The Man and the Ravens: An Anishinable Teaching

December 23, 2018

Misunderstandings can arise.

RRaven

 

I like this medicine.

The Man and the Ravens
Anishinabe
Native American Lore

There once was a man that enjoyed watching the black Raven’s fly around, play, squawk, and chatter. He enjoyed them so much he would climb trees just to be closer to them. For many months the Ravens ignored the man, but after awhile, one of the Ravens flew from a nearby tree and landed directly next to the man.

In utter amazement, the bird spoke to the man and asked, “You have been watching us for a long time. You have tried to get close to us. Why do you do this?”

The man replied, “I mean no harm. I have become enchanted with you and all your relatives. I enjoy the play, the squawking, and I wish I could learn your language so I could understand more about you.”

Then the Raven responded, “We are honored that you want to know us, as long as you do not cause harm, we will teach you our language.”

For many months the Ravens taught the man all about the language and how the Ravens lived from day to day. The man became so educated that he knew everything there was to know about the Ravens. Many of the Ravens saw the man and accepted him as a friend.

One day, an older Raven was flying far over the man, dropped a walnut perfectly on the man’s head. It was done on purpose and all the Ravens almost fell off their branches laughing so hard the way they do. One Raven was flying and was laughing so hard he had to crash land right in front of the man.

The man was feeling bad and was hurt by being made fun of, so he asked the Raven in front of him, “Why are you all picking on me?”

The Raven stopped laughing and became very serious. “We thought you understood us, but apparently you don’t. If you did you would know that we are not mocking you… well maybe a bit, but it is done in our way of having fun. We are ‘playing’ with you and that is all. It is not to be taken seriously. You should know us better.”

The man took sometime to understand this and over time a few more practical jokes were played on the man and he in turn pulled a few “good ones” on the birds. A good time was had by all and the man became even closer to the Ravens.

Then another event occurred. A young Raven swooped out of the sky and pecked the man on the head. Then another young Raven swooped down and did the same thing. The man ran across the field and into the woods but the Ravens kept chasing him and very skillfully they flew at high speeds through the woods tormenting the man. Finally the two stopped and started to yell mean words, fighting words at the man.

Again the man did not understand, but he knew the two Ravens were very mad at him, so he decided to leave and let the Ravens be. The man went away for many months.

As he did his duties in the his tribal village, he told all the people about his adventures and what he learned about the Ravens. Some listened with intent, others just thought the man was a fool to study the Ravens so. The villagers gave the man a new name of “Black Feather” because of his close relationship to the birds, but the man objected and said, “I am no longer close to the Raven people.”

From above there was a squawking sound of a single Raven. Some of the people looked up and were surprised that they could understand the Raven, others just looked around because they could hear nothing but squawking. The Raven was speaking to the man and said, “It is true, you are closer to us than any Anishinabe (Human) has ever come. You are close, but you still don’t understand us fully. I invite you to return to us, many miss you.”

Black Feather started to follow the Raven but then stopped at the edge of the village. He looked around to make sure no other Anishinabe could hear then asked the Raven, “why do you ask me back when the two Ravens where fighting with me and were mean?”

The Raven landed at Black Feathers feet and said, “See how little you understand us. The two young Ravens did not fight with you because you are Anishinabe, it is because they accepted you as a member of the Raven people. You should know that we fight among ourselves too. It is a part of our way of life. Instead of sulking and leaving you should have fought back.”

Black Feather stood in silence and said, “There is much about Ravens I don’t understand. Maybe we are too different people to ever understand each other. I should stop and return to my people in the village.”

The Raven again shook his head and told Black Feather, “That is your choice, but again I tell you that you have come closer to us Raven people than any other Anishinabe. Would you throw this all away just because you can’t understand us yet?”

Black Feather responded, “It’s useless, how can I ever understand you, I can’t even fly!”

A thousand bursts of laughter was heard from all the surrounding trees and Black Feather knew that all the Raven People were there, hiding and listening.

