JAMES BAY PROJECT

11/16/2017

In the pine forests of North America, wandered creatures that drove fear into the souls of the Cree Indians who occupied the eastern side of James Bay. They came in the 1950’s; first, in groups of 2 or 3, and later, in clans of 6 members with strange weapons at their sides. Their peculiar behavior started when they planted their 3-legged weapons into the soil and spent time adjusting what looked like a large barreled pistol that they constantly rotated around. The Cree watched from stealthy locations and wondered why these hunters looked down the barrels, but did not discharge the firearms with a loud bang, like they have seen these birchskin warriors do previously, as they killed deer, bear, moose, and caribou. The Cree keep close tabs on these trespassers and their noiseless guns, watching them aim the weapon at another holding a stick with strange markings. The Cree were dumbfounded as they did this ritual for nearly a year and left for the winter. The birchfaces returned in the spring with many iron buffalo snorting black smoke as they pushed around soil and rock. Others followed with piles of debarked logs and built giant walls that they filled in with a green lake that froze in one day, even in the summer heat. The solid green lake turned white and blocked the river. It soon occupied the valley floor as a large inland sea. Many birchfaced tribesmen brought in strange metal sticks and arranged them in geometric patterns. They then hung vines on their arms that disappeared over the southern horizon. Soon the army of unwanted warriors disappeared and left a few villagers to oversee the finished River Temple, straining to hold back all the fish. It was then the Cree understood the labors of the pale tribe that entered their land many years ago. The birchfaced had given them the gift of music. All the salmon behind the River Temple sang their song of life to the Cree. It hummed the haunting tune on the vines that vanished into the birchfaced world. 

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