Ehep The Great Spider

A Hint of the Horror to Come

A CREE LEGEND: And it’s something like this. It is something… It is something like this.

When the first human being appeared on earth… came to the earth, was that these two people, the man and woman they were there somewhere, somewhere in the land where we don’t know for sure exactly where it is, but they were there. And noticed that there is a land down there, the land that is so beautiful. And they so wished to go and see that land. So there was a… there was a giant spider who noticed that they were longing to go there.

So he said to them: “Do you wish to go and see and live in that land?”

So the people say: “Yes, I wish we could go there and see that land.”

So Ehep, which is spider says, a giant spider says: “I will help you if you do what I say. I will lower you down with my string. But you will have to sit in here in this sort of basket,” but it is actually like a… like a nest. He says, “I will lower you down in this nest, but the thing is you have to do, is you… have to do is not look at the land even when you are think you are getting closer. You must not look down until you touch down to this land. Because if you do that, if you look at it before you hit the ground, you will not be happy. You will have to suffer to live in that land, even though it’s beautiful.”

And so they got on, agreed not to look. So Ehep the giant spider lowered them with his nest. And so it go down and down, but we don’t know how far it is, but it seems to be far away and it took some time to lower them into this… it is the land. It’s more like the earth, sort of. So they… they so eager, they’re so excited. And when they think that they should be there we should see it, wondered what it look like closer. So they went down, they look, they look over the side and notice the land. And it was just that moment that the string that hold them up sort of let go and landed on the ground forcefully. They didn’t get hurt really. But what ah… what Ehep has said to them that if they should look down that they would not be happy on that land and that they would be suffer, in order to live there.

And that was the end of the story.

Audio recording:

Here is an audio recording of Mr. Louis Bird of the Omushkego (Swampy) Cree recounting the legend of Ehep in English…

Louis Bird - Ehep the Spider


This story was sourced from the Our Voices project, which is a collaboration between Mr. Louis Bird and the University of Winnipeg. Please view the Ehep Legend page for the complete transcript and audio files. It is likely that the Plains Cree would have had a legend similar to this as a great amount of mythology was shared between the Cree peoples.

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