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Native American Bear That gave a Gift

Updated on August 9, 2015

Story of the Bear!

The Bear that gave a Gift:

Tradition story shared at the fires by the Midewiwin whom are the Native Tribes Medicine People.

Stories were always told in go-la (wintertime). That's when the harvesting is done, and it's not yet time to begin planting. Everything is very very quiet, it's usually snowing outside, and except for the hunters, everyone has to stay inside next to the fire ( a-tsi-la ), where it is warm and comfortable. Wintertime is also the best time to tell stories because that's when the snakes are asleep.

A nice story you can read to your children and grandchildren and receive an endless blessing in return.

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The photo is of an early painting titled Pandas by pabear48

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Bear story as told around the fires

Long long ago when Buffalo filled the grass from blade to blade the First Council of the Medicine Spirits was held at the Center of the Earth and it was called by the Sky Spirits to ask the help of the under Mother-earth Spirits in saving a strange, un-furred animal named mankind.

In a ceremony of secret, the Otter and Bear were chosen to push the first Tree of Life pole (Grandmother Cedar) from Mother Earths core to the surface Sacred Ground to form the first channel of communications between above the ground and below the ground.

"Mugwa!" called Otter down the split in the earth where the top of the cedar pole had first appeared to the Face of Mother Earth.

"My fur is drying out in the warm winds and I need help to raise the Cedar?

That is when mighty Great Bear gave one last mighty heave with his giant muscles, and all that we see and hear and know trembled, when first arrived what we call the"Tree of Life" emerged into the light of the moon and the sun.

"Mugwa," urged Otter, "We have finished raising the Cedar as they told us. I am ready to return from where I came."

"Mugwa," growled Great Bear while he lifted his great head and curiously sniffed the warm new fragrant and now sacred smells from the Sky Spirits.

"I would see this creature without fur for whom the whole First Council was so deeply concerned."

"Mugwa" stated the agreeable Otter, "Now must we hurry."

The two sacred totem animals did not have far to look to greet their Vision Quest.

They came upon a cluster of the un-furred creatures pounding bark. Seeing them they hollered to the Four Winds, and the un-furred creatures dropped the bark, and fled, except for one small man-child who could not even stand on his hind legs. Great Bear stared at the un-furred man-child with his big brown bulging eyes

Great Bear saw that man-child had no claws, no teeth, and no fur, and not even a Berry. Wow! Great Bear shouted out, they have no Last Red Berry?

Otter replied. "They have not a What? What is a last red berry?

"Not even a berry." Great Bear pointed down an opening in the man-child's head out of which came wails of people sound breaking the silence of the night.

Man-Child does not have a Last Berry said Great Bear as he leaned back his huge head, parted those massive great jaws, and Otter looked into the carnivorous throat . There, hanging from the back of Great Bear's throat, was a round, ripe red colored "miskomin" as some came to know it many moons later as a rose-colored berry.

"Mugwa" said Otter. "To what end of need is such a thing? For I ask what it is!"

"Mugwa" little Otter friend, "For it is the very Last Berry I ate, and holds all the other black and red berries I have ever eaten before down inside. So the Last Berry remains so I never starve because the Last berry is always there."

Otter moved nervously into the water as he called out to Great Bear.

"I have never known or really understand why anyone would eat berries, but if you think that man-child needs one perhaps you should give him a Last Red Berry."

Great Bear slammed down on his great buttocks as hard as one can do, and then slid down a small slope of new sand right to the dune of Earth that greets the Sacred Waters. Behind him, where his great rump had opened up the virgin sands. Instantly, there now grew a long deep sacred green vine with shiny leaves and little round red berries just like the one in Great Bear's mouth he believed.

Great Bear reached over, yanked off a little red round berry, and dropped it into the wailing man-child's mouth.

"Mugwa " Great Bear rumbled in soft and gentle bear tones, "Now you little man-child shall not starve. For you have a Red Last Berry just like Great Bears"

The astonished infant man-child was still, trying to keep his bear berry down. (To this very day: That is exactly what all babies are doing when you see them silently swallowing. In swallowing they are trying to keep their Great Bear Gift of the Last Berry down.)

The warm sunlight of The Sky Spirits lit upon the new red bearberry vine and upon the swirling circles created in the water as Otter and Great Bear returned to Mother Earth leaving the Sacred Cedar (Tree of Life) and The sacred Green Vine with little red berries, and a peaceful and quiet wee man-child.

On a rock and from a perched position the wisdom of the Bahmbth-benahsee (whom we now know as the Tom-Tom Bird) watched all the things of the Otter and the Great Bear, and saw the Green Vine grow with red attachments and the wee man-child now calmly sitting there. He saw everything! Even the Tree of Life!

