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Friday, 5 December 2014

It's Frizzy Lizzy time

Hi dear friends and followers, today is Saturday, Happy Saturday and today is also Frizzy Lizzy day. 

Hi, Judy! How are things with you? Nice of you to drop-in.! Sure, there's coffee, and I have some good fruitcake to share with you. No, not the kind you get at the mall from the Rotary Club. No, I made this in September, just when it started to get cool, and it's been in a rum-soaked towel for 9 weeks. Sort of reminds me of Charley during Christmas party season!

So what do you think of the Christmas lights? No, I didn't get up on a ladder to put them on the rain pipes, Peter Pan was in the neighborhood and he helped out. No, that's not what I call Charley these days.

I must give credit where ti is due. He worked hard to get everything done well. He's like that sometimes. When it comes to grilling a steak over the charcoal, or making a pot of Texas red chili, he's a perfectionist, and this year he surprised me with these Christmas lights. What do you mean, how and what kind of surprise? Let me tell you.

It all started about six years ago on a Saturday in December. It was a day with brilliant sun and a little wind, but it was cold. Colder than a banker's heart. I had just moved into this house and Charley and I wanted to decorate for Christmas. Let me tell you, nothing worked except Charley and I.

We started that morning with something easy. I had a bunch of candy canes to put into the ground along the sidewalk between the street and the front porch. I even got a stop sign that asked Santa Claus to stop at this house because a good girl lives there. Well, I might have well asked to dig the Erie Canal that day.

Charley took the sign and a hammer and he set the sign right where I asked him to set it. He brought the hammer way back and prepared to give the signpost a good whack and he hit it for all he was worth. It was a pointed, wooded stake that the sign was on. Well, you would think that the ground was made out of rubber because that post just bounced off! That ground had frozen just enough to be a pain-in-the-ass! And it broke the end of the signpost, too.

Now Charley could sense my disappointment so he came up with a way to dig a hole: he got a pot of hot water and had me pour it on the ground and moved like a man on fire to start a hole while the ground was soft. Problem solved, The sign went into the ground and we both went into the house for a little drink, me a coffee with Irish cream, and Charlie a shot of Canadian Club.

Now we have all of these plastic candy canes to put along the path. 16 candy canes. 16 little holes, Solidly frozen ground, and Charley warmed by a good belt of 12-year-old whiskey.

He walks over to the path and lays the candy canes on the ground beside the path, spaced so evenly you would think that he measured them with a ruler. So far, so good. Then he walks away to his noisy old diesel truck and starts to rummage through the toolbox. I'm wondering what in the hell is he up to. Is he fixing his truck or lost in space? I hear nothing, not even any cussing, so I go back to my work in the kitchen.

The next thing I hear is this electric motor outside. I go to the window to see a genius at work!

From the toolbox on the back of his truck Charley took the biggest electric drill that I have ever seen and he was kneeling on a pad and drilling holes in the ground, one for each candy cane! I am flabbergasted! He was drilling holes 3 cm deep for each candy cane!

So he gets the holes drilled, sets the candy canes in them, and they are a little loose. I'm thinking to myself, "Well, Charley's a little loose, so what can I expect?" He puts the drill away and comes in the house for another shot of Canadian Club and to warm his hands, which by now are getting stiff.

We're standing by the window, looking at the somewhat-crooked candy canes and I ask Charley if he has a solution. I should have known better. He did. We had a bunch of fat-wood sticks that we used as kindling in the fireplace. He took a handful of them and a hammer and put one in every hole and all of the candy canes stood up straight!

Time for another shot of whiskey for him and a vodka martini for me. After all, it was getting into the afternoon and it surely was cocktail hour somewhere!

The shrubs in front of the house needed lights put on them. Charley had that one figured out perfectly. How that man could come up with such ideas after 3 or 4 shots of whiskey is beyond me. He just took a zip tie and fastened one end to the top corner of the bushes and strung the lights across and down. Now I didn't see anyone else in the house or the yard that day but Lady Luck must have been working outside with him because it only took him an hour or so to get those lights evenly on the bushes. He called me out to look at them as he tested them and they looked like they grew there.

And we had another drink, you know, to fend off the cold, because it was getting into the late afternoon already.

Well, the rest was easier said than done. That wind came up and it froze poor Charley's hands so badly that he could hardly hold onto his tools. No amount of whiskey could fix that. And that was the real test of what that man was made of.

He managed to fasten lights on both of the wrought-iron stair railings and around the front door frame. Then he plugged them into an outlet and put a box on it so it would turn the lights on automatically at sunset and turn them off at midnight! Clever guy, my Charley!

By that time his face was as red as a lobster from being in the cold and the wind and his poor hands could barely close. But I had a cure for him. I had a double shot of Canadian Club ready as soon as he got his jacket off, followed by basin filled with lukewarm water at the kitchen table for his hands. I put a fresh pair of woolly socks on his feet and he sat there like the Prince of Wales while I made him a fresh pot of coffee. Then we enjoyed some beef stew with fresh-baked rolls.

