Many people may say, why don't the Indians till the
ground and live as whites? May we ask with equal interest,
why don't the white people hunt and live as we do?
This story of the Corn Mother and the Deer, who is
the animal representative of her, are told to help
us learn. Many of the lessons in the sharing
of her story help us to understand the give a way,
is the whole reason for living.
For perfect balance and harmony, we need to see the
unconditional giving in the stories of the deer, and
Corn Mother. We need to be aware of the behavior of
human's and how we continue to try and avoid this
lesson in our lives. Our generation is faced with
trying to undo all the generations of greed and cruel
treatment that human's have evolved to.
The story of Corn Mother and Deer help us as a people
to keep our focus clear. We learn to focus and hold
our eagle feathers in front of us so that we never
lose our reason for being. Giving back is the natural
order of balance; consciously know that it works and
must be maintained, no one is exempt from the process.
The old ones tell us that in the First World, Corn
Mother came too us into the Circle of Life. As we
began to move away from Balance and Harmony of Life,
we forgot about Corn Mother, we had lost the wisdom
of the corn.
In the last world, Corn Mother lived with her two
Grandsons in the mountains; she was old and very wise.
She sang her corn spirit songs and made the world
around her very beautiful.
One day, "Corn Mother" watched her grandsons
preparing to hunt. She thought of the days long ago
when People and the creatures of the woods all spoke
a common language and understood each other. There
was respect for all life; it was a world of peace
There was abundance and respect, everything on the
Earth Mother was appreciated. People sat in the "Circle
of Wisdom Keepers" who shared and were honored
and respected by all.
It was a good for "Earth Mother" and all
Creation. In the time of great changes people began
to have greed, the balance was lost.
Corn Woman remembered the Great Council of the last
world, where the animals had determined not to allow
people to kill them all off with their hunting game.
The people‚s relentless hunger was a threat
to their cycles of life. People over hunted, and killed
many of the animals, fish, and birds. Many, such as
the deer, who had agreed to feed the humans decided
to not be so willing to gift their bodies. The made
it hard for all the hunters and animals who would
eat their flesh.
This made hunting hard and the people starved in
the winter months. Hunger was the first disease
of man, and it became the first medicine of greed.
Corn Mother remembered how terrible it was for
the animals in the woods when they could smell people
and knew they had come only to kill for greed and
not for food. Corn Mother's heart was
heavy, it was a long time ago, but she thought it
is time to help the people seek harmony and regain
the balance that Creator would need for the peace.
People must to return to the wisdom fire, if
they were to enter the sacred hoop of balance, the
people must learn to honor all things.
Creator combined all the creations into people; people
hold all the patterns of the sacred hoop within their
body, mind and spirit. In the people soul is the memory
of the past and the future.
Corn Mother saw how the Creator had given people
all the gifts and how they had lost them through their
greed. Corn Mother watched her grandsons getting ready
for the kill. There was more than enough food in their
home to feed everyone, Corn Mother spoke to her grandsons,
"you are going out today?" The oldest replied,
"yes, we prepare to hunt." Corn Mother said,
"We have so much already, let me cook you a wonderful
dinner." The younger grandson answered, "No,
we must hunt for we are hunters, we will bring you
many Turkeys." Corn Mother tried again, saying,
"we have many turkeys already and I will make
you corn and you will feel full and not have the need
The grandsons continued getting ready to hunt. "We
will be back by late evening and you will see, we
will bring you fresh meat."
Corn Mother wished them well and asked them to respect
all, and show appreciation to the animals. The grandsons
laughed and went into the forest.
Corn Mother cooked and made a meal that tempted all
as she cooked she sang and blessed the meal.
Soon her grandsons came into the clearing around
their lodge. They could smell the meal for miles and
were happy to find that the smell was coming from
their lodge. Corn Mother was happy to see them when
they returned. As she put the food on the table,
she saw they had killed a nice fat deer. The Grandsons
sat down around the fire and ate they
could not say enough about how good the meal
was, and how good it was to have the corn stuffing
with the fat tender turkeys. Corn Mother trusted that
when they saw all the food that they had to eat, they
would not need to kill the animals.
