The Bear Feast Story ~ Folktales Stories for Kids - Read free bedtime stories for kids online


The Bear Feast StoryThe Bear Feast Story 

Illustrated By: Stella Wei

Listen to the story while you read along! Thanks to Elderberry Tales

An old man living in Alaska was sad.  All of his friends and family were long gone.  He began to wonder if he should leave the village and start a new life somewhere else. "If I lived someplace new, at least I won't be around all these memories anymore," he thought.  But he also worried, "If I paddle away to another village and the people there see that I'm alone, they may think that I had to run away from my home village because I was accused of some disgraceful thing." Instead, he thought that he would just go off and live in the forest by himself.


The Bear Feast


The poor man was so sad, traveling alone in the woods, it actually occurred to him to go to the bears and just let the bears kill him. The bear village was by a large salmon creek, so he went over to the creek early in the morning until he found a bear trail, and he lay down across the end of it. He thought that when the bears came out along this trail they would find him, and that would be the end of him.

By and by, as he lay there, he heard the bushes breaking.  Then a large number of grizzly bears came along.  The largest bear led the rest. Then the old man became scared. All of a sudden, he realized that he did not want to die at all, and certainly not by bears. So when the leading bear came up to him, the old man stood up.  He announced: "I have come to invite you to a feast."

At that, the leading bear's fur stood straight up.  The old man thought that he was surely done for, but he spoke again, saying, "I have come to invite you to a feast, but if you are going to kill me, I am willing to die. I am alone. I have lost all of my family and my friends."


of them turned back the way they had come. After a while the man turned and walked toward his village very fast. He

he went for a load of fresh wood. When he told the other people in the village what he was doing and why, they were all very much scared.  They said to him, "What made you do such a thing? The grizzlies are our enemy.  You do

the same big grizzly bear. When the other village people saw the bears, however, they were so terrified that they shut themselves in their houses. But the old man stood by his

weed and dandelion on top for garnish.  Then a course of deer meat with pine nuts.  For dessert, raspberries with honey.  After they were through, the large bear seemed to talk to his host for a very long time. It was almost as if the leader bear was giving him a speech, for he would look up

spoke to the old man. He had been born a human being, he told the old man, but had been

old and has lost all of his friends. He had heard of you before he saw you, he said. He

when the bears were at the feast, he replied that he was not allowed to

would always invite an enemy to the feast.  And they would become

chief to a feast? Did you ever make friends

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Texts recorded by John R. Swanton (Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 39, story #64). Also a

Elaine Lindy.

crossed the Bering Strait into Alaska about 20,000 years ago. The Inuits (Eskimos), a people of Arctic Mongolian stock, are believed to have crossed the Bering Strait into Alaska much more recently, about 2,000 years ago. Today, the largest concentration of


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