Episode 1 - Wolverine and the black bear

Told by John Peastitute of Kawawachikamach and Joseph, Edward and Charlotte Rich of Sheshatshiu. Translated by Joseph Peastitute of Kawawachikamach and Matthew Rich of Sheshatshiu. Ref. Peter Desbarats (ed.). 1969. What they used to tell about. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd.

The wolverine was traveling and he was hungry.

He saw a black bear and he wondered, “How am I going to trick him?”

When he got near him, he called out, “My brother, my brother, I’ve been looking for you all over the place.  You were lost when you were small. Our mother has been looking for you.  She never stops crying.”

The bear thought to himself, “I wonder how I came to be his brother? I was born in a different place.”

And he ran away but the wolverine called out again, “My brother, our father and mother have never stopped crying since you were lost.  They will be very glad that I found you.”

The black bear turned back to the wolverine.  When he came close to him, the wolverine said, “When you were small you got lost when you were picking berries.  Now our mother and father will be very happy.  We must go back home.”

A little while before, the wolverine had seen a place with a lot of berries.  He remembered this place when he was traveling back with the bear.  When they were still very far away from the place, he said to the bear, “Brother, can you see those berries over there?”

The bear said, “No.”

“Let’s go and get them,” said the wolverine.

When they came to the place, the bear saw the berries.  As they were eating them, he asked the wolverine, “How can you see that far?”

The wolverine told him, “Long ago our father and mother made a sweat camp for me.  They put me in the hot tent and they blew on my eyes and then they put juice from red berries on my eyes.

“When they burst red berries on my eyes, it hurt very badly but later I could see very good and very far.  My eyes were like binoculars.”

The bear said, “Brother, do that for me.”

“Pick the berries,” said the wolverine.

The wolverine made a hot tent.  He burned grass and he made the stones hot.  Then he put a sharp stone inside the tent.

He went into the tent first and told the bear to come in.  The bear put his head inside the tent.

The wolverine blew on the bear’s eyes and he said, “Now, brother, I will burst the red berries on your eyes.” And he did. 

“Brother, it’s hurting me very badly,” the black bear said.

“You will be all right later,” said the wolverine.

The black bear closed his eyes.  When the wolverine knew that the black bear couldn’t see, he took the sharp rock and smashed the bear’s head and killed him.

And later he said, “You taste so good – how can you be my brother?”

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