Tom-Tom flew to the cedar "Tree of Life" and landed. And, did what Tom-Tom birds naturally do. He threw back his red head and beat out the "FIRST SOUND" ever heard in Cedar upon Mother Earth and upward to the Sky Spirits, and everyone was well pleased. As his message to the Universe was: "Last Red Berry of the Great Bear granted, and life has arrived to the un-furred"

As I heard: So have I shared.

I am Wha-O Chee (Bear Standing )

[ of the Mide manido ("Grand Medicine spirit") ] {Eternal MedicineLodge]

And I share to the Nations that which I have received:

We are on the internet:

Buffalo and the New Man

Buffalo and New Man: An old story from the Fires!

Long ago a great fog covered that which the Buffalo knew.

And, the fog kept new man from seeing the wonder of the Buffalo.

Until an eagle started soaring from above and caused a great whirlwind

That lifted the great fog and the new man now saw the Buffalo.

But new man had no idea of what he was seeing?

He could see it was fast and strong and wondered much about it.

Until the Turtle strolled by from below and caused a great hole to appear

That filled with living waters from on above, and the Buffalo stopped to drink.

New man pondered upon this? The air became chilly and cold winds blew.

He could see the living waters turning white and hard and wondered much about it.

Until the beaver arrived and with great teeth chewed a hole right through.

That allowed Buffalo to keep drinking, and new man sat and watched it all.

Then new man heard a growl and was thinking Bear had arrived?

But, nowhere could new man see the Bear, and wondered much about it.

Until new man realized the growl was from within and he wondered much about it.

As new man found his body now was very very cold and felt numb when touched.

New man fell to the white ground and pondered upon the wonderment of it all?

Until a great herd of Coyotes arrived and circled around a Buffalo.

He could see they were sneaky and yet wise to encircle the Buffalo drinking waters.

New man was surprised when they pounced and brought the Buffalo to the white ground.

Long time past as new man trembled with cold watching the Coyotes eat.

Until as satisfied they left as they came, and new man wondered much about it?

Walking to the Buffalo new man saw what was left of the hide.

Picking it upon himself he felt warmth from the power of the Buffalo.

To this day new men all seek to wear the great Buffalo Hide for warmth and pride.

But, found hunting himself was superior to watching the Coyotes eat the Buffalo.

And, then new man discovered the meat was good and the bones made great things.

To this day we Honor the Great Buffalo who was White as Snow that Day.

As I heard: So have I shared.

I am Wha-O Chee (Bear Standing )

[ of the Mide manido ("Grand Medicine spirit") ] {Eternal Medicine Lodge]

And I share to the Nations that which I have received:

Native American story telling: A sharing!

By pabear and Little Hawk

Cherokee, stories were always told in go-la (wintertime). That's when the harvesting is done, and it's not yet time to begin planting. Everything is very very quiet, it's usually snowing outside, and except for the hunters, everyone has to stay inside next to the fire ( a-tsi-la ), where it is warm and comfortable. Wintertime is also the best time to tell stories because that's when the snakes are asleep, and they can't hear what we are saying. My Grandfather told me this story..a good rabbit story..and the rabbit is said to be the leader of mischief among the Cherokee. May you enjoy that which was handed down to the "Seventh Generation"!

A long time ago, deer (a-wi) had no antlers whatsoever. His head was just as bald as a doe's head; with no antlers at all. And deer and rabbit started arguing one day about who's the fastest. The rabbit (tsi-s-du) said, " I am the fastest. Let's wager". Ts-s-du said, "Alright that is good, but what shall be the prize?" They thought for awhile and they thought, " I think a headdress like A-we-quo, the elk, would be nice." And they both agreed.

So while the conjurers were talking with A-we-quo and the spirits to make this marvelous prize for the race, Tsi-s-du and A-wi went out to set the course. Tsi-s-du said, " I've never been in this area before. Perhaps I should go and look to make sure where to go and what landmarks are so I can get back and it will be a fair race." They thought that that was a good idea, so while they were working on other things, Tsi-s-du went off.

After awhile Tsi-s-du didn't come back, and the people said, "I wonder what that old rabbit is up to? Maybe we'd better go see." And they went out into the forest and found old rabbit was eating a hole through the underbrush making a road so it would be easy for him to win the race. They came back and told the animal people, "Rabbit is cheating. He is making a road for himself." They said, "That should not be." And all the animal people went to see, and sure enough, there was rabbit eating away at the underbrush. They said, "This is no good. You have cheated, therefore there will be no race and the prize will go to A-wi. He, the ga-la-gi-ni, the buck, will wear the headdress." And that's how deer got antlers and why Tsi-s-du, to this day, eats the plants,. because that's what he did then.

