Baloo's Bugle

October 2007 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 14, Issue 3
November 2007 Theme

Theme: Indian Nations
Webelos: Craftsman & Readyman
Tiger Cub
Requirement 5


How the Sun, Moon, & Stars Got into the Sky

Baltimore Area Council

This North American Indian legend might be a good campfire tale for Cubs.

Long ago, the people had no fire and no light. They suffered and shivered during the cold of winter and had to eat their food uncooked. Even worse, they lived in darkness all the time.

There was no sun or moon or stars in the sky. A great chief kept them locked up in boxes and took great pride in the thought that he alone had light.

The great chief had a beautiful daughter and was very proud of her, too. All the people loved her.

Now, in those days, Raven had magic powers. He was a great friend of the people and the chief. He wondered how he might make their life more comfortable. One day, he saw the chief’s daughter come down to the stream for a drink. He had an idea. He put a magic spell on her and, in time, she had a son.

The old chief was delighted and, as the boy grew, his grandfather became devoted to him. He gave his grandson anything he wanted.

One day, the child asked the old chief for the box containing the stars. Although he didn’t like the idea, the chief could not deny his grandson. He gave him the box.

The child played with the box for awhile, tossing it and rolling it around. Then, he opened it, released the stars, and flung them into the sky. The people were happy. Now they had a little light, although it still wasn’t much.

After a few days, the child asked the old chief for the box that held the moon. Again the old chief hesitated, but again the boy got what he wanted. And, as before, he played with the box awhile, then opened it, released the moon, and flung it into the sky. The people were very happy to have even more light. Still, it was not a lot, and the moon disappeared for long periods of time.

Finally, one day the child asked his grandfather for the box that held the sun. “No,” the chief said. “I cannot give you that.” But the boy wept and pleaded, and the old chief could not stand his tears. He gave his grandson the box. This time, the boy didn’t even play with it first. As soon as he could, he released the sun and cast it into the sky.

The people were overjoyed. Now they had plenty of light and heat, too. They ordered a feast of the sun, and all the people celebrated with great jubilation.

Even the old chief was happy. He had not known that the sun, the moon, and the stars could mean so much to the comfort and happiness of his people. And, for the first time, he thoroughly enjoyed himself, too.

The Story of Squanto

Supplied by Alice, Golden Empire Council

Various versions of the story of Squanto can be found in thousands of places on the internet.  Alice said she thinks this one is one of the best.  And it ties the theme, Indian Nations in with Thanksgiving so it is theme related and timely, too!!  CD

Two months after the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts in  November, 1620, they were astonished and a little frightened when an Indian named Samoset, walked into their midst and greeted them in English. After Samoset had led several tradings with the Pilgrims, he told the Wampanoag that the Pilgrims wanted to make a peace with them.  Massasoit sent Tisquantum to be interpreter, and on March 22, 1621, the Pilgrims met Squanto for the first time.  That day, he negotiated a peace treaty between Massasoit and the Wampanoag, and John Carver and the Pilgrims.  They agreed they would not harm each other, and they became a military alliance as well, so if one were attacked, the other would come to their aid.

Here’s the story of how an American Indian was able to speak English to the Pilgrims:.   Tisquantum, called Squanto by the Pilgrims, was a native of the Patuxet tribe, and Plymouth was the center of their tribal lands. English sailors had been exploring the coasts of America for many years – and in 1605, Captain George Weymouth came to check out Canadian and New England regions for resources of interest to his English merchant backers.  Thinking they would like to see some Indians, he kidnapped two of them very brutally. 

He already had three other Indians, which had been bribed with a can of peas and some bread – when one of them, probably Tisquantum, “brought back our can presently and staid (sp) aboard with the other two, (he)….received exceeding kind usage at our hands…(since he was the one)… we most desired to bring with us to England.”  In England, Tisquantum lived with Sir Ferdinando Gorges, who taught him some English and hired him to be a guide and interpreter for his sea captains.  In 1614, Tisquantum assisted some of Gorges’ men, including John Smith, in mapping the Cape Code region.  Once Smith sailed away, Captain Thomas Hunt, who had been left in charge, tricked 20 Nauset and 7 Patuxet Indians into coming on board his ship and kidnapped them – since Tisquantum was on board to interpret, he was also kidnapped.  They were bound, and sailed to Malaga, Spain, where Hunt tried to sell them for slaves at £20 apiece.  Some local Friars, however, discovered what was happening and took the remaining Indians from Hunt in order to instruct them in the Chirstian faith, thus "disappointing this unworthy fellow of the hopes of gain he conceived to make by this new & devilish project".

