Beautiful Indigenous Winter Solstice Poem!!!
“How the animals broke through the sky.”
Our Winter Solstice Bonfire on Cherry Beach is on Native grounds.
This is a Winter Solstice story and poem as told by Angela Sidney.
How the animals broke through the sky.
One time the sky used to come right down to saltwater
Here the animals lived on the Winterside it was cold.
Squirrel always came amongst other animals crying all the time
One time they asked her,
“what are you crying for?”
“My kids all froze up again.”
Every now and then her children her babies all froze up.
So they went to a meeting, all the animals, they are going to try to poke a hole through the sky.
They are on the Winterside and they are going to poke a hole through the sky so they can have summertime too.
Summer is on the other side.
So they gathered together with all kinds of people —they are animals though —
Blood sucker is the one they picked to go through that hole.
He poked that hole and then different animals went through that hole.
Wolverine is the one who made that hole bigger —
he went through pulling a dry moose skin — made that hole bigger.
That’s how they all got through.
Now they are going to steal good weather.
they went to a high person — he’s got all the weather —the hot air,
He’s got flowers and leaves.
So they took all that — they stole it when people weren’t home.
But there was one old man there.
He went outside— took his blanket outside and waved it around his head
Get winter time over there and summer over here.
“Don’t go away for good,” he told them.
He kept them from taking summer completely away.
That’s how, when winter goes for good that’s the time we get summer.
Then when summer goes back to the south side, that’s the time we get winter.
He waved his blanket and said,
“Don’t go away for good,” he told the weather.
Those two worlds were side by side —winter on one side, summer on the other.
On one side were winter animals — on the other, summer animals.
They broke the sky down, and after, it went up
After they got it across, they bust it — the summer bag.
Pretty soon, snow melted —they got leaves.
They had all the leaves tied up in a balloon.
Then they bust the balloon and all the summer things came out.
As told by Angela Sidney in “Life Lived Like a Story: Life Stories of Three Yukon Native Elders.”
By Julie Cruikshank, p. 49.
Library in Toronto: http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDM521988&R=521988