by Ebil Bunny
The Chezra Tribe are gathered together to tell stories about the Ochi-Lun, the Moon Spirit
Legends of Ochi-Lun
By Ebil Bunny
Chapter 1 - How Akki-Lun Came To Be
The Chezra tribe made their way to the meeting place at the center of their village. It was Akki-Lun, a time to honor Ochi-Lun (The Moon Spirit) by telling stories of her greatness. He Who Knows Much was already there, standing by the bonfire in the middle of the circle. The tribe sat down, and looked at him expectantly. The children were very excited; the mothers were having a difficult time making them sit still. It was their favorite festival. He Who Knows Much cleared his throat, then started the story:
"Many, many winters ago, before Ochi-Lun watched the earth, there was only flat and dirt. Ochi-Ra (The Sun Spirit) watched down with sadness. He wished there was use for the blank land, and tears flowed from His eyes. As the tears of Ochi-Ra landed upon the ground, they each took life, and became spirits themselves. Mala-Tek, the Wolf Spirit, Nai-Fem, the Catfish Spirit, all the way to Ikki-Fo, the Mosquito Spirit. They worked under the command of Ochi-Ra to make the earth a good land.
It took seven moons to complete, but Ochi-Ra was happy. Except it was missing something. He thought for a long time, and came up with an idea. He would make The Seven Tribes to live on the land Ochi-Ra had made. He called Ochi-Lun to watch them and make sure that they would not fall into evil doings and try to become better than the spirits. He gave her the power over the seas and the rivers, to use to punish if they were to do so, or to protect if needed. The Seven Tribes were very obedient, and Ochi-Ra showered them with kisses as reward. But then they began to think evil thoughts.
They whispered in the shadows, where Ochi-Ra could not see them. They made plans to overthrow the spirits, become the chiefs themselves, and the spirits would have to do their biddings. However, they did not know Ikki-Blen (The Fly Spirit) was there listening. Ikki-Blen flew up to Ochi-Ra, and whispered into His ear that The Seven Tribes were going to take the earth away from the spirits. Ochi-Ra was as mad as the raging storms. He was so mad that Ochi-Lun had to move in front of him to protect the Seven Tribes from being turned to dust and tossed into the wind.
Ochi-Ra's heart was softened by this act of love, and decided that he would not kill The Seven Tribes. But he gave them a list of rules they needed to follow. Ochi-Ra also made Akki-Lun, a celebration to honor Ochi-Lun and her love for the Seven Tribes that would be held every winter on the longest night."
Chapter 2 - The Strawberries of Ochi-Lun
He Who Knows Much bowed his head and sat down. The rest of the tribe cheered for him. They all knew that story, but loved hearing it again and again. That's when Big Friend stood up. He raised his hand to quiet the people, then began his story:
"Many winters ago, the buffaloes were plentiful. The Chezra Tribe ate, and were full all the time. But they became a fat and lazy. Ochi-Lun was angry that the tribe became fat and lazy, and took the hairy beasts away from the fields that they lived in. The Chezra Tribe was angry, and unwilling to take the punishment Ochi-Lun had given. They began to dishonor Ochi-Lun, and would spit in her reflection in the seas and the rivers. They hoped that Ochi-Lun would be afraid, and would give back the buffaloes. She did not give them back. The tribe started getting aches in their bellies from no food, but Ochi-Lun refused to give back the buffaloes.
He Who Refuses gathered the tribe together, and told them, 'We must find the buffalo, and take them back from Ochi-Lun!' The tribe, who were very hungry, agreed. They would take back the buffaloes. Smart Little One told them that they didn't need buffaloes. They could go to the forests and get boars and bears. The tribe refused to listen. 'Buffaloes are easy to catch' they said. 'They give us much meat' they said.
The good hunting men of the tribe followed Big Chief Brave Fist as they went on their quest. It began to storm, and the good hunting men got very wet. They ran to a nearby cave and hid from the skies might. They knew it was Ochi-Lun, who has power over the seas and the rivers. They said to each other, 'Ochi-Lun knows we are close to finding the buffaloes, that is why she tries so hard to stop us.' They chuckled to themselves about Ochi-Lun's 'weak tries' at stopping them. But Ochi-Lun was too smart for them. She had hid the buffaloes at the bottom of the deepest pit, where no tribe could find them.