After eating the grandsons said they were tired and
needed to sleep so they could get up early and be
out before the deer. Corn Mother listened, she asked
them again how they liked the food she had made. They
told her they loved the food and never had they eaten
so much and tasted anything as good as the corn. They
asked her where she had gotten the corn, and she did
She was happy they loved the meal and was planning
the feast for the next day. She sang her spirit song
for the corn as the night moved over the lands. The
next morning, very early, the young men woke up and
gathered their weapons. Corn Mother spoke to
the young men again and said, "We
have so much food left from yesterday, and a fresh
deer from the hunt, we have been given so much, do
you really have to go hunting?" "Yes",
they said, "we are hunters; today we will bring
you a bigger deer and maybe a fat goose."
Corn Mother looked at her handsome grandsons, she
loved them very much and she knew they loved her also.
After the men left to hunt Corn Mother started to
cook, this meal was even more wonderful than the day
before. The smells went drifting on the autumn wind
through the woods. Everyone in the village knew Corn
Mother was again cooking a feast. The men smelled
the sweetness of corn cooking while they were hunting,
they remembered the taste, and that they had never
tasted anything that good ever before.
As evening came, the grandsons came home with their
kill, it was a fine deer. They were very good hunters,
the kill had been quick and the deer did not suffer.
For this, Corn Mother appreciated the skill of her
Entering the lodge the men sat down to a feast like
none ever before.
The young men gave Corn Mother the deer as their offering
of thanks. Corn Mother knew it was an honorable act
and she thanked them and took the deer. After dark,
she returned the deer to the forest; Corn Mother sang
her song as the hunters drifted into dreams of laughter
and play. In the dreams, they saw their grandmother
as a beautiful young woman, more beautiful then any
they had seen.
Corn Mother sang her spirit songs all that night by
the low fire.
Again as on the other mornings the men woke early
and felt strong and good. They were laughing and felt
playful as if they were children. The Sun came up
in glorious colors, which filled the sky with reds
and pink clouds. As the men prepared to hunt, they
realized they were not in such a hurry to go to the
forest. They asked Corn Mother to make them breakfast;
Corn Mother cooked corn meal and added the sweet blue
berries. Corn Mother then fried the corn mush and
dipped it in sweet honey, it tasted so good they ate
more than they needed and were soon full. Soon a great
tiredness came over the young me and they needed to
nap. They noticed that Corn Mother looked younger,
and was so happy, she sang and sang. The Sun
was high by the time they woke up and were ready to
As they were leaving, Corn Mother asked them not to
go, "We have so much food now, more than we will
ever be able to eat." "No, they said, we
must go hunt, we are hunters. Today we will hunt Turkeys."
Corn Mother watched as they left to go hunt and called
out after them to remember to appreciate the animals.
While out on the hunt, the youngest brother said to
the older one, where does Corn Mother get this corn
that she is cooking? The older brother said he didn't
know, and that it did not matter to him. It was good
and Corn Woman would only feed them what was good,
that was what he knew.
All that day, the young man thought about the corn,
as evening came, they returned home with the turkeys.
They were eager to sit down and again eat the good
corn. They told Corn Mother how much they liked their
meal and how beautiful she was and how happy the home
was because of her beauty and grace.
The young men after eating went to sleep to gained
strength for the next days hunt.
The next morning they woke to the soft humming of
Corn Mother as she prepared the breakfast, of corn
mush with sweet maple syrup. Corn Mother looked even
younger and happier this morning than yesterday.
The younger grandson was very curious and kept asking
Corn Mother where she got the corn. She would smile
and say, "I make the corn, it is my gift to my
grandchildren." Another time when she was asked
she answered, "I am the corn."
The youngest grandson was not satisfied with this
answer, and he began to annoy the older brother with
his questions. "Let us go hunt and stop all these
questions now", they said to him "you have
been told that she makes the corn and that is enough."
Corn Mother beamed her smile upon her oldest
Grandson and he felt her love, it gave him peace to
have her in his home. The younger brother was still
not satisfied, he said, "Yes, it is good, and
yes, I have never had anything better, but I want
to know where it comes from, and I will find out."
The men went off to hunt and Corn Mother sang
in her clear sweet voice as she cleaned and cared
for the home and land. She offered prayers for all
the relations and sang to them all. While the hunters
were gone, the younger brother kept insisting that
they needed to know where she got the corn. The older
brother asked him why and he said he just must know.
"Are we not happier than ever before? Can you
ask for more? just be thankful and happy she has given
this to us, and how fortunate we are to have her",
the oldest brother said. The young man could not accept
this, and said, "I will go watch and see where
she gets this corn." He left the older brother
and took the path back home to spy on Corn Mother.