He loved all of the attention. And he deserved it, too. And I was glad to share it with him.

He has his days and his ways, but don't all of us? All things considered, I am lucky to have him in my life. Now his family is a different story, but Charley - he's OK with me.

Thank you again for dropping by and taking a few minutes to read the life and time of Frizzy Lizzy. I would appreciate knowing what your thoughts are on it. Thank you and have a wonderful Saturday.

ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ


THE OSAGE STORY OF CREATION

Hi dear friends and followers, today we follow the legends of the Osage


The Osage People resided in the Missouri Territory. The Osage Nation is a Midwestern Native American Siouan-speaking tribe in the United States that originated in the Ohio River valley in present-day Kentucky.

After years of war with the invading Iroquois, by the mid-17th century, the Osage migrated with other Siouan tribes west of the Mississippi River to their historic lands in present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, andOklahoma. At the height of their power in the early 18th century, the Osage had become the dominant power in their region, controlling the area between the Missouri and Red rivers.


THE OSAGE STORY OF CREATION

Way beyond, once upon a time, some of the Osages lived in the sky. They did not know where they came from, so they went to Sun. They said, “From where did we come?”

He said, “You are my children.”

Then they wandered still further and came to Moon.

Moon said, “I am your mother; Sun is your father. You must go away from here. You must go down to the earth and live there.”

So they came to the earth but found it covered with water. They could not return up above. They wept, but no answer came to them. They floated about in the air, seeking help from some god; but they found none.

Now all the animals were with them. Elk was the finest and most stately. They all trusted Elk. So they called to Elk, “Help us.”

Then Elk dropped into the water and began to sink. Then he called to the winds. The winds came from all sides and they blew until the waters went upwards, as in a mist. Now before that the winds had traveled in only two directions; they went from north to south and from south to north. But when Elk called to them, they came from the east, from the north, from the west, and from the south. They met at a central place; then they carried the waters upwards.

Now at first the people could see only the rocks. So they traveled on the rocky places. But nothing grew there and there was nothing to eat. Then the waters continued to vanish. At last the people could see the soft earth.

When Elk saw the earth, he was so joyous, he rolled over and over on the earth. Then all the loose hairs clung to the soil. So the hairs grew, and from them sprang beans, corn, potatoes, and wild turnips, and at last all the grasses and trees.

Now the people wandered over the land. They found human footsteps. They followed them. They joined with them, and traveled with them in search of food.


THE ANCESTORS OF PEOPLE

There are people who come from under the water. They lived in the water weeds that hang down, all green, into the water. They have leaves upon their stems.

Now the water people lived in shells. The shells were their houses and kept the water out.

There were other animals who lived under the earth. Cougar lived under the earth, and bear, and buffalo. These creatures came up out of the ground.

Then the shell people came up to the earth also; and the sky people came down. So all these three peoples lived together. They are the fathers of the people who live on the earth today.


Thank you again for dropping by and taking a few minutes to read some Osage legends. I would appreciate knowing what your thoughts are on it. Thank you and have a wonderful Saturday.

ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Some Adventures of Ictinike


Hi dear friends and followers

The next state going south from Minnesota is Iowa, home of the Ioway, Dakota Sioux, Illini, Otoe, and Missouria Native American Peoples. As the state takes its name from the Ioway, we will look at Ioway legends.

I wish that I could take credit for finding these legends myself but such credit must be given to those who had the presence of mind to record them over the years, and to "Myths and Legends of the North American Indians", by Lewis Spence, published by David D. Nickerson & Company. This book is long out of print and the publisher is defunct. To the best of my knowledge the copyright has expired.


Some Adventures of Ictinike
Many tales are told by the Ioway regarding Ictinike, the son of the sun-god, who had offended his father, and was consequently expelled from the celestial regions. He possesses a very bad reputation among the Native peoples for deceit and trickery. They say that he taught them all the evil things they know, and they seem to regard him as a Father of Lies. The Omahas state that he gave them their war-customs, and for one reason or another they appear to look upon him as a species of war-god. A series of myths recount his adventures with several inhabitants of the wild. The first of these is as follows:

One day Ictinike encountered the Rabbit, and hailed him in a friendly manner, calling him 'grandchild', and requesting him to do him a service. The Rabbit expressed his willingness to assist the god to the best of his ability, and inquired what he wished him to do.

"Oh, grandchild," said the crafty one, pointing upward to where a bird circled in the blue vault above them, "take your bow and arrow and bring down yonder bird."

The Rabbit fitted an arrow to his bow, and the shaft transfixed the bird, which fell like a stone and lodged in the branches of a great tree.

"Now, grandchild," said Ictinike, "go into the tree and fetch me the game."

This, however, the Rabbit at first refused to do, but at length he took off his clothes and climbed into the tree, where he stuck fast among the torturous branches.


