The Old Chippeway





The old man Chippeway, the first of men, when he first landed on the

earth, near where the present Dogribs have their hunting-grounds,

found the world a beautiful world, well stocked with food, and

abounding with pleasant things. He found no man, woman, or child upon

it; but in time, being lonely, he created children, to whom he gave

two kinds of fruit, the black and the white, but he forbade them to

eat the black. Having given his commands for the government and

guidance of his family, he took leave of them for a time, to go into a

far country where the sun dwelt, for the purpose of bringing it to the

earth.



After a very long journey, and a long absence, he returned, bringing

with him the sun, and he was delighted to find that his children had

remained obedient, and had eaten only of the white food.



Again he left them to go on another expedition. The sun he had brought

lighted up the earth for only a short time, and in the land from which

he had brought it he had noticed another body, which served as a lamp

in the dark hours. He resolved therefore to journey and bring back

with him the moon; so, bidding adieu to his children and his dwelling,

he set forth once more.



While he had been absent on his first expedition, his children had

eaten up all the white food, and now, when he set out, he forgot to

provide them with a fresh supply. For a long time they resisted the

craving for food, but at last they could hold out no longer, and

satisfied their hunger with the black fruit.



The old Chippeway soon returned, bringing with him the moon. He soon

discovered that his children had transgressed his command, and had

eaten the food of disease and death. He told them what was the

consequence of their act--that in future the earth would produce bad

fruits, that sickness would come amongst men, that pain would rack

them, and their lives be lives of fatigue and danger.



Having brought the sun and moon to the earth, the old man Chippeway

rested, and made no more expeditions. He lived an immense number of

years, and saw all the troubles he declared would follow the eating of

the black food. At last he became tired of life, and his sole desire

was to be freed from it.



"Go," said he, to one of his sons, "to the river of the Bear Lake, and

fetch me a man of the little wise people (the beavers). Let it be one

with a brown ring round the end of the tail, and a white spot on the

tip of the nose. Let him be just two seasons old upon the first day

of the coming frog-moon, and see that his teeth be sharp."



The man did as he was directed. He went to the river of the Bear Lake,

and brought a man of the little wise people. He had a brown ring round

the end of his tail, and a white spot on the tip of his nose. He was

just two seasons old upon the first day of the frog-moon, and his

teeth were very sharp.



"Take the wise four-legged man," said the old Chippeway, "and pull

from his jaws seven of his teeth."



The man did as he was directed, and brought the teeth to the old man.

Then he bade him call all his people together, and when they were come

the old man thus addressed them--



"I am old, and am tired of life, and wish to sleep the sleep of death.

I will go hence. Take the seven teeth of the wise little four-legged

man and drive them into my body."



They did so, and as the last tooth entered him the old man died.





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