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Pukaskwa National Park of Canada

Gichi waawaabganonjii (Big Mouse) , the Sun and Anisbnaba, the Snare-Setter

There was once an anishnabe village full of anisbnaba people. One day, one anisbnaba told his family that he was going out to set some snares. So, he went out to set his snares.

The next day, it was time for daylight but no daylight came. The anishnabe village people knew something was wrong. The sun did not come up. It stayed dark. The anishnabe who had set snares the day before said, "I will go and look for my snares in the dark. Maybe I got something on my snares." So, he set out in the dark.

When he came to one of his snares, he said to himself, "Yes, I did get something in my snare!" He saw that he had caught the sun in his snare! Now, how could he free the sun? It was too hot to go cut the snare where the sun was caught, so the anishnabe went back to the village people.

"What happened," he said to them,"is that I caught the sun in my snare. That is why the sun cannot come up." They called a meeting, and everyone was asked to come. Even the animals and birds were called to the meeting. Everyone was told that someone had to go and free the sun.

Well, there was one mouse, this mouse was a big mouse. He was the biggest animal, and he was asked if he was willing to free the sun. He also had very sharp teeth, and he would have to chew the snare wire to free the sun.

"Okay," said the big mouse, "I will go and free the sun." So, he went. He came to the snare where the sun was caught. He started to chew the snare wire. Even though he was burning, he did not give up. He just kept on chewing snare wire until the sun was free. He was able to cut through the snare wire before he was all burned up.

Finally, the sun was free and it was daylight again. The tiny mouse we see today, it is the mouse that freed the sun from the snare. He was a big mouse. That is how much he burned from before he was able to free the sun. Now he is the smallest animal there is. The rainbow that we see, that is the anishnabe's snare that caught the sun.