Ictinike, seeing that he could not make his way down, donned the unfortunate Rabbit's garments, and, highly amused at the animal's predicament, betook himself to the nearest village. There he encountered a chief who had two beautiful daughters, the elder of whom he married.

The younger daughter, regarding this as an affront to her personal attractions, wandered off into the forest in a fit of the sulks. As she paced angrily up and down she heard some one calling to her from above, and, looking upward, she beheld the unfortunate Rabbit, whose fur was adhering to the natural gum which exuded from the bark of the tree.

The girl cut down the tree and lit a fire near it, which melted the gum and freed the Rabbit. The Rabbit and the chief's daughter compared notes, and discovered that the being who had tricked the one and affronted the other was the same. Together they proceeded to the chief's lodge, where the girl was laughed at because of the strange companion she had brought with her.

Suddenly an eagle appeared in the air above them. Ictinike shot at and missed it, but the Rabbit loosed an arrow with great force and brought it to earth. Each morning a feather of the bird became another eagle, and each morning Ictinike shot at and missed the newly created bird, which the Rabbit invariably succeeded in killing. This went on until Ictinike had quite worn out the Rabbit's clothing and was wearing a very old piece of tent skin; but the Rabbit returned to him the garments he had been forced to don when Ictinike had stolen his.

Then the Rabbit commanded the people to beat the drums, and each time they were beaten Ictinike jumped so high that every bone in his body was broken. At length, after a more than usually loud series of beats, he leaped to such a height that when he came down it was found that the fall had broken his neck. The Rabbit was avenged.

Ictinike and the Creators

One day Ictinike, footsore and weary, encountered a buzzard, which he asked to oblige him by carrying him on its back part of the way. The crafty bird immediately consented, and, seating Ictinike between its wings, flew off with him.

They had not gone far when they passed above a hollow tree, and Ictinike began to shift uneasily in his seat as he observed the buzzard hovering over it. He requested the bird to fly onward, but for answer it cast him headlong into the tree-trunk, where he found himself a prisoner.

For a long time he lay there in want and wretchedness, until at last a large hunting-party struck camp at the spot. Ictinike chanced to be wearing some raccoon skins, and he thrust the tails of these through the cracks in the tree. Three women who were standing near imagined that a number of raccoons had become imprisoned in the hollow trunk, and they made a large hole in it for the purpose of capturing them. Ictinike at once emerged, whereupon the women fled.

Ictinike lay on the ground pretending to be dead, and as he was covered with the raccoon-skins the birds of prey, the eagle, the rook, and the magpie, came to devour him. While they pecked at him the buzzard made his appearance for the purpose of joining in the feast, but Ictinike, rising quickly, tore the feathers from its scalp. That is why the buzzard has no feathers in its head.

In the course of time Ictinike married and dwelt in a lodge of his own. One day he intimated to his wife that it was his intention to visit her grandfather, the Beaver.

On arriving at the Beaver's lodge he found that his grandfather-in-law and his family had been without food for a long time, and were slowly dying of starvation. Ashamed at having no food to place before their guest, one of the young beavers offered himself up to provide a meal for Ictinike, and was duly cooked and served to the visitor.

Before Ictinike partook of the dish, however, he was earnestly requested by the Beaver not to break any of the bones of his son, but unwittingly he split one of the toe bones. Having finished his repast, he lay down to rest, and the Beaver gathered the bones and put them in a skin. This he plunged into the river that flowed beside his lodge, and in a moment the young beaver emerged from the water alive.

"How do you feel, my son?" asked the Beaver.

"Alas! father," replied the young beaver, "one of my toes is broken."

From that time every beaver has had one toe--that next to the little one--which looks as if it had been split by biting.

Ictinike shortly after took his leave of the Beavers, and pretended to forget his tobacco-pouch, which he left behind. The Beaver told one of his young ones to run after him with the pouch, but, being aware of Ictinike's treacherous character, he advised his offspring to throw it to the god when at some distance away. The young beaver accordingly took the pouch and hurried after Ictinike, and obeying his father's instruction, was about to throw it to him from a considerable distance when Ictinike called to him: "Come closer, come closer."

The young beaver obeyed, and as Ictinike took the pouch from him he said: "Tell your father that he must visit me."

When the young beaver arrived home he acquainted his father with what had passed, and the Beaver showed signs of great annoyance.

"I knew he would say that," he growled, "and that is why I did not want you to go near him."

But the Beaver could not refuse the invitation, and in due course returned the visit. Ictinike, wishing to pay him a compliment, was about to kill one of his own children wherewith to regale the Beaver, and was slapping it to make it cry in order that he might work himself into a passion sufficiently murderous to enable him to take its life, when the Beaver spoke to him sharply and told him that such a sacrifice was unnecessary. Going down to the stream hard by, the Beaver found a young beaver by the water, which was brought up to the lodge, killed and cooked, and duly eaten.

