FIRE was given to the Pines when Hummingbird Quinde stole an ember from the hearth from the great man, Taquea

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FIRE was given to the Pines when Hummingbird Quinde stole an ember from the hearth from the great man, Taquea. Still, the animals did not have the warmth and complained about the dark at night. Plus, the other trees wanted to be holders of FIRE.

Beaver heard the trees moaning, desiring to be keepers of FIRE. No matter how cold it was, the Pines were always warm. All her animal cousins wanted FIRE for warmth. The problem was the Pines guarded their secret with jealousy.

This winter was so cold the trees and animals were in danger of freezing to death. From her home in the river, Beaver could swim into her underground entry. The inside was warm only as dark as night. She worried about her animals and tree cousins.

At the coldest point of winter, the Pine trees had an annual secret meeting, their grand council meeting, which was in Idaho, between the Snake and Grande Ronde Rivers by Beaver's home.

She told her friends, "I'm going to get fire for all the trees, and they will share with us. The Pines have no right to own it."

Many of the animals said, "This is not wise. What will the trees do with the fire?"

Beaver said, "They will share FIRE."

The Pines built a massive bone FIRE to warm themselves after bathing in the icy, chilling water. Sentinels were posted in place guarding their meeting to prevent anybody from stealing their fire, anybody from entering, meaning any animal or another tree for that manner a human hunter.

Beaver hid under bank near the fire on her side of Grande Ronde River. She waited patiently for a long time, during which she felt the heat of FIRE warming her paws and her tail. Which made Beaver more determined, she was to get an ember to share with the trees, her cousin animals, and human hunters, so they were as warm. The Pines were the most selfish of trees; they needed to share their wealth.

Finally, a red ember tumbled from the huge bond fire down the bank and landed beside Beaver. She carefully picked up the glowing red ember as not to burn her paws. She ran along the Grande Ronde River as fast she could.

The guards, the sentinels, shouted out their battle cry and started chasing her, chanting. "GET HER!" "GET HER!" They stamped down the bank to follow Beaver.

Beaver darted from side to side along the bank to dodge the pursuing Pines. When Beaver was far enough ahead, she ran in straight-line. The Grande Ronde River shows the direction the Pines followed after Beaver who either zig-zagged or ran straight along the bank. After running a long time, the Pines stood tired. Most of them stopped along the river in large numbers and watched as the ember from their fire escaped.

The stronger and younger Pines remained in the chase. As fewer and fewer Pines pursued Beaver, one at a time they tired and stopped to watch. One can see the dense growth of Pines and then the scattered Pines along the bank where they stand today.

One old Cedar also chased after Beaver. He wanted FIRE to belong to all trees. So he said to the remaining tired panting Pines, "I'll go on top of the hill and see how far ahead Beaver is. I will let you know where she runs." When the old Cedar climbed to the top of the hill, he ran across the top to find Beaver. The Pines rested and waited for his return.

Tired Beaver reached the shore of the Big Snake River. She held the ember lightly her paw, which burnt with the heat. Beaver remained herself; I will share FIRE. She walked into a shallow current and slowing swam while holding the ember up in the air until she reached the Willow trees on the other side.

Old Cedar watch Beaver swim into the Big Snake River where the Grande Ronde connects. Pursuing Beaver was no longer possible; trees could not swim. The Cedar could do nothing; he stood and watched.

When Beaver finally swam to the opposite beach of the Big Snake River, she handed the fire to the Willows. They blazed with happiness. Going up the hill, the Birch grabbed FIRE, then the Cottonwood trees, the Cedar trees, the Fir trees, the Junipers. Then FIRE jumped to all the bushes and the grasses, who handed FIRE to all the plants. The whole hillside blazed, popped, and sparked into the air. The birds flew in fright; the animal ran and jumped into the river.

The Pines and the old Cedar could do nothing, they stood and watched Beaver give FIRE to Willows then hillside screaming as FIRE ate. The Pine trees said to each other after they witness the burning chaos.

Beaver gasped as FIRE traveled up the hillside. She heard the screams, the popping, the rumbling. She saw her animal cousins ran to the water. The hunger of FIRE was ramped.  She had released a monster into their world. Since the time Beaver saw the raft of FIRE that she gave to the trees, she fears FIRE as all animals. FIRE ate their food and homes and left only ashes.

And now, the trees and plants no longer talk to each other or the animals, and they no longer walk or run as punishment for their greed.

The Cedar that helped beaver still stands on top of that hill where he stopped near the junction of the Grande Ronde by the Big Snake River. The chase was a long run because the old Cedar is far away from his grove of Cedars, which grow far up the river. He is so old that the top of his head is bald. The other Pines still wind along the bank beneath the Cedar; they are old, twisted, and bent with age and guilt.

Since the time all trees acquired FIRE, they hold FIRE within to protect. FIRE waits ready for anybody that rubs two sticks together, or has a match, or flint lighter to discharge a spark.

Always beware, FIRE has ways of escaping to hungrily eating anything it touches.


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