The Seven Wise Men
(Nishash Chak Lčpā'chik)

Once, long ago, there were seven very wise men among our Lenape'wak. Because of their great wisdom, they were never left alone by the people, and this became a great burden upon them. They never had any time to themselves, or any peace of mind.

So, they held council late one night on their problem and decided, after much consideration, to get some peace by turning themselves into seven great rocks.

One day, a wise and gifted young man of our people was walking along a hillside when he noticed seven very peculiar rocks. As he stopped to examine them more closely, one of the rocks spoke to him. The young man suddenly realized that he was talking to one of the seven wise men. So, seeing that the young man had discovered their secret, they talked to him for a long time, but they asked him not to reveal this secret to the people. It was good to have some peace at long last, and they wished to keep it this way.

However, the people of the village noticed the young man's many excursions to a certain spot on the hillside, and it wasn't too long before someone followed the boy and saw what was going on. Once again, the seven wise men could have no more peace because so many people came to see them.

So, once again the councilled among themselves, and they decided to leave the beautiful valley and find another place where they might rest and have some peace and quiet. They went deep into the forest and took the form of seven lovely cedar trees. However, eventually the people saw the cedar trees, and never had they seen such beautiful trees as these, and they began to wonder.

Soon it was found that these trees were the seven wise men. So, once again, the seven wise men decided to go away, to some new place, where the people could not reach them.

Now, Kishelamąkānk, the Creator, had been watching over them, and seeing their plight he took pity on them. Taking them into his arms, he placed them high up in the sky, and they became the seven special stars in the night sky.

At long last, the seven wise men found a safe and permanent haven, where they could not be disturbed or annoyed. Yet, they may be seen by everyone, right to this very day. We know these seven stars as Asiskwątaja'sąk, the Pleiades.

From:The Grandfathers Speak, by: Hģtakonanu'laxk
Used by permission

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