!"
The giant was up in an instant and was soon chasing Okishkimonisse with his bow and arrow.
He chased the fisher up a rocky hillside, overlooking a beautiful green valley. When he reached the edge of the cliff, the fisher jumped and flew towards
the sky. The giant followed, aiming his arrow as he left the ground. The arrow hit the bird, but only wounded him.
Today, the fisher flies high in the sky, but he still has a crooked tail. When white men see the sharp bend in the Big Dipper, they are actually seeing the
spot where the arrow his Okishkimonisse's tail.
A woman wearing a red scarf, a black dress, and a white apron was cooking in her kitchen early one morning when an old man approached her. :May I
have some bread, please?" he asked. "Sure," she said.
The woman had just prepared a big batch of dough to make fry bread (a traditional Ojibwe bread), so she put a nice big piece of dough in the fry pan. It
turned out to be a really nice piece and she thought, "I can't give him this one --it's much too nice." For the second piece, she put a smaller amount of
dough in the pan. Well, this piece turned out much better than the first and she thought, "Oh, this one is also too nice to give to this old man." So, she
started on a third piece. This time, she put barely any dough in the pan. When it was ready, she was very surprised, for this piece had turned out even
more beautiful than all the others.
Finally, the old man asked, "Is there any bread yet?" So she threw some crumbs in the pan and they produced by far the most beautiful piece of fry bread.
This made her angry. "Quit beggind," she cried. "Get out of here! You can't have any of my bread!" The old man stopped begging all right. He stomped
his foot a few times and said. "From now on you're going to have to hunt and search for your food." And he turned the woman into a woodpecker.
|Princess of the Mist
A Ojibwa Legend
More enchanting, then the rushing, swirling water, and the crystal studded mist rising from the great gorge, it the story of a lovely Indian princess.
A peace-loving chieftain, White Bear, of the Ojibway encampment learned the Sioux were about to destroy his tribe. Too old to go to battle himself, the old
chief's distress led his daughter, Princess Green Mantle, to devise a plan.
The princess paddled her canoe up the Kaministiquia, to a point well above the waterfall. She walked boldly into the camp of her enemies and at once they
captured her and planned to put her to death. Pretending to be lost and frightened, she bargained with them to spare her life in return for leading them to
her father's camp.
The Sioux agreed and the following morning the young princess was placed in the lead canoe and the great band of Sioux, with their canoes tied together,
set out for the Ojibway camp. Green Mantle did not tell them of the falls, and as they swiftly turned the bend of the river, they plunged into the great forge.
Along with the Sioux warriors, the Princess lost her life, but her tribe was spared the torture of the most feared of all the tribes. The Great Manitou looked
kindly upon the brave deed of the Princess.
Today, if one walks along the river bank to the point of the falls, the figure of Green Mantle can be seen in the mist, standing as a monument to the
memory of the courageous Princess who gave her life for her people.
|Rabbit and Fox
A Ojibwa Legend
One winter Rabbit was going along through the snow when he saw Fox. It was too late to hide, for Fox had caught Rabbit's scent.
"I am Ongwe Ias, the one who eats you!" barked Fox. "You cannot escape me!"
Rabbit began to run for his life. He ran as fast as he could around trees and between rocks, making a great circle in the hope that he would lose Fox. But
when he looked back he saw that Fox was gaining on him. "I am Ongwe Ias," Fox barked. "You cannot escape."
Rabbit knew that he had to use his wits. He slipped off his moccasins and said, "Run ahead of me." The moccasins began to run, leaving tracks in the
snow. Then, using his magic power, Rabbit made himself look like a dead, half-rotten rabbit and lay down by the trail.
When Fox came to the dead rabbit, h did not even stop to sniff at it. "This meat has gone bad," he said. Then, seeing the tracks that led on through the
snow he took up the chase again and finally caught up with Rabbit's old moccasins.
"Hah," Fox snarled, "this time he has fooled me. Next time I will eat the meat no matter how rotten it looks." He began to backtrack. Just as he expected
when he came to the place where the dead rabbit had been, it was gone. There were tracks leading away through the bushes, and Fox began to follow
He hadn't gone far when he came upon an old woman sitting by the trail. In front of her was a pot, and she was making stew.
"Sit down, grandson," she said. "Have some of this good stew."
Fox sat down. "Have you seen a rabbit go by?"
"Yes," said the old woman, handing him a beautifully carved wooden bowl filled with hot stew. "I saw a very skinny rabbit go by. There was no flesh on
his bones, and he looked old and tough."
