Cree - English

I don't know the origin of this story. It was passed to me by Alfred Linklater who did the Cree translation. I believe there were also translations to Ojibwe, Mohawk, and possibly others.

Wapahke

Mikwac eapiyan nitihtapewinihk, oskinikew nipinatik ekwa nitakwicimik. "Napew, kikwan ohci nitotem kaki otinahk opimatisiwin, niwi nataw." Witapimin nititaw, wapahke athimotahtan.

Paspapi, ekwa pasakwapi, tapiskoc mikwac emitawaniwahk emakosiwikisikak ekwa kitha nistam kita nikamowin, maka nawac isa ekota kitayan, kahkithaw isa awasisak iphochik maka mwac isa kmacihtawak oma mitawiwin, athis eka ikota ayayin.

Kihtwam paspapi, mikwac isa Kiwitinohk Piponiwi Mitawiwina epimipathitamiwahki ekwa isa kitha ekanawiskwahtawiin. Mitataht niyananosap akihtasowina piko eka kita mitawaniwahk ekwa mwac chiskwa awina esapwahahk. Kamihkwaspisochik isa esapohtawipathihocik, Nohta! ekwa isa ika enawihtakosit okanawiskwahtawew, mwac isa ayayin ikota, tapwe isa mihtatamwak kichiwitamawinakanak, nitohtawike matotaskwaw, tanite ayayin eitwecik, kinitawenimitinanisa eisi matotaskwaw.

Iskayac paspapi, kanawapamik niki neyo otapanaskwak, kahkithaw atihkwa ipimitapechik, tapwe etoke mihcet kita mithowihtamwak. Maka wapamik, nisto piko omaciwak etakosihkwaw. Kanawapanik kinikihikwak, mwac kikwan withawaw eayacik. Nitohtaw kimama, "Mwac ci kikwan nithanan ohci?" eitwe naskowasihik isa omaciwa, nikiwapamanan otapanaskwa kikosis, maka mwac ohci pimipathihew. Kimihtatamatin, kisaspin ci piko ki mamitonithihtahk wapahke. Kita kiwapahtahk mithowicihiwiwin asici kisiwatisiwin, kitaki wapahtahk wici kiskinwahamatowin! Maskoc etoke ahpo kaki wihtamakohtay kikwathiw kaki mikoskacihikot ethowitha kitaki otinahk opimatisiwin.

Ekwa kititin, mikwac ewitapimiyin. Mwac kapi mocikiwihtakwan pimatisiwin, maka kakiki wapahki kita takwan.

... kahkithaw aniki kamihtatahkwaw, ekwa kahkithaw kithawaw eka kawimihtatitahk ohci oma ayamihcikiw.


Tomorrow

As I sit on my couch a young person comes over and says "Sir, why did my friend commit suicide I want to join him" and I said sit beside me and we'll talk about tomorrow. Look out the window now close your eyes it's the Christmas concert and you're the first to sing but you're not there, all the other children stand on the side waiting but the concert never starts.

Again look its the Arctic Winter Games and you're the goalie for the blue team, 15 seconds left the game is tied zero zero and a tie gives the blue team bronze medals the red team has a breakaway they're over the red line, blue line, face off, he shoots oh god there's no goalie you're not there a sad time for your team listen as they cry for you to be back where are you we need you.

One last look see out there on the land four skidoos with sleds all loading with caribou truly a time for happy families but look only three hunters and they're leaving they arrive back in town but one family has nothing its your parents listen as your mother speaks "Was there nothing for us" A hunter answers we seen your sons sled but he was not there to drive it I am sorry for you if only he had thought of tomorrow the fun to be had the friendship to share the lessons to learn maybe he would have talked to you of his troubles instead of dying. So now I say to you as you sit here beside me. Life isn't always fun, but there's always tomorrow.

... to all of those we miss and all of you we don't want to miss.


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