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Bear and Beaver  at pabear48

Many Winters ago when the moon was still green and the stars lit the night skies a Great Chief of the Nation spoke of the War between Bear and Beaver. His name was Wha-0-Chee ( Bear Standing )

He said:

It began across the white topped mountains and where the desert meets the trees as the grasslands begin to flow. Where streams glisten and the buffalo roam from sea to sea and the ground shakes when they run from time to time.

Black Bear lived along the ridges of the mountains and hunted down below. In spring he would gather berries and at times hunting in the flowing waters of the crystal clear creek for the Salmon that roamed and sometimes seemed to fly through the air. It was in the time when animals could speak and man had just arrived. Black Bear was called Great Claws by all that saw him pass by. And, Great Claws loved eating the Salmon that sometimes flew in the air.

Beaver lived along the grasslands and roamed the where the streams glisten and the flowing waters of the crystal clear creek met the Great River of the Nation which split the lands from East to West and canoes were needed to pass. He was called Chewey by all that saw him pass by.

Now Chewey was a mischievous who could walk on the land and swim through the waters and loved to chew the trees he passed. He eyed the crystal creek as a wonderful place to build his home and watch the green moon light dance upon the Great River in the still of the nights. And, he knew the danger of seeing Great Claws when hunting the crystal clear creek.

 I,  Wha-O-Chee have walked the Great River and crossed it in my canoe to reach the crystal clear creek and have seen Chewey attending the land and watching out for Great Claws while felling the trees to make his abode. I am witness to the War between Bear and the Beaver and share what I saw to the entire Nation. During the Green Moon I have listened and talked with the animals of the Creator.

It began the day the sun rose in red flame and the winds went still. I was gathering a drink of the crystal clear waters of the creek when Great Claws appeared. Good Day I said and he spoke: Yes! It is a good day for Salmon.
Have you seen the buffalo pass by?  Great Claws stood on hind legs and looked deeply at me while saying: I have no want of watching for the buffalo and what you ask is no concern for Salmon is on my mind. But, to please you new man I say they passed by one moon ago. Now leave me to my hunting. Watching this exchange was Chewey from the other side of the crystal clear creek chewing on a white birch tree.

Great Claws began wading within the waters waiting for the Salmon that sometimes did fly. His eyes were upon the waters so he did not see Chewey on the other side of the crystal clear creek felling a birch tree, until suddenly he heard a crack like thunder and the birch tree fell upon his side.

Hey! You hit me with a tree you mischievous beaver and have scared the Salmon away and I was hungry as a Bear.

Chewey replied, Well why were you standing where I plan to build my home Great Claws?

Great Claws growled and with mighty arms lifted the tree and threw it to the shore and then smiled at small Chewey standing there.

Chewey grew angry and said: All of days I have chewed the birch tree to start my home and in one mighty act you have thrown my work away. This is War between you and me now Great Claws.

Great Claws grinned and even smiled: Chewey you are a crazy little fur covered animal that must see I am twenty times your size and you declare War between you and me!  Now leave me to my hunting while I watch for the salmon that sometimes even fly.

Wha-O-Chee sat and listened and watched.

Great Claws walked from the crystal clear creek which now was muddy and said: I will be back when the waters clear up again from that disruption of the tree falling upon me. You little fur covered Chewey had better not be here when I return for the Salmon that sometimes fly.

The night was approaching and Wha-O-Chee decided to camp and eat jerky to see what the Green Moon and the new red flame sun would reveal? His human curiosity had arrived.
The green moon beams were aglow upon the crystal clear creek as Chewey began knocking down one birch tree after another and dropping them with precision atop each other until they appeared as a great mountain and the creek came to a slow. Wha-O-Chee heard the commotion but sleep drew him into a deep slumber.

Great Claws awoke as the red flame sun shined upon his eyes. He was very hungry for no Salmon did he have yesterday from the crystal clear creek. He arose and walked down the mountain.