Tisquantum lived with the Friars until 1618, when he sailed to Newfoundland on a ship from Bristol.  When Tisquantum arrived, however, he was recognized by Captain Thomas Dermer, who wrote  Sir Gorges that he had “found his Indian” and asked what he should do with him.  Dermer brought Tisquantum back to Gorges, who boarded the Indian with Sir John Slainey, treasurer of the Newfoundland Company.  Eventually, both Dermer and Tisquantum were sent back to New England to trade with the coastal Indians, who had refused to trade with Hunt after their tribal members had been kidnapped. Dermer and Tisquantum worked together mapping resources along the New England coast.  In 1619, when they reached Patuxet, they found the entire tribe had been wiped out by a plague in 1617.  Since Tisquantum was the only Patuxet Indian left alive, he joined a neighboring tribe living at Pkanoket, the home of Massasoit, and taught English to some of them.  Dermer continued on, but Nauset Indians attacked his crew at Cape Cod, and Dermer was taken hostage.  Squanto came to his friend's aid, and negotiated his safe release.  Dermer would later be attacked by Indians near Martha's Vineyard, and would die of his wounds after reaching Virginia.

After meeting the Pilgrims, Tisquantum lived out the rest of his life in the Plymouth Colony.  He taught the them how to manure their corn for a better crop, where to catch fish and eels, and acted as their interpreter and guide.  Without Squanto's help, the Pilgrims would probably have had severe famine over the next year, and would have lived in constant fear of their Indian neighbors--Indians who were actually quite peaceful, but who had been rightfully angered by the cruel treatment of English ship captains like Thomas Hunt.

Tisquantum did not help the Pilgrims solely because he was a nice and caring individual.  By late 1621 he was using his position with the Pilgrims for his own gain--threatening many Indians that if they did not do as he told them, he would have the Pilgrims "release the plague" against them.  As with all humans, "power corrupts".  When Massasoit learned that Tisquantum was abusing his position to steal power, he demanded Squanto be turned over to him to be executed.  The Pilgrims were required to turn Squanto over, according to the peace treaty they had signed with one another.  But the Pilgrims felt they needed Squanto's services, so they stalled--until an English ship came onto the horizon, and distracted everyone's attention for awhile.

But in November 1622, while on a trading expedition to the Massachusetts Indians, Tisquantum came down with Indian fever, his nose began to bleed, and he died.  Governor William Bradford, perhaps Squanto's closest friend and associate among the Pilgrims, wrote the following about his sudden death:  “In this place Squanto fell sick of an Indian fever, bleeding much at the nose (which the Indians take for a symptom of death) and within a few days died there; desiring the Governor to pray for him that he might go to the Englishman’s God in Heaven; and bequeathed sundry of his things to sundry of his English friends as remembrances of his love; of whom they had great loss.”

Native American Stories

The website has a great collection on Native American Stories that I am sure your Cubs would love if you told one or two a week or at the Pack Show or a Campfire.  You can go to the website at and view the whole list or click on a the link below to go directly to a story.  Enjoy!!  I know we loved the ones I read.  CD and Alice

Dreams bring meaning to the lives of a young Indians. War Eagle tells the story of "The Thunders."

The Fire Leggings

How the Ducks Got Their Fine Feathers
Chief War Eagle tells the story of Old-Man, Napa, and how ducks got their colors.

How the Man Found His Mate
There must be an easier way to get someone's attention! Read this tale about a Native American man looking for a wife.

How the Otter Skin Became Great Medicine
Chief War Eagle shares the story of Unlucky-one and how he found happiness.

Mistakes of Old Man
Native American story that tells how different animal lived in different habitats.

The Moon and the Great Snake
Ever wonder why there's so many different kinds of snakes in the world? Chief War Eagle explains by sharing the tale of the Moon and the Snake.

Old Man and His Conscience

Old Man and the Fox

Old Man Remakes the World

Old Man Steals the Sun's Leggings
Indian Story of how OLD-man stole the leggings from the Sun.

