Blackberry and Wolf

A Coast Salish story as recounted by Native American artist Roger Fernandes

A long time ago, Blackberry was a plant that got along with everyone. Blackberry had many friends.

One time, for reasons no one knows, Blackberry grew bigger and as he grew he began to grab animals and people as they walked by him. He would wrap his vines around them and stab them with his thorns and kill and devour them. Blackberry got bigger and bigger. He was bigger than a tree. He was growing because he was eating the beings he captured and killed.

The people and animals were afraid of Blackberry. They asked Wolf to help them. Wolf got a whalebone club and climbed up a tree next to Blackberry. He began to hit Blackberry with the club over and over. Every time he hit Blackberry, the plant got smaller. After a while Blackberry was the size of a small bush.

Wolf told Blackberry that he would no longer hurt and kill other beings. He would not grow any bigger. Wolf said if Blackberry grew any bigger wolf would hit him again. That is why today Blackberry does not grow big and no longer kills animals and people.

And that is all.

  • Roger Fernandes

    Roger Fernandes is a Native American artist from the Lower Elwha S’Klallam tribe.

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