CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 2. . . .September 11, 2009
C.J. Taylor's latest collection of First Nations legends focuses on the interactions between humans and mystical creatures. "The Mermaid" is a heartbreaking Mi'kmaq tale about the love between Lone Bird and Minnow. The "Chief of all the Oceans" grants the mermaid's wish to leave the sea and marry Lone Bird. When they return for an underwater visit, Minnow sacrifices her life to save her husband and daughter from a shark attack. Similar themes are explored in the Coos story, "Water Lily Finds her Love."
In the Dakota story "The Lodge Eater," a village must contend with an "evil spirit" that morphs from a baby into a winged beast with pointy teeth. The Cree tale "Souls in the Mist" also relates the struggle between the Great Spirit who "ruled all that was good" and the Evil Minded, who "ruled the underworld and all that was wicked." "The Little People" is a Kahnawake cautionary tale about greed.
Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.
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