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Whetung Ojibwa Centre

The Story of the Rabbit Dance

Jacques is a trapper who lives with his wife Therese and their twelve children in a small Metis community. As the story opens Jaques is setting out to gather up his traps and snares before the snow gets too deep. While he is doing this, his family goes on ahead to the annual three day gathering of neighbours, friends and relatives. Jacques finishes the job quickly and by late that afternoon he is heading for home. As Jaques came near the big house where everyone gathered, he could hear the wonderful sound of the fiddle playing “Drops of Brandy.” Jacques could see the shadows of the people in the house dancing “la danse du crochet.” He heard the dogs barking and the sharp whistles of the rabbits. Jaques stood still and watched. He saw dogs of all sizes standing in a straight line. On the other side was a row of rabbits of all colours. Some of the dogs and rabbits were watching the people in the house dancing “la danse du crochet.” The rabbits at the window would tell the rabbits beside them what was happening at the dance so they could relay it to the others at the bottom of the hill. Well, the dogs were kind of lazy so they told each other, “Just do what the rabbits do.” Jaques watched as the rabbits and dogs slidestepped and swung each other in a figure eight formation. As Jaques entered the house he was delighted to have the new “Rabbit Dance” to teach the people at the party. • This book includes a CD that narrates the story in both English and Michif-Cree.The music for “The Rabbit Dance,“Drops of Brandy” and “The Red River Jig” is included.

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