Singing in the Spring

A retelling of a Coastal Salish legend by Kerry E.B. Black


Winter’s grasp tightened, choking life from the land and People. Frozen ground yielded no nourishment. Ice hardened lakes trapped fishes. Caught in a world of unending sleep, the People mourned the sun and prayed for deliverance.

Frog blinked her moss-green eyes and listened to their laments. She stretched and chirped until her voice warmed. Her song echoed off the icicles and bounced off snow drifts taller than hills. Frog sang on, her trembling body perched along the shore, until, moved by her devotion, the Sun smiled.

The People tilted their heads and caught the scent of Spring on a breeze. “Thank you, Frog.” They carved Frog’s image and painted her likeness as thanks.

The elders sang along, throaty imitations of Frog’s brilliant tune. Like sap in the nearby trees, hope quickened within every heart. Animals nosed from their frosty abodes, and tribal mothers nodded to one another, putting aside Pot Latching and winter things. All creation breathed rain-moist air as winter melted into memory.20160721_163016