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Eliza and Athena

Once there was a young girl named Eliza. She was the daughter of a king
and so she never had to work. She became very lazy. She had her servants do
everything for her.
"I am so very thirsty, and my glass is on the table. Please get it for me." she called.
Immediately a servant picked the glass up from the table next to Eliza and held it
up to her lips until Eliza was no longer thirsty.
The next day, Eliza was walking to dinner when her hat fell off. She called for a
servant and a young man ran over, picked up the hat, dusted it off , and placed it
back on Eliza's head.
She continually called for her servants to do simple tasks for her. Her father
noticed her laziness and decided to punish her. He set her in a room with only a
loom and some yarn. No servants were allowed in the room.
"You will stay in this room, not eating or drinking until you have woven a blanket
for me. You have to do all of the work by yourself. Call for me when you are
done". The king left Eliza all alone in her room.
Eliza called for her servants, but none appeared. Then she remembered her father
telling her about Athena, the goddess of wisdom and handicrafts. She called for
Athena over and over until finally, she fell asleep.
While she was sleeping, she had a dream. Hermes spoke to her in her dream. He
said "Athena has heard your pleas for help. She is very angry with you. She will
come to you and inform you of your punishment".
Eliza awoke very frightened. She then saw that there was an owl on the edge of her
window. The owl spoke to her.
"I am Athena. You have called upon me to do your work. You must be punished. I
am going to make you a lowly animal.
You will have to work constantly just to stay alive. People will look down at you in
disgust. You will be killed just because you are insignificant. All of your children
and their children and so on will have the same fate".

Eliza worked for the rest of her life. All of her children have the same fate.
They are doomed to be ants for the rest of their lives.

How the Humming Bird got its Hum

Once upon a time in the middle of the forest there lived a prince who lived
with his father the king. They lived in a castle at the edge of a river.
The prince had a wonderful singing voice.
Usually he'd go out into the forest and sing. And usually the animals would get
attracted to his voice.
Now the keeper of the animals did not like the animals going out into the forest.
He had to do something about the prince.
For many years he had been thinking, and thinking, and thinking. Finally he
thought of something.
After the prince was old enough his father asked him to marry Sabrina. The prince
did not know what to say, but he did not want to hurt his father's feelings, and he
did think that Sabrina was a nice girl. So he agreed.
Meanwhile the keeper of the animals watched the prince come out of the castle.
He aimed his gun and fired at him and killed him.
The animals cried. The prince went into heaven. Two angels appeared out of
nowhere and said "We will let you back on earth but we will have to make one
small change".
Before his eyes he was back on earth but then he looked at himself, he was
covered in feathers!
The angels had turned him into a hummingbird.
And that's how the hummingbird got its hum.

Why there are clouds

In the forest long, long ago, there lived an old man. The man lived with
his son. The old man's name was Wise Man and his son's name was Little Wolf.
Wise Man looked very old and wrinkled. His eyes were filled with wisdom and his
head was covered in long white hair. Little Wolf's hair was black, black as the
darkest night.
Little Wolf's eyes could see a toothpick in a whole pile of hay. He could run like a
cheetah and he could kill a bear with his bare hands.
"Father, we are so lucky to live in the forest together. It is so beautiful, Little
Wolf told his father.
"Yes, Little Wolf," Wise Man answered. "But I will not always be here with you,
some day I will die and you will hunt and cook for yourself."
"I do not want to live without you, " Little Wolf replied and he ran off crying.
Wise Man went to where his son was crying. "I will not go now so let us share the
moments we have, " Wise man told Little Wolf.
Little Wolf asked, "Can we go fishing in the beautiful lake?"
"Of course," answered Wise Man.
The two of them went to the still lake. They got into the canoe and paddled to the
middle of the lake. As soon as they set out the rods they both caught a fish.
When it started to get dark the two of them went back to their tipi with five fish
each. Little Wolf got into the bedroll and fell asleep.
The next morning Wise Man was not up yet. Little Wolf thought something was
wrong because Wise Man was always up before him. Little Wolf went back into
the tipi and saw Wise Man lying there.
"Little Wolf," Wise Man said, "I am sick and I need Medicine."

Littler Wolf ran to the medicine pouch and got 4 different medicines that Wise
Man would have to take every day. Wise Man was taking the medicine for 4 days
and then he died.
It was the saddest day of Little Wolf's life.
That evening as Little Wolf sat mournfully looking at the sky, he saw something
familiar. It was white and fluffy.
"Father!" Little Wolf cried. The fluffy face nodded and the eyes twinkled.
It was Wise Man. Now every once in a while Wise Man would come down and
give Little Wolf advice on how to live.
That is why there are clouds.

