It was a magical rainy morning, the water dripping off the trees behind him, as Passamaquoddy artist and actor George Neptune did what folks have always done with a bunch of children on a wet day–he told a story.
“How many days in these woods, on this kind of a day, has this exact story been told?” Mused one mother as George sat on the floor amid a dozen enthralled children pretending to eat raspberries. In a vaguely Yogi Bear voice, George acted out a conversation between Muwin (Berry Eater) and Gloosclap the primordial man/god of the Wabanaki people.
“I would eat up any Wabanaki people I met. I would pick them up, and eat them right there…” said George, sucking a berry off one of his imagined claws.
The children wriggled into their mother’s laps with delight. Already they knew, Gloosclap wouldn’t be letting that happen, any more than he would let Mihku the squirrel remain as large as a mountain and destroy whole villages with his tail.
Stories over, and mankind saved from moose, bears and angry squirrels, George and the children were up on their feet with a pulsing heartbeat of his drum. From the highly traditional “Mosquito Dance,” to the more recently adopted “Alligator Dance” children were soon spinning, stamping and kicking away the morosely wet morning. “I think I’m getting this!” laughed one boy, spinning his partner around.
“Well if you’re not kicking your partner, you’re doing pretty well.” chuckled George.
This program is one of many events which highlight the natural history and traditions of our region sponsored by the Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT). A current list of events and activities for children and adults through the DLLT can be found at http://www.downeastlakes.org/news-events/events/.