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Iroquois Legend of the Big Dipper



Long ago, the Great Bear wandered freely throughout the sky. His massive paws took him far across the unlimited ceiling of the world. He hunted and fished, finding food there in the many rivers of the sky. All throughout the first spring he did this, until his belly was full and happy.


He did not know that three young braves had discovered him feeding that spring. They sought his pelt and meat to feed their families in the long winter that they knew was coming soon.


Without warning, the braves ran out after the bear, trying to catch and kill him. The Great Bear ran, trying to escape from the hunters. All through the long summer he ran, always trying to get away. The braves, however were very cunning and strong. Eventually they caught up with him. In the first autumn, their arrows pierced the Great Bear and he died.


The blood of the bear spilled out of the sky and tinged all the leaves with red and orange. The trees then dropped all of their leaves in mourning for their friend, the Great Bear.


The Great Bear was reborn the following spring, as is the way of bears, and the braves set out after him again. They do this each year. If you look into the sky and watch, you can see the braves trailing behind the Great Bear as he runs toward the horizon, only to do it again and again with the coming of each spring.




"Destiny" courtesty of Native American Midis



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