Native American Animal Wisdom

Not sure what you want to write your Sage Page story about? Feel free to read some of our example stories below for inspiration and ideas — or to learn more about Native American legends. Once you’ve decided what you want to write about, you can go back to your Champion Center and create your very own Sage Page!

A COYOTE STORY
Photo of Coyote Coyote was walking along a lake and saw a flock of ducks, which put him in the mood for a good duck dinner. So he stuffed a bag full of grass and walked past the ducks, stepping lively and singing a catchy tune. "Where are you going?" asked one of the ducks.

Read more about Coyote's plan for a duck dinner...
BEAR
Photo of Bear Long ago when animals could talk, a bear was walking along. Now it has always been said that bears think very highly of themselves. Since they are big and strong, they are certain they are the most important of the animals. "There is nothing I cannot do," said this bear.

Read more about Bear's encounter with Chipmunk...
BIG TURTLE
Photo of Big Turtle Many years ago the world had two parts. Animals lived in the lower part, which was completely covered in water and had no land or soil. Above was the Sky World, where the sky people lived. The Sky World had lots of soil, with beautiful mountains and valleys.

Read more about the girl's encounter with Big Turtle...
BLUEBIRD AND THE COYOTE
Photo of Bluebird A long time ago the Bluebird's feathers were a very dull ugly colour. It lived near a lake with waters of the most delicate blue which never changed because no stream flowed in or out. Because the bird admired the blue water, it bathed in the lake four times every morning for four days...

Read more about Bluebird's song...
CHIPMUNKS
Photo of Chipmunk A grandmother and granddaughter were living together. They had a skin blanket, but it was old and a good deal of the hair was worn off. The two women went to the forest to camp and cut wood, and they carried the blanket to cover themselves with at night...

Read more about the adventure they have...
GHOST OF THE WHITE DEER
Photo of White Deer A brave, young warrior for the Chickasaw Nation fell in love with the daughter of a chief. The chief did not like the young man, who was called Blue Jay. So the chief invented a price for the bride that he was sure that Blue Jay could not pay.

Read more about the price Blue Jay had to pay...
GHOST STALLION
Photo of Stallion This is a tale the old men tell around the fire, when the stars are blown clean on a windy night, and the coyotes are howling on the Cree Jump. And when, sometimes, over the wind, comes clearly the sound of running horses, their hearers move a little closer to one another and pile more wood on the fire.

Read more about the Ghost Stallion...
GRAYING OF AN EAGLE
Photo of Eagle Along the hills that looked over a forested land, lived a great eagle of black feathers and wild eyes. He perched on the highest point, which was rocky and ragged. Just below him was the nest where his two young sons and one daughter sat, hungry and eager for adventure.

Read more about the eagle adventure...
HOW BEAR LOST HIS TAIL
Photo of Bear Back in the old days, Bear had a tail which was his proudest possession. It was long and black and glossy and Bear used to wave it around just so that people would look at it. Fox saw this. Fox, as everyone knows, is a trickster and likes nothing better than fooling others.

Read more about Fox's trick on Bear...
HOW BUFFALO TAUGHT THE BULLY A LESSON
Photo of Buffalo One day long ago, Grizzly Bear was traveling through the hills near a river. He came upon Buffalo Bull standing in the trail. Buffalo's head was hanging down as if he were weak and sick. "Ho! Crooked Horns," said Bear. "They say you have been saying you will go to war with me! Put on your war paint now..."

Read more about Bear's challenge to Buffalo...
HOW RABBIT AND OWL WERE CREATED
Photo of Owl Raweno, the Everything-Maker, was busy creating all the types of animals. One day he was hard at work on Rabbit. Rabbit said to him, "I want long, strong legs and long ears like the Deer, and sharp teeth and claws like the Panther."

Read more about Owl and Rabbit's creation...
HOW THE BUTTERFLIES CAME TO BE
Photo of Butterfly Now, one day after Earth-Maker shaped the world, Iioi, our Elder Brother was sitting and watching the children play. He saw the joy and the youthfulness they displayed. He saw the beauty of their surroundings, and the fresh fragrance of the trees and the flowers.

Read more about what this beauty inspired Iioi to do...
HOW THE WOLF RITUAL BEGAN...
Photo of Wolf A long time ago, a young woman of the tribe, with three companions, was walking outside the village. They were going to a place called Tomak'cluh to look for ah-et's'l, a small plant whose roots they use for food. During the journey a Wolf went trotting across their path...

Read more about the encounter the women had...
SALMON BOY
Photo of Salmon A young Haida boy was disrespectful to the salmon, or the "swimmer" as the people would call them. After being caught to eat, the boy would stomp on the bodies of the salmon. After eating them, he would disregard the way taught to him and he throws the bones into the bushes...

Read more about the consequences the boy faced...
THE BOY AND THE RATTLESNAKE
Photo of Rattlesnake A boy came across a rattler in the road and the snake was very cold and stiff from an early frost. The snake asked the boy to pick him up and warm him or he would die. The boy said, "No, if I pick you up you will bite me". The snake convinced the boy that he would not bite him...

Read more about the trick played on the boy...
THE EAGLE FEATHER
Photo of Eagle When the world was new, the Creator made all the birds. He colored their feathers like a bouquet of flowers. The Creator then gave each a distinct song to sing. The Creator instructed the birds to greet each new day with a chorus of their songs. Of all the birds, our Creator chose the Eagle to be the leader. The Eagle flies the highest and sees the furthest of all creatures. The Eagle is a messenger to the Creator.

Read more about the honor of being an Eagle...
THE FIRST DOG
Photo of Dog Two Ojibwa Indians in a canoe had been blown far from shore by a great wind. They had gone far and were hungry and lost. They had little strength left to paddle, so they drifted before the wind. At last their canoe was blown onto a beach and they were glad, but not for long.

Read more about how these Indians survive...
THE GIRL WHO MARRIED A DOG
Photo of Dog A chief had a fine-looking daughter. She had a great many admirers. At night she was visited by a young man, but she did not know who he was. She worried about this and determined to discover him. She put red paint near her bed. When he crawled on her bed, she put her hand into the paint.

Read more about this young couple's challenges...
THE HUNGRY FOX AND THE BOASTFUL SAILOR
Photo of Fox One day Fox was out walking along. He'd been hunting but had no luck. It was a long time since he'd eaten. His stomach was growling so loudly he could hardly hear anything else. Suddenly he realized someone was coming singing a song.

Read more about fox's hunting experience...
THE STORY OF RABBIT
Photo of Rabbit Back when the world was young, Rabbit had a very long bushy tail. In fact, his tail was longer and bushier than Fox's tail. Rabbit was very proud of his tail and he was constantly telling all the other animals about how beautiful his tail was.

Read more about Rabbit's pride in his tail...
THE WOLF RITUAL OF THE NORTHWEST COAST
Photo of Wolf A long time ago, a young woman of the tribe, with three companions, was walking outside the village. They were going to a place called Tomak'cluh to look for ah-et's'l, a small plant whose roots they use for food. During the journey a Wolf went trotting across their path...

Read more about the search for their food...
WHY A FAWN HAS SPOTS
Photo of Fawn Great Spirit or Wakan Tanka (Sioux) gave each animal a special characteristic or strength to protect itself. Wolf has sharp teeth, Coyote has quick wits. Bear is very strong, and Lion has sharp claws. A small fawn is helpless though with its unsteady legs.

Read more about each animal's special characteristic...