There once was a boy whose parents had died. He lived
uncle who did not treat him well. The uncle dressed the
rags and because of this the boy was called Dirty
This boy, Dirty Clothes, was a good hunter. He would
hours in the forest hunting food for his lazy uncle who
hunt for himself.
One day Dirty Clothes walked near the river, two
he had shot hanging from his belt. He walked near the
which rose from the water. This is where the Little
Jo-Ge-Oh, often beat their drums. Most of the hunters
village were afraid to go near this place, but Dirty
remembered the words his mother had spoken years ago,
you walk with good in your heart, you should never be
A hickory tree grew there near the river. He saw
in its branches. A black squirrel as hopping about high
up in the
top of the tree. When Dirty Clothes heard a small voice.
again, Brother," the small voice said. "You still have
Dirty Clothes looked down and there near his feet were
hunters. As he watched, one of them shot an arrow but it
short of the black squirrel. "Ah," Dirty Clothes
will never succeed like that. I must help them." He drew
bow and with one shot brought down the squirrel.
The tiny hunters ran to the squirrel. "Whose arrow is
asked one of them. They looked up and saw the boy.
said one of the tiny hunters, "you have shot well. The
"Thank you," Dirty Clothes answered, "but the squirrel
and also these others I have shot today."
The two small hunters were very glad. "Come with us,"
"Come visit our lodge so we can thank you properly."
Dirty Clothes thought about his uncle, but it was still
the day aud he could hunt some more after visiting them.
will come with you," Dirty Clothes said.
The two Little People led the boy to the river. There a
canoe was waiting, only as big as one of his shoes, but
friends told him to step inside. He took one step... and
he had become as small as the tiny hunters and was
them inside their canoe.
The Little People dipped their paddles and up the canoe
the air! It flew above the hickory tree, straight to the
and into a cave, the place where the Jo-Ge-Oh people
There the two hunters told their story to the other
gathered there who greeted the boy as a friend. "You
with us." his new friends said, "for just a short time
so we can
Then the Jo-Ge-Oh taught Dirty Clothes things which he
known. They told him many useful things about the birds
forest animals. They taught him much about the corn and
squash and the beans which feed human life. They taught
about the strawberries which glow each June like embers
grass and showed him how to make a special drink which
Last they showed him a new dance to teach his people, a
be done in a darkened place so the little People could
dance with them unseen, a dance which would honour the
and thank them for their gifts.
Four days passed and the boy knew that the time had come
to leave. "I must go to my village," he told his
So it was that with the two small hunters he set out
towards his home. As they walked with him, his two
pointed to the many plants which were useful and the boy
at each plant carefully, remembering its name. Later,
turned to look back at his friends, he found himself
alone in a field near the edge of his village.
Dirty Clothes walked into his village wondering how so
things had changed in just four days. It was the same
nothing was the same. People watched him as he walked
finally a woman came up to him. "You are welcome here,
said the woman. "Please tell us who you are."
"Don't you know?" he answered. 'I am Dirty Clothes."
"How can that be?" said the woman. "Your clothing is so
At that, he saw his old rags were gone. The thing he
wore now was
of fine new buckskin, embroidered with moose hair and
quills. "Where is my uncle," he asked the woman, "the
lived there in that lodge and had a nephew dressed in
Then an old man spoke up from the crowd. "Ah," said the
"that lazy person? He's been dead any years and why
would a fine
young warrior like you look for such a man?"
Dirty Clothes looked at himself and saw he was no longer
He had become a full-grown man and towered over the
people of his
village. "I see," he said, "the Little People have given
gifts than I thought." And he began to tell his story.
The wisest of the old men and women listened well to
warrior. They learned many things by so listening. That
all his people did the Dark Dance to thank the Jo-Ge-Oh
gifts and, in the darkness of the lodge, they heard the
the Little People joining in the song, glad to know that
human beings were grateful for their gifts. And so it
is, even to
this day, that the Little People remain the friends of
of the longhouse and the Dark Dance is done, even to
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Compiled by: Glenn