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Native American Legends

The legend of the Big Bear

A Micmac Legend

As the constellation of the Big Bear or Big Dipper moved across the heavens each spring, it is chased by seven birds. Finally, towards fall, Robin catches the Big Bear and, in killing him, becomes covered with blood. As he rests in a tree, he shakes himself.

As if to recall this event, each fall many of our leaves turn red. And all robins have been marked, too, for they have had red breasts ever since. The Míkmaq knew many beautiful legends of the stars, for they knew much astronomy.

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