In town everything had a festive air that could not but have its effect on the dourest onlooker. The streets were full of people dressed in all their best. Church bells were ringing, men arrived hourly from the woods in strings, singing as they passed along the streets, and the whole village had such an atmosphere of good will and bonhomie bubbling up from it, that no weather however stormy or evil could possibly have penetrated or subdued it, if indeed it would ever have been noticed. Music could be heard resounding in every direction, from the organized revelry of the radio, to the blare of a gramophone, and there isssued out upon the frosty air the skirl of fiddles, playing the wild rhythms of the jigs and reels and the clever and intricate step dances in which these people find a self-expression and an outlet for their feelings which is peculiarly their own.

Grey Owl, Pilgrims of the Wild, Peter Davies, London, p. 211.

TIME: 1930's

PLACE: Cabano, Quebec.

CIRCUMSTANCE: Grey Owl describes a festival on New Year's Eve



They... (the beaver) would always come to one particular call, a plaintive wailing pitched in a close resemblance to a common signal of their own, though different enough for them to recognize its origin. This cry was a prolonged, 'Mah---W-e-e-e-e-e,' given with a wavering inflexion, and its sound, repeated a few times, rarely failed to attract one or another of them, or at least elicit an answering hail. It became at last, by long usage, a kind of community name for them, and we came to call them, each and every one, Mah-Wee; so if one was called they all came, a very convenient arrangement. This name was very suitable in more ways than one, as it is similar in sound to the Ojibway word signifying 'to cry,' a vocal expedient they made use of on the slightest pretext.

Grey Owl, Pilgrims of the Wild, Peter Davies, London, 1935, p. 272.

TIME: 1930's

PLACE: Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan

CIRCUMSTANCE: Grey Owl describes the signal used to call the beaver