The Bloody Knife
Many and many a year ago, two Micmac warriors from rival villages got into a terrible argument. Harsh words were exchanged and then knives were pulled. (Nova Scotia)
S. E. Schlosser
Many and many a year ago, two Micmac warriors from
rival villages got into a terrible argument. Harsh words were exchanged, and
then knives were pulled. The warriors battled back and forth on the banks of a
small creek. They fought with the ferocity of grizzlies, tearing at each other
with their knives, ripping at each others clothes and hair.
Suddenly, one of the warriors slipped on the muddy bank and fell into the
waters of the creek. His bloody knife slipped from his hand and sank down and
down to the bottom, landing upon a rock just beyond his reach. The warrior
strained his pain-wracked body towards the knife as his blood filled the waters
of the creek, but it was just beyond his fingertips. He thrashed and clawed
towards his knife, desperate to reach it before his rival killed him, but no
matter how he stretched, it always slipped out of reach.
On the bank above, the victorious Micmac warrior saw his rival sink into
the blood-stained waters and lay still, the knife just a hair-breadth beyond his
fingertips. He did not rise again. The fallen man's people found him a few hours
later and tenderly rescued his body from the rippling waters of the creek. But
when they tried to retrieve his bloody knife from the rock beneath him, it
always slipped beyond their reach, though the creek was not deep.
Many and many a year has passed since that bloody day by the creek, and
still the blood-stained knife lies beneath the rippling waters of the creek.
Whenever anyone tries to reach it, the knife slips out of reach. It is like
trying to touch something on the bottom of the sea, although the creek itself is
not deep. Even the rushing waters of the spring season do not move the
mysterious knife or wash away the blood staining its blade.
For this reason, the creek is called Wokun - meaning "knife" by the
Micmac people, and the white men call it "Bloody Creek".