“In the old days, the Hilahiyu, all the creatures could talk,” Yufala began one of his stories of the Medicine. “They lived in harmony with the people of the time, our ancestors.
“Because all the creatures could talk to each other - the beasts, the birds, the fishes, the plants - the world was peaceful, full of love, respect and friendship.
“But as time passed the world grew so rapidly that settlements of people sprang up all over the land. The people began to squeeze the creatures out of their settlements.
“To make the creatures even more uncomfortable, the people learned how to make bows, knives, spears, blowguns and hooks and with them learned how to capture the creatures and use their meat and skins and leaves for their own purposes.
“People began to slaughter the larger animals and trample the smaller animals under foot without once thinking of the creatures.
“Because of the people’s carelessness and contempt the creatures decided to hold great councils and discuss what measures to talk for their common safety.
“The bears met first under Mulberry Mountain, Kuwahi. The old White Bear Chief presided.
“After each bear in the council had spoken and complained about how man had killed his friends and used their skins and flesh for their own purposes, the council decided to go to war against the people.
“Their discussion rambled around to what weapons should be used against man.
“‘The weapons they use against us,’ someone said. ‘Bows and arrows.'
“‘Of what are the bows and arrows made?’ another asked.
“The old White Bear Chief replied, ‘the bows are made of wood and the string is made of our own entrails.'
“Silence fell over the council.”