Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Illustration Friday - Tales + Legends

Here is my submission for this weeks topic. So many wonderful Native American tales and legends, but I went with this one since it had a bird! See story below.

Thanks for visiting and leaving comments.

How Redbird Got His Color

Retold by Barbara Shining Woman Warren

Raccoon loved to tease wolf. One day raccoon teased wolf so much that wolf became very angry. Wolf began to chase raccoon through the woods. Raccoon, being the clever animal that he is, kept ahead of wolf.

Raccoon came to a river. Instead of jumping in the river, he quickly climbed a tall tree and peered over a branch to see what wolf would do next.

When wolf came to the river, he saw the reflection of raccoon in the water. Thinking that it was raccoon, wolf jumped in and tried to catch him. Wolf continued to search for raccoon for such a long time that he became so tired he nearly drowned. Finally, tired and exhausted, wolf climbed up the river bank and fell fast asleep. After a while, raccoon quietly climbed down the tree and slipped over to the sleeping wolf. While wolf slept, raccoon began to plaster the eyes of wolf with mud. Then when he had finished, raccoon ran off through the woods laughing to himself thinking of the clever trick he had played.

Later, wolf woke up. He began to whine, "Oh, someone please help me. I can't see. I can't open my eyes." But no one came to help him.

At long last, brown bird heard the cries of wolf. He flew over to wolf and landed on his shoulder. He said, "What's the matter Brother Wolf? Can I help you?" wolf cried, "I can't open my eyes. Oh, please help me to see again." Brown bird said, "I'm just a little brown bird but I will help you if I can." wolf said, "brown bird, if you can help me to see again, I will take you to a magic rock that oozes red paint. We will paint your feathers red."

Brown bird began pecking away at the dried mud on the eyes of wolf. Soon wolf could open his eyes again. True to his promise wolf said, "Thank you, my brother; now jump up onto my shoulder." Away they ran through the woods to the rock that oozed red paint.

When they came to the rock, wolf reached up and plucked a twig from a tree branch. He chewed the end of the twig until it was soft and pliable like the end of a paint brush. Then he dipped the end of the twig into the red paint and began to paint the feathers of bird, red.

When all of his feathers were red, bird flew off to show his family and friends how beautiful he was. That is why, from that day to this, you can see to red bird flying around the woods in Cherokee country.


Carmen SaldaƱa said...

Very cuteeeee¡¡¡The wolf is lovely, very nice illustration.

Vhrsti said...

The wolf is really nice! The illustration is great!

jo said...

Adorable! I love the wolf.

flora said...

It's such a cute story!
That bird looks very happy! :) And I really like the wolf too!

Rui Sousa said...

Nice, lovely work.

Pickledog said...

Great story, and wonderfully illustrated!

Dee said...

What a wonderful, friendly interpretation of a native american tale. (I'm fond of them as well.) Your wolf is so friendly, he makes me smile. :)

Chi said...

Beautiful! I love your inspiration.

mushroommeadows said...

oops, very cute. :)

cardiogirl said...

Kelly, PLEASE tell me someone in the publishing industry is going to publish your artwork to worldwide acclaim! Please.

I love your artwork. What a wonderful illustration to go with a wonderful folk tale.

Kelly Medina said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. :)

sketched out said...

Hey, I just saw this. How did I ever miss it last week. It's really wonderful. I love Native American legends. Wonderfully sweet and colorful depiction.


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