Nikhea Bernard, Keith Denny, and Angie Toney

The Eagle Spirit

Once upon a time many years ago before the white man lived a young healthy Native boy. From the time of his birth he was raised by the elders because both of his parents drowned during the spring salmon run. The young boy grew up to be strong, brave and well mannered. The elders taught him the old customs, concerning traditional hunting and fishing ways. One day on a hunting trip he was attacked by a moose the fight ended in a death for the moose. From that moment on the people from his tribe called him Tiam (Moose). Secretly Tiam was in love with the chiefís daughter Wasowek (Flower). Tiam was a loner and the other men of the tribe made fun of him because the daughter of the chief would never marry such a poor man without a large extended family.

One day down at the river bank Wasowek was cleaning and preparing the meat given to her by one of the young men who also had intentions of marriage. As she was cleaning the meat a muin (bear) jumped out of the bushes and attacked her. Luckily Tiam and the other young men witnessed the attack. The only one to help her was Tiam. The other men were much too frightened and scared. Tiam attacked the muin (bear) with a sharp spear and knife. After a long harsh battle the muin (bear) lay dead and Tiam had many cuts and bruises that covered his entire body.

Wasowek witnessed the entire ordeal. She was so happy that she grabbed Tiam and gave him a huge hug and kiss on the cheek. This one kiss cemented their love for each other forever. That evening a great feast was held in Tiamís honor. Tiam and the chief became very good friends, and a great respect for each other developed.

After the feast was over he asked the chief if he could take his daughterís hand in marriage. To Tiamís surprise the old chief said "no!", but he did give Tiam an explanation for his answer. In a dream one night he had promised his daughterís hand in marriage to the eagle spirit in return for twelve years of good hunting.

Tiam was very upset and hurt. He asked the chief for a way to break the spell. The chief told him that the only thing that he could do was to steal the Eagle Spiritís prized golden egg and exchange it for his daughterís marriage condition. The Chief explained that the journey to the land of the spirits is dangerous and few ever return.

The Chief also told him that the love that he has for his daughter would protect him against the army of the evil spirits. He set out early the next morning and headed north for two days without seeing any signs of the Great Eagle Spirit. One day he sees a fox eating a rabbit. The fox asks Tiam about his journey. Tiam realizes that in the spirit land that animals and man can communicate. He told the fox that he was on a quest to find the nest of the Great Eagle Spirit.

The fox tells him to travel west for one day and north for three, but to be aware of the dead animal spirits that he had killed. Nearing the nest the spirit of the tiam attacked him without mercy. A great battle occurred and Tiam uses the force of Wasowekís love to protect him and defeat the spirit tiam. Tiam (the man) is victorious once again. He continues on until the spirit of the muin he killed earlier attacks him. Once again a great battle was fought. Again the love in Tiamís heart for Wasowek gave him the strength to defeat the Muin spirit.

Tiam was walking along the trail and he sees a wiklatmuíj (little man) with a broken leg and Tiam offers him help and some tobacco. The wiklatmuíj offers him two wishes for helping him and showing respect. Tiam reaches the Eagles Spiritís nest and realizes the nest is above the clouds. Tiam uses one of his wishes to grow wings and fly towards the nest in the clouds. He looks around to see if the Great Eagle Spirit is sitting on the golden egg. The nest is empty. He moves under the nest, moves the branches, grass and mud and the golden egg drops into his hand.

The Eagle Spirit sees him with the golden egg and attacks. Tiam tries to fly to the ground below but the Eagle Spirit attacks and Tiam drops the egg. He uses the second wish to stop the Eagle Spirit from attacking him. Once on the ground Tiam finds the golden egg and starts his journey back to the village.

He gets safely back to the village and shows the chief the golden egg. The chief holds a great ceremony in honor of the Eagle Spirit. The Eagle Spirit arrives and the chief tells him that he will trade the egg for the right to marry his daughter. The Eagle Spirit accepts and also grants Tiam one wish. Tiam is excited, happy and afraid about the dayís events.

He gives back the egg and wishes to see his parents at the wedding. The day of the wedding ceremony is beautiful. At the end of the wedding just before going to sleep in the wigwam his parents appear above the fire and he introduces Wasowek to his parents. They smiled and disappear in a puff of smoke. Wasowek and Tiamís love for each other grew stronger every day and they lived happily ever after.

Winner
Nikhea Bernard, Keith Denny, and Angie Toney
Grade 8
Eskasoni

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