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Monday, 21 July 2014

Native legends of Little people and mythological creatures .

Native legends of Little people and mythological creatures .
Part 2
Hi dear friends and followers, today we resume our journey back in the time to the legends told by the Iroquois story tellers.

Today's installment of Stories the Iroquois Tell Their Children is a piece of wisdom and a warning. It seems to be as appropriate today (to a certain degree) as it was many moons ago.

Story Telling Time

The old time Native folks say that a long, long time ago the Little People made a law that stories must not be told in the summer.

Summer is a time for work. Bees must store their honey. Squirrels must gather nuts. Men must grow their corn, and trees and plants must grow leaves, flowers, and bear their fruits.

If stories were told, plants, birds, animals, and men would stop their work to listen. This would mean poor crops and hungry people. Animal;s would forget to grow their winter coats and lay by their winter stores. Birds would fail to start to head south in time.

The old Indians say that the storyteller who disobeys this law of the Jo gah oh will suffer some misfortune. Winter is the time to tell stories, for then the work of animals, plants, and men is done – and the Little People are fast asleep.

No, it is not safe to tell stories in the summer. No one knows when a bird, bee, or butterfly might be listening and tell the chief of the Little People. Should the chief of the Little People take offense, he might cause something dreadful to happen to the storyteller.

Last summer the writer of these stories (Mabel Powers) came very near to being changed into an animal – or something worse – just for telling stories. So an old Indian said. She does not know how she (Mabel Powers) escaped. She thinks it must have been because she was a White Indian, one accepted by the Indians as a storyteller. This is how it happened.

It was at the time of the Harvest Moon. Yeh sen no wehs spoke for one of the tribes at their council house, and she told some of these wonder stories.

All went well until the middle of the night. Then a very old Indian came to warn her of her danger. It seems that he had been at the council that evening and he had heard the stories told, many of which he knew.

He told Ye sen no wehs he had expected her to change into something else right then and there. He said that he would not dare to tell a story. “no, no, me 'fraid, evil come!” he said.

Then he wanted to know if Ye sen no wehs was a real Indian. He had been told that she was a White Indian but when he heard her tell the stories, he said, he thought she was a real Indian.

When Ye sen no wehs told him that she had not a drop of Indian blood running in her veins, he looked very solemn. At last he spoke. He told the interpreter to tell her, - for he spoke but a few words of English,- that the Great Spirit made a snake a snake; a fox, a fox; a muskrat, a muskrat; a coon, a coon; a bear, a bear; an Indian, an Indian; a White Indian, a White Indian, as long as he lived. Each must be himself.

Then the old man asked what disease Yeh sen no wehs had, that made her go around with a feather in her hair, acting like a real Indian if she were a White Indian.

Ye sen no wehs made no answer. And she does not know to this day (this conversation took place sometime before 1917), what saved her from being changed into a rabbit, a katydid, or something worse, by the chief of the Little People. She knows, however, that she is very glad that she is telling the stories to you in the winter time!

Thank you very much my dear friends and followers for reading this introduction on the Native American storytellers . I would be pleased to have a dialog on this topic, express what you think and feel. Thank you

With love form your Fairy Lady

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