The First Dog, An Ojibwe Tale

The legends say that two Ojibwe men were to go fishing for food for their tribe in a mighty birch tree canoe.

The men were on their way back to shore

when suddenly

the men found themselves in the middle of a great and powerful storm.

The men were soon lost at sea with little to do.

The men had little strength
and want left to paddle.
They gave themselves to the wind.

Finally, their canoe was blown onto a strange beach.

The two men were so relieved to be on stable land.

They began to look for food before finding a place to lay their heads.

The two men came across a trail of massive footprints in the sand.

The men heard pounding footfalls.

Scared and shaking, the men took cover in the bushes.

As they crouched low, a big arrow, too large for any man,

thudded into the ground with a very loud


A giant emerged from the trees.

Giants were always said to be large.

The men knew that, but he was so large, a caribou hung from his belt with ease.

It hung there limp like a rabbit caught while hunting.

"You are safe tiny ones. I saw your tiny boat wash onto shore. I wish to help you return to your home."

The men were happy to follow the Giant to his cave.

The men knew food was waiting for them at the Giant's home,

and soon they would know what else was waiting for them too.

The Tiny Men,shocked to see the Giant
Giant from off the screen

As the Ojibwe and the Giant sat down to eat from the Giant's caribou dinner,

an evil Wendigo spirit emerged from the entrance of the cave.

He had come to trick the men.

The Wendigo tried to confuse the men and convince them

that the Giant wanted to kill them.

The men trusted their giant friend for he had helped them.

The men knew the rumors;

Wendigo were the eaters of people.

Wendigo emerging from a cave cave

There had been enough lies from the Wendigo so the Giant knocked on a bowl at his feet.

As he did this, a creature came bounding over to the Giant and awaited his command.

The Giant shouted,

"Dog, do what dog can do!"

The creature the Giant called"Dog"

turned to the Wendigo and jumped.

As the creature sprang at the eater of people, he changed shape.

He grew larger and larger and larger

Dog took one last leap and took the spirit down in one sweep of his powerful paw.

When dawn broke,

the Giant and Dog took the men to the shore, and the Giant gave his command.

Again, Dog grew larger and larger and larger.

The Giant then picked up the tiny men and placed them on the Dog's back.

Before the men could speak, Dog ran into the open water.

The men could do nothing

They looked back at the Giant while he waved from the shore.

Yes, Dog was the Giant's pet
he knew the tiny ones needed Dog.
Much more than he needed him now.

The Giant waves goodbye.

After a very long time,

the Ojibwe men began to see a familiar coastline.

Dog swam to shore and became smaller and smaller and smaller,

forcing the men to swim the last leg of their journey.

Dog then left them close enough to the tribe's camp so that the men wouldn't get lost,

but far enough that they wouldn't be seen.

Once they reached the sand,

without so much as a low rumble in his chest,

dog walked away.

the Dog taking the tiny ones back to their home

The men had not seen or heard talk of Dog for many moons had passed.

It was not until one night

when the Chief confronted the two men.

"You lie! There is no 'Dog,' no such
creature! This mystery animal does
not exist! Show us this creature
and we shall let you stay here!"

There was rustling in the woods.

It was as if Dog had been summoned,

he came shooting out of the woods

to greet all of the men.

Dog allowed the tribe to pet and feed him from their hands, he was friendly and protective.

Dog took his place in his new home and lived happily.