“Of course you can’t fly. You are Anishinabe and we are Ravens. But we accept you as one of us. We play with you. We fight with you. We love you and want you back. We also recommend you don’t try to fly in order to be like us, because then, you would not be Anishinabe nor a Raven but something else. We like you as an Anishinabe that understands us as Ravens. Join us or not the decision is yours.”

Black Feather returned to the Anishinabe village and bid everyone farewell because he had decided to live with the Raven people. After all the farewells and such he started to leave the village. All the Anishinabe people were there to see him off, and high over head was a thousand Raven’s.

Then from high above one of the older Ravens dropped a walnut shell and again with remarkable aim, plunked Black Feather right on the head. All the Ravens started laughing hard and all the Anishinabe were laughing too.

Black Feather laughed and looked up at the old Raven and said, “Good one.”

Charles Phillip Whitedog

http://www.ilhawaii.net/~stony/lore108.html

Wrapt in Raven #2, Crystal Nielsen, 2014

 

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Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.

December 7, 2018

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The rich are the scum of the earth in every country.G. K. Chesterton 1874 – 1936 


Focus on the greatest goal you can imagine — your needs will be provided for.

December 7, 2018

How are we to live our lives?

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

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Simcoe County forestry history to be told in new interpretitive building

April 21, 2017

A new building to tell an important old story.

Kelley Swift-Jones, curator of the Simcoe County Museum, and Graeme Davis, county forester, hold up local forestry artifacts. The museum and forestry department are building a forestry Interpretive centre to educate the public on our nearly 100-year-old forestry history. – Sara Carson/Metroland

Wandering through a Simcoe County forest surrounded by towering trees and thick leaf coverage, it’s hard to imagine 100 years ago the land could best be described as a barren desert.

“If you went back 100 years in this area you would have very, very little forest cover. It’s surprising to people that there was much less forest 100 years ago than we have today,” said county forester Graeme Davis.

The rich history of Simcoe County Forests will be told with stories and artifacts inside Simcoe County Museum’s new forestry interpretative building.

Construction will begin on the 1,000-square-foot EcoLog home this spring.

It will be located on the museum grounds in Minesing in a forested section on the edge of a small embankment.

“It’s going to be beautiful when it’s all finished,” said museum curator Kelley Swift-Jones.

Simcoe County Forests celebrates its 100th birthday in 2022.

These woods played an important role in our history, Davis said.

In the early 1800s when the first European settlers arrived, much of the county was covered with valuable forests of both softwood and hardwood species, including huge stands of natural white pine.

For 100 years, the forests fell to the lumberjack’s axe.

Timber barons harvested, milled and shipped the wood to England with little thought for the future.

“The thinking at the time was ‘My goodness, there is so much forest we could just cut forever,’” Davis said.

The remaining trees were seen as an impediment to farming and vast areas were cleared and burned.

By the early 1900s there was little timber left and the once abundant forested areas had become dry, sandy wastelands.

“They had to plow the roads in the summertime for the sand,” Davis said.

When E.C. Drury, a longtime resident and community leader of Simcoe County, became Premier of Ontario in 1919 he was instrumental in establishing the Agreement Forest program.

The County of Simcoe was the first to take advantage of this program and acquired the wasteland for marginal prices. It was then turned over to the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests for protection and forestry development.

The first trees were planted May 8, 1922, at the Hendrie tract in Vespra Township.

In the mid-1990s, management was turned over to the county.

Today, Simcoe County Forest is the largest and one of the most productive municipal forests in Ontario, totalling nearly 33,000 acres. Timber sold from the forests is reinvested to buy more land, Davis said.

Construction on the forestry interpretative centre should be complete by summer’s end.

Davis hopes the building makes people think about the future of our environment.

“It’s to get people to understand some of the poor decisions made in the past. It’s important to remember that stuff and recognize decisions on what we do with the broader landscape have implications. We don’t want to go back there again,” he said.

The building will host nature-based educational programming.

Donations are welcome. Contact the Simcoe County Museum at 705-728-3721.

https://www.simcoe.com/community-story/7241960-simcoe-county-s-rich-forestry-history-to-be-told-in-new-interpretive-centre/

 


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