Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Swim in the Waters of the Giant Frog
In an article by Paul Bisulca, a Penobscot Tribe myth of the origins of the Penobscot River is discussed.
The people needed water, and it had mysteriously ceased to flow from a local stream. A person was chosen to follow the dry stream bed and find out what had happened. Coming to a great mountain in the streambed, he made camp for the night. With a great shake of the earth he was awakened the next morning, to find that the mountain was actually a giant greedy frog that was intent on keeping all the water for himself. The man sensibly returned to the village to confer with the elders, knowing full well there was little he could do by himself against such a mammoth foe.
The elders called upon the services of Klose-kur-beh (also known as Kluskap, I believe), "the first man on this land," and he agreed to help, seeing the suffering of the people without the stream's water to live on. He turned himself into a giant, and improvised a weapon by pulling a great pine tree out of the ground.
"Raising the tree in the air he slammed it down on the frog, which burst and spewed water in a thousand directions. As the water fell to the earth, it drained into the depression created by the uprooted pine tree and flowed powerfully from there. That is how the River came to be."
So the next time you go swimming in the Penobscot, remember you are swimming in giant frog juice.
The MORAL: Just because you are big and greedy and want everything for yourself, and are big enough to take it and not share, doesn't mean someone won't come along and pop you in the head with a tree to make something better out of you. If only a few corporations could learn that lesson the hard way, things might get a little bit better around here!!!
Photo (c)2006 by Michelle Souliere. Frog at Two Lights State Park, Cape Elizabeth, ME, August 2004