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Oliver D. Bernuetz's Stories

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How Brother Dog came to Foundchild 

It was during the time of the Great Darkness when the Sun was nowhere to be seen. Everyone was hungry, yet no one could find any food. Hearth-Mother kept a group of people close and fed them on hope and magic. But it was not enough. She found a mewling god-child in the wilderness and fed him three meals. After the first meal he was a child. After the second meal he was a man. After the third meal he was a hunter. Hearth-Mother told Foundchild that he must find food for the people. Yet even Foundchild was at a loss to find any. Then Squirrel the Trickster came to Foundchild and said he knew where to find food. Squirrel showed Foundchild where Cannibal hid in the darkest dark with his food. Foundchild turned away in disgust but Squirrel said. "Look into the eyes of Cannibal's food Foundchild and you will see that in some of them a certain light is missing. Find those without the light and you may eat them without shame." Foundchild looked again and saw that Squirrel was telling the truth about the light. He wanted badly to eat the food Squirrel had found for him but felt he should first ask Hearth-Mother whether it was right. She told him to go ask Mother Mammal, Father Bird, Sister Toad, Brother Insect and Cousin Snake for permission to eat their children. All gave him their permission (except Brother Insect who only wanted to buzz around Foundchild's head and bother him) if he and his people promised to always send their children's spirits back for rebirth. Foundchild promised this and they taught him the magics of the Peaceful Cut. (Because Brother Insect did not give permission to eat his children we do not grant insects the Peaceful Cut, though we eat them anyway). He went among the people and separated those with the light in their eyes from those without the light. He showed the people what he had learned from Cannibal. One of those without the light in his eyes was Brother Dog. Brother Dog said to Foundchild, "I will help you catch the ones who are too swift for you and I will help you track the ones who are too cunning for you for I do not wish to be eaten." "I would rather be your friend than your food." Foundchild saw that this was good and taught his son Votanki to treat Brother Dog as a friend. Votanki taught us and so it has been ever since.

Last updated September 25, 2016

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