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The Sea Lion of Silver Islet

An Ojibwa Legend

Silver Islet is not only beautifully picturesque, but leaves one with the sense of having "rubbed shoulders" with the chiefs and braves that once roamed its shores.

It is here that the great legend of the Sea Lion originated. A pet and constant companion of Nanna Bijou, spirit of the Deep Sea Water, was the giant Thunder Bird. Nanna Bijou had another great companion in Nagochee, the great Lion. Nagochee was no ordinary animal, for he was credited with having the wings of an ease and the feet of a duck. His speed was that of the wind and he could swim faster than any great fish.

One day the Spirit God was called upon to go on a long journey. He hurriedly departed on the back of his beloved Lion, completely forgetting to take his Thunder Bird. jealous at being left behind, the Thunder Bird planned to destroy the Lion.

As Nanna Bijou returned, the Thunder Bird's screeching voice shook the heavens and a terrific storm broke, striking the Lion and rider. A great wind snapped off one of Nagochee's wings and he was twisted over, throwing his master into the Big Sea Water. The Lion could not swim the storm tossed waters, but 'Nanna Bijou made it to shore. Thinking his beast had failed him, he placed a curse on the Lion and turned him to stone.

There today, the faithful old Lion looks solemnly out over the water, waiting for his Master to return.

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