"I am going to eat that rabbit," said Fox.
"Indeed?" said the old woman. "You will surely do so, for the rabbit looked tired and frightened. He must have known you were close behind him. Now
eat the good stew I have given you."
Fox began to eat and, as he did so, he looked at the old woman. "Why do you wear those two tall feathers on your head, old woman?" he asked.
"These feathers?" said the old woman. "I wear them to remind me of my son who is a hunter. Look behind you --here he comes now."
Fox turned to look and, as he did so, the old woman threw off her blankets and leaped high in the air. She went right over Fox's head and hit him hard
with big stick that had been hidden under the blankets.
When Fox woke up his head was sore. He looked for the stew pot, but all he could see was a hollow stump. He looked for the wooden soup bowl, but all he
could find was a folded piece of bark with mud and dirty water in it. All around him were rabbit tracks. "So, he has fooled me again," Fox said. "It will be
the last time." He jumped up and began to follow the tracks once more.
Before he had gone far he came to a man sitting by the trail. The man held a turtle-shell rattle in his hand and was dressed as a medicine man.
"Have you seen a rabbit go by?" asked Fox.
"Indeed," said the medicine man, "and he looked sick and weak."
"I am going to eat that rabbit," Fox said.
"Ah," said the medicine man, "that is why he looked so afraid. When a great warrior like you decides to catch someone, surely he cannot escape."
Fox was very pleased. "Yes," he said, "I am Ongwe Ias. No rabbit alive can escape me."
But, Grandson," said the medicine man, shaking his turtle-shell rattle, "what has happened to your head? You are hurt."
"It is nothing," said the Fox. "A branch fell and struck me."
"Grandson," said the medicine man, "you must let me treat that wound, so that it heals quickly. Rabbit cannot go far. Come here and sit down."
Fox sat down, and the medicine man came close to him. He opened up his pouch and began to sprinkle something into the wound.
Fox looked closely at the medicine man. "Why are you wearing two feathers?" he asked.
"These two feathers," the medicine man answered, "show that I have great power. I just have to shake them like this, and an eagle will fly down. Look
over there! An eagle is flying down now."
Fox looked and, as he did so, the medicine man leaped high in the air over Fox's head and struck him hard with his turtle-shell rattle.
When Fox woke up, he was alone in a small clearing. The wound on his head was full of burrs and thorns, the medicine man was gone, and all around
him were rabbit tracks.
"I will not be fooled again!" Fox snarled. He gave a loud and terrible war cry. "I am Ongwe Ias," he shouted. "I am Fox!"
Ahead of him on the trail, Rabbit heard Fox's war cry. He was still too tired to run and so he turned himself into an old dead tree.
When Fox came to the tree he stopped. "This tree must be Rabbit," he said, and he struck at one of the small dead limbs. It broke off and fell to the ground.
"No," said Fox, "I am wrong. This is indeed a tree."
He ran on again, until he realized the tracks he was following were old ones. He had been going in a circle. "That tree!" he said.
He hurried back to the place where the tree had been. It was gone, but there were a few drops of blood on the ground where the limb had fallen. Though
Fox didn't know it, the branch he had struck had been the end of Rabbit's nose, and ever since then rabbits' noses have been quite short.
Leading away into the bushes were fresh rabbit tracks. "Now I shall catch you!" Fox shouted.
Rabbit was worn out. He had used all his tricks, and still Fox was after him. He came to a dead tree by the side of the trail. He ran around it four times
and then, with one last great leap, jumped into the middle of some blackberry bushes close by. Then, holding his breath, he waited.
Fox came to the dead tree and looked at the rabbit tracks all around it. "Hah," fox laughed, "you are trying to trick me again." He bit at the dead tree, and
a piece of rotten wood came away in his mouth. "Hah," Fox said, "you have even made yourself taste like a dead tree. But I am Ongwe Ias, I am Fox. You
cannot fool me again."
Then, coughing and choking, Fox ate the whole tree. From his hiding place in the blackberry bushes, Rabbit watched and tried not to laugh. When Fox
had finished his meal he went away, still coughing and choking and not feeling well at all.
After a time, Rabbit came out of his hiding place and went on his way.
|Run, Rabbit, Run
A Ojibwa Legend
It was late winter or very early spring, for snow still lay on the ground, when Ableegumooch the Rabbit entertained two female friends at a maple syrup
feast. The two friends were Keoonik the Otter and Miko the Squirrel.
As they happily licked the last of the syrup off their paws, they exchanged news.
