Published on December 21, 2012 by Casey
This is a traditional story of the Penobscot Indian Nation as told by Jason K. Brown
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Long ago, Klouskap lived with his grandmother, Woodchuck, in a small lodge by the ocean. One day Klouskap was walking along the shore when he saw some ducks in the Bay. “I think it is time to go hunt some ducks,” he said. So he took his bow and arrow and got out his canoe. Klouskap began to paddle out to the ducks and as he did he sang a song. Ki yo wah ji neh, yo ho hey yo, Ki yo wah hi neh, Ki yo way ji neh. A wind came up and it forced his canoe around and blew him back to the shore. He then began to paddle out to the ducks even harder and he sang a little harder. Again the wind came up and blew him back to the shore.
Frustrated, Klouskap went to his grandmother and asked her where the wind came from. Grandmother asked Klouskap why he wanted to know such a thing and felt that there might be trouble. Klouskap answered his grandmother, “Because.” His grandmother knew that if she didn’t tell him he would never stop asking so she told him. “Far from here, on top of the tallest mountain, a great bird stands. The bird’s name is Wuchowsen, and when he flaps his wings he makes the wind blow.” Klouskap then asked his grandmother where to find the place that Wuchowsen sits and she told him to face the wind and walk. Klouskap thanked his grandmother.
Klouskap began to walk across the fields and through the woods and the wind blew hard. Klouskap made it to the foothills and the wind blew even harder. He began to climb the mountain the closer he got to the top the harder the wind became. The wind became so hard that it blew all the hair and clothing off Klouskap’s body. Klouskap took a deep breath. “GRANDFATHER,” he shouted. The Wuchowsen stopped flapping his wings and answered, “Who calls me Grandfather.” Klouskap answered Wuchowsen and told the Wind Eagle that he was doing a very good job at making wind. Wuchowsen puffed his chest out in pride and made the wind blow even harder. So hard it almost blew Klouskap off the mountain top. Klouskap told Wuchowsen that he could do an even better job if he were to move over to another peak. Klouskap took a carrying strap that he had made and wrapped it tight around the Wind Eagle. He picked up the eagle and carried him to the other peak but as he did he came across a large crevice, and as he stepped over it he let go of the strap and Wuchowsen fell in upside down and was stuck.
Klouskap returned home and all the way he felt no wind at his back. By now his hair grew back and when he finally got home he put on a whole new outfit and was ready to hunt for ducks. He paddled out to the ducks but the air was very dry and still and he began to sweat. The water began to grow dirty and smell bad and there was so much foam on the water he could hardly paddle. Klouskap was not happy so he went to his grandmother’s lodge to ask for help. She told him that the wind was needed to keep the air cool and clean. The wind brings the clouds that give us rain and they keep the water fresh and sweet. Without the wind life would not be good for the people. Klouskap thanked his grandmother.
Klouskap went back to the place where he had dropped the Wind Eagle and this time he called out “UNCLE.” Wuchowsen asked “Who calls me Uncle.” “It is Klouskap, Uncle. I am up here but who put you down There?” Wuchowsen told Klouskap that a very ugly naked man with no hair had tricked him and dropped him in the crevice “Ah, Grandfath……um, Uncle, I will get you out.” Klouskap climbed down into the crevice and pulled Wuchowsen free and placed him back on the mountain. “Uncle,” Klouskap said, “It is good that the wind blow sometimes and other times it not.” Wuchowsen looked at Klouskap and nodded. “Grandson, I hear what you say.”
This story teaches myself and others the valuable lesson of the Wind element and through oral and written history, our children can learn from such a story also. Wind is the vehicle and origin of thought and action.