A family of moose was sitting in their lodge when a calumet pipe appeared and came floating in through the door. The pipe floated towards them and passed near each of the Moose, who ignored it in turn. When it reached the youngest of the bull moose, he brazenly grabbed the pipe and smoked it.
The old moose yelled and tried to stop the young bull, as he knew that the pipe was the prayers of the Metis who were smoking to ask the spirits for success in their hunt. "Now, tomorrow, they will find us!!" the old bull said. But the young moose was not afraid. He was fast and young and believed he could outrun puny men on their two legs.
When the moose went out to graze the next day, they caught the scent of the Metis hunters. The hard crust on the snow made it hard for the moose to move quickly. Even so, the young moose was still sure he could outrun those two legged men. But the hunters were wearing snowshoes. They followed him until he grew tired, and then they shot and killed him. The Metis gave a prayer of thanks and thanked the young bull for allowing himself to be killed so that they could survive the harsh winter. They treated his body with honor and left offerings for his soul.
When the young moose woke up in heaven, he appeared to the old moose in a dream. He told him, "Those Metis hunters treated me with respect and made good offerings to me. It is a good thing to allow them to catch us when they honor us."
And so to this day, those Metis who honor and show respect for the moose will always be successful in their hunts and rewarded with meat when they need it.
Adapted from The Native Stories from Keepers of the Animals, by Joseph Bruchac
A collaborative effort of members of the Ojibwe and Metis communities