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Old 10-20-2003, 11:38 PM   #1
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Got a story to share?

I have always loved the stories my granny used to tell me and wondered if ya'll had any to share!

How Bear lost his tale!(Iroquois)


Back in the old days, Bear had a tail which was his proudest possession. It was long and black and glossy and Bear used to wave it around just so that people would look at it. Fox saw this. Fox, as everyone knows, is a trickster and likes nothing better than fooling others. So it was that he decided to play a trick on Bear.
It was the time of year when Hatho, the Spirit of Frost, had swept across the land, covering the lakes with ice and pounding on the trees with his big hammer. Fox made a hole in the ice, right near a place where Bear liked to walk. By the time Bear came by, all around Fox, in a big circle, were big trout and fat perch. Just as Bear was about to ask Fox what he was doing, Fox twitched his tail which he had sticking through that hole in the ice and pulled out a huge trout.

"Greetings, Brother," said Fox. "How are you this fine day?"

"Greetings," answered Bear, looking at the big circle of fat fish. " I am well, Brother. But what are you doing?"

"I am fishing," answered Fox. "Would you like to try?"

"Oh, yes," said Bear, as he started to lumber over to Fox's fishing hole.

But Fox stopped him. "Wait, Brother," he said, "This place will not be good. As you can see, I have already caught all the fish. Let us make you a new fishing spot where you can catch many big trout."

Bear agreed and so he followed Fox to the new place, a place where, as Fox knew very well, the lake was too shallow to catch the winter fish--which always stay in the deepest water when Hatho has covered their ponds. Bear watched as Fox made the hole in the ice, already tasting the fine fish he would soon catch. "Now," Fox said, "you must do just as I tell you. Clear your mind of all thoughts of fish. Do not even think of a song or the fish will hear you. Turn your back to the hole and place your tail inside it. Soon a fish will come and grab your tail and you can pull him out."

"But how will I know if a fish has grabbed my tail if my back is turned?" asked Bear.

"I will hide over here where the fish cannot see me," said Fox. "When a fish grabs your tail, I will shout. Then you must pull as hard as you can to catch your fish. But you must be very patient. Do not move at all until I tell you."

Bear nodded, "I will do exactly as you say." He sat down next to the hole, placed his long beautiful black tail in the icy water and turned his back.

Fox watched for a time to make sure that Bear was doing as he was told and then, very quietly, sneaked back to his own house and went to bed. The next morning he woke up and thought of Bear. "I wonder if he is still there," Fox said to himself. "I'll just go and check."

So Fox went back to the ice covered pond and what do you think he saw? He saw what looked like a little white hill in the middle of the ice. It had snowed during the night and covered Bear, who had fallen asleep while waiting for Fox to tell him to pull his tail and catch a fish. And Bear was snoring. His snores were so loud that the ice was shaking. It was so funny that Fox rolled with laughter. But when he was through laughing, he decided the time had come to wake up poor Bear. He crept very close to Bear's ear, took a deep breath, and then shouted: "Now, Bear!!!"

Bear woke up with a start and pulled his long tail hard as he could. But his tail had been caught in the ice which had frozen over during the night and as he pulled, it broke off -- Whack! -- just like that. Bear turned around to look at the fish he had caught and instead saw his long lovely tail caught in the ice.

"Ohhh," he moaned, "ohhh, Fox. I will get you for this." But Fox, even though he was laughing fit to kill was still faster than Bear and he leaped aside and was gone.

So it is that even to this day Bears have short tails and no love at all for Fox. And if you ever hear a bear moaning, it is probably because he remembers the trick Fox played on him long ago and he is mourning for his lost tail.
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Last edited by Ojidanowe; 10-20-2003 at 11:41 PM..
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Old 10-20-2003, 11:50 PM   #2
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I have one!!

I Love dogs...so this is one of my favorites. Enjoy...

THE FLYING HEAD

Many winters ago, near Oneida Lake, there was an Oneida settlement. In the village lived a famous Indian hunter whose name was Wolf Marked. Wolf Marked lived in a bark house at the edge of the village. His only companions were two large wolf-like dogs who never left their master's side. They were his constant friends. It was said that, while hunting, these swift running dogs would drive the game to Wolf Marked. This famous hunter was never known to have returned from the trail empty-handed.

Wold Marked was a well-liked by other members of his nation. A portion of all game brought down by his arrows was given to the needy, the widows and the orphans. He was always ready to help those of his people who were in want or need. His aid was given willingly and he always refused pay or reward for his services.

No one was fleeter of foot than this young man and often the chiefs of his nation sent him with wampum messages down the long trail that bound one end of the Longhouse Country to the other. His wisdom was also great and his advice was often asked at Council.

He was a great ball player and many time his strong arm and fleet food carried the ball throught the goal posts of a neighboring tribe. In feats of endurance and strength, he excelled all others of his people.

One Sun(day), Wolf Marked made preparations for a long hunt. With a new quiver of arrows and a pouch of provisions he left the village. His trail led west (Great Panther). On each side of him trotted one of his faithful dogs.

