Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Legend of the Flying Canoe

I love Halloween. This year I bring you the Legend of the Flying Canoe, or La Chasse-galerie.

I came across this Quebecois legend while researching Let's Go!. You cannot have a history of transportation in North America without a canoe. Of course there was no place for this legend in my book, but I find it fascinating all the same.

Couple together a canoe with a story involving the devil and you've got a Canadian Halloween classic...okay, so what if the actual story involves New Year's not Halloween? To me it's a better story for this time of year.

The animated National Film Board film of the legend is definitely worth a watch. It's about 10 minutes long. Roch Carrier retold the story in The Flying Canoe, published in 2004 by Tundra Books. The legend has even made it onto a postage stamp, as seen here.

And it's Canada, so there's even a beer alluding to the legend. (It's good, too.)

So here's to Halloween! And may your travels tonight or today lead you safely home.

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