On another occasion Ictinike announced to his wife his intention of calling upon her grandfather, the Musk-rat. At the Musk-rat's lodge he met with the same tale of starvation as at the home of the Beaver, but the Musk-rat told his wife to fetch some water, put it in the kettle, and hung the kettle over the fire. When the water was boiling the Musk-rat upset the kettle, which was found to be full of wild rice, upon which Ictinike feasted.

As before, he left his tobacco-pouch with his host, and the Musk-rat sent one of his children after him with the article. An invitation for the Musk-rat to visit him resulted, and the call was duly paid.


Ictinike, wishing to display his magical powers, requested his wife to hang a kettle of water over the fire, but, to his chagrin, when the water was boiled and the kettle upset instead of wild rice only water poured out. Thereupon the Musk-rat had the kettle refilled, and produced an abundance of rice, much to Ictinike's annoyance.

Ictinike then called upon his wife's grandfather, the Kingfisher, who, to provide him with food, dived into the river and brought up fish.

Ictinike extended a similar invitation to him, and the visit was duly paid. Desiring to be even with his late host, the god dived into the river in search of fish. He soon found himself in difficulties, however, and if it had not been for the Kingfisher he would most assuredly have been drowned.

Lastly, Ictinike went to visit his wife's grandfather, the Flying Squirrel. The Squirrel climbed to the top of his lodge and brought down a quantity of excellent black walnuts, which Ictinike ate.

When he departed from the Squirrel's house he purposely left one of his gloves, which a small squirrel brought after him, and he sent an invitation by this messenger for the Squirrel to visit him in turn.

Wishing to show his cleverness, Ictinike scrambled to the top of his lodge, but instead of finding any black walnuts there he fell and severely injured himself. Thus his presumption was punished for the fourth time.

The four beings alluded to in this story as the Beaver, Musk-rat, Kingfisher, and Flying Squirrel are four of the creative gods of the Sioux, whom Ictinike evidently could not equal so far as reproductive magic was concerned.

Thank you again for dropping by and taking a few minutes to read Some Adventures of Ictinike. I would appreciate knowing what your thoughts are on it. Thank you and have a wonderful Saturday.

ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Pandoras Enchantment Part 3

Hi dear friends and followers, today I introduce to you Part three od Pandora's Enchantment. Myths and Legends written by my own pen are presented every Sunday and Wednesday. Have a great read.


Pandora's Enchantment part 3
Link for Pandora's Enchantment Part 2
Pandora's Enchantment Part 2



The Queen stretched her long, slim arm

and placed the amulet gently into

the Prince's right hand.

Though the Queen had

some insect-like features,

her beauty, like her dominion,

was singular, unto herself.
"Rest thyself," he heard her sing,
"For the trials and hardships the morrows bring."
The next light brought him wakening fresh
with a clear head and a heart 
resolute and strong.
His guides saw him to
where the winds had dropped him.

With sword at his side he a waited wind's return.
The fog then formed and away he went, 
from Nepenthe to that place had been before.

He fought his way back on the trail they had made; 
He and his swordsmen, small though they were.
Return from Nepenthe was not what he desired 
but duty called and he was every bit a prince
The path was true and he emerged
from the thickets and forest at the place he began.
"Has it been just a day or is time's passage that sweet
in Queen Vare's domain, the wondrous Nepenthe?"



He set his sword against the tree,
upon which he rested and gathered his thoughts.
His sword had scarce seen its scabbard,
since he had left his home, the kingdom of Deluca.
And there he sat, awaiting Pandora's return,
looking carefully at the talisman of Queen Vare.
"An artisan's best, with powers you need."

That he was told. That he did heed.
"'tis a pin on its side, tiny to see. 
Press on it when the need comes to be."

The day grew warm on the station he kept.
Drowsy he was, and finally he slept.
He dreamed of Queen Vare,
and the beautiful land Nepenthe;
how on gossamer wings so quickly fluttered
it appeared as though she floated in mid air.
She led him on to the land's very edge;
it was not a cliff, as he thought it to be,
but the edge of the island

afloat in sky's sea!
She continued to tease 
and lure him to the edge.
"Come fly with me, dear prince!
I will show you the wonders of this world,
a place man has never set eyes on before!"
"Riches never imagined are here in this land. 
Come with me, dear prince
I will endow you with all of its gifts!"
He stepped off the edge in a pure act of faith,
and when he fell not he took more,
walking in the realm of birds and angels.
Fear of not flying jarred him awake.
Where was Queen Vare? With her I should be!
His dream quickly left for it was not Queen Vare
who before him hovered; it was Pandora.
As she flew towards him, he felt the fall.
He landed with a thump on his dream's ground,
next to the tree against which he had leaned.

He saw a pair of feet 
in tall, black shoes
attached to a purple-adorned 
gown of black 
and a cape over all, 
of a midnight's hue.