All day he traveled, his eyes ever alert for signs of game. But on this day all life in the forests seemed to have vanished. Over the entire countryside a deep silence had fallen. Not a bird sang a note.Not a rabbit crossed the trail. No squirrel barked at him from the branches of a tree. Even the brook that he occasionally crossed, refused to make a murmur. The very forrest seemed to have fallen asleep. No leaf waved or rustled in the wind.

Wold Marked was looking for signs of bear and deer. He wondered why his two faithfull dogs traveled so close to his feet. He wondered why their hair rose on their backs why their tails lay curled beneath their bodies as if they feared something. They would sniff the air, look toward the north, and utter low and fierce growls. In this manner they traveled the entire day.

Toward sunset Wolf Marked prepared camp, making a fire and cooking their evening meal. As Wolf Marked wondered at the strange behaviour of his dogs he thought that he heard a strange wailing cry comeing from the North(Great Bear). His dogs answered by growling in their throats. He knew that they feared something very unusual.
One of the dogs got in front of his master and looking Wolf Marked in the face the dog spoke. “Friend,” said the dog, “do not be surprised that we can speak to you in your own language. Never before have we done this though we have had the power to do so. You have been kind to us, never allowing us to go cold or hungry but always sharing with us. For that reason we are going to break our silence and warn you. A terrible monster, who is master of the forrest is coming coming toward your camp. Your only hope is to run and try to reach the village clearing before the monster catches up with you. Only there can he do you no harm. Even now it may be too late for he has scented you”.

There was no mistaking the terror in the eyes of his dogs. With a bound Wolf Marked flung his pack aside and ran down the trail toward the village, his dogs following close behind him. He knew his only hope for life was to reach the clearing that surrounded his village.

As Wolf Marked ran, he heard again the terrible wail of the monster. It was a high, long, drawn out, piercing wail. It was a cry that Wolf Marked had never heard before. It was a cry that Wolf Marked had never heard before. Sometimes it reminded him of the scream of a mountain lion. Again, it resembled the howl of a wolf or the roar of the north wind, screaming through the forest. As Wolf Marked ran, the wail got nearer and nearer. The creature was fast gaining on him.

Once, while at the foot of a long hill, he glanced back. What he saw startled him so much that he almost froze in his tracks. For a moment he could not run. A great fiery head with large round yellow eyes, a long hooked beac and large open mouth appeared over the brow of the hill. The creature had fiery hair that traveled in a long wavy streak as the monster traveled. It had no body, but fastened to the bottom of the huge paws, on the ends of which were long curved, ugly looking claws.

The monster traveled in a peculiar fashion. It would jump to the foot of a tree, climb the tree, and then bound to the foot of another tree. In this way it traveled very rapidly. There was a wide burnt path, cutting back through the forest where the creature had traveled.

Soon Wold Marked could feel the hot breath of the creature on the back of his neck. One of his dogs spoke to hime, saying, "Brother, the creature is almost upon us. I am going back to fight it. I can delay it for a little while, but I will never see you again on this earth. Farewell, kind and good friend." Saying this, the dog turned and ran back. Wold Marked heard barking and growling and then a yelp of pain. He knew that his faithful dog was dead and was being eaten by the Head. His friend had given his life for him.

Wolf Marked ran on. The village was just around the bend of a hill. If he could only make it, he knew that he would be safe. Again he heard the wailing cry of the creature. Nearer and nearer it sounded. He could feel the hot breath of the Head singe his head hair. Sparks from his fiery mouth fell around him. The monster was close.

His brave dog fell behind him, getting between the Monster and Wolf Marked. The remaining dog said, "Brother, the creature is almost upon us. Perhaps I can delay it until you reach the village. I am going back to fight it. I will never see you again on this earth. Farewell kind and faithful friend." Saying this, the dog turned and ran back over the trail. Wolf Marked heard barking and growling and then a yelp of pain. He knew that his faithful friend was dead and was being eaten by the monster.

He was tired but ran on, and after a brief silence, he again heard the wail of the monster. He could hear the creature getting nearere as it cut a burning path through the forest. He could feel the hot breath burn his back. He could sense its huge eyes upon him.

Ahead of him he could see the sky lit up by the fires of the village. With a staggering run, he entered the clearing in the center of which was the village. Running accrosse the field he came to a stop and, with his startled people, looked back over his trail.

A great head came bounding up to the edge of the forest. Showers of sparks shot from its mouth. Its great yellow eyes glared in fiery hatred at the people. With a mighty bound and a terrible cry of anger, it turned and disappeared over the dark forest, traveling toward the North.



In ancient days, this story was told to show the fidelity of the dog. It was and is a belief of the Old People that a person who was cruel to dogs could never reach the Land of Happy Spirits.


This story was taken from Legends of the Iroquois and was written by Tehanetorens(Ray Fadden)
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Old 10-21-2003, 10:51 AM   #3
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Very nice stories from the east, ladies. Thanks.
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Old 10-21-2003, 11:04 AM   #4
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