Never-Ending Bear Hunt

Many years ago people looked into the night sky and imagined wonderful stories in the stars. One story lasts for a whole year, and tells about the adventures of the Great Bear and the Bird Hunters.

When the winter ended, the Great Bear left her cave. She was very hungry after her long sleep, and she was anxious to find food. But as she hunted for food, other hunters were following her!

Seven brave Bird Hunters followed the Great Bear across the sky. Robin led the hunt, followed closely by Chickadee and his cooking pot and Moose-bird. Farther behind were their friends: Pigeon, Blue Jay, Horned Owl, and Saw-whet. The bear looked big and clumsy, but she moved across the sky rapidly. The hunters followed behind all summer, but as autumn approached they had still not caught up to the Great Bear.

Some of the hunters became tired and discouraged. Saw-whet, the last hunter in line, left the hunt. Soon Horned Owl also gave up and went in search of Saw-whet. Blue Jay and Pigeon tried to keep up with the leaders, but soon they also left the hunt and flew home.

Only Robin, Chickadee, and Moose-bird followed the Great Bear into the autumn. The bear grew angry and rose up on her hind legs. She growled loudly and clawed the air to scare the hunters. But Robin was a breave hunter. He shot an arrow and hit the Great Bear. Drops of her blood fell on Robin's feathers, turning his breast bright red. Other drops fell on the autumn leaves, coloring them a bright red.

When winter came, the dead bear lay on her back up in the sky. But her spirit returned to the cave and entered another bear. In the spring, the bear will leave the cave again to travel across the spring and summer sky, always pursued by Bird Hunters.

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