There she was, and his sword just out of reach;
it lay against the tree between Pandora and he,

gleaming uselessly in the post-noon sun.
Never had three feet been so long
as this no-man's land between he and sword.
She would just as easily get it as he.
To buy some time he engaged her in chat
as he felt for the amulet in his pocket.
He needed but a few seconds' distraction.
His mind raced as he feigned well his calm
He remembered Queen Vare's admonition,
not to look into her eyes,
the eyes that glowed amber,
in the shade of the great oak.
She raised her arms in a gesture of power;
A gust of wind came up,
and ruffled his hair onto his face.
Sand got in his eyes, bringing tears.
He saw the sword, glowing amber,
raise into the air,

and move point first towards him, stopping, 
but an inch from his neck; in the air it hung.
"You are my property, dear prince.
No one else may have you.
I will see that you labor 
in the deepest pits of the underworld,
before I leave you in another's arms!
As she screamed, the earth beneath him shook.
She looked up to the sky and waved her arms,
and a spiraling thunder cloud materialized,
and spat bolts of lightning,
that lit up the sky with brilliant light.
The prince fumbled in his pocket,
and got the amulet in hand, 
but his calm had left him and it fell in the grass.
He patted the grass till he felt something hard.
Grasping rock or amulet, to his feet he sprang,
This is the only chance he would have,
there would be no other.

Her head was just coming down,
from looking at the heavens
and the wrath she had wrought
when then he held the amulet in her face
and pushed on the tiny pin.
The amulet open, as it was made to do.
A flash of light, then nothing more.
Pandora had dropped to her knees,
where she swooned and swayed,
then to the dirt she went, face first, 
raising a puff of dust like a felled tree.


He sheathed his sword for what felt like the first time,
the first time in at least three days, he thought.
Lifting Pandora up on his shoulder, he departed.

After crossing the ravine, a place he vaguely remembered,
he climbed its bank to the other side.

Worn from the long journey was he.
The lady, Pandora, he almost lost
when he misstepped near the top. 
Then he stopped to take a rest;
He had almost dropped his precious load.
Once again he assumed his sleeping burden
and continued the trek back to Deluca. 

He came to a clearing, then stopped.
He had arrived where he had hoped he would,
at the wagon road, 'twas not far, but a short walk
to where he had met the lady, Pandora,
who now drooped over his right shoulder.
He had returned to where his adventure had begun.
He lay Pandora down on the side of the road,
, and lightly slapping her right cheek, said,
"Wake my lady, wake up!" 
She moaned, then her eyes opened.
She awoke with a start and sat bolt upright.
The first words she uttered were,
"Where am I? Her mind was blank.
Only faint memories of her childhood
could she remember,
A child lost wandering around in the woods;
then something dark and evil - that was all she could remember.

He picked the lady up by the hand,
and together they walked 
down the old wagon road 
back to Deluca, his kingdom and home.
In Deluca they stayed but long enough
for him to give his throne to his younger brother.
Then he and Pandora
who was great with child, 
departed for the land of Nepenthe.

Composed by Cynthia©


Thank you again for dropping by and taking a few minutes to read Part 3 of Pandora's Enchantment. I would appreciate knowing what your thoughts are on it. Thank you and have a wonderful Saturday.

ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ




Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Ojibwa Myths and Legends

Hi dear friends and followers, today I introduce to you the Native American Ojibwe Myths and Legends

Perhaps you have heard of the Ojibwe, the original residents of the northern half of the state of Minnesota. It's that place that borders on Lake Superior and has the headwaters of the Mississippi River in it. It's possible that you have heard of the Ojibwe as the Chippewa. They are one and the same.

They occupied a huge area of North America, from Minnesota and Wisconsin, into Ontario, and all the way to western Quebec. They might not have been the dominant society in the regions but they certainly left their mark.

Our last legends, those of the Menominee, spoke of Manabush, the god-trickster, and his adventures among humans. Manabush is a part of the Ojibwe mythology and is called Nanabozho. In the legends presented here, he seems to be more of a god than a trickster, setting things right with animals, nature, and men. If the second legend seems familiar that's because the Iroquois have one that is similar.

The third legend speaks of a time when humans and animals spoke with one another. There is also mention of the hole in the sky, and the word, "mitewin." The hole in the sky occurs in Iroquois and other myths

I could not find a translation or interpretation for "mitewin." I can only surmise that it means something like "life" or "living."

"Gitchee manitou" is the Ojibwe name for the Supreme Being, the Creator of All Things.

"Anishinabe" is what the Ojibe call themselves - The Original People.


Why Porcupine Has Quills

Long ago, when the world was young, porcupines had no quills. One day when Porcupine was in the woods, Bear came along and wanted to eat him. But Porcupine climbed to the top of a tree and was safe. The next day, when Porcupine was under a hawthorn tree, he noticed how the thorns pricked him. He had an idea. He broke off some of the branches of the hawthorn and put them on his back. Then he went into the woods and waited for Bear. When Bear sprang on Porcupine, the little animal just curled himself up in a ball. Bear had to go away, for the thorns pricked him very much.

