Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC)

Mimuxw, by Gwen Point

Mimuxw, by Gwen Point

White bead like circle on black tag.
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[Gwen Point tells the story of Mimuxw, to a group of Scowlitz children and family members, gathered at the Scowlitz Band Hall.]

There’s one other story that my husband tells, and it’s about Mimuxw. And Mimuxw who’s a little inchworm; kinda goes like this, right? Mimuxw, (Mimuxw…. Mimuxw, not Nemo.) Mimuxw, Mimuxw. And Mimuxw was about a little girl. And she didn’t listen very good. And she lived with her grandmother, right? She lived with her grandmother but she didn’t listen very good, and they lived next door to a grizzly bear. And the grandmother would say, Mimuxw, Mimuxw, please... listen. Don’t you go next door, because she would go and pick the grizzly bear’s blackberries. And she would say, ‘please, listen. Don’t go over there. ‘Cause that grizzly bear is mean. So anyway, Mimuxw didn’t listen very good. And she would go and steal the grizzly bear’s blackberries. Well one day she got caught. And the grizzly bear grabbed her, and ripped her to shreds. ‘Cause he’s [growling sound], he’s angry. ‘Cause she would always steal his berries.

Then, um, the grandmother went to look for her. ‘Mimuxw! Mimuxw! Where are you? Where are you?’ And she started to cry, because she couldn’t, she found her. All in pieces. She put her in a basket, and she just cried, and cried, and cried because she lost her granddaughter. Then all of a sudden she could hear something in the water. And she looked in the basket, and she could see a real little person forming. And there was Mimuxw. But she was made out of wax. She wasn’t human. She’s going ‘Grandma, Grandma’, and she picked her up, ‘Mimuxw!’ But remember, she’s not a real person. She’s wax now. So she never went to the grizzly bear’s berries anymore. But she still didn’t know how to listen, right?

She said, ‘I want to go swimming! I want to go swimming!’ ‘All the kids are swimming!’ And she said, ‘You can go swimming Mimuxw, but don’t lay on the rocks.’ And Mimuxw said, ‘Why?’ ‘You cannot lay on the rocks, Mimuxw. You come home when you’re done swimming.’ But instead of listening, Mimuxw went swimming, and then she laid on the rocks. And she melted. And the grandmother’s waiting for her, and waiting for her, and then finally the grandmother starts crying again. ‘Mimuxw! Mimuxw! Where are you? Mimuxw! Mimuxw! Where are you?’ And if you ever see the inchworm, sits up and the grandmother would sit up and look around, ‘Mimuxw, where are you?’ And the grandmother shrunk and shrunk and shrunk to that inchworm. That’s where we get the inchworms.

Anyway, you’re all very good listeners. Thank you for being good listeners. And remember, listen here and here. Right? Ts'áts'el ey kw'es e ts'íthome tset mékw'wat.Can you say Ts'ithome tset? [children repeating after Gwen] Ts'itothme tset mekw'wat; I thank all of you. Ts'át'sel ey, can you say Ts'át'sel ey? [children repeating after Gwen] Very good! Thank you.

[child speaking] ‘What’s the mosquito woman called again?’ And that’s it.

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