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Cree Flood Myth

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Cree flood myth

Wisagatcak the Trickster built a dam across a stream in an attempt to capture the Great Beaver as it left its lodge. He waited all day until finally, at dusk, the huge creature swam toward him. Now, the Great Beaver possesses powerful magic and, as Wisagatcak prepared to spear it, created a spell that caused a muskrat to bite Wisagatcak in the behind, making him miss the target. Though spared, the Great Beaver was angry and wanted revenge.

The next morning Wisagatcak was dumfounded. After being bitten, he had dismantled his dam, but the water level had not gone down even though the stream was now flowing freely through the spot where the dam had been. Even more strange-the water level continued to rise higher and higher. The Great Beaver had worked powerful magic indeed; the entire world was flooding. For two weeks, the Great Beaver and the little beavers kept busy making all the waters of earth to rise until not one spot of dry land could be found. In great haste, Wisagatcak built a raft of logs and took many animals aboard with him.

The water continued to rise for yet another two weeks. At the end of the two weeks, the muskrat left the raft to search for land, but even the muskrat, who is accustomed to living between earth and water drowned. Then a raven left the raft. He flew around the entire world, but found no land, only water. Then Wisagatcak made his own magic with the help of a wolf on his raft.

During the next two weeks on the raft, moss grew all over its surface. The wolf ran around and around on the raft, causing the moss to hecome magically expanding earth, until the raft was a vast land mass. However, to this very day, water springs up through holes in the ground -cracks in that original raft.

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