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About Aboriginal Dreamtime



Oban's Myths & Legends

How Mosquitoes Came To Be (continued)
A Native American - Iroquois Story
retold by Agor

The chief sent messengers to other villages to tell them about the creatures, and they returned with stories about similar attacks in many places up and down the river. The Iroquois called the biting creatures mosquitoes.

No-one knew where they came from, how many of them there were, or which stream they would go to next. Many people died from their bites that winter.

Finally the chief of the first village organised a war party to hunt the mosquitoes and destroy them.

Bow and arrows and clubTwenty warriors in two great canoes floated down a stream where they thought the creatures might be.

They had bows and arrows, war clubs and hunting knives.


Tall pine treesA dark shadow fell over the water and a giant beak ripped into the side of one of the canoes. The warriors shouted their war cry and shot arrows into the air. Two more mosquitoes lunged from the trees and attacked the men in the second canoe.

The battle was terrible and soon several of the warriors were killed. The others paddled the canoes to the bank, jumped out, ran into the forest and hid behind trees and bushes, with the mosquitoes following and stabbing after them.


Head with long sharp beakThen something amazing happened. The mosquitoes couldn’t get through the thick bushes to reach the men. The warriors shot a cloud of arrows through the branches into the mosquitoes’ bodies, and they kept on loading their crossbows and shooting.

Many of the arrows hit the creatures and they began to stagger around. And when almost all of the arrows were gone, the mosquitoes bent over and slowly fell down. They had many wounds.

The warriors leapt out and hit them with their war clubs, again and again until the bodies of the creatures fell apart. They thought that they had won the battle.

MosquitoBut then tiny little mosquitoes began to appear in the blood of the bigger creatures, that had spilled on the ground.

Swarms of them flew up, buzzing and attacking the men.

The men tried to swat them away or squash them on their skin, until the tiny bites drove them back to their canoes and their village.

This is one story about how mosquitoes came to be. Even today these tiny insects like to bite people and taste their blood. They are angry that their bigger ancestors were killed and they want their revenge.

The End

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