When The Legends Die
This is the story of the life an Ute family, and in particular the way of their people.The story
starts off with the father of the family, George Black Bull running for his life from the sheriff and Blue Elk,
one of the old Ute men.He had shot a man named Frank No Deer, he had killed him for stealing his money
three times that he owed to a sawmill in Pagosa where he had worked with many other of his people, that
he had saved for a long period of time.So George, his wife Bessie and son decided to live in the
mountains, where they would live the old way, singing songs for different occasions, fishing and hunting
with arrow instead of guns, and making use of the wilderness and all of it’s resources.They built a cabin to
live in,in a location where George would not be found and put in jail for his crime, they caught their
meals, sewed their clothes and lived life and taught their son the way it had been lived by many generations
of their people in the past, until one da!
y George was crushed by an avalanche while hunting in a valley.Bessie new now that their son had
become the man of the family, and would be responsible for many of the tasks that needed to be done in
order to survive, it was also time for him to pick a name, he chose the name Bear’s Brother.Every once
and a while they went to the village to trade for items that they could not make, but after a short period of
time Bessie became very ill and died.Bear’s Brother had learned the ways and was now capable of taking
care of himself, he continued to live life the old way.One day he journeyed to town to trade items, he told
what had happened to his parents and that he was living alone with a bear, but Blue Elk thought that he
should not be living this way and that he should be in school and living the way of the present.Blue Elk
followed Bear’s Brother to his cabin and they talked for many hours, Bear’s Brother re-taught Blue Elk the
old ways and talked with Bear’s Brother f!
or many hours, and finally convinced him to come to town with him and remind his people of these old
I personally like the setting of the wilderness in this book.I enjoy reading and learning the
ways that native people lived their lives in the wilderness even if it is fiction and not fact.The setting is
very detailed, believable and has enough but not too much description.”She cried out once in horror, and
the boy heard and came and stood beside her, watching, as the snow plume floated all the way down the
slope and the thunder of the slide echoed into the silence,” is a phrase that I found particularly enjoyable
I like the way that the author has not introduced too many characters at once and has limited the
number of characters that are of relevance during certain periods of the book.I find it is very annoying
when a book has many important characters all at one point or section of the book,instead Hal Borland
introduces characters at various stages of the book, and now that Bear’s Brother’s parents have died I’m sure
a few more characters will be introduced.I like Blue Elks character because he’s mysterious and seems to
show up every once and a while in the book, he seems to be everyone’s friend.For example, when Bear’s
Brother’s bear is attacking dogs in the village, he shows up for no apparent reason.
There’s not too much suspense in this book, but I think it’s mainly because there’s no need for
suspense in this style of book.A not so obvious example of foreshadowing would be right after George
fights Frank No Deer for stealing his money.After he has fought he checks his
pocket to see if his money is still there, and of course it’s gone.The author wouldn’t have written him
checking his pocket in the first place,if the money wasn’t going to have been stolen.
I think that this book sort of relates to what has happened at Ipperwash and the problems there.
Even though it does not really have a direct link, just because it’s involving problems with native people
and their culture, it is somewhat similar.