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Main > Canada folktales > Fairy tale "Ermine and the Hunter"

Ermine and the Hunter

And the River-God said, "My water cannot tarry. There are millions of oysters down on the ocean shore waiting for shells, and I am hurrying down there with the lime to make them," and he rushed quickly past.

Then the old man called to the Spirit of the Wind, and he said, "Oh, Spirit of the Wind, stay here with me to-night and help me to kill Bear of the Stony Heart. You can knock down great trees upon his back and crush him to the earth." But the Wind Spirit said, "I cannot linger. Many ships with rich cargoes lie silent on the ocean waiting to sail, and I must hurry along with the force to drive them." And like the River-God he hastened on his way.

Then the old man called to Storm Cloud, which was just then passing over his head, and he said, "Oh, Spirit of the Storm Cloud, stay here with me to-night and help me to kill Bear of the Stony Heart, for he seeks to destroy my children. You can send lightning and thunder to strike him dead." But the Storm Cloud said, "I cannot loiter on the way. Far from here there are millions of blades of corn and grass dying from thirst in the summer heat, for I see the heat waves rising on the earth, and I am hurrying there with rain to save them." And like the River-God and the Wind Spirit he hurried along on his business. The poor old man was in great sorrow, for it seemed that no one would help him to rid the land of Bear of the Stony Heart.

As he sat wondering what he should do, an old woman came along. She said, "I am very hungry and tired, for I have come far. Will you give me food and let me rest here a while?" And he said, "We have very little food, for Bear of the Stony Heart steals it from us nightly, but you may share with us what little we have." So he went away and brought back to her a good fat meal. While she was eating her dinner he told her of his troubles with Bear, and he said that no one would help him to get rid of the pest, and that Bear could not be killed by man. And the old woman said, "There is a little animal who can kill Bear of the Stony Heart.

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