"Last night," said Miko, "the moon looked into my den and woke me, and I heard wolves talking outside. I heard them offer Lusifee the Wild Cat two
strings of wampum to kill somebody!"
"Really?" asked the rabbit, with interest. "Who?"
"They didn't mention any name," said the squirrel, "but only spoke of him as a servant and friend of Glooscap, one full of tricks, who knows his way
through the forest."
"Whoever he is," said Keoonik darkly, "he is as good as dead, for that Lusifee is a cunning tracker and absolutely cold-blooded."
"A friend of our Master's," mused Ableegumooch, "could be any of us."
"Someone full of tricks," remarked the otter uneasily. "It could even be me!"
"Hah!" snorted the rabbit, "you know very well that I am the one most full of tricks hereabouts." And Keoonik did not deny it, for he had suffered much in
the past from the rabbit's mischief. Miko gave a little shiver.
"You know, when they spoke of one who knew his way through the forest, I couldn't help wondering if they meant me, for I can find my way through the
trees better than most."
"Nonsense!" snapped Ableegumooch. "Anything a squirrel can do, a rabbit can do better. After all, I am Glooscap's official forest guide. And his very
good friend,: he added proudly.
"The thing is," said Keoonik, his eyes dwelling unconsciously on the rabbit, "is to find someone who fits all three requirements --someone full of tricks, one
who knows the forest, and one who is a servant and friend of the Great Chief."
The rabbit jumped as if a bee had stung him.
"Oh my! It's me he's after!"
Keoonik tried to comfort the stricken rabbit.
"we'll stand by you," he said. "Won't we, Miko?"
"Y-yes," said the squirrel doubtfully, for he feared that even the three of them together would be no match for the ferocious cat.
"thanks, my friends," said Ableegumooch, heartened by their loyalty, "but I may not need your help. I have a plan."
Miko asked what he had in mind.
"Strength and speed are on Lusifee's side, so I must rely on craft," said Ableegumooch and grinned mysteriously. "When a rabbit's skin falls short, he must
borrow another's. Well, he's sure to come here to find me. I'm off!" And the rabbit sprang into the air, landing a long distance from his lodge, so as to
leave no track near his home. Ableegumooch kept jumping in this way until he thought he was out of scent and sight, then scampered away like the wind.
Keoonik and Miko scurried to a hiding place nearby and waited to see what would happen. Presently, sure enough, Lusifee the Wild Cat appeared,
slinking along with nose to the Earth, his yellow eyes gleaming and his great paws padding silently over the snow.
Finding the rabbit's wigwam empty, he snarled with disappointed fury. However, taking the wigwam for a center, he kept going round and round it,
making each circle a little wider than the one before, until at last he found the rabbit's scent. He kept on circling until he reached the spot where the rabbit
had stopped jumping. Then, swearing by his tail to catch Ableegumooch and kill him, he set out swiftly on a clear trail.
As the day passed, Lusifee knew by the freshness of the track that he was overtaking the rabbit, but he did not catch sight of his prey while daylight lasted.
As night fell, Lusifee came upon a wigwam all alone on the open marsh, and he poked his head inside. There sat a grave and dignified old fox, whose white
hair stuck up oddly on either side of his head. When asked if he had seen Ableegumooch, the old fellow shook his head, but invited Lusifee to pass the night
"You can continue your search in the morning," he said in a helpful manner. So, being tired and hungry, Lusifee accepted the invitation, and after a good
supper, lay down by the fire and slept soundly.
Towards morning, however, he began to shiver and feel most uncomfortable. Waking at last, he looked around in amazement. He was no longer in the
warm lodge but lying on the open marsh with snow blowing over him. Then Lusifee saw dimly the marks of a rabbit's feet and knew Ableegumooch had
fooled him. The rabbit, artful at disguise, had masqueraded as the fox and had removed himself and the wigwam while Lusifee slept.
Resuming the chase in a great rage, the cat swore by his teeth, as well as by his tail, that Ableegumooch would die before nightfall. But when darkness
came again, he had still not caught sight of the rabbit.
Stopping at the first village he came to, which was that of a porcupine tribe, he asked the first young porcupine he met if he had seen a rabbit pass this way.
"Hush!" said the porcupine. "Can't you see we are listening to the storyteller?" Then Lusifee noticed that the whole tribe was gathered around the fire
listening to an old porcupine with white whiskers and oddly-shaped ears. In the land of the Wabanaki, the storyteller is greatly respected, and it is
considered most impolite to interrupt him. So the cat was obliged to wait until the stories were over. Then he turned once more to the young porcupine.
