The State of New Jersey was populated by Native People of the Delaware or Lenape Tribe. This tribe had three clans: the Munsee, or Bear Clan; the Unami, or Turtle Clan; and the Unalachtigo, or Turkey Clan. They spoke a language in the Algonquian family and had similar legends and mythology.
Please tell me what you think of the material that I have been sharing with you here. Is it what you want to see? Do you want to know more about their religious beliefs and how they saw the cosmogony or are you happy with stories that reflect their daily lives? I am grateful for the time that we share and I will do my best to make it pleasant for you.
With love and light,
The Fairy Lady
THE HUNTER AND THE OWL
Once a Delaware man and his wife went on a long hunt quite a way from the village. They had been out several days without having any luck when one night as they were sitting around their camp fire an owl hooted from a tree near by and after hooting laughed.
"Mo-hoo-mus (or Grandfather), I have heard you whoop and laugh. I know by this that you see good luck coming to me after these few days of discouragement.
The next morning he arose early, just before day, and started out with his bow and arrow, leaving his wife to take care of the camp. He had not gone far before he killed a very large buck.
The owl flew low down, right in front of the man, and said to him: "Is this the way you keep your promise to me? For this falsehood I will curse you. When you lay down this deer, you will fall dead." The hunter was quick to reply: "Grandfather, it is true I did not hang the fat up for you where I killed the deer, but I did not intend to keep it from you as you accuse me. I too have power and I say to you that when you alight, you too will fall dead.
made a circle or two and began to get very tired, for owls can only fly a short distance. When it came back again, it said: "My good hunter, I will recall my curse and help you all I can, if you will recall yours, and we will be friends after this." The hunter was glad enough to agree, as he was getting very tired too. So the hunter lay the deer down and took out the fat and the heart and hung them up. When he picked up the deer again it was much lighter and he carried it to his camp with perfect ease. His wife was very glad to see him bringing in game. She soon dressed the deer and cut up strips of the best meat and hung them up to dry, and the hunter went out again and soon
returned with other game.
In a few days they had all the furs and dried meat they could both carry to their home, and the hunter learned a lesson on this trip that he never afterwards forgot, that whenever a promise is made it should always be fulfilled.