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Communication - Scrappiness - Participation - 
Parenting skills - Crafty - Elusive 
Native American Lore 
    In olden days when mostly animals roamed this earth, a Porcupine set out to track some buffalo. He asked the buffalo chips, "How long have you been here on this trail?" He kept on asking, until finally one answered, "Only lately have I been here." 

    From there Porcupine followed the same path. The farther he went, the fresher the tracks. He continued until he came to a river; there he saw a buffaloherd that had crossed the ford onto the other side. 

    "What shall I do now?" thought Porcupine as he sat down. He called out, "Carry me across!" 

    One of the buffalo replied, "Do you mean me?" 

    Porcupine called again, "No, I want a different buffalo." 

    Thus he rejected each member of the herd, one after another, as each asked. "Do you mean me?" 

    Finally the last and best one in the herd said, 

    "I will carry you across the river." 

    The buffalo crossed the river and said to porcupine, "Climb on my back." 

    Porcupine said, "No, I'm afraid I will fall off into the water." 

    Buffalo said, "Then climb up and ride between my horns." 

    "No," replied Porcupine. "I'm sure I'll slide off into the river." 

    Buffalo suggested many other ways to carry him, but Porcupine protested. 

   "Perhaps you'd rather ride inside of me?" offered the buffalo. 

    "Yes," said Porcupine, and let himself be swallowed by the buffalo. 

    "Where are we now?" asked Porcupine. 

    "In the middle of the river," said the buffalo, and after a little while, Porcupine asked again. 

    "We have nearly crossed," said the buffalo. 

    "Now we have emerged from the water; come out of me!" 

    Porcupine said, "No, not yet, go a little farther." 

    Soon the buffalo stopped and said, "We have gone far enough, so come out." 

     Then Porcupine hit the buffalo's heart with his heavy tail. The buffalo started to run, but fell down and died right there. Porcupine had killed him. Others in the herd tried to hook Porcupine, but he sat under the buffalo's ribs, where he could not be hooked. Soon the herd tired and ran on their way. 

    Porcupine came out and said aloud, "I wish I had something to butcher this nice big buffalo with." 

    Now, Coyote was sleeping nearby, and woke up and heard him. Coyote went to Porcupine and said, 

    "Here is my knife for butchering." 

     So they went together to the side of the buffalo. 

    "Let him butcher who can jump over it," said Coyote. 

    Porcupine ran and jumped, but only part way over the buffalo. Coyote jumped over it without touching the dead animal, so he began to butcher, cutting up the buffalo. After a little time, he handed the paunch to Porcupine and said, 

    "Go wash it in the river, but don't eat it yet." 

    Porcupine took it to the river, washed it, then he bit off a piece. When Coyote saw what Porcupine had done, he became very angry with him and went after him, 

    "I told you not to eat any of the paunch." Coyote picked up a club and killed Porcupine and placed him beside the buffalo, and went to his home. Then he told his family, 

    "I have killed a buffalo and I have killed a porcupine. Let us go and carry them home." 

    Before Porcupine had come out of the buffalo, he said magic words, "Let a red pine grow here fast." 

    Then at once red pine began to grow under the meat and under Porcupine. It grew very tall and fast. All of the meat and Porcupine rested at the top of the red pine tree, high in the air, Porcupine magically coming alive again. 

    Coyote and his family arrived and were surprised that all of the meat was gone. They began to hunt for it. 

    "I wish they would look up," said Porcupine. 

    Then the smallest child looked up and said "Oh!" 

     The family looked up and saw Porcupine sitting on top of the meat in the tall red pine tree. Coyote said, 

    "Throw down a piece of the neck, we are very hungry." 

    "Yes," said Porcupine. "Place that youngest child a little farther away. 

     "Yes," they responded and took him to one side. 

    "Now make a ring and all hold hands upward," said Porcupine. 

    So the family joined hands and held them up. Porcupine threw down several pieces of the buffalo meat, killing Coyote and those in the ring. Porcupine then threw down the rest of the buffalo meat, and climbed down the tree. He took charge of the young coyote and fed him all the meat he desired. Porcupine took all the meat he could carry to his home. He and the young coyote became good friends and helped each other hunt buffalo together for along, long time. 



