The North Star Or The Home Star
from Things To See In Springtime
The North Star or Home Star
If you are going to be a Woodcrafter, you must begin by knowing the North Star, because that is the star which will show you the way home, if you get lost in the woods at night. That is why the Indians call it the "Home Star."
But first, I must tell you how it came to be, and the story begins a long, long time ago.
In those far-off days, we are told, there were two wonderful hunters, one named Orion, and the other named Boötes (Bo-o-tees). Orion hunted everything and I shall have to leave him for another story. Boötes was an ox-driver and only hunted bears to save his cattle. One day he went after a Mother Bear, that had one little cub.
The Pappoose on the Squaw's Back
He chased them up to the top of a mountain so high, that they leaped off into the sky, and just as they were going, Boötes shot his arrows after them. His very first arrow hit the Little Bear in the tail—they had long tails in those days—and pinned him to the sky. There he has hung ever since, swinging round and round, on the arrow in his tail, while his mother runs bawling around him, with Boötes and his dogs chasing her. He shot arrows into her tail, which was long and curved, into her body, and into her shoulder. Seven big arrows he shot, and there they are yet, in the form of a dipper pointing always to the cub who is called the "Little Bear." The shining head of the big arrow in the end of the Little Bear's tail is called the North Star or Pole Star. You can always tell which is the North Star, by the two Pointers; these are the two bright stars that make the outer side of the Dipper on the Big Bear's shoulder. A line drawn through them, points out the North Star.
The Dipper, that is the Big Bear, goes round and round the Pole Star, once in about twenty-four hours; so that sometimes the Pointers are over, sometimes under, to left or to right; but always pointing out the Pole Star or North Star.
This star shows nearly the true north; and, knowing that, a traveller can find his way in any strange country, so long as he can see this friendly Home Star.
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