When Grizzlies Walked Upright

When Grizzlies Walked Upright

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  • The Chief of the Sky Spirits grew tired of his home in the Above World, because the air was always brittle with an icy cold.
  • The Sky Spirit broke off the small end of his giant stick and threw the pieces into the rivers. The longer pieces turned into beaver and otter; the smaller pieces became fish. When the leaves dropped from the trees, he picked them up, blew upon them, and so made the birds. Then he took the big end of his giant stick and made all the animals that walked on the earth, the biggest of which were the grizzly bears.
  • The wind blew and blew and roared and roared. Smoke blown back into the lodge hurt their eyes, and finally the Sky Spirit said to his youngest daughter, “Climb up to tile smoke hole and ask the Wind Spirit to blow more gently. Tell him I’m afraid he will blow the mountain over. But be careful not to stick your head out at the top. If you do,the wind may catch you by the hair and blow you away.”
  • Her curiosity got the better of her. She poked her head out of the hole and turned toward the west, but the Wind Spirit caught her long hair, pulled her out of the mountain, and blew her down over the snow and ice.There a grizzly bear found the girl when he was out hunting food for his family. He carried her home with him, and his wife brought her up with their family of cubs.The little girl and the cubs ate together, played together, and grew up together.
  • Once grown,she and the eldest son of the grizzlies were married,having many children,who were not as hairy,yet did not look exactly like their mother.The bears throughout the forests were proud of these new creatures,they made a lodge for the family.Years pass,the mama grizzly knew that she would soon die.Sending her eldest grandson in a cloud to tell the Chief where he could find his daughter.
  • A new race was created that was not of his making!He cursed all the bears:“Get down on your hands and knees.You have wronged me,and from this moment all of you will walk on four feet and never talk.”He drove his grandchildren out of the lodge,grabbed his daughter,and climbed the mountain.Some say that he put out the fire in the center of his lodge and took his family up to the sky.Those strange creatures scattered and wandered the earth,they were the first Indians.
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