The Evergreen Tree

Translation from Joanne Shenandoah's English version into Tuscarora

~Duane Brayboy-Williams


​​When the Creator made the earth
Kanyúʔ haʔ Rawetyáhnę· wahré·tiʔ

haʔ yękwaʔę úʔwneh

All kinds of trees were planted
Čwekaręʔá·kye wahrayę́·thuʔ 

The maple, birch, oak, hickory, apple, pear
Haʔ učikhéʔtaʔ, uná·kyeh, rà·ruh, rúʔtaʔwr, θwahyù·waʔ, uhčíhręʔ

And nut trees and so on.
Tíhsnęʔ awę́ʔreh tikaręʔúʔnę· teʔtéʔ

The Creator had to tend to other realms
Haʔ Rawetyáhnę· wahruʔrihwá·yę̀·θ ahručtehríhsnę·k naʔ héʔuiʔ uʔwnehkę́·haʔnęʔ

So he asked the trees to watch over the earth
Tyuh hésne·, waʔkayęʔnaʔnahrù·yęʔ ha urę́ʔeh akakawęnęthyá·ra·k haʔ yękwaʔę úʔwneh

All trees promised they would watch over the land
Thwé·ʔn haʔ urę́ʔeh kakuʔrihwíhsʔę akakawęnęthyá·ra·k haʔ yękwaʔę úʔwneh

The trees waited and waited
Haʔ uręʔehkę́·haʔnęʔ waʔkayehrę́hwaʔ thwaʔuʔtyá·tih

For the Creator’s return
Haʔ Rawetyáhnę· ęθahratíhuʔ 

They waited many days
Waʔkayehrę́hwaʔ kwà·nęʔ tiwęʔná·kye 

And they waited many nights.
Tíhsnęʔ waʔkayehrę́hwaʔ kwà·nęʔ tiwahθęʔná·kye· 

The trees began to get tired
Haʔ uręʔehkę́·haʔnęʔ waʔkayęhθá·ʔwʔa·ʔ nakayeʔnéhreʔ 

And they started to fall asleep
Tíhsnęʔ waʔkayęhθá·ʔwʔa·ʔ akakú·tʔuh

They forgot the promise they had given to Creator
Θakakuʔtikęhré·ʔnęʔ haʔ tawę́·te kayęʔnaʔná·wi· haʔ Rawetyáhnę·

Only the evergreen trees remained awake
Účʔaht haʔ ukhręwehkę́·haʔnęʔ čwé·ʔn kayeyehwáʔnahk

Keeping watch over the earth
Akakawęnęthyá·ra·k haʔ yękwaʔę úʔwneh

When the Creator returned
Kanyúʔ haʔ Rawetyáhnę· θahratíhuʔ

Only the evergreen trees were still awake
Účʔaht haʔ ukhręwehkę́·haʔnęʔ čwé·ʔn kayeyehwáʔnahk

As a reminder to everyone to keep their word
Akayęʔnaʔnehyarhúhkęʔ haʔ thwé·ʔn akayęʔnwętayè·rik haʔ tikakuʔrihwíhsʔę   

During every fall and winter
Tyutyá·tihθ haʔ Rahθéʔkye tíhsnęʔ Kuhsérhę tičú·ʔnęʔ 

All trees lose their leaves
Thwé·ʔn haʔ uręʔehkę́·haʔnęʔ kaʔęhráhrihč  

Except the evergreen trees.
Účʔaht haʔ ukhręwehkę́·haʔnęʔ.

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