Native American Legends
The first pine trees
A Micmac Legend
This is another tale of the old time, before Glooskap, the mighty
Magician, set sail in his stone canoe for the Land of the Red Sunrise.
There were three brothers dwelling together. And when they heard
that Glooskap had promised to fulfil the wish of any warrior who
reached his magic lodge, they decided to brave the dangers in the
The first brother was very tall, far above all his fellows, and
vain of his height. To make himself look even taller, he put bark
in his moccasins, and plastered his hair to stand high, and on the
very top he stuck a long Turkey feather. But he wished to be taller
yet, so that all the squaws would admire him.
The second brother wished that he might remain forever in the forest,
beholding its beauty, and that he need never work again.
The third brother wished to live to a very old age, and always
to be in perfect health.
So the three brothers started on their way along the dangerous
trail that led to Glooskap's lodge. They came to an exceedingly
high mountain in a dark and lonely land. The side of the mountain
was as smooth as iron, and the other side was worse, for there the
trail led between the heads of two huge Serpents, who darted out
their fearful tongues. After that, the trail passed under the Wall
of Death which hung over it like a cloud, rising, and falling, and
rising again. And if it happened that any man passed beneath the
cloud as it fell, he was crushed to death.
But the three brothers escaped all these perils of the trail, and
came to the island where Glooskap dwelt. The mighty Magician welcomed
them, and bade his younger brother, Martin the Fairy, place food
before them. And after they had eaten and were refreshed, they told
Now, in another lodge near by lived Cuhkw the Earthquake. He could
pass along the face of the land, and make all things shake with
terror. Glooskap called Cuhkw, and bade him take the three brothers,
and plant them with their feet in the ground. Immediately Cuhkw
came rushing from his lodge, and, seizing the three, planted them
in the forest. And they became three straight Pine Trees.
The first brother, who wished to be exceedingly tall, was the highest
Pine Tree on earth. His head rose above the forest and the wind
whistled through his boughs. And today his Turkey feather may be
seen waving in the air.
The second brother, who wished to remain in the forest, and admire
its beauty without working, could never leave it again; because
his roots were fastened deep in the ground.
The third brother, who wished to live to a very old age, in perfect
health, gained his desire. Today he stands hale and hearty in the
forest, unless men have cut him down.
And if you go into the forest, you may see the tallest Pine Tree
with his Turkey feather waving in the wind; and the Tree murmurs
all day long, in the Indian tongue:- "Oh! I am such a great
Indian! Oh! I am such a tall man!"
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