Abundance - Fertility - Children - Harmony - 
Regeneration - Love - 
Balance between mind and emotion 
SKYLAND WOMAN'S WISH (Onen tsi ne'i nakkara) 
As retold by Akalem Mitonkwa
    One of our oldest tales says that one night Skyland Woman dreamed that the great sky tree must be uprooted. Since she was heavy with child, her dream was very strong and urgent. She told her husband, Skyland Chief, of this dream and he ordered the tree to be uprooted even as the dream had foretold it. As the last root gave way, Skyland Woman peered through the hole that it had made. There she saw the earth far below all covered by water and mists. It was then that she swooned and fell through the hole. She grabbed at a branch of the skyland tree that was laying near the hole but only managed to strip away a few leaves and seeds. Down she fell toward the earth. 

    But her fall did not go unnoticed. Birds in the air and the animals of the water saw her falling. The birds said "Someone comes. We must help her!" 

    It was the geese, largest of the birds, that flew up and caught her between their wings and stopped her fall. The other animals, seeing that she would need a place to stand, dove to the bottom of the water and began to bring up the dirt from the earth below. But all failed until the muskrat had his turn. The muskrat brought up a great mound of the earth and looked around for a place to put it where it would not sink back into the sea. 

    "Use my back!" offered the Great Turtle rising to the surface of the water. The muskrat spread the moist earth on the turtle's back and dove for more. Many times the muskrat dove and each time returned with piles of earth. Soon the turtle's back was completely covered and the geese lowered Skyland Woman on the moist soil. As she walked around, the seed fell into her footprints. It is from these seeds that the first plants began to grow. Tired from her fall and inspection of the Great Turtle's back, she fell into a deep sleep. And when she woke, she gave birth to her child. A girl she had and it was the first child on earth. Skyland Woman then had a vision that her daughter would surely marry The West Wind. In this union would the earth be populated by The People. This is a strong story that I tell, for the women are the ones who foster life, nurture the corn, squash, and beans who are The Three Sisters of Life! Remember it well. 
THE TURTLE ISLAND (Ulinawa Amayeli) 
     After Skyland Woman had the Skyland Tree uprooted leaving the whole in the sky, Star Woman was angered. She set about banishing the Skyland People for this misdeed. But as we saw in the last legend, Skyland Woman was saved by the animals of the great ocean. 

    The Great Turtle had offered his back so that earth could be pulled up from the ocean bottom so that Skyland Woman would have a place to bear her child. 

    The legend continues that the dirt brought up by the Muskrat was placed on the Great Turtle's back and seeded by Skyland Woman. It was the Beavers that followed her around packing down the soil and making the land firm. All of the other creatures came from the water and the sky to live on this land in harmony with Skyland Woman as their center: their heart. The plants began to grow and food was provided for all. Thus, it is, that the only land became known as Turtle Island . Before long, the animals and birds became too many for the Great Turtle to carry alone. The Beavers began chewing down the trees on Turtle Island to make rafts. This would help the Great Turtle carry his load. The Muskrats dove deep into the Ocean and brought up more ground to cover the rafts. Now it was time for Skyland Woman's daughter to seed the ground. The young girl took the seed from every kind of plant and tree that grew on Turtle Island . With love and care she planted each one. She would poke a hole in the ground with her finger and drop a seed in. The Great Brown Bear followed her and pressed the soil closed with his massive paw. 

    As she was nearing the edge of one of the rafts and out of sight of her mother, West Wind came up and tried to make off with her. The Great Brown Bear gave a roar and charged into West Wind. The fought long and hard. Around and around they went and in their struggle, they created a great whirlwind. The princess was carried high into the sky Star Woman saw this and sent the Hawk to snatch her and take her back to Skyland. But the Thunderbird was keener of sight and faster on the wing. His talons closed around the Princess just a wing length ahead of the Hawk and he carried her back to her mother. 

    After a very long time, the Great Brown Bear and West Wind grew tired. Neither could defeat the other and they called a truce. Going to Skyland Woman at the heart of Turtle Island , West Wind asked for the Princess's hand in marriage. Skyland Woman could not see the face of West Wind. 