The good hunting men searched like wolves with their noses on the ground to find the buffaloes, but went back to village empty handed. 'We have found nothing' they told the village sadly. 'Boars and Bears are in the forests!' Smart Little One told them again. They punch Smart Little One in the face. 'You are a disgrace to the Chezra Tribe' they said angrily 'We do not give up!' They prepared again, and left again on their quest.
However, Ochi-Lun saw the wisdom in Smart Little One, and came to him in a dream. She told him how to get wild strawberries, and how to farm them. That was something the women of the tribe could do while the good hunting men were on their foolish quest. The next dawn, Smart Little One told the women what Ochi-Lun told him, and they listened. They got the strawberries from the meadows. They planted some, and ate some, and were happy.
The good hunting men came back again, but many were not with them. Ochi-Lun had thrown another storm at the good hunting men, and many had been killed by the awful storm; big chief Brave Fist was one of them. They still did not have buffaloes. The good hunting men wanted to give up, but they needed to find food for the tribe. That's when the women of the tribe told them that Ochi-Lun told Smart Little One about wild strawberries that could be found and brought back to the village by the women of the tribe while the good hunting men were off on their foolish quest.
The good hunting men were in rage. 'Ochi-Lun is not on our side. Ochi-Lun took our buffaloes!' the good hunting men said, 'These strawberries are probably poison!'
'We have eaten them and are in good health. You have not eaten them, and are not in good health.' the women of the tribe told them. 'If you eat them, you will be in good health, too. Ochi-Lun is not an enemy.'
It is easy to not listen to one person like Smart Little One, it is not easy to not listen to all the women of the tribe. The good hunting men were tired, and fearful for their lives. They decided to listen, and ask Ochi-Lun's forgiveness. Ochi-Lun forgave them, and made sure they had plenty of food to eat."
Chapter 3 - Doom Claw
The tribe applauded Big Friend as he sat down. Now it was Voice Of Thunder's turn to tell a story. Before he could stand up, however, a deep growl was heard by the villagers. Several women gasped, and the children began to cry. They all knew who it was. Doom Claw, a massive black bear who lived near the Chezran Village.
"Fast Runner and Eyes Of Night, take those who can not fight into the teepees." Chief Spear Thrower said, immediately standing up. "The rest must get weapons to fight Doom Claw." The orders were obeyed instantly. They all knew the punishment for disobedience at a time like this. Getting eaten by Doom Claw wasn't something any of them enjoyed.
"Ochi-Lun of the skies, please bless us, give us your help to defend from Doom Claw of the forests!" The Clan Mother said to the moon. She was going to pray for help while the men fought the beast. "Give our tribe speed like Sek-Ren (The Eagle Spirit), and strength like Mala-Woo (The Bull Spirit) that we may beat him who fights during Akki-Lun."
The tribe men ran all through the village, preparing against Doom Claw's attack. Eyes Of Night could swear that he saw the the beast's blood red eyes glowing in the darkness, watching their every move.
"Come, Doom Claw, we are ready to fight." Chief Spear Thrower said, holding up the Rod of Chezra, a pole decorated with various shells, carved pieces of wood and ivory, and bits of flint. It belonged to the chief of the Chezra Tribe. The fighters stood by him, holding out their weapons in defence. "We do not fear you, beast of the forests!"
However, there was no sign of Doom Claw. He had left as he had come, silently and swiftly.
The tribe did not feel like telling or hearing stories after that. They just sat around the bonfire, calming their hearts and watching the fire burn away. After a while, Chief Spear Thrower stood up.
"Come, let us go to sleep. There is nothing more we can do tonight. Let us rest, so that we may work tomorrow." he said. They tribe nodded their heads, and began making their way towards their respective teepees. Soon, the only sound that could be heard was the far off hooting of an owl.