Old Man's Treachery

Ode to the buffalo from a Native American.

Why Blackfeet Never Kill Mice
Native American tale about the Blackfeet's respect for mice.

Why Indians Whip the Buffalo Berries From the Bushes
OLD-Man starts a tradition. Read how this came to be in this American Indian story.

Why the Birch Tree Wears the Slashes in It's Bark
Indian tale that shares the history of the birch tree's bark characteristics.

Why the Chipmunk's Back is Striped
Chief War Eagle tells the story of Old-Man, Napa, and why the Chipmunk has a stripe on it's back.

Why the Curlew's Bill is Long and Crooked

Why the Deer Has No Gall
Native American legend that explains some physical characteristics of deer and antelope.

Why the Kingfisher Always Wears a War Bonnet
Chief War Eagle shares the tale of Old Man, Napa, and the Kingfisher.

Why the Mountain Lion is Long and Lean

Why the Night Hawk's Wings are Beautiful

Turtle's Race With Bear

Native American Lore

Baloo’s Archive

It was an early winter, cold enough so that the ice had frozen on all the ponds and Bear, who had not yet learned in those days that it was wiser to sleep through the White Season, grumbled as he walked through the woods. Perhaps he was remembering a trick another animal had played on him, perhaps he was just not in a good mood. It happened that he came to the edge of a great pond and saw Turtle there with his head sticking out of the ice.

"Hah," shouted Bear, not even giving his old friend a greeting. "What are you looking at, Slow One?"

Turtle looked at Bear. "Why do you call me slow?"

Bear snorted. "You are the slowest of the animals. If I were to race you, I would leave you far behind." Perhaps Bear never heard of Turtle's big race with Beaver and perhaps Bear did not remember that Turtle, like Coyote, is an animal whose greatest speed is in his wits.

"My friend," Turtle said, "let us have a race to see who is the swiftest."

"All right," said Bear. "Where will we race?"

"We will race here at this pond and the race will be tomorrow morning when the sun is the width of one hand above the horizon. You will run along the banks of the pond and I will swim in the water."

"How can that be?" Bear said. "There is ice all over the pond."

"We will do it this way," said Turtle. "I will make holes in the ice along the side of the pond and swim under the water to each hole and stick my head out when I reach it."

"I agree," said Bear. "Tomorrow we will race."

When the next day came, many of the other animals had gathered to watch. They lined the banks of the great pond and watched Bear as he rolled in the snow and jumped up and down making himself ready.

Finally, just as the sun was a hand's width in the sky, Turtle's head popped out of the hole in the ice at the starting line. "Bear," he called, "I am ready."

Bear walked quickly to the starting place and as soon as the signal was given, he rushed forward, snow flying from his feet and his breath making great white clouds above his head. Turtle's head disappeared in the first hole and then in almost no time at all reappeared from the next hole, far ahead of Bear.

"Here I am Bear," Turtle called. "Catch up to me!" And then he was gone again. Bear was astonished and ran even faster. But before he could reach the next hole, he saw Turtle's green head pop out of it.

"Here I am, Bear," Turtle called again. "Catch up to me!" Now bear began to run in earnest. His sides were puffing in and out as he ran and his eyes were becoming bloodshot, but it was no use. Each time, long before he would reach each of the holes, the ugly green head of Turtle would be there ahead of him calling out to him to catch up!

When Bear finally reached the finish line, he was barely able to crawl. Turtle was waiting there for him, surrounded by all the other animals. Bear had lost the race. He dragged himself home in disgrace, so tired that he fell asleep as soon as he reached his home. He was so tired that he slept until the warm breath of the Spring came to the woods again.

It was not long after Bear and all to other animals had left the pond that Turtle tapped on the ice with one long claw. At his sign it a dozen ugly heads like his popped up from the holes all along the edge of the pond. It was Turtle's cousins and brothers, all of whom looked just like him!

"My relatives," Turtle said, "I wish to thank you. Today we have shown Bear that it does not pay to call other people names. We have taught him a good lesson."

Turtle smiled and a dozen other turtles, all just like him, smiled back. "And we have shown the other animals," Turtle said, "that Turtles are not the slowest of the animals."