How the Swan got a long neck

There was this really large pond that ducks and swans shared. It was in the
shape of a swan, so the vain swans insisted that it should be called Swan Lake.
Many think that there isn't much difference between swans and ducks but there is.
Swans at first didn't have long necks but they had beautiful feathers, slender
bodies, and they didn't paddle like ducks, they gracefully swam. The ducks
however at this time were ugly, and bulky and just frantically kicked their short
legs to swim. The swans wouldn't let the ducks swim with them, which angered the
ducks since they too lived at that pond.
One day while the swans and ducks were arguing about which group would swim
first a flock of geese came over as they were passing by to see what all the fuss
was about.
They listened, and found that the swans were vain and thought that since they were
prettier, and gracefully that they should use the pond first. They also found that the
ducks thought that they should use it because the last time the swans refused to let
them have their turn.
Then a goose said, (more like honked) that they should share the pond since it was
rather large. The swans unsurprisingly got mad at this so a fight broke out. The
ducks were pulling at the swans feet, and the geese were honking and biting the
swans necks, and pulled as hard as they could.
About an hour later the fight had ended. The ducks and geese stood there looking
humorously at the swans. They had stretched the swans necks out so far that they
couldn't hold their heads up. A few hours later the swans had finally shortened their
necks at least to the point where they could steadily hold them. But after that day
swans, ducks, and geese shared all the ponds in peace, and there were no taking
But still today the swans have fairly long necks. The ducks however are no longer
ugly, they to be pretty, and a little more graceful.

How the Elephant got his trunk

Once upon a time, there was a sad elephant. He was dirty and stinky, because he
could not reach to wash his back. All the other animals didnt play with him
because he was smelly.
Elephant sat under a tree, where nobody could see him. He started to cry. His head
was hanging down, crying big tears. He sat and cried for days. One day, when his
tears had dried up, he went to itch his head and he felt a bump on his back. Then he
noticed his nose had stretched because it had got wet with all the crying and it was
now a long trunk which had hit him on his back.
He went to the river and got his trunk, put it in the water and sucked the water up.
Then he sprayed his back with water.
All the other animals came over to him and said you are so clean and smell so
lovely. Do you want to play with us?
The elephant was so happy and said yes.

How Corn Came To Be

A long time ago, two boys went hunting with their bows and arrows. They
were looking for small animals like squirrels or deer, but they walked for hours
without seeing any. They started to get hungry.
Suddenly they saw a blackbird sitting in a tree. They shot the bird with an arrow
and then made a fire so they could roast and eat it. They planned to hunt again after
theyd eaten. The smell of the roasting meat was delicious and the boys got more
and more hungry.
Just as the bird was ready to eat, a woman walked out of the trees towards them.
She wore a long, white dress and had flowers in her hair. The boys were startled
and a bit frightened of the woman as she walked up to the fire. Im very hungry
she said to them.
The boys had been taught to respect women so they took the cooked bird off the
fire and offered it to her. The woman took it. Thank you she said. Youre
welcome said the boys. Then the woman sat down near the fire and ate every bit
of the meat on the cooked bird. The boys stared at her. By now they were very
hungry, but they didnt say anything.

The Storytelling Stone - how stories


A long time ago, a young man called Crow lived in one of the villages of the
Seneca people. His parents had died many years before and he had no one to care
for him, or to cook and sew for him.
He lived at the very edge of the village in a small lodge made from bark and
branches. His hair was always a tangled mess, and his clothes were old and tattered
cast offs he had been given in trade.
The village children were cruel and made fun of him because of the way he looked
and because he was an orphan. This was a time when people did not have stories to
teach them how to respect and care for others.
Young Crow was an excellent hunter with his bow and arrows. He traded the birds
and animals he killed for parched corn, other food and clothes.
As winter drew nearer, Crow had to go further and further into the woods to hunt.
One day he went further than he had ever been before. Eventually he came to a
clearing where there was a large flat smooth stone with another round stone sitting
on top of it.
Crow sat on the flat stone and rested his back against the round one. He laid the
birds he had killed next to him. Then he reached into his buckskin pouch for some
parched corn, and began to tighten his bowstring.
Shall I tell you a story? asked a deep rumbling voice near him.
Crow got such a fright he nearly choked. He jumped up quickly, spitting corn from
his mouth and looked around but could see no one.
Whos there? shouted Crow. Come out and show yourself.
The clearing was silent. Nothing moved.
I must be hearing things, Crow said to himself. And now Im talking to myself
With a laugh, he sat down again and rested his back against the round stone.

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