Once there was a woman who had a daughter she treated badly. The mother would be boiling corn soup and she would make the girl stir and stir. She would look in the pot and see it there and go hungry. But when she asked for some, the mother always said, “Not yet.” There never seemed to be a time when the corn soup was ready. The poor girl wished she could be a bird and fly away. Her wish was granted, and They turned her into a chickadee. That’s why the chickadee always comes around when people have anything going on. It hopes they will give it corn soup. It follows you through the woods, too, when you go to cut logs or brush, think maybe you’re going to build a fire and make soup.
Seneca Indian story collected by Merle H. Deardorff at the former Cornplanter Grant, NW Pennsylvania (destroyed by the Kinzua reservoir in 1965)