THE YOUNG GIRL WHO BECAME A WOLF

It had been a long and cold winter. Food was scarce. Many of the old ones and the babies died before spring arrived. As spring came, the animals became more active in the woodlands and forests and the men went out on many hunts to find food, to make the people strong again. The men found little. They often saw a pack of wolves on these journeys and some of the men said it was because of the wolves that game had become so scarce. During the winter, when the snows were too deep, the wolves could go where man could not, and could easily take down the deer and the moose. The deer and moose gave the people not only food to live, but their fur and hides were a necessity as well. Nothing was wasted in a successful hunt. “It is not the wolves.” Four Steps said. […] Read More

THE DOG AND THE WOLF

“In the 1920’s, the Ross Island Meat packing Company of North Dakota paid a little publicized bounty of eight dollars on German Shepards, a popular breed of dog in the Northern Plains at the time… and often responsible for killing cattle… the slaughter of which was invariably blamed on wolves.” (Barry Lopez – Of Wolves and Men) Discouraged after an unsuccessful day of hunting,  a hungry Wolf came on a well-fed Mastiff.  He could see that the Dog was having a better time of it than he was  and he inquired what the Dog had to do to stay so well fed.  “Very little, ” said the Dog. “Just drive away beggars,  guard the house, show fondness to the master,  be submissive to the rest of the family  and you are well fed and warmly lodged.” The Wolf thought this over carefully. He risked his own life almost daily, had to […] Read More

Forsaken Brother

Chippewa Indian Lore: One summer evening, scarcely an hour before sunset, the father of a family lay in his lodge, dying. Weeping beside him were his wife and three children. Two of them were almost grown up; the youngest was but a small child. These were the only human beings near the dying man, for the lodge stood on a little green mound away from all others of the tribe. A breeze from the lake gave the sick man a brief return of strength. He raised himself a little and addressed his family. “I know that I will leave you soon. Your mother, my partner of many years, will not stay long behind. She will soon join me in the pleasant land of spirits. But, O my children, my poor children! You have just begun life. All unkindness and other wickedness are still before you. “I have contented myself […] Read More

The Wolf Dance

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 […] Read More

How Rabbit Fooled Wolf

Two pretty girls lived not far from Rabbit and Wolf. One day Rabbit called upon Wolf and said, “Let’s go and visit those pretty girls up the road.” “All right,” Wolf said, and they started off.  When they got to the girls’ house, they were invited in, but both girls took a great liking to Wolf and paid all their attention to him while Rabbit had to sit by and look on. Rabbit of course was not pleased by this, and he soon said, “We had better be going back.”  “Let’s wait a while longer,” Wolf replied, and they remained until late in the day. Before they left, Rabbit found a chance to speak to one of the girls so that Wolf could not overhear and he said, “The one you’ve been having so much fun with is my old horse.”  “I think you are lying,” the girl replied. […] Read More

The Stories of First Sweat Lodge

A Blackfoot Legend The Piegan tribe was southernmost at the headwaters of the Missouri River in Montana, a subtribe belonging to the Siksika Indians of North Saskatchewan in Canada. Piegans were of the Algonquian linguistic family, but warlike toward most of their neighboring tribes, since they had horses for raiding and were supplied with guns and ammunition by their Canadian sources. Piegans also displayed hostility toward explorers and traders. Several smallpox epidemics decimated their population. Now they are gathered on reservations on both sides of the border. A girl of great beauty, the Chief’s daughter, was worshipped by many young handsome men of the Piegan tribe. But she would not have any one of them for her husband. One young tribesman was very poor and his face was marked with an ugly scar. Although he saw rich and handsome men of his tribe rejected by the Chief’s daughter, he […] Read More