Gete se atsokanen

Traditional Tales

Why we have Spring

Bnewi pene shna gi bbomget, pene gi ksenyamget, gi gwtektowek bemadsetthek. 

A long time ago, it was winter all the time, it was cold all the time and people had a hard time.

Ngodek shna eyawek weshgget kwe gi mkedeke, ije egi ndotthget notth na datthe abwamgek.

One time a young girl fasted, and she asked that the weather would be warmer.

I tthe ni mnedon egi widmagwet da shetthget na notth ewi abwamgek.

So the spirits told her what she could do to make the weather warmer.

Gagish mkedeket egi widmowat ni wgetzimen, “Abdek wetthksenyak nwi shya,” wdenan.

After her fast, she told her parents, “I have to go north,” she told them.

“Wiye shi etthe yet o bemendek ode pene e bbomgek ngigdo,” kedo o weshgget kwe.

“That’s where he’s at, the one responsible for it being winter all the time, I was told,” said the young girl.

“Mishgoswen ngi mingo ewi o wabmek. Abdek nwi o mttenwa, gishpen pkenwek wi mnokme mine wi niben.”

“I was given power to go see him.  I have to challenge him, if I beat him there will be spring and summer.”

“Nitthe gishpen pkenagwyen?” kedo ni wneneyem.  “Jo mine wika ke wabmesim,” wdenan wneneymen.

“What if he beats you?” said her mother.  “Then you will never see me again,” she told her mother.

I tthe egi wshitat, mteno shna wa she bmowdek wgi matthidon.

Then she got ready, she took only what she could pack on her back.

Ah itthe ibe wetthksenyak gi gwtekto, o kewesi.  Gwa shna shke ewse msen emawdonek.

Meanwhile, up north, the old man was having a hard time.  He was barely able to gather firewood.

Pene shna gi mshkewakwten I zibe gabmejwek besotth i edat.  Pene gi kche noden shi.

The river that ran by, close to his house was always frozen over.  It was always windy there.

O wtthe kewesi gi tthibdebe tthik shkwede shi edat.  Gawa gewi psakwnemget i shkwede.

The old man sat in his lodge, next to the fire, which was barely going.

Bama she wiye bye detewegenet shi shkwademek.  “Ahow.  Bidgek,” kedo o kewesi.

Just then, somebody was knocking on the door.  “Ahow.  Come in,” said the old man.

Bama she sesksiyen bye bidge’net.  Aptthe she goniwe o sesksi mine bigeje.

And a young maiden came in.  She was really snowy and cold.

Mine I wdep wabgonen gi wiwkwebso.  Mine geshe gi kche mnowabmenagwse.

Around her head, she wore a halo of Trailing Arbutus.  And she was also very pretty.

“Bosho ndanes,” kedo.  “Gda bye os shote shkwedek.”  Pishne atemget gewi I shkwede.

“Hello daughter,” he said.  “Come warm up here, by the fire.”  The fire itself, was almost going out.

“Ahow nge ske’wa o ndo pwagen, ke wdemamen,” kedo o kewezi.

“Okay, I’ll light up my pipe, we will have a smoke,” said the old man.

Epiche wdemawat, “Ezakttheseyan iw ebinek ode gon,” kedo o kewezi.

While they were smoking, the old man said, “When I go outside, I bring on the snow.”

“Ah i geni ezakttheseyan ebye mokit o gises,” kedo gewi o sesksi.

“Oh, when I go outside, the sun comes out,” said the maiden.

“Shpemek eshenkenwiyan i notth ektthe ksenyak,” kedo o kewezi.

“When I throw my arms towards the sky, the weather gets colder,” said the old man.

“Nin wi shpemek eshenkenwiyan i abwamget,” kedo o sesksi.

“Me, when I throw my arms up at the sky, the weather gets warmer,” said the maiden.

Bama she peneshiyek kwedbek etnemaswat.  Gi nabmegon ni kewesiyen.

All of a sudden, birds were singing on the roof.  The old man just glared at her. 

“Ekanabdeman I zibe I emshkewakwtek,” kedo o kewezi.

“When I look at the river, it freezes up,” said the old man.

“Nin wi ekanabdeman i zibe i engezet o mkwem,” kedo o sesksi.

“Me, when I look at the river, the ice melts,” said the maiden.

I tthe zagetth egi nabet ekanabdek i zibe.

Then, she looked outside to look at the river.

Epi tangedok notth gewi ne gshedemget i shkwede.

As she spoke, the fire started getting warmer.

Bama she o kewezi enodek emdwetthwek i zibe pi enengezet o mkwem.

Then, the old man heard the sound of the river, as the ice started to melt.

“Ngotthi epamseyan i ektthe bonik,’ kedo o kewezi.

“When I walk somewhere, it really snows,” said the old man.

“Metth she bebashyayan ematthigek ni wabgonen,” kedo o sesksi.

“Whereever I walk, the Trailing Arbutus grows,” said the maiden.

I tthe ekanabmet ni kewesiyen eshkem ne gatthi ye.

As she looked at the old man, he started getting smaller.

Mine zagetth enabet I shna ene skebgamgek ni mishkosen.

And as she looked outside again, the grass was turning green.

I tthe egi kwansego mno gishgek.  Nekmek dnemaswek peneshiyek.

And it turned into a beautiful day.  You could hear birds singing all over the place. 

Gatthe tthibdebet o kewesi shna mteno gasweksek i waboyan.

Where the old man sat, all that was there, spread out, was his blanket.

Edapnek i waboyan o sesksi.  I shna mteno mbish shi ga askobisek ga tthe nmedbet o kewezi.

The maiden picked up the blanket, and all there was under it, was a puddle of water, where the old man sat.

“I she shna yedek egi ngezet o kewezi,” shede e o sesksi.

“Oh, the old man must have melted,” thought the young maiden.

I tthe shna nekmek i gi pamadset o sesksi.  Metth ttheshe ga bme shyat wiye shi ngom etthe matthigek ni wabgonen.

Then, the young maiden traveled all over.  Wherever she went, is where the Trailing Arbutus grows today.

Mine she wiye I mamo netem zakimgek e mnokmek.

And it is the first plant to come up in the spring.

I wtthe ode sesksi egi pkenwat ni mkwemi wnenwen ngom wetthe yemgo ode emnokmek.  Iw ektownangek.

Because the young maiden overpowered the iceman, is why we have Spring now.  That is the story that is told.

Author: neaseno

I was born on Powers Bluff in Wood County, Wisconsin, into a traditional community of Neshnabek. I was raised speaking only native languages, and learned to speak English upon entering school at the age of 6. As of this writing, I am one of 5 remaining Heritage Fluent Speakers of Potawatomi.

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