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The Legend of Spirit Rock
a Menominee legend retold by
Leona M. Tourtillott and Talenna M. Peters

Long ago an elder told three warriors that if they walked a great distance to a sacred place along the Wolf River and offered tobacco, the Great Spirit would grant them their most wanted wish. So the three set out on their journey. They walked for many days and overcame many obstacles before reaching the sacred place.

The first warrior offered his tobacco and thought about his wish for a while. Finally, he said, "Oh Great Spirit, could you please give me the skills to hunt better, for I have a big family and am not able to feed them?" The Great Spirit gladly granted his wish and sent him on his journey back home.

The second warrior also offered his tobacco and then thought about his wish. A moment later he said, "Oh Great Spirit, could you please help me find a wife, for I have everything and no one to give it to?'' The Great Spirit granted his wish and sent him on his way home.

The third warrior then stepped forward and offered his tobacco. He stood at the sacred spot looking at the ground. When he looked up, he said, "Oh Great Spirit, would you grant me eternal life, for I want to live forever?" Such selfish pride angered the Great Spirit. In return, the Great Spirit granted his wish by turning him into an everlasting rock, Spirit Rock.
To this day Spirit Rock still exists. It is said that if the rock ever crumbles away, the Menominee people will have lost their culture. Some also say that if the rock crumbles, there will no longer be any full-blooded Menominee. Gifts of tobacco are offered on the rock because it is a symbol to be cherished forever by the Menominee people.


The Legend of Spirit Rock
Word Problems

Join: Result Unknown
In the morning, the warriors sang ___ sacred songs. In the afternoon they
sang ___ more songs. How many songs did they sing altogether?
(4, 5) (14, 12) (23, 17)

Separate: Result Unknown
The second warrior had ___ deer horn dice. He gave ___ of them to the other warriors.
How many dice does he have left?
(7, 4) (18, 6) (26, 18)

Part Part Whole: Whole Unknown
The warriors picked ___ blueberries and ___ strawberries. How many berries did they pick?
(3, 5) (22, 14) (48, 39)

Compare: Difference Unknown
The third warrior picked ___ chokecherries. The second warrior picked ___ chokecherries.
How many more chokecherries did the second warrior pick than the third warrior?
(3, 8) (15, 27) (25, 39)

At a feast there were ___ baskets of frybread. In each basket, there were ___ pieces of frybread.
How many pieces of frybread were there altogether?
(3, 4) (5, 7) (8, 12)

Measurement Division
The warriors gave ___ berries to some children. Each child got ___ berries.
How many children were given berries?
(8, 4) (24, 4) (48, 12)

Partitive Division
The warriors saw ___ crows sitting in ___ trees. Each tree had the same number of crows.
How many crows were in each tree?
(6, 2) (16, 4) (39, 3)

Separate: Change Unknown
___ blue jays were sitting in an oak tree. Some flew away. Then there were ___ blue jays in the tree.
How many blue jays flew away?
(9, 5) (17, 12) (25, 16)

Part Part Whole: Part Unknown
The three warriors saw ___ birds. ___ of the birds were crows. The rest were blue jays.
How many blue jays did the warriors see?
(10, 4) (24, 11) (37, 18)

Compare: Referent Unknown
In June ___ families visited spirit rock. ___ more families visited in June than in May. How many families visited in May?
(12, 7) (26, 15) (42, 25)

Two-Step Problem
In June ___ Menominee families visited Spirit Rock. In July ___ families visited. In August, the same number of families visited as in both June and July. Altogether, how many families visited Spirit Rock in June, July, and August?
(6, 7) (18, 22) (37, 37)