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Kids' Activities

Jane Lind presents ...

The Story of Chakapas

Told by Adam Ballentyne
Collected and transcribed by P.G. Downes
Edited and illustrated by Annie Downes Catterson

Theme: Creation/Origin (Native) Legends, Ages 5 to 8

The Story of Chakapas

This is a traditional Woodland Cree legend. Chakapas, a great hunter snared the moon so that it did not shine anymore. Now the people had problems because they could no longer use the moon's light for their winter and spring travels. They begged him to let the moon go.

However, Chakapas could not get close enough to the moon to release its snare because of its brilliant light. One by one the different animals tried to release the moon, but they couldn't. Finally, Chakapas threw the least mouse to the moon. The brave mouse chewed the cords that tied up the moon, even though he became burned, which left his belly a light grey colour. But the moon came free. As for Chakapas, his shadow remains on the moon to this day.


1. What did Chakapas do to the moon?

2. Which animal was able to free the moon?

3. Where can you find Chakapas now?


Let the children choose an animal, and make up a story about how it got its colour or other characteristics. For example, they could write a story about how the beaver got a flat tail, or how the porcupine got its quills, or how the Canada goose began making a honking sound. This story composition can be a class project. Let the children each illustrate the story when it is completed.

from the
Theme Catalogue and Teaching Guide for Children's Books
written for Penumbra Press by Jane Lind
© Jane Lind

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