Nanabozho saw what happened. He called Porcupine to him and asked, "How did you know that trick?"

"I am always in danger when Bear comes along," replied Porcupine. "When I saw those thorns, I thought I would use them."

So Nanabozho took some branches from the hawthorn tree and peeled off the bark until they were white. Then he put some clay on the back of the Porcupine, stuck the thorns in it and made it a part of his skin.

"Now go into the woods," said Nanabozho. Porcupine obeyed, and Nanabozho hid himself behind a tree. Soon Wolf came along. He sprang on Porcupine and then ran away, howling. Bear came along, but he did not get near Porcupine. He was afraid of those thorns. That is why all porcupines have quills today.

Manabozho and the Maple Trees

A very long time ago, when the world was new, Gitchee Manitou made things so that life was very easy for the people. There was plenty of game and the weather was always good and the maple trees were filled with thick sweet syrup. Whenever anyone wanted to get maple syrup from the trees, all they had to do was break off a twig and collect it as it dripped out.

One day, Manabozho went walking around. "I think I'll go see how my friends the Anishinabe are doing," he said. So, he went to a village of Indian people. But, there was no one around. So, Manbozho looked for the people. They were not fishing in the streams or the lake. They were not working in the fields hoeing their crops. They were not gathering berries. Finally, he found them. They were in the grove of maple trees near the village. They were just lying on their backs with their mouths open, letting maple syrup drip into their mouths.

"This will NOT do!" Manabozho said. "My people are all going to be fat and lazy if they keep on living this way."

So, Manabozho went down to the river. He took with him a big basket he had made of birch bark. With this basket, he brought back many buckets of water. He went to the top of the maple trees and poured water in, so that it thinned out the syrup. Now, thick maple syrup no longer dripped out of the broken twigs. Now what came out was thin and watery and just barely sweet to the taste.

"This is how it will be from now on," Manabozho said. "No longer will syrup drip from the maple trees. Now there will only be this watery sap. When people want to make maple syrup they will have to gather many buckets full of the sap in a birch bark basket like mine. They will have to gather wood and make fires so they can heat stones to drop into the baskets. They will have to boil the water with the heated stones for a long time to make even a little maple syrup. Then my people will no longer grow fat and lazy. Then they will appreciate this maple syrup Gitchee Manitou made available to them. Not only that, this sap will drip only from the trees at a certain time of the year. Then it will not keep people from hunting and fishing and gathering and hoeing in the fields.

This is how it is going to be," Manabozho said.

And, that is how it is to this day.

The Two Foolish Girls Who Married Stars
At the time of which my story speaks, people were camping just as we are here. In the winter time they used birch bark wigwams. All the animals could then. talk together. Two girls, who were very foolish, talked foolishly and were in no respect like the other girls of their tribe, made their bed out-of-doors, and slept right out under the stars. The very fact that they slept outside during the winter proves how foolish they were.

One of these girls asked the other, "With what star would you like to sleep, the white one or the red one?" The other girl answered, "I'd like to sleep with the red star." "Oh, that's all right," said the first one, "I would like to sleep with the white star. He's the younger; the red is the older." Then the two girls fell asleep.

When they awoke, they found themselves in another world, the star world. There were four of them there, the two girls and the two stars who had become men. The white star was very, very old and was gray-headed, while the younger was red-headed. He was the red star. The girls stayed a long time in this star world, and the one who had chosen the white star was very sorry, for he was so old.

There was an old woman up in this world who sat over a hole in the sky, and, whenever she moved, she showed them the hole and said, "That's where you came from." They looked down through and saw their people playing down below, and then the girls grew very sorry and very homesick. One evening, near sunset, the old woman moved a little way from the hole.

The younger girl heard the noise of the mitewin down below. When it was almost daylight, the old woman sat over the hole again and the noise of mitewin stopped; it was her spirit that made the noise. She was the guardian of the mitewin.

One morning the old woman told the girls, "If you want to go down where you came from, we will let you down, but get to work and gather roots to make a string-made rope, twisted. The two of you make coils of rope as high as your heads when you are sitting. Two coils will be enough." The girls worked for days until they had accomplished this. They made plenty of rope and tied it to a big basket. They then got into the basket and the people of the star world lowered them down. They descended right into an Eagle's nest, but the people above thought the girls were on the ground and stopped lowering them. They were obliged to stay in the nest, because they could do nothing to help themselves.

Said one, "We'll have to stay here until some one comes to get us."

Bear passed by. The girls cried out, "Bear, come and get us. You are going to get married sometime. Now is your chance!" Bear thought, "They are not very good-looking women." He pretended to climb up and then said, "I can't climb up any further." And he went away, for the girls didn't suit him.

