Waboose's Gift: A modern OjiCree Story:


Wapoose’ gift

The winter was particularly harsh and cruel and the prairie wind felt like hot coals being wiped across the face of anyone that left the warmth of their tipi. Yet, many came and went in search of food, as starvation was surrounding the community with sickness visiting every family.

Now, close to the village lived a village of Wapoose’ (rabbits) and lately their conversations were filled with the concern that they felt for their brother and sister humans. The humans and the Wapoose’ lived as family because they shared a bond of strong friendship based on understanding that they were related. The Elders in the circle of Wapoose village worried about the fate of their friends, so each day as the men left the community to hunt; the Wapoose' gathered and prayed that the humans would find the food that they needed for survival. Weeks passed and only small scrapes of food were found and soon the human children and Elders became sick from the cold and hunger. Every Wapoose dreaded the passing days for they knew that soon a death song would be heard across the cold prairie air, as the humans lamented the loss of their relatives.
During a particular harsh day of hearing a series of death songs, as night fell an Elder Wapoose couple spoke in earnest about the fate of their human relatives. As the dawn approached they had held one another feeling calm because they had made a decision that made their spirits swell with love.

The next day, they gathered the village together to make an announcement that they had meant to sacrifice themselves for the good of their brother and sister humans. They told all those who were gathered that they had lived a long life and had sadly survived their entire family; and so to die for love would be an honour. The village members naturally were sad about the announcement, but understood that the Elder’s sacrifice was about honour, love and dedication.

The Wapoose’ gathered and made their way into the head chiefs’ tipi to speak to the humans. The humans' hearts filled with gratitude and they wept openly at the demonstration of unconditional love; however, they couldn't imagine taking the lives of their brother and sister Wapoose. The Elder Wapoose pointed out that the young human children were dying and with them; the villages’ future. Eventually all present came to the heartbreaking agreement of the Elder Wapoose’ decision; however, all were openly lamenting. Elder Wapoose called for attention, saying; ‘today, we will sing our death songs and it is good. We have lived a good long life, but these children’s lives are just beginning. They need to live, for they bring new beginnings, new hope and the future promise of life. Our sacrifice is small compared to that. It is the circle of life, as Elders we are meant to nurture the sacred gifts (children) through teachings; ours will be about unconditional giving and the ability to receive without expectation. Others will step forward with their teachings so that our nations will continue to prosper and love will grow in the hearts of all spiritual beings.’ The Elder Wapoose sang their death song smiling as love shone brightly from their eyes, as theyr Spirits gently passed to the land of the Ancestors.
In tearful reverence their bodies were prepared for a feast for the starving children.
Later, the humans and Wapoose’ joined together in an honour song for the brave sacrifice of the Wapoose Elders. They held a ceremony, rejoicing in celebration of the brotherhood and sisterhood that would last for all eternity between spiritual beings. Within days, the humans found food to survive the rest of winter and both the Wapoose' and humans prospered for years to come.
Today, all little children acknowledge the Wapoose’ sacrifice by once again eating the figures of the original Elder Wapoose - only now they are made of chocolate. And, with each delightful bite of chocolate, the Wapoose’ seated by Creator celebrate the survival of the humans and the love of all their relations.

Blessings to ALL Humans and All Waboose' out there today!


Thank you for sharing this. :)


What a poignant tale, Mi-Shell. Thanks for sharing it with us. :)


A beautiful story. Let us eat chocolate and rejoice. :D


Interesting modern myth which nicely blends contemporary ideas and practices with older, respectful ways of thinking.

Odd that the myth talks about famine and I had the word Wendigo/windigo come to me while in meditation last week. I know people think about the depth of winter as being the time of worst cold and starvation but really it was this time of year, the early spring, before anything was growing, when all stores of food had run out and when all the animals were lean and hungry themselves. Perhaps Lent, the Christian fast is also about that, a hangover from when there were no supermarkets and a poor harvest the previous year could leave people hungry.

The first eggs, the first new buds and swelling roots, the birds migrating back, all this must have been so welcome and such a feast after such hardships.

flying black kat

Thank You, Mi-Shell, for your time and the story.