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bear. - Animals/Nature
native.folklore.peperonity.net

The Bear Legend

from
the
Cherokee ppl

Once there was a clan called the Ani-Tsa-gu-hi and in one of the families, there was a young boy who loved to wonder from home and roam alone through the woods.
The boy began spending more and more time in the woods until
he wouldn't even return home to eat.
At daybreak he'd leave and wouldn't return again until night.
His parents noticed brown fur starting to grow all over his body so they asked him why he loved being in the woods so much.
He answered, "Because there is plenty of food and its so much better than the corn and beans we have here. Soon i will go to the woods and remain there, you see i'm already different. I won't be able to stay here any longer."
His parents begged him not to change and leave them.
"You can come with me, there is plenty for everyone in the woods and with very little work, but you must fast for seven days in order to join me."
The parents talked it over and brought the matter before the clan's headman, who held a council.
The clan all decided to join the boy in the woods and fasted for seven days.
The nearby clans were saddened to hear the Ani Tsaguhi were leaving so they sent messengers to try and stop them.
When the messengers arrived they found the Ani Tsaguhi were already on their way and changing.
They hadn't eaten human food in seven days so now their nature was changed.
The Ani Tsaguhi would not come back but said this, "We are going where there is always plenty to eat and hereafter shall be called Yonv (bears).
If you are ever hungry then come into the woods and call upon us, we will come down and offer our flesh to you.
Don't be afraid to kills us because we will live always."
They taught the songs needed to call them down from the woods and those songs were always used when beer hunting.
The messengers and Ani Tsaguhi turned and parted ways.
As the messengers looked back they saw only a group of bears entering the woods.


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