That ends our story, but with it comes a responsibility. For you now become the story teller as you pass the wintertime Cherokee stories along to your friends and to your children some day. And the stories continue. You see, the story only lives when it's being told. If it isn't told, the story dies. That's something w must never let happen. These are good stories, remember them always and tell them to all your youngsters

The story concerning the Bear family was revealed through a descendant of the original hero of the following tale. He owned a very old powder horn bearing an incised representation of his mother, who was a Bear, seated in the bow of a canoe traveling to the hunting grounds with her husband. Many, many generations ago, a Penobscot, his wife, and their little son started out from their village to go to Canada. They were from Penobscot Bay, bound for a great council and dance to be held at the Iroquois village fo Caughnawaga. They went upriver to the point where they had to make a 20-mile portage to reach another river that would take them to the St. Lawrence. The man started ahead with the canoe on his back, leaving his wife to pack part of the luggage to their first overnight campsite. The little boy ran alongside of her. While she was busy arranging her pack, her son ran on ahead to catch up with his father. The man had gone so far ahead, the boy became lost. The mother assumed the boy was with his father. When she arrived at the campground, they discovered that their son was with neither of them. They began a search immediately, but they could not find him. The parents returned home to tell their story to their tribe. All of the men turned out for a wide search party, which lasted for several months without success. In March of the next year, the Penobscots found some sharpened sticks near the river. They concluded that the boy must be alive and had been spearing fish. Footprints of bears were seen, and they thought perhaps the boy had been adopted by a bear family. In the village, there was a lazy man who did not enter into the search, but lay around idly. Everyone asked him, "Why don't you help hunt for the boy? You seem to be good for nothing." " Very well, I will," he replied. He went right to the bear's den and knocked with his bow on the rocks at the entrance. Inside, a great noise arose where the father, mother, baby bear, and adopted boy lived. The father-bear went to the entrance, holding out a birch-bark vessel. The lazy man shot at it and killed the bear. The mother-bear says, "Now I will go." She took another vessel, held it out at the entrance, and also was killed. The baby bear did the same and was killed. All of the bears were laid out dead in the cave. Then the lazy man entered and saw the little boy terribly afraid and huddled in a dark corner, crying for his relatives and trying to hide. The lazy hunter gently carried him home to the village and have him to his parents. Everyone gave the lazy man presents: two blankets, a canoe, ammunition, and other good things. He became rich overnight. The boy's parents, however, noticed that their son seemed to be turning into a bear. Bristles were showing on his upper back and shoulders, and his manners had changed. Finally they helped him to become a real person again, and he grew up to be a Penobscot Indian like his father. He married and had children. Forever after he and all of his descendants were called Bears. They drew pictures of bears on pieces of birch-bark with charcoal and left them at camps wherever they went. All of their descendants seemed to do this and declare, "I am one on the Bear family."

If you enjoyed please REMEMBER to share the link with family and friends.

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Pabear48 at YouTube

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original author unknown..Modified by Wha-O-Chee

This is a story now at times told around the Fire Rings and who originally put it into writing is unknown. Over time many have modified the story as they remember telling it or writing it down. This is my version modified by myself.and as I shared it in the Bear Cave System many moons ago. Enjoy!

There was a man of the people who did not believe in Creator? A small man who worked the forest for a living cutting down the trees without care or thought about planting new ones, or thinking about his actions on Mother Earth. One day, the man who did not believe in God went for a walk in the nearby woods, and as he was walking along began enjoying the loveliness of all he saw.

Suddenly, out of no where it seems his eyes caught a very large black bear. Before the man could react the bear took out after the man. The man who did not believe in God was running as fast as he could. But, the bear was gaining. Just as the bear stretched out his big bear paw with claws gleaming in the sun:

The man who did not believe in God. Yelled out: " Oh God"?.

All of a sudden! The wind stopped and not one leaf moved. The air was still. And the bear was like frozen in time, and stopped. Whereupon, out of the stillness and silence, a voice said to the man who did not believe in God: " Yes! What is it you want? For you have never believed in me and yet you call me now." The man said to God.."No! I do not believe in you. But, since You are here, would You ask, make this bear a Christian?": Immediately, the air started to move and the leaves rustled once again and the man felt safe. The man who did not believe in God looked around to see what had happened to the great black bear. In astonishment, the man who did not believe in God watched the big black bear on his knees with his great claws and paws folded under his chin: And the man heard the bear speaking: " Thank You God for this food I am about to receive.........?

© 2010 Trulee Ann


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