Next came Lynx. The girls cried out again, "Lynx, come up and get us. You will go after women some day!" Lynx answered, "I can't, for I have no claws," and he went away.

Then an ugly-looking man, Wolverine, passed and the girls spoke to him. "Hey, wolverine, come and get us." Wolverine started to climb up, for he thought it a very fortunate thing to have these women and was very glad. When he reached them, they placed their hair ribbons in the nest. Then Wolverine agreed to take one girl at a time, so he took the first one down and went back for the next. Then Wolverine went away with his two wives and enjoyed himself greatly, as he was ugly and nobody else would have him.

They went far into the woods, and then they sat down and began to talk. "Oh!" cried one of the girls, "I forgot my hair ribbon." Then Wolverine said, "I will run back for it." And he started off to get the hair ribbons.

Then the girls hid and told the trees, whenever Wolverine should come back and whistle for them, to answer him by whistling. Wolverine soon returned and began to whistle for his wives, and the trees all around him whistled in answer. Wolverine, realizing that he had been tricked, gave up the search and departed very angry.
Nanabozho

Thank you again for dropping by and taking a few minutes to read Some Ojibwa Myths and Legends. I would appreciate knowing what your thoughts are on it. Thank you and have a wonderful Tuesday

ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Some Menominee Myths and Legends

Hi, dear friends and followers, thank you for dropping by. Today we visit the Menominee people

In between the waters of Lake Superior on the north and Illinois on the south is the state of Wisconsin. It is the last piece of the Northwest Territory to become a state.

The Ojibwe (Chippewa), Dakota Sioux, Ho' Chunk, Menominee, Potawatomi, and Munsee made this land of thousands of lakes their home. The oral history of the Menominee has been reasonably documented so we will look at some of their legends involving Manabush.

Manabush was a trickster-god of the Menominee. Brother of Moqwaoi, he was the survivor of twins born to Wenonah, a daughter of Nokomis, who died in childbirth. He turned into a white rabbit who later stole fire and gave it to the tribe.

When his brother, Moqwaoi, was killed by evil spirits, he killed two of their number. The other spirits then caused a flood from which Manabush was the only one to escape, which he did by climbing a pine tree and causing it to grow rapidly to beat the rising waters.

When Muskrat found a small piece of dry soil after Beaver, Mink and Otter had failed, Manabush was able to recreate the world.

In another story, Misikinebik, a monstrous serpent, ate nearly all the tribe so Manabush offered himself and, once inside the beast, stabbed its heart and killed it.

In some lore, Manabush is occasionally referred to as Manabozho, Hiawatha, Manabosho, Michabo, Nanabozho, Winabozho, Great Hare, Nanaboojoo, Nanabush, Abnaki, Gluskap, Ioskeha, Montagnais, Messou, Manabusch, Wabus, or Wabasso.

The Story of Manabush

There once was an old woman called Nokomis (Grandmother) who had an unmarried daughter. The daughter gave birth to twin boys and during the birth, one of the boys died and so did the mother.

Nokomis wrapped the surviving boy in soft grass and laid him on the ground at one side of her wigwam and placed a wooden bowl over him to protect him. She buried her daughter and the other grandchild a ways from her wigwam. She mourned them for four days and at the end of that she heard a small sound in the wigwam and it was coming from underneath the wooden bowl. The bowl moved, and suddenly she remembered her little grandchild, whom she had forgotten in her mourning.


Lifting up the bowl, she saw a little white rabbit with quivering ears, and she picked it up, saying "Oh! My dear rabbit, my Manabush." She loved the rabbit and it grew. One day the rabbit sat up and hopped slowly across the wigwam, causing the earth to tremble. The spirits underneath said to one another, "What was that? A great spirit has been born somewhere." To protect their own power, they began to scheme how to be rid of Manabush.

As Manabush grew up to be a young man, he thought about how he could prepare himself to assist his uncles, the people. He said to Nokomis, "Grandmother, make me two sticks, so that I can sing." Nokomis made the sticks, then Manabush left the wigwam and built a larger longhouse near the wigwam.


He began to sing, calling his uncles together, and told them that he would give them the Medicine Lodge and the Medicine Dance so they could cure diseases. He saw that they were hungry, so he gave them plants for food. He also gave them medicine bags made from the skins of mink, weasel, rattlesnakes, and the panther. Into each of these bags, he put samples of all the medicines, and taught the people how to use them. Manabush lived for many years after this and taught the Menominee many useful things.

(Adapted from W.J. Hoffman, 1890, "Mythology of the Menomini Indians," American Anthropologist 3[3]:243-58.)

Manabush and his Brother

When Manabush had accomplished the works which the Great Spirit had sent him to do, he moved far away and built his wigwam on the northeast shore of a large lake. Since he was alone, the spirits wanted to give him a companion in the form of his twin brother.


