Unfortunately, I was unable to gather around the Campfire for Story Hour last Wednesday night.  But our fearless leaders carried on as is their custom.    Our Story Teller for the evening was Sweet Grass Valley.  The following day, she was our Honoree of the Month.  A party was held to honor, toast, and roast her.  She was honored for the magnificent work she did for our team during November, 2010’s National Native American Month events as well as for her continued support and loyalty to our Campfire Community.    : Ostrich Egg Shell and Beads Necklace-Coyote 

This is a new line by 1 Egg Man.  To Purchase this necklace or to see other in this series, please go to www.1eggman.etsy.com

1 Egg Man (Ron), our official spiritual guide for this event, opened the evening with this beautiful blessing

Oh Great Spirit, Creator of all that inhabit Mother Earth, gaze down upon your children sitting here around the campfire and surround them in Your loving arms. Comfort those who need comforting and help those heal who are suffering from illness or stress. We are many hearts but joined together as one as we strive to walk the Red Road in balance and harmony.

Mother Earth, as we sit upon your carpet of grass so we can feel closer to you, we offer a moment of silent prayer that those affected by the many natural disasters that have disturbed your world find comfort and support from those who have seen the devastation it has brought. We pray the eyes of many have been opened and they can see the changes that need to be made, not only see them but work to get them done. It will take much work and caring, from all, to heal the wounds that so many years of neglect have caused but healing can be accomplished if we all strive to bring those changes about. Please help guide our steps as we continue our journey through life and open our eyes and hearts to the beauty that surrounds us.

It is all osda.

Frog on a lily pad necklace

Carnelian Frog on Adventurine Lily Pad Necklace by Sweet Grass Valley

Sweet Grass Valley then took center stage and said, “Wado and thank you for coming.”
The story tonight is called Why Some Frogs Left the Water.  It is a Chippewa Story

A long time ago there were frogs living in all of the ponds, lakes and rivers of the world, in the same way that many of them do today. They were happy singing their songs, sitting on their lily pads and laying the eggs that become pollywogs and then as if by magic become frogs, it was a good life, and most of the frogs were happy.

Then, one day, one of the chiefs of the frogs, whose name was Ripid-do, became dissatisfied. Every day, from his lily pad, he could see something in the distance. This thing he saw was large, larger than anything he had ever seen before. It was green most of the way up and then it became white. As he would watch, many of the other animals would go up there, looking hungry, and, many hours later, they would return, looking as though they had a lot to eat. He began to be dissatisfied with the flies, mosquitos and water bugs that he usually ate.
“On this large thing,” he thought, “there must be delicious things to eat. That is why all of the other animals look so full and happy when they come down from it. It isn’t fair that we frogs have to stay in this pond always eating the same old things. I want to go to this big thing and get some of these good things that they always have to eat.”

One day he called to a snake that he saw slithering down the large thing and asked him where he had been and what he had to eat.

“That large thing,” said the snake “is a mountain. Up on it are the biggest, juiciest, most delicious bugs that I have ever seen. They make the biggest flies here seem like gnats. Um, how happy I am that I can go to the mountain.”
Ripid-do thought about what the snake said, and he became terribly hungry for all the delicacies that the snake described. He began to tell all of the other frogs about them. He made them sound so good that all of the frogs wanted to have a chance to have some of them to eat. Soon the frogs in that pond told the frogs in the next pond about them, and so it spread until all of the frogs in all of the ponds, streams, lakes and rivers all-round the mountain became dissatisfied with what the Great Spirit had given them.
Finally, Ripid-do mad a bold suggestion

“Fellow frogs,” he proposed, “since the Great Spirit is trying to keep us from all that is best in life for us, let us set out on our own and climb that mountain and forget about the places where we live now.”
Some of the frogs agreed. They had really come to believe that they were being forgotten or ignored by the Great Spirit. Others felt that although those other bugs might be bigger, it would be difficult for them to live on a mountain, out of water.
“You are cowards,” Rapid-do told these frogs. “We frogs can live on land. We can do anything. Don’t we sit all day on lily pads out of the water? The Great Spirit just told us we have to be in water to keep us from all of the best things that all of the other animals have. Let us set off for the mountain.”

After he finished his speech, and while it was being broadcast to all of the other frogs in all the other ponds, Ripid-do heard a voice in his mind.

“Little brother”, said the voice, “I have given you all that you need to live well. Don’t be greedy for things that other animals have. Be happy and sing your songs of thanks for the good things that you have. And don’t go to the mountain today. Things will not go well if you do.”
Although this made Ripid-do hesitate, he was so determined that he was missing out on something that he ignored the warning of the Great Spirit. Soon he and the frogs that followed him set off for the mountain. As they started their climb up it, they noticed that all of the other animals who usually went up there to feed were busy running down.

“Things aren’t right on the mountain today.” the snake he had spoken to before told him. “Go back to your ponds.”
The frogs were determined, Ripid-do felt that the Great Spirit had told all of the other animals to act in this way to trick the frogs, and all the animals had agreed because they didn’t want to share all of the food they had with the army of frogs marching up the mountain.

Up they went, looking for the delicious bugs they thought they would find. In fact, some of the frogs did find a few bugs and they were the biggest that they had ever seen and the most delicious. But most of the insects, too, were flying in large swarms down from the mountain.

As they continued up they noticed that the white from the top of the mountain was melting and torrents of water were beginning to run down the mountain. Some of the frogs became scared when they saw this and wanted to turn back. But Ripid-do called them cowards and challenged them to continue. Soon the torrents of water were joined by melted rock running down the side of the mountain, and a large cloud of steam began to envelop all of the frogs, causing their skins to burn.

 “Don’t turn back now, brothers and sisters,” shouted Ripid-do. “If we show the Great Spirit that we won’t fall for his tricks, all of this will soon disappear.”

It did not. It became worse as the volcano continued to erupt. Ripid-do wasn’t sure what to do. He realized, at the last minute, that he had brought many of his brothers and sisters into danger simply because he felt what he wanted was more important than what the Great Spirit had given him.

“Great Spirit,” he prayed with all his might, “I will sacrifice myself gladly if you will somehow save all of the frogs following me. It isn’t fair that they suffer for my mistake. I should have listened to your warning and the warnings of the other animals.”

“Little brother,” he heard a voice say in his ear, “I will save all who follow you, as they now have learned their lesson. Have them hop into the waterfall that you see up ahead. It will safely carry them back into their ponds, streams and rivers. But don’t you hop in yourself.”
Ripid-do did as he was told. Soon all of the other frogs were being carried by the water to safety.

Ripid-do sat there as the steam thickened. He was awaiting his fate, knowing that he had done wrong. Suddenly a burst of wind came and blew him into a tree that was so high on the mountain the steam didn’t reach it. He was safe and watched as the volcano finished its eruption.