Klu Visits Turtle

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Koluskap's Canoe

Little Thunder grew until one day Koluskap decided to leave the village and take his nephew with him. Mikumwesu went along as well, leaving the old woman, Groundhog, alone. They all set out in Koluskap’s large stone canoe, arriving at a village. The people came out to see the small Mikumwesu in the large canoe. The elders knew for certain that the strangers were Koluskap and Mikumwesu, for no others could do such wondrous feats.

Uncle Turtle

The Chief of the village was away, but Turtle, who is like an uncle to Koluskap, was there because he was too lazy to go hunting. Turtle stayed around camp doing the cooking and smoking of the meat. One day, the large bird, Klu arrived to visit Turtle. Klu said to Turtle, “Kwe” and Turtle answered, “Kwe”. Turtle fetched some smoked moose meat, pounded it fine and served it without anything to drink. Without anything to wash down the dry meat, Klu choked and died, so Turtle cut him up and smoked him, hanging up Klu’s wings in the wigwam.


When Fisher, the great hunter, came home and saw the great amount of meat, he thought Turtle had been very industrious. But when he saw Klu’s wings, he changed his mind and cried out, “Now you are in trouble. You’ve smoked the Chief from a nearby village. Come quickly, I’ll hide you in a tree before his people come.” Turtle accepted Fisher’s nest in a tree limb. Fisher pulled off the tree’s bark so Turtle couldn’t get down. Fisher went away as fast as he could.


Soon Klu’s people came, saw his wings and knew Turtle had killed him. Turtle, who was getting rather bored sitting in the tree, was thinking up jokes to play on the people below. While positioning himself for a particularly nasty joke, Turtle lost his balance and fell out of the tree. The people saw the turtle fall, but couldn’t find him on the ground. After a while they found something that looked like a wooden plate. Getting closer, they recognized that it was Turtle hiding in his shell.

Spruce Root Bundle

Klu’s people shouted at Turtle, “We will destroy you for killing our Chief!” But the people couldn’t decide how to hurt Turtle. “Hang him,” said one. Turtle perked up and seemed rather pleased. “Oh, good,” he said, “I’ll get you some rope.”

“He’s not scared of hanging,” pondered the people. “Let’s burn him,” suggested someone, and the people began to gather firewood. “Yay!” said Turtle, “I’ll get the birch bark.” They realized that burning would not do either. “How about drowning him?” a third person asked. When he heard this, Turtle got very sad and when the people grabbed him he shouted, “Oh no. Help!”

Uncle Turtle

Knowing that at last they had found the perfect punishment for Turtle, one that he would not enjoy, the people threw him into the Wolastoq. Turtle sank right to the bottom and Klu’s people thought they had killed him. But Turtle simply swam away and he smiled and laughed, thinking he had gotten the better of the people and played a clever joke.