"But have you seen a rabbit?"
"Hundreds of them," answered the other impatiently, "are racing about in the cedar swamp neat here. You can have as many as you want."
"Those aren't the ones I'm after," complained the cat. "I want Ableegumooch, Glooscap's forest guide."
The young porcupine said he knew of no other sort of rabbit save the wild wood ones, but perhaps the storyteller who was old and wise could tell him
So Lusifee went to the storyteller and asked if he had seen a rabbit pass by.
"Rabbit?" The storyteller rattled his quills as he thought, and the cat moved back prudently. "No, I've seen no rabbit. But, my friend, you look tired. You
may pass the night with me, if you like, in my lodge outside the village."
The cat was glad of the invitation and went to sleep in a warm bed. Much later, he awoke, all a-shake and a-shiver in a wet cedar swamp, the wind
blowing ten times worse than the night before, and all around him the tracks of a rabbit.
Lusifee sprang up more enraged than ever and, swearing now by his claws, as well as by his teeth and his tail, to be revenged on the rabbit, he set out
again on the trail. He ran all day and at night came to another village, inhabited by a tribe of bears. He was so weary he could only gasp out:
"Have --you-- seen=a rab--bit?"
The bears said they had not, but invited him to join in a feast with them, and when they had done eating, they politely asked for a song. Now the cat was
very vain about his voice, and right willingly he lifted up his voice in a song of hate against rabbits. The bears applauded and invited him to join in the
dancing, but the cat begged to be excused on account of weariness and sat to one side, watching.
Now one of the bears was smaller than the others and his ears were somewhat longer than bears' are usually. How ever, he was a great dancer and
leaped higher in the air than any other. As he passed by Lusifee he accidentally, it seemed, gave the cat a fierce kick, cutting his head and knocking him
When the cat came back to consciousness, he found him self in a wigwam outside the village. A medicine man of the bear tribe was bending over him and
the cat noticed that he wore long white feathers on either side of his head. By now Lusifee was growing more suspicious and he looked at the medicine man
with narrowed eyes.
"I was asking if any rabbits had been around here," said Lusifee, "and truly you look very much like one yourself. How did you get that split lip?"
"Oh, that is very simple," said the medicine man, who was no other than Ableegumooch, of course. "Once I was hammering wampum beads, and the stone
on which I beat them broke in halves and one piece flew up and split my lip."
"But why are the soles of your feet so yellow, like a rabbit's?"
"Simple, again," said the medicine man. "I was once preparing some tobacco and as I needed both hands to work, I held it down with my feet --so the
tobacco stained them yellow."
Then Lusifee suspected no more and allowed the medicine man to doctor his cuts with salve, after which he fell asleep. But, alas, once more the unhappy
cat awoke in dreadful misery, his head swollen and aching, his wound stuffed now with hemlock needles instead of salve.
Now Lusifee swore by his body and soul, as well as by his teeth and his claws and his tail, to kill the next thing he met, rabbit, or any other.
Forgetting pain and cold, he rushed off, exulting when he found the track of Ableegumooch very fresh. Evidently the rabbit too was tiring from the race
and could not be far off. Yes, there was the tricky fellow just ahead! In fact, Ableegumooch had been obliged to stop short as he came to the edge of a broad
river. The cat grinned with triumph, for he knew that rabbits are no good at swimming. "You can't escape me now," he shouted. Poor Ableegumooch. He
could run no further.
Far away on Blomidon's misty summit, Glooscap saw all that had happened and knew the rabbit had done all he could by himself. The Great Chief began
to smoke his pipe very hard, puffing black rings into the blue sky, where they changed at once into birds.
Down in the fores, Ableegumooch had turned at bay and Lusifee was prepared to spring --when, suddenly, down from the sky hurled a great flock of giant
hawks screaming their war cries. Lusifee snarled and turned to meet them, but they bore him down by force of numbers-- picking at his eyes and beating
him with their wings-- until at last, screaming with fear, the cat turned tail and fled into the forest, where if his is not dead he is running still!
Trembling with fright, Ableegumooch sank down to rest at last. He was not half so cocky as he had been when he started out, for he knew that but for the
hawks he would have been a dead rabbit. A flute was playing far off, and the rabbit listened. Then he knew who had sent the hawks to him in the nick of
"Thank you, Master," he whispered. Glooscap, far off on Blomidon nodded-- and played a triumphant tune to the returning birds.
Now, kespeadooksit --the story ends.