September 10

Butterflies Story

Butterflies Story
Ok, here goes:
Long ago, when the world was new, the animals held a great council. The subject of their concern was how to deal with the newest arrivals, which they called the “two legged‘ (us ). The deer started out: “these little ones do not jump about and run, like my young do at birth. I bring milk to them and they drink, but they just lie there. I am concerned”. The wolf joined in: “they have no sharp teeth to defend themselves with: how will they survive?” Soon after the otter shared his concern: “the only time they move is when beaver bathes them in the stream. I bring fresh moss for their pillows, but they just sleep!” It was decided that they would call upon Nanabush (who as we all know speaks for the creator) and ask him for advice. Nanabush was quite concerned as well, and agreed to pray to Gitche Manitou for guidance. In a dream Nanabush was instructed to walk for three days due west and wait for an answer to his problem, so the next day he gathered the things for his journey. He walked and walked until he came to a place along the great water (Gitche Goomie) where the pebbles were of many varied colors: some green, others blue or red. As he waited, he tossed these pebbles into the air and caught them. It wasn’t too long when he noticed not all the pebbles he tossed into the air returned! When he looked up he saw that some of these small stones had sprouted wings and were fluttering about! “Here is my answer!” he exclaimed, and started for home. When he came to the place of the two legs, the babies squealed in delight and began to wave their arms and legs. Soon they were walking, chasing the stones with many colored wings! That is why, on that special day, the creator thought up butterflies, so that the children would learn to play.

Contributed By:

Brian Leikam - Makwa Agueniishinook (Bear Shadow) - Anishnabe Elder


Tags

Anishnabe, Chippewa, Elders, Ojibwe, Teachings, Traditional Stories


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