Native American Legends
How Glooscap Created Sugarloaf Mountain
An Abenaki Legend
A long time ago, the people used to live near the riverbanks in
the summer time, and they could watch all the salmon going up the
river to spawn. One day, they noticed the salmon could not get up
the river anymore.
Remember, in those days the beaver were very, very big. And they
had built a dam across the Restigouche River. That is why the salmon
could not get up the river to spawn.
The people were very upset indeed! Because they knew if the salmon
could not get up the river to have their babies, there would be
no more salmon and they would have none for food in the winter.
So they held a council with all the people. They said that they
didn't want to rely on Glooscap. They decided they would go out
in their canoes to fight the beavers.
The men got in their canoes but when they got close to the beavers,
they splashed the water with their huge tails. The canoes and the
men went flying up into the air and fell into the water. They could
not get past the beavers in order to destroy the dam. The beavers
were just too big.
So they swam ashore and they reconsidered calling Glooscap. At
the time, Loon was Glooscap's messenger. They asked Loon to call
Loon made his wailing sound and called Glooscap. It was carried
across the water to Glooscap, and our friend soon came riding on
the back of his whale.
Glooscap asked them, "Why did you call me?"
They tell him about the beavers and how they had made a dam all
the way across the river, and how the salmon could no longer get
up the river to spawn.
They say that they will not have any more salmon to eat if they
can't get up the river and have their babies.
So Glooscap walked to the middle of the dam and hit it with his
club. When he hit the dam, parts of it flew away. One of these parts
became an island. It is now called Heron Island. Another part that
flew away is now called Bantry Point.
Glooscap caught the leader of the beavers and swung him around
and around by his tail. When Glooscap let go, the beaver landed
many miles away and turned into rock. Today, that rock is called
Glooscap then turned to the other beavers. They were afraid, so
instead, he stroked their heads. And with each stroke, they became
smaller and smaller, until they reached the size they are today.
Glooscap promised the people that the beavers in New Brunswick
would never grow that big again. The beavers will not build a dam
so big that it stops the salmon from getting through. The people
will never have to worry about that problem again.
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