Monday, March 12, 2018

Yohoo.

"This young boy crept slowly towards the shore line. There was no emotion showing on his brown face. He quickly ducked down. There the Moose raised his head out of the marshy water. His head was shining dark soaked from the water. The Moose looked around, his ears twitched. His head turned towards the water and he lowered his head under the water. The vegetation at the bottom of the marsh was extra tasty. The boy crept forward to get  closer. The Moose raised his head out of the water once again. The ears and his head looked magical as the water ran down and weeds hung onto his great ears and the bell beard. The water cascading heavily from his velvet horns. As the Moose slowly turned his head and perked his ears, he slowly calmed and went back to his early evening meal. He pushed his huge head deeper into the depths of the cool marsh for more of the succulent marsh weed. This time the boy was close to the water's edge. The boy pulled out his sling shot, stood upright, aimed and fired. A direct hit. The hard polished feldspar granite rock hit the Moose on his testicle. The Moose gulped, grunted and fell hard front first into the marsh. He perished because of the shock and the vast amount of water which filled his lungs when he gulped."

"Yohoo!?!"

"Booshoo Boy, Shake my hand."

This is a story that David Blacksmith told as we sat around the Sweatlodge visiting. His brother Murray had told him.

Yohoo is a phrase. You don't hear it too often anymore. Many of the older men in the Reserve would say that when they were listening to someone telling a story. Yohoo could be said to let a person know he is being heard and you are listening. It is to show the story teller you are in fact engaged in what they are saying. It could also be a phrase to question what you are saying, like the younger generation will say "no way?!". And you of course will say "way" (at least in sitcoms).  It can also be in place of "you're bullshitting". You say "Yohoo" to say you are surprised or doubtful.

The art of story telling is still going on in the Neechie community. We hear stories all the time and almost anywhere. We can be at the Wake service and someone will be telling stories.

When you hear a good story let them know you are listening. Don't be shy to throw in a Yohoo once in a while. So the next time you hear Joseph Boyden telling you a story, you can honour him with a Yohoo, or even better say "shake my hand". After all Boyden is one of the greatest story tellers of all time; he sold the story of him being "Indigenous" and people bought it. I heard he was the great great grandson of Nancy Shanawdithit, the last known Beothuk.

The "hello, shake my hand" is a good way to let someone know they have just told a great whopper of a story. A story so full of shit, that you says "you really told us that???"

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