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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


February 7, 2004 - Issue 106


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North Wind and Star Boy


Lakota Legend

In the very old days, at the beginning of things, Star Boy went about the world as a champion, defending all feeble folk against the attacks of their enemies.

The champion was so strong that he could not bend his bow of wood without breaking it, so, he armed himself with a bone bow, a bone knife and a stone war club

One day, he came to the village of the Frogs, who poured out of their lodges to meet him and give him food, but no water. "He who goes to the water," they said, "never returns. A great warrior lies there who has swallowed many of us alive, and now we are dying of thirst!"

Star Boy was so thirsty that after he had eaten, he went down to the water and was instantly swallowed by the Walleye. But, with his knife he slashed Walleye in the gills and escaped; and then he warned the big fish, saying:

Be careful how you carelessly destroy the people because some day, they will be used to destroy you!"

Then he went on his way, as far as another village of Little People, who complained that they had no fire wood.

"We dare not go to the wood any more," they said, "for there lives a fierce warrior who swoops down on us from above and devours us!"

Star Boy quickly went to the wood, where he was attacked by Hinhan, the Owl. He easily conquered the Owl with his stone war club. "Because of your cruelty," he said to the Owl, "the sun shall blind you, so, after this, you can only hunt in the dark when the Mouse people are taking to their holes and hiding from you."

Now Star Boy travelled northward, until he reached the very northernmost country, and in that faraway land, he found a people in great distress. This was because they feared Wazeya, the North Wind, who drove away the buffalo herds so that they had no meat. "And, when he points his finger at one of us," they said, "that man dies!"

"Come, let us hunt the buffalo!" said Star Boy to them; and although they were starving, they were afraid and unwilling to go. However, he made some of the men go with him, and on the great open plain they met with North Wind, who challenged the champion to a battle.

The two rushed upon each other with a great fury, and in the first rush, Star Boy broke the bow of North Wind; but, in the second, Star Boy was overthrown and lay as dead.

However, after a time he got up and they met for the third round, when lo! neither one could beat the other, so in the very middle of the battle, they had to sit on a snowbank and rest.

Star Boy sat on his calf-skin and fanned himself with an eagle wing, and the snow immediately began to melt. This caused the North Wind to retreat.

But, before he went away, he made a treaty of peace with Star Boy, promising to come to earth for only half a year and to give timely warning of his coming, so that the people could prepare for him and lay up food.

By this means, the winter and summer were established.

Print and Color Your Own Walleye Picture

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Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum vitreum)

Walleye (Yellow Perch-Pike

Walleye: given the name because of the smoky, silvery eye, which is said to be similar to that of blinded or "walleyed" domestic animals

Walleyes are widely distributed in New York State in suitable habitat. They are found in approximately 75 lakes and many large rivers. Walleyes, also called walleyed pike, are the largest members of the perch family, sometimes reaching a length over 2 feet and a weight approaching 20 pounds. Their diet is primarily other fish.

Walleyes prefer large lakes with considerable areas of deep water and large rivers, with cold to moderately warm water temperatures the most favorable. As the surface water approaches 72°F, they slowly retreat to deeper and cooler waters.

Walleye SchoolWalleye are piscivores (fish-eaters) and will eat any species of fish they can catch and swallow. Yellow perch and many species of minnows and darters are their most common food. Larval and young juvenile walleye consume copepods, waterfleas, and small insect larvae, but quickly add larval fish to their diets.

Walleye of up to several years old are eaten by northern pike, musky, largemouth bass, and other larger walleye. Walleye are a favorite among many anglers because of their tasty, flaky meat and the challenge of catching a day limit. This results in a large annual harvest.

Walleyes spawn soon after ice-out when the water temperature is about 45°-50°F. Females move into the spawning area-a stream, shallow area, or shoal-where the males have already congregated. Usually, the spawning area is a location with 1 to 5 feet of clear water in some type of current. The female is attended by several males as they swim over the spawning area, simultaneously emitting eggs and milt as they go. Fertilized eggs fall among the gravel and rocks on the bottom which provide some protection. No parental care is given to either eggs or young.

The walleye is considered by some to be the top sport fish. and most agree it is unexcelled as a foodfish.

"Cool Fact": A female walleye produces anywhere from 40,000-250,000 eggs a season, depending on her size and condition.

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