    "My eyes grow tired in this dim light. Can no one bring me more light that I may see the one who asks for my daughter?" 

    Even before she had finished her question, there was a mighty beating of wings in the east. Over the horizon came the Great Thunderbird carrying the Sun in his talons. Slowly he moved across the sky looking for a place to put the Sun down. Yet he could find none. If he put the Sun on the land all of the plants would burn up and if he put it in the water its fire would go out. This was the first dawn. With no place to put the Sun, the Great Thunderbird kept circling around the earth. As he passed over the western horizon, it became night again and this was the first sunset. But it was enough. Skyland Woman had seen the face of West Wind and remembered her vision. Her daughter also fell in love with West Wind and they were married by the Great Owl on Turtle Island . From this union came all the people of the earth. They are the farmers by their mother's guidance and they are the wanderers from their father's example. They lived in great harmony with all of the plants, and animals, and birds on Turtle Island . 



Youth - Bravery - Endurance - 
Strength - Self-defense - Prosperity 
    Long ago, when the world was new, there were seven boys who used to spend all their time down by the townhouse playing the gatay'st game, rolling a stone wheel along the ground and sliding a curved stick after it to strike it. Their mothers scolded, but it did no good, so one day they collected some gatay'st stones and boiled them in the pot with the corn for dinner. When the boys came home hungry their mothers dipped out the stones and said, "Since you like the gatay'st better than the cornfield, take the stones now for your dinner." 

    The boys were very angry, and went down to the townhouse, saying, "As our mothers treat us this way, let us go where we shall never trouble them any more." They began a dance--some say it was the Feather dance-and went round and round the townhouse, praying to the spirits to help them. At last their mothers were afraid something was wrong and went out to look for them. They saw the boys still dancing around the townhouse, and as they watched they noticed that their feet were off the earth, and that with every round they rose higher and higher in the air. They ran to get their children, but it was too late, for then, were already above the roof of the townhouse--all but one, whose mother managed to pull him down with the gatay'st pole, but he struck the ground with such force that he sank into it and the earth closed over him. 

    The other six circled higher and higher until they went up to the sky, where we see them now as the Pleiades, which the Cherokee still call Ani'tsuts (The Boys). The people grieved long after them, but the mother whose boy had gone into the ground came every morning and every evening to cry over the spot until the earth was damp with her tears. At last a little green shoot sprouted up and grew day by day until it became the tall tree that we call now the pine, and the pine is of the same nature as the stars and holds in itself the same bright light. 



The dolphin is the epitome of joyful wisdom. He zips through the water, playing, jumping, and squeaking with delight. Unlike us however, dolphin has to remember to come up for air and breathe. We could use this wisdom to remind us that if we come up for air in our lives and allow time for play, we will be in joyful cooperation with the whole universe. 



Ability to siphon energy - Living within the Earth - 
Balance - Symbiosis - Connection to mud - 
Going within

    Of old times. There was a very beautiful woman. She turned the heads of all the men. She married, and her husband died very soon after, but she immediately took another. Within a single year she had five husbands, and these were the cleverest and handsomest and bravest in the tribe. And then she married again.

    This, the sixth, was such a silent man that he passed for a fool. But he was wiser than people thought. He came to believe, by thinking it over, that this woman had some strange secret. He resolved to find it out. So he watched her all the time. He kept his eye on her by night and by day.

    It was summer, and she proposed to go into the woods to pick berries, and to camp there. By and by, when they were in the forest, she suggested that he should go on to the spot where they intended to remain and build a wigwam. He said that he would do so. But he went a little way into the woods and watched her.

    As soon as she believed that he was gone, she rose and walked rapidly onwards. He followed her, unseen. She went on, till, in a deep, wild place among the rocks, she came to a pond. She sat down and sang a song. A great foam, or froth, rose to the surface of the water. Then in the foam appeared the tail of a serpent. The creature was of immense size.

    The woman, who had laid aside all her garments, embraced the serpent, which twined around her, enveloping all her limbs and body in his folds. The husband watched it all. He now understood that, the venom of the serpent having entered the woman, she had saved her life by transferring it to others, who died.

