Life, mythology, Stuart France

Tee Pee Tales: Each to his Own…


One day Turtle made ready to go on the war-path.

His comrades Live-Coals, Ashes, Bulrush, Grasshopper, Dragonfly and Pickerel determined to go with him.

They set out together in good spirits but on the morning of their first camp a strong early morning wind arose and blew Ashes away.

“Iho,” said Turtle, “Ashes was no warrior!”

The war party continued on its path and came to a river.

Live-Coals perished in the crossing.

“Sh-s-s-s,” he said before leaving.

“Ah,” said Turtle, “no fight in him!”

On the far side of the river they all looked back and found that Bulrush had stayed behind.

Standing upright he waved at them from the river bank.

“No true brave, that one!” grumbled Turtle.

On went the war party until they reached a swamp in which Grasshopper stuck fast.

In his struggle to escape from the bog he pulled both his legs off.

Dragonfly mourned for his friend.

He cried bitterly and at last blew his nose so hard his neck broke in two.

“Pah!” said Turtle, “better off without the weaklings.”

Pickerel and Turtle advanced together into enemy land.

At the head of a lake they were met and quickly surrounded.

Pickerel dived into the lake and swam away but Turtle could not swim fast enough and was caught.

He was taken to a village  where the Head-Men held council to decide what should be done with him.

“We should build a fire and roast him alive,” said one.

“Hi-i-i,” cried Turtle, “I shall trample the fire and scatter live coals among your people!”

“We should boil water and throw him in the pot,” said another.

“Hi-i-i,” cried Turtle, “I shall dance in the boiling pot and clouds of steam will blind your people!”

“Why, not take him out into the middle of the lake and drown him,” said a third.

Turtle drew his head into his shell and remained quiet.

So he was taken in a canoe to the middle of the lake and dropped into the water.

He sank like a stone.

After the enemy had rowed away he  swam up to the surface of the water.

“Hi-i-i,” he cried, “now I am at home!”

Then he dived and swam wherever he liked.