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Legends of the Secwepemc
Wolf and Wolverine

Meat drying circa 2003

Wolf was a relative of Coyote and was noted as a hunter shaman. He lived with Wolverine. Wolf hunted deer and elk. Wolverine caught beavers. He set nets in the creeks near the beaver dams and then broke the beaver dams and houses, drove them into his nets and killed them.

One day Wolf said to his companion, “I must leave you, for the game is very scarce around here, and I must go to some place where it is more plentiful”. He went to a different part of the country, where he found many deer and elk. There he made a lodge, hunted, and killed many. Before long, his lodge was full of hanging dried meat.

Meanwhile, beavers had become scarce where Wolverine lived. He caught many beavers and the remainder had left. Wolverine lived for a long time on his dried beaver meat, but at last, he ran out of food. He was reduced to starvation and became very thin. Wolverine decided to search for his friend Wolf to see how he was doing. He though Wolf might have plenty of food.


Soon he found Wolf’s lodge and entered and sat down near the door. Wolverine felt tired, for he was very weak. He said to himself, “Wolf will see my plight and feed me from his plentiful stores”. He saw that Wolf’s house was full of dried meat and fat.

Wolf never spoke to Wolverine but proceeded to heat stones and to boil some meat, which he ate, when he finished, he emptied the brew out the door of his lodge. Wolverine was very sad because Wolf offered him nothing to eat and said to himself. “He has no pity on me when he sees me lean and hungry. He even insults me by throwing out the nourishing brew right close by my face. Well, Wolf shall find out that he is not the only shaman. I shall get even with him yet”.

Wolverine left the house and, after traveling a long way, reached a lake where beavers were very plentiful. Here he caught many beaver. Before long his lodge was full of dried meat and beaver tails hanging up. Then, through his shamanistic powers, he made Wolf unlucky. Wolf could find only a few deer and when he did find them, he could not kill them. Wolf had to live on the stores of meat which he had put away in his lodge, but at last he finished them all. He was reduced to boiling the old bones, and scraping the pieces of fat and meat which stuck to the skins. At last, he ran out of this food and Wolf thought of Wolverine. He said, “I will search for his house and live with him; perhaps he has plenty of food”.

Soon, he found Wolverine’s lodge, entered, and sat down at the door. Wolverine never spoke to Wolf, but proceeded to cook some beaver tails, and after eating them, threw the brew over Wolf’s head and out the door. Wolf remembered how he had treated Wolverine, and said to himself. “He serves me as I served him”. Wolf left and ever since then, Wolf and Wolverine never lived together again

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