Life was good, fish were plentiful and game did abound.
Many were my children and they did give me many grandchildren.
Old Willow was my den and she kept me safe and warm.
When storms came her branches were my refuge. Yes, I loved Old Willow.…
Gators feared me, for to challenge me would cost them their children.
All the marsh I could see was marked with my scent.
Nature gave me her bounty and I helped keep her balanced.
I ruled wisely and there was harmony in my domain.
Then the New People came, not like the Red People. The Red People!
The Red People understood the balance and showed me respect.
Once, I was bitten by the Copper Snake. I almost died!
The Red People sent their Medicine Man who gave me meat.
The meat had bitter medicine, I could smell it, but I ate it. The Medicine Man.,He had power.
Power to make me understand he meant to save my life.
Slowly, my strength returned as did my hunger, I ate the ripe fruit of the marsh.
They began to call me Grandfather Bear. I had lived many years.
Then the New People came and drove away the Red People.
Something was wrong, the sky began to smell bad. The New People brought a bad smell.
I hid from the New People, Medicine Man went away. Storms became very bad. After one good summer
Medicine Man returned. He brought a gift of honey. He spoke of bad things to come.
I ate the Honey and watched as He spoke and wept and then he did something I did not expect.
He walked up to me and stroked my neck with his old hands and prayed to the Great Spirit.
With tears in his eyes, he left me to eat the good honey and wonder why he had come.
Autumn had come and with it the New People – they were looking for me!
With no where to run I waited as the New People came in their smelly bark.
They were laughing and carrying long black sticks. They pointed their sticks at me.
I heard a sound like terrible thunder and then I was no more.