He watched her take a huge basket down from the rafters
of the long house, and go to the root cellar. There
he watched her through a small hole in the bark covering
as she stood in the basket and slapped her sides.
Each time she slapped her sides, corn would fall into
the basket. She continued until her basket was filled
to the top. He was terrified and ran back to find
Corn Mother gave some of the corn pollen to the bees
for honey and to the Earth for some tasty roots and
herbs and salad greens. She fed corn pollen to the
birds for singing as she worked and was generous to
all the relations.
As Corn Mother cooked for her Grandsons she sang of
beauty and happiness.
The Grandson ran back to the older brother and told
them all that he had seen. He told of the way Corn
Mother had created the corn from her own body without
growing it in the ground. The older brother was sad
that his brother had watched their Grandmother, and
felt heavy in his heart. Finally after along
silence he said to his brother, "if what you
say is true, then it is not a good thing we do, we
cannot eat our Grandmother." If she can
make her body turn to corn then this is strange and
unsafe and not of this world." "Something
is not good here and I cannot understand this thing,
we must be careful, some strange spirit has taken
our Grandmother", he said.
It soon grew dark and they started home, the smell
as they entered the village was so tempting and they
could feel their stomachs ache for the corn. They
heard music all around their lands that was the Corn
Mother‚s singing. Their hearts were in pain
as they knew they now must feared her for an evil
As they sit around the fire, she heaped up their plates
with all the delicious things of the lands and watched
as they picked at it and ate little or nothing. She
grew sad as she watched and realized they knew her
secret and that they would never be able to eat of
her food again. The Knowledge was too much for them
and it had destroyed the balance between and the worlds.
Corn Mother asked them, "do you not love me?
Have I not given you all of myself? Have you not felt
the peace and happiness in my life with you?"
As Corn Mother spoke, she grew very old and became
very ill and her life began to leave her body. The
Earth grew cold and all was silent. A long night fell
upon the land and the grandsons cried for what had
happened. The youngest was unhappy for his loss and
asked for forgiveness.
Corn Mother asked them to come to her side and listen
well. "I have much to tell you", she said,
"and we have but a little time now as I am becoming
old as the soil, and first human. I am the Corn,
I was given to you as a gift from Creator my body
nourishes you. As long as I live there will be abundance,
happiness, health and peace. I am Corn Mother I am
She told them to take her form when she passed over
into the spirit world, she told them to place it in
the soil, and make a circle around it.
I will return to you in twelve moons as a plant, that
grows tall and strong. I will have golden hair at
the top, and I will have ears of golden seeds at my
sides that will also have hair. When it turns brown,
you will pick it, and peel back its sweet leaves and
dry the seeds. From my body take the seven ears
of the corn, do not eat them, use all of them as seeds.
When the spring comes, make mounds on the woman earth
in her birthing place, and make a planting stick as
your own seed planter is shaped. With this planting
stick make a hole in the Earth Woman mound, and place
two seeds in each hole. Go to the Old River Man and
ask his children the fish, to come and bring the Water
Spirits to the land, so the corn can grow. Place a
fish in each hole and and cover the seeds and fish
with earth. This corn you will not eat, but you will
use it as an offering. The seeds that are born from
this sacred place are for the sacred ways of the land
and waters. Corn Mother told them many things to make
life good again. She told them when to plant and how
to speak to and how too hear grandmother moon. She
told them to sing and dance and honor what the Ancients
had given us. She told them she loved them and that
they were to keep well and safe.
Corn Mother came to this earth to show us how
to keep the joy of life and to maintain the balance.
The wisdom was much and the Grandsons were happy that
Corn Mother was their Grandmother and that her love
lived in all things.
When she passed to spirit world the men agreed to
wait for Corn Mothers return, they would not hunt
unless they were nearly starving and they would do
as she had instructed.
They became very wise, when the spring came after
Corn Mother had passed the youngest brother went for
a wife. When he came home, his wife was given the
wisdom of Corn Mother, and she held in her the memory
of the old one's ways.
They planted and harvested the corn as corn mother
had taught them to do was to all was at peace and
harmony with their children.
Corn Mother now asks us all to come home and open
your heats to the wisdom of the First World.
Let your words grow corn and share with all of those
who have little. Plant the seeds of corn so that all
may be fed. Your basket will over flow with wisdom
and the abundance of the Earth Mother.
In the abundance of the harvest may we all have gratitude
for all living things and honor all that Corn Mother
and Mother Earth have given.