Indigenous Arts & Stories - The Woodcarver and his Wife

The Woodcarver and his Wife

2018 - Writing Winner

Megan Tiessen

Summerland, BC
Age 13

Author's Statement

My story, the Woodcarver and his Wife, is about a couple of craftsmen and how they live alongside the forest near their home. My story highlights the fact that the woodcarver and his wife are indigenous by having them respect the land how they thank it for the resources it gives them. When they are in the forest, they feel at peace and at ease. This is where they get their creative inspiration and way to express their feelings through their talents.
I was inspired to write this story when I was up on the hill that is near my house (in the forest). It made me feel very thankful for what I have and all the amazing things that it could do. I wanted the story to portray this so I made up two characters who loved nature just as much as I do. I wanted them to have indigenous background just like me. For me, indigenous background means that you respect the land and what it means to you and that you work hard to keep it in its natural beauty.
I don’t know much about my Ojibway culture, I live in British Columbia and my exposure to my indigenous culture comes from First Nations traditions and history in British Columbia. I learn this information through my school.


The Woodcarver and his Wife

Once there was an elderly couple of craftsman, a Woodcarver and his Wife. The Woodcarver and his Wife where very skilled, every day they would go into the forest to create their handiwork.

The Woodcarver took fallen branches that he found lying around, find a log, sit and carve. The woodcarvers carving where very impressive and they all told a story.  The Woodcarver’s carvings told stories of his culture, the struggles it had faced, the victories it had won and where it was now. The woodcarver’s Wife was a weaver; every day when she and her husband went into the forest she would collect grasses that she found. The Woodcarver’s Wife took only enough grasses as she needed, never any more. After the Woodcarvers Wife fond all the grasses she needed she would find the log where her husband sat, sit and weave. After the Woodcarver’s Wife weaved her baskets she would find natural substances like berries, leaves and petals to make her dye. The Woodcarver’s Wife’s baskets, once dyed also told stories; they told stories of what her culture was about. After a long day of carving and weaving the Woodcarver and his Wife would thank the forest for helping create their handiwork, putting food on their plates and giving them joy.

One day during their walk to the forest the Woodcarver and his Wife found a notices saying ‘in a few days the forest will be sold to the logging company.” Dismayed by the news that the Woodcarver and his wife’s beautiful forest would soon be just sticks and stumps they set off to find the Owner of the Land, to talk about the forests situation.

At the Owner of the Land’s house the Woodcarver and his Wife where carrying their most beautiful work, and gathering up their courage, they knocked on the door. The Owner of the Land was surprised to hear anyone knocking, especially an elderly couple and after hearing their predicament and seeing their lovely work he was amazed. But sadly the owner of the land was full of greed and the logging company had offered him quite the sum of money, so seeing the woodcarver’s and his wife’s work no matter how beautiful had almost no effect on him.

But the Woodcarver’s Wife had an idea; she would take the Owner of the Land to his forest to let him see what beautiful thing he was going to demolish.  The Owner of the Land was very confused about why this elderly lady was asking him to see his own land but he agreed. After being in the forest for a couple of hours the owner of the land was amazed by its beauty ad life, he saw what great happiness it gave the Woodcarvers’ Wife and when it was time to go he thank her for showing  him the greatness of the forest.  The Woodcarver’s Wife said to the owner of the land “if you feel the need to thank anyone it should be the forest not me and if anything I should be thanking you.”

So the forest was saved and the Woodcarver and his Wife went back to their routine of carving, weaving and thanking the forest.

The End