The Story of Running Deer

Heart of America Council

This one is borderline on culture but a lot of fun.  I remember this story from my Cub Scout days.  CD

Divide the audience into five groups. Assign each of the groups one of the words below. Read the story. When one of the designated words is read, the appropriate group makes the indicated response.  Practice as you make assignments.

Old Chief:     Stand, raise right hand and give a hearty “HOW!” in a low, loud voice.

Running Deer:        Place open hands on side of head to make deer antlers, and stomp feet as if running.

Falling Rock:           Stand, make a short whistling sound, then sit down abruptly with a loud “BOOM!”.

Wilderness: One group howls like wolves; another raises swaying hands above head and make sound of wind blowing through the trees.

Babbling Brook:      Makes noise like garbling water with head back until the story narrator says….”Above the Waterfall”.

Long ago, there was a small Native American village. In this village lived an OLD CHIEF with his two sons, RUNNING DEER and FALLING ROCK (pause), above a waterfall.

The OLD CHIEF, knowing he would not live forever, decided it was time to choose one of his sons to take his place when the time came to pass on. “But, which one?” pondered the OLD CHIEF, and he devised a plan:

RUNNING DEER and FALLING ROCK were sent off into the WILDERNESS, far from the village-next to the BABBLING BROOK (pause), above the waterfall. The OLD CHIEF had told the lads, “The one of you who is able to live out longest in the WILDERNESS will take my place as Chief”.

Much time passed. The OLD CHIEF feared the worst, and began to worry. “How long will it be before the return of RUNNING DEER and FALLING ROCK”? thought the OLD CHIEF.

Soon after, a member of the tribe announced the approach of the beloved son, RUNNING DEER. The OLD CHIEF was very happy, and threw a grand celebration. For his first son, RUNNING DEER had returned to the village – next to the BABBLING BROOK (pause), above the waterfall.

The ordeal was over, and scouts were sent out into the WILDERNESS to find and return FALLING ROCK to his village, where he would become Chief someday.

Many moons went by, as happens in Native American stories. The OLD CHIEF, now passed on (sorry), never saw the return of his younger son, FALLING ROCK. FALLING ROCK has never returned from the WILDERNESS to his village- next to the BABBLING BROOK (pause), above the waterfall. His brother, RUNNING DEER, still looks for him.

We know this because, all along the highways and byways, we still see the signs (show sign if you made one) WATCH FOR FALLING ROCK.


Chief Running Deer

Heart of America Council

Divide the audience into eight groups. Assign each of the groups one of the words below. Read the story. When one of the designated words is read, the appropriate group makes the indicated response.  Practice as you make assignments.

COWBOY “Yippee!”


CHIEF RUNNING DEER (Makes war whoop)


EMMA “Rattles stones in tin”

TIMBER WOLF “Howooooo”


DEPUTY “He went that-a-way”

Once upon a time there was a COWBOY who went out into the desert, riding his horse, OLD PAINTBRUSH. Far off in the distance, he could hear the TIMBERWOLF. The COWBOY made camp and fell fast asleep, after making sure OLD PAINTBRUSH was secure.

Now, creeping through the desert was CHIEF RUNNING DEER riding his mule SITTING BULL. He was being pursued by the SHERIFF and his DEPUTY. In his pocket, CHIEF RUNNING DEER had his trained rattlesnake, EMMA, who was trained to creep up and bite the COWBOY and his horse.

While CHIEF RUNNING DEER crept up, OLD PAINTBRUSH watched the camp, the TIMBER WOLF howled, the COWBOY snored, and SITTING BULL ate cactus.

In the meantime, the SHERIFF and his DEPUTY sprang their trap. “Halt, you are my prisoner!” shouted the SHERIFF. The COWBOY woke up and mounted his horse, OLD PAINTBRUSH, which frightened the TIMBER WOLF and EMMA.

Away went old CHIEF RUNNING DEER on his faithful mule, SITTING BULL, and after them went the SHERIFF, his DEPUTY, the COWBOY and OLD PAINTBRUSH. But old CHIEF RUNNING DEER led them into a blind canyon, so that was the last anybody ever saw of the COWBOY, OLD PAINTBRUSH, EMMA the rattlesnake, the TIMBER WOLF, the mule SITTING BULL, the SHERIFF, or his DEPUTY.


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