By the late Naawi-giizis (Jim Clark). Reprinted from Living Our Language: Ojibwe Tales & Oral Histories, A Bilingual Antholo- gy Edited by Anton Treuer.
Anooj igo indinaajim, dadibaajimoyaan aaningodinong. A’aw-sh nookomisiban iniw indedeyiban omaamaayan, mii i’iw nookomis, mii a’aw apane gaa-wiiji-ayaawangid, besho endaad apane gii- ayaayaang. Aanishinange ingii-saagi’aanaan sa go. Gii-indanita- awaadizooke a’aw mindimooyenh.
Miish ingoding iko awiiya gaa-kagwejimid aaniin gaa-izhi- chiged a’aw anishinaabe gegoo gii-atamaazod ge-miijid ishk- waa-ayaamagak, aaniish gaye iniw anooj editeg — asasawem- inan, miinan igaye. Miish iniw gagwejimigooyaan iko aaniin gaa-izhitoowaad. Miish a’aw, dibaajimagwaa, anooj inaaji- mowin nimaamaanaaban, gemaa gaye gii-mawinzoyaang gaye niinawind dibi sa gaa-ondinamogwen iniw miinan. Ingoding igo aazhaa gaa-izhi-anoozhiyangid zhingaatesidooyaang omaa wa- gidigamig. Daa-bazakiteniwan endaawaad. Oshtiwagidigamig gii-iningaatesidooyaang iniw. Mii miinawaa gii-kanawaabaman- gidwaa ingiw gii-koshko’angidwaa bineshiinyag ji-miijisigwaa. Omaa apiish igo gii-paatewan iniw miinan, wawiiziigiminagoon. Mii gii-paateg. Ishkwaa-izhi-mamood, ganabaj mashkimodens- ing, apagiwayaanimashkimodensing ogii-atoonan. Mii gaye agoodeg apane.
Baamaash ingoding ingiw, gemaa gaye gaa-piboonogwen, omaa apii gaa-izhi-mookinang iniw miinan gaa-paatenigin a’aw mindimooyenh. Nibiing gii-agwanjitood gemaa gaye gegoo omaa, gemaa gaye gegoo mashkikiwan. Mii sa omaa mayaaji- iging gaa-tago-atoogwen, gii-agwanjitood iniw miinan. Gomaa apii gii-siigobiigin imaa gii-agwanjitood. Gomaa godandamaang indagonaa geget oshki-miinan iniw. Oshki-ayi’iin igo miinan gaa-izhinaagwak. Migwandagoon gaye wenda-minopogwa- doon igo gaye.
Mii gemaa gaye aanawi gikinoo’amawiyangid gegoo. Aanishi- nange ingii-kagiibaadizimin. Mii gaa-onji-gikendanziwaang gaye niinawind awegonen imaa gaa-atood, gegoo aano-gikinoo’amaw- iyangid a’aw mindimooyenh, mindimooyenyiban.
I speak about all sorts of things, telling stories from time to time. That grandmother of mine, my father’s mother, that was my grandma, the one we always accompanied as we were always at her house. We really loved her. That old lady told stories there.
Then one time someone asked me about how the Indian people did things, how he stored away things he want- ed to eat after [harvest]*, such as the variety of things that ripen — chokecherries and blueberries. These are the things I was asked about, how they customarily prepared things. Then I spoke about them, different stories of my grandmother, maybe about when we went berry picking ourselves and the different places she got blueberries. One time she had already told us to spread them out in the sun on the top of the house here. Their houses were built low to the ground so we spread them out on top of the roof. And whenever we saw those little birds, we startled them away so they wouldn’t eat them. The blueberries were dried here at that time, wrinkled [like raisins]. They were dried. After they were retrieved she put them in a small bag, maybe a little cloth bag. And it was always hung up.
And sometime later, perhaps when it might be winter, at this time here that old lady brought out those dried blueberries. She submersed them in water here, kind of like some medicines. So they started to rehydrate as she added them in here, soaking those blueberries. Liquid was poured in for some time there when she soaked them. When we tasted them they were just like fresh new blueberries. They looked like [fresh-picked] blueberries. And it was like they were still growing and they tasted just good.
So in any event, that’s how she taught us things. We really were foolish. That’s why we don’t know what all the different things were that she put in there, as that old lady taught us to no avail.
*Note: Bracketed information was added for clarity by the trans- lator.