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The Deer Woman

Sometimes I wonder about an old story I heard when I was young. My Moshum loved to tell me stories and every night as I went sleep he would sit in my room tell me so many different kinds. That one he like to tell the most was always about coyote, our trickster – but he also had many stores about the Indian brave who raided the enemies camp, or about Thunderbird, or Bear – he’d tell me about the little people and of Windigo’s and a host of others characters. I loved his stories and try to remember as many as I can.

Only once did he tell me this story and it was only after my Nukom passed on – I think he wanted it that way. Now I had always thought of the Windigo’s as the most terrifying creature he knew, but there was to be something so deceptive of Deer Woman that scared me so much it made me cry. I never wanted to meet a Deer Woman.

My Moshum told me Deer Woman was Beautiful with dazzling eyes and long soft black hair. If I ever encountered one I would not want to look away because she would be so pretty. She would smile at me and want to play games, perhaps she would sing and captivate my ears with her spiritual voice. If I followed her we would play games and she would tell me not to worry about anything. With her I would play through out the day until night fall. But at that point I'd be far away from home and she’d ask me to say the night and because the day was so much fun I’d say yes. 

She’s sing me a lullaby underneath the starry sky and even the moon would shine brighter as it listened to her. The next morning I’d wake up and if I was lucky I’d be alone and might find my way home but my life would be forever changed as I would always long and want to play with my new friend. He told me I’d never be the same because I’d always want to find her – I thought that was sad and never wanted to meet a deer woman. What cold be worse than that? I didn’t think anything could be worse.

But what if after spending the night with her I’d awaken to find her still there? My Moshum told me what to expect. Together we would play endless games day and night as I slowly forgot about all the other aspects of my life, my family, friends, school, even my dogs and cat. I would waste away because I would forget about myself with my only concern being playing with my new friend. Because I’d be so infatuated with her beauty and her voice I’d pay no mind to the difference she had. Her hair would so long and soft that the antlers rising out of her head would seem so natural that I’d never bat and eye. As we sang and danced together it would seem perfectly normal that her thighs would be covered with fur, like deer legs. 

The only thing that might be able to save me, if I was strong enough to fight her off and escape that is, would be her hooves; everything would be acceptable until then. Seeing the hooves would just be wrong. Of course she would want no part of me leaving so she would start kicking me and stomping me to death with her hooves. In an already weakened state I’d offer no resistance and that would be the end of me and Deer woman would go off to find her next victim.

As I look around today and think about the women I’ve met and have been a part of my romantic life I have to wonder how many of them have been deer women. Many of them have only wanted to party or to play head games with as many players as they could – no thoughts for the future. As I’ve grown up I’ve come to understand that the games Deer woman wanted to play could have included so much more, I may have thought ‘tickle monster’ or ‘tag’ or even ‘hide and seek’ but also emotional games, sexual games are also a part of her plans. 

Now, I’ve never seen antlers or hooves but the spiritual warning has been the same nor have I ever been stomped on but I’ve watched friends and family waste away in addictions as they seem to be left behind by other family members. Of course it hasn’t just been women but men also have eaten the spirits of young women, reducing their lives to nothing more than an object to be used. Yes, I’ve heard rumours and stories of Deer men also.

The intent of these stories was never to assign blame for all the wrongs that happen in life or to say women are evil creatures or that men can’t control their urges but rather to bring understanding of life. If you were aware of the dangers of living for the moment you’d be better able to pick a spouse that also planned for the future. But if the moment offered too much excitement for you, there will always be a host of instant gratification to satisfy you’re every hunger or whim. Addictions come in many shapes and forms, alcohol, smoking weed, harder drugs, sexual addiction – always something to make you forget the future. 

Days pass in addiction, turning into weeks and months slowly draining the life out of you. Very often it is too late that people realize what harm their addiction has done to their lives and it is too late to go back. Deer woman was a warning to men to be careful, there was so much more to life.

An interesting tidbit about deer woman lately is that a few years ago a local First Nation was holding its annual pow wow and while Grand Entry was happening someone noticed this one dancer. She would dance quite proudly and was dressed in beautiful regalia, but every time she stood up her dress lifted up to reveal what appeared to be hooves. Everyone stopped to stare at her, the drummers stopped the elders looked on and out of the crowd a chant arose, ‘Deer Women! Deer Women! Deer Women!’ The young lady who was the focus of everyone’s attention looked around wildly for a moment before bounding through the crowd and disappearing into the bush. 

The people who tried to follow her could not keep up. I listened to this story from many different sources and it stayed relatively similar through the telling. That season I listened to the pow wow trail and whispers were heard from many different First Nations of about a dancer disappearing, or seeing a person with either hooves or antlers.

With so many people only living for the moment today it would seem to me at least, that deer woman still dances with us.

Below is another interesting story about a "witch baby". Listen to it from YouTube. Don't forget to subscribe to our channel. 

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