     He went on to the camping ground and built a wigwam. He made up two beds. He built a fire. His wife came. She was earnest that there should be only a single bed. He sternly bade her lie by herself. She was afraid of him.

    She laid down and went to sleep. He arose three times during the night to replenish the fire. Every time he called her, and there was no answer. In the morning he shook her. She was dead. She had died by the poison of the serpent.

    They sunk her in the pond where the snake lived.



The whales migrate great distances in their yearly journeys and each whale has a beautiful and unique sound that is recognized by the others. Whale holds wisdom from all its experience and knows its own value and worth as part of the whole. Whale can help us get in touch with our deeper truth, our purpose, and the nature of our soul.. 



Control Rainfall Healing Song  
Guide to find soul's song - Soul memory - 
Seeing the unseen

    According to coastal Tlingit Indians, Orca was created by a Tlingit hunter who carved a "blackfish" out of yellow cedar and commanded it to kill his wicked in-laws. 

    Orca tore the men to bits and returned to the Tlingit man, Natsalane. 

    He then ordered the sleek animal never again to prey on humans. 

    And, to this day, Orca, the top predator of the sea, doesnt eat people. 

    Indeed, the Tlingit people of southeast Alaska consider Orca a custodian of the sea.



Ability to filter out lifes static - 
Understands when to close doors to prevent energy loss - 
Sensitivity to environmental changes - 
Maintenance of outer wall of protection 
(as told by Jim Fox) 
    A long time ago when the Cherokee people were new upon the earth, they thought that life would be much better if there was never any night. They beseeched the Ouga (Creator) that it might be day all the time and that there would be no darkness. 

    The Creator heard their voices and made the night cease and it was day all the time. Soon the forest was thick with heavy growth. It became difficult to walk and to find the path. The people toiled in the gardens many long hours trying to keep the weeds pulled from among the corn and other food plants. It got hot, very hot, and continued that way day after long day. The people began to find it difficult to sleep and became short tempered and argued among themselves. 

    Not many days had passed before the people realized they had made a mistake and, once again, they beseeched the Creator. "Please," they said, "we have made a mistake in asking that it be day all the time. Now we think that it should be night all the time." The Creator paused at this new request and thought that perhaps the people may be right even though all things were created in twos representing to us day and night, life and death, good and evil, times of plenty and those times of famine. The Creator loved the people and decided to make it night all the time as they had asked. 
The day ceased and night fell upon the earth. Soon, the crops stopped growing and it became very cold. The people spent much of their time gathering wood for the fires. They could not see to hunt meat and with no crops growing, it was not long before the people were cold, weak, and very hungry. Many of the people died. 

    Those that remained still living gathered once again to beseech the Creator. "Help us Creator," they cried! "We have made a terrible mistake. You had made the day and the night perfect, and as it should be, from the beginning. We ask that you forgive us and make the day and night as it was before." 

    Once again the Creator listened to the request of the people. The day and the night became as the people had asked, as it had been in the beginning. Each day was divided between light and darkness. The weather became more pleasant, and the crops began to grow again. Game was plentiful and the hunting was good. The people had plenty to eat and there was not much sickness. The people treated each other with compassion and respect. It was good to be alive. The people thanked the Creator for their life and for the food they had to eat. 

    The Creator accepted the gratitude of the people and was glad to see them smiling again. However, during the time of the long day of night, many of the people had died, and the Creator was sorry they had perished because of the night. The Creator placed their spirits in a newly created tree. This tress was named a-tsi-na tlu-gv {ah-see-na loo-guh} cedar tree. 

    When you smell the aroma of the cedar tree or gaze upon it standing in the forest, remember that if you are Tsalagi Cherokee, you are looking upon your ancestor. 

     Tradition holds that the wood of the cedar tree holds powerful protective spirits for the Cherokee. Many carry a small piece of cedar wood in their medicine bags worn around the neck. It is also placed above the entrances to the house to protect against the entry of evil spirits. A traditional drum would be made from cedar wood. 

    The Creator did not make the people because of loneliness, but because the Creator wanted to show generosity and love to the people. Accept the blessings and the gifts given and always give thanks for them. 


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