The Story of the Teardrop


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Walkingfox carries the Sacred Fire from the Creator
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"This story was told to me as a small child,
first by my Grandfather and
then again later by my father."


Long ago, when the Mohegan people all lived in the same village,

the men spent most of their time away,

either hunting or at war with the Tribes of the North.

The women ran the village.

They tended their gardens and cared for all of the Tribes clothing.

This would often leave the Elders

and the very young, whom they cared for,

alone in the village for long periods of time.

The Trickster or evil one, knowing this, would come into the village

at night and frighten the children, so that they couldn't sleep.

The Mohegan people knew that neither the Elders nor the children,

could do anything about the Trickster on their own,

so they contacted the Little People on their behalf.


(The Mohegan people believed that the Little People were their protectors

who lived in a sub-world between the spirit world and the Mohegan world.

The Mohegan People would go to them with their prayer requests

and the Little People would then take these requests to the Creator.)


The men of the village made offerings or gifts for the

Little People of strong tobacco skin pouches,

 while the women made food baskets.

The children made their own special gifts.


On a chosen night, the Mohegan People

would take their gifts to the edge of the forest.

Just before sunset, the Mohegan's would offer prayers and songs 

to the Creator, who would send the Little People to them.

They would then leave their gifts for Little People

and go back to their village.


Every night for a week,

the Mohegan People would return to the edge of the forest

to see if the Little People had taken their gifts.

One night, one of the Little People was waiting for them

and all of the gifts were gone.


After the prayers and songs were finished,

everyone sat down to discuss why the gifts had been left.

Learning what the Trickster had been doing,

the Little Person said that she would go back to her people

and return later with their answer.


A few days later, the Little People asked for

a meeting with the Mohegan Tribal council.

The Little People told the Tribal council that they

would need help from the Spider Woman.

So, they talked to the Spider Woman and

she agreed to meet with the council.


After the Tribal council explained what the Trickster was doing

to the Elders and the young, the Spider Woman took some

grapevine and spun it into a teardrop shaped web.

The teardrops represented the children's tears.

She gave one teardrop to the head of each Mohegan family

and told them to put the teardrop over the child's bed,

 as close to an opening as possible.


As the child dreamed, the Trickster tried to send forth bad dreams.

Now, the bad dreams would get stuck on the spider web,

and the good dreams would pass on through

and down to the child.


In the morning when the sun would come up,

the heat from the sun would erase all of the bad dreams,

making the teardrop clean again until the next night.


From that day on, the Mohegan children dreamed good dreams

and the Mohegan village was again at peace.





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Responding to Inquisitive minds since July 1999

Last edited May 7, 2022

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