The spirits brought his brother to life. Manabush's brother looked like a human being but could also assume the shape of a Wolf, which he used when he hunted. Since Manabush had always been aware of the jealousy of the evil spirits from under the earth and the water, he warned his brother the Wolf never to return come home across the lake but rather to always go around it by shore.


One day, after the Wolf had been hunting all day, he found himself directly across the lake from his wigwam, and so he decided to cross directly over the frozen lake. When he was partly across the lake, the ice broke and he fell through. He was seized by the bad underwater spirits and destroyed.

Manabush immediately knew what had happened to his brother, and he mourned his brother for four days. Every time Manabush sighed it made the earth tremble, forming the hills and valleys.

The spirit of his brother, the Wolf, appeared before Manabush and Manabush realized that his brother would not return to him. He told the wolf's spirit to go to the west to become the chief of all the departed spirits. Sadly, Manabush gave up his home by the lake and hid himself inside a large rock near Mackinaw.

For many years, the people would visit Manabush there and hold the Medicine Dance which he had taught them. And when Manabush wanted to interact with the people but did not want to show himself in human form, he appeared to them in the shape of a little white rabbit with trembling ears, just as he had appeared to Nokomis when he was a baby.


(Adapted from W.J. Hoffman, 1890, "Mythology of the Menomini Indians," American Anthropologist 3[3]:243-58.)


The Origin of Fire and the Canoe

When Manabush was still young, he once said to his grandmother Nokomis, "Grandmother, we have no fire and it is cold in here. Let me go and get some fire." Nokomis tried to make him forget the idea of getting fire because it was dangerous, but Manabush insisted.


Manabush knew he had a long journey ahead, so he made a canoe made of bark-the very first canoe. He took on the shape of a rabbit so he wouldn't be recognized and started east across a large body of water. He knew that there was an old man living on an island who had fire.

As Manabush-in the form of a Rabbit-approached the island, it was still dark, and he pulled his canoe ashore and hopped along until he came to the wigwam of the old man. The old man had two daughters, who came out of the wigwam and saw the little Rabbit, all wet and cold. They picked him up and took him inside, setting him down next to the fire to get warm.


The girls went about their evening duties while the Rabbit sat by the fire. He hopped a little nearer to the fire to try to pick up a coal but as he moved, the earth shook and disturbed the old man, who was napping in the wigwam. "What was that?" said the old man. The daughters said it was nothing, and told him that they were only trying to warm up the poor little rabbit they had found.

When the girls went back to their work, the Rabbit grabbed a burning stick and ran out of the wigwam, going as fast as he could back to the place where he had left his canoe. The girls and the old man dashed out of the wigwam chasing the Rabbit who had stolen the fire.

The Rabbit reached his canoe safely and pushed off into the water, leaving the old man and his daughters on shore. He paddled as fast as he could toward his grandmother's home. The air rushing past the canoe made the stick burn fiercely, and by the time he reached home, Nokomis could see that his fur was badly burned in several places. She took the burning stick from him and made a fire with him, and then dressed his wounds so his fur would grow back.

(Adapted from W.J. Hoffman, 1890, "Mythology of the Menomini Indians," American Anthropologist 3[3]:243-58.)

Grasshopper and the Origin of Tobacco


One day Manabush was walking past a high mountain when he smelled a delightful fragrance which seemed to be coming from a crevice in the cliffs. He went closer and found that the mountain was home to a Giant who was known to be the keeper of tobacco. Manabush found a cavern in the side of the mountain and went inside, following a passage which led into the center of the mountain where the Giant lived.

The Giant asked Manabush very sternly what he wanted. Manabush answered that he had come for some tobacco, but the Giant told him that the spirits had just been there for their smoke. Since the ceremony only happened once a year, the Giant told Manabush to come back in a year. Manabush found this difficult to believe, because when he looked around the Giant's cavern, he saw bags and bags of tobacco all around it.

So he snatched one of the bags and dashed out of the mountain, closely pursued by the Giant. Manabush reached the top of the mountain and leaped from peak to peak. The Giant followed him closely, and when Manabush reached the edge of a cliff, he fell down flat and the Giant leaped over him and fell over the cliff and into the chasm.


The Giant was badly bruised, but managed to climb up the face of the cliff, where he hung at the top with all of his fingernails torn off. Then Manabush grabbed the giant by the back and threw him to the ground and said, "For your stinginess, you will become the Grasshopper, and everyone will know you by your stained mouth. You will become a pest and bother all those who raise tobacco."

Then Manabush took the tobacco home and divided it among the people and gave them the seed so they could grow it themselves and use it for offerings and blessings.


(Adapted from W.J. Hoffman, 1890, "Mythology of the Menomini Indians," American Anthropologist 3[3]:243-58.)

Thank you again for dropping by and taking a few minutes to read Some Menominee Myths and Legends. I would appreciate knowing what your thoughts are on it. Thank you and have a wonderful Saturday.

ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ

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