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Native American Titmouse Mythology

Titmice belong to the same family of birds as chickadees, and in most Plains Indian tribes, they are regarded the same way chickadees are-- as symbols of good luck, fortuitous to see in a dream or vision. In Cherokee folklore, however, the titmouse is sharply distinguished from chickadee, being viewed much more negatively. According to Cherokee myth, Titmouse was caught lying to the people about how to kill a monster that was preying on them, while Chickadee spoke up with the truth. From then on, the titmouse was associated with lying, tattling, and bragging by the Cherokees, and the similar calls of titmice and chickadees became an object lesson for countless Cherokee children on the difficulty of telling truth from lies.

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Native American Legends About Titmice

*The Bird Tribes:
    Cherokee legend about the creation and symbolism of the titmouse and other birds.
*Spear Finger:
    Cherokee legend telling how Titmouse became known as a liar.

Recommended Books of Titmouse Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.
Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend, and Superstition:
    A good book on the meaning of birds in world mythology, including North and South America.

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