The giant frog

A long time ago, a giant frog held the great country of the Abenaki people in fear. The frog drank all the rivers and the Abenaki were running out of water. The people collected their tepees and started a long march in quest of drinking water. Everybody went except the chief. He had, you see, a plan. He got his best hatchet and began to cut down an enormous oak tree. But he didn't cut it down completely; he waited for the giant frog to appear. And when the giant frog passed under the tree, the chief of the Abenaki ran out from his hiding place and gave the last hatchet blow to the tree. The great oak fell on to the giant frog who had been drinking all the rivers, and killed him. And rivers of clean drinking water sprang from the oak's branches!

Meanwhile, the Abenaki had arrived at a river so wide that they couldn't see the other side. They tasted the water but found it to be salty. They were tired and thirsty. They had no more strength to go any further to look for drinking water. The waves took them away and they sank in the sea. Later, from the bottom of the sea, they transformed into whales. This is why whales spout water: they are dreaming of sources of drinking water.

The whales still do not know that their chief killed the giant frog. One day, perhaps, they will swim to the rivers of the great oak tree and find out. This is what their chief, who lives in Adanak in Quebec, hopes for. If you visit him, he will say “kolipaio” to you, which means “welcome” in the Abenaki language.

Text: Koldo Izagirre

Translation: Joe Linehan

Voice: Tim Nicholson

This is the story about the giant frog — throwing water all the way from the land of the Abenaki People of Quebec

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