His eyes beheld a new mountain of wood reaching to the stars and he growled a roar heard from sea to sea which woke up Wha-O-Chee.

Into the creek raced Great Claws and with mighty claws and strength only the bear has tore and ripped and threw and broke the birch tress into the air until none were left and the mountain of wood was gone. Wha-O-Chee was witness to this act and saw Great Claws walk back up the mountain for the crystal clear waters were all muddy and no Salmon could be seen unless they would fly: But, Salmon do not even fly in muddy waters any day.

Now Chewey saw what Great Claws had done and his fur did rise. He started to chew limbs and sticks and one by one placed them into place and fell more birch trees in-between and packed with mud all of it into place until a greater wood mountain now held the waters in place. And, Wha-O-Chee watched this as he sat in the green moon light.

Chewey had stilled the waters from flowing and not a drop could pass by his new constructed wood mountain.

Next morning Great Claws even more hungry walked down the mountain and again ripped and tore Chewey’s Dam away tree by tree and limb by branch until not a stick remained. And, Wha-O-Chee watched this!

Sun by sun and moon by moon for thirty days and nights Chewey built and then Great Claws ripped apart. And, Wha-O-Chee watched this!

It was a dribble day as rain in small drops covered the lands as Great Claws once more appeared in endless hunger for a Salmon that sometimes flies.

Small furred Chewey was sitting on a tree stump on the other side of the once crystal clear waters that now were not flowing and even smelled as he watched Great Claws arriving  once more. He noticed that Great Claws did not appear so strong because of great hunger.

Chewey called out to Great Claws: Have you had enough War? Will you leave my home alone? Go else where?

Great Claws replied: I have always hunted the Salmon which sometimes fly from this once crystal clear creek that now stinks from the day I was born and shall until the day that I die. He started to try ripping and tearing the limbs, branches and trees packed with mud but was unable for his strength as the bear was gone. He looked at Chewey and said: I guess today is a good day to die!

Wha-O-Chee saw and heard this and was witness to the war between the Bear and the Beaver. He had camped the entire time as the green moon shown and the red flame sun arrived.

Wha-O-Chee spoke:

My animal friends this war must end between you two for death is not a choice we make but learning to live as one is the Walk with the Creator.
I have seen the war grow each night and return each morning between you two and it must end.

Great Claws you are weak being without food of the Salmon which sometimes fly and swam in the crystal clear creek. While you Chewey have almost no teeth left for chewing which means you also will surely die. And, you have stopped the crystal clear waters from flowing and now they are still and even stink. The Spirit of the waters shall also now die because of the war between you two creatures whom are stubborn to the end and even unto death.

Great Claws responded: But, I must eat of the Salmon that sometimes fly!

Chewey spoke out: I must make my home in the crystal clear creek that now stinks.

Wha-O-Chee now learned compassion and spoke:
Chewey my animal friend can you not allow some crystal clear waters to flow by your home? Would not that allow the Salmon to swim which sometimes fly to go by and give Great Claws the food he needs to live? And it would stop the stink!

Chewey looked upon this wise Chief of the Nations and we all saw the grin arrive. Yes! I shall modify and build a new way. I shall give it a try!

So from this day forth all beavers make their homes in crystal clear creeks and allow the waters to always keep flowing without stopping them totally and the stink has gone away. Watchers can now see the bears hunting the crystal clear waters at the point the waters flow by and sometimes it can be
Seen them standing right on beavers home and catching the Salmon that fly.

The time of the green moon has passed and the red flame sun still reminds us of the time all animals could talk and new man had arrived.

Wha-O-Chee had learned to speak his mind!

Great Spirit Creator had watched these things take place and sat silent to see what new man would do and how the animals would react with new man.
Because new man had cared for the animals a new gift appeared upon the earth and around the dams of the beavers. The cranberry!  It adorned the shores and gave the bears a new food as well as holding the shore s in place as waters arose from the home of the beavers and the waters never stank again. Man had arrived!

A tale told around the Winter Fires.


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