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Watch out for fub leh che chobee

James E. BillieThe split tail or thunderbirds (snail kites) are flying around. The sawgrass flowers are starting to bloom. It’s raining a little too much, flooding the fields and swamps, and the green tree frogs have been crying up a storm for the last several days. I don’t mind all this, but the season of fub leh che chobee (Big Wind) is about to begin.

Hurricane season has always been interesting to me. Old-timers would refer to it as a female looking for her children. We were not allowed to whistle, blow whistles, bottles or flutes. For it may draw her attention and she will come, with full force of destruction, looking for her crying babies.

A couple of remedies to divert the hurricanes path is to ask a member of the Wind Clan to tell fub leh che chobee to go someplace else and leave our village alone.

The one I’ve seen used most often is taking an ax with a long handle, sticking the handle in the ground and then burying it real good. Point the sharp edge of the ax in the direction of the coming hurricane and say, “Do not harm my chickee or my camp