Grizzly Bear And The Four Chiefs

: Indian Legends Retold

There were once four chiefs who were brothers and lived in one

village. In the dead of winter, when food was scarce, a lean stranger

came among them and stopped at the hut of the eldest brother.

He was courteously received and seated by the fire, as is the custom,

and the chief asked him where he came from.

"I have come a long way," replied the stranger.

"And what have you eate
on the way?"

"I have eaten nothing but snow," he said.

Then the chief ordered a dish of snow and a spoon to be placed before

his guest, but he got up without touching it and went on to the house

of the second brother.

Here he was again asked where he came from and what he had eaten on

the road, and when he answered that he had eaten only snow, he was

given a large dish of it with a spoon. The same thing happened at the

third house.

When the traveler came to the dwelling of the youngest brother, and

the host heard that he had eaten nothing but snow and was starving, he

said to his wife, "Wife, see if there is still a dried salmon left."

She looked, and found a single one, half of which she broiled and gave

it on a dish to the stranger.

After he had eaten, he made ready to go on, but his host said, "Wife,

give our guest the other half of the salmon to eat on the journey,"

and she did so.

Then the stranger said to him, "All the others ridiculed a starving

man, but you were a true host. Your kindness shall be rewarded. Meet

me to-morrow at the mouth of the river."

The young chief did as he was told, and behold! a great grizzly Bear,

who presented him with leggings, a grizzly-bear headdress, and a

magic bow which killed all manner of game. From that day he never went

hungry, but became the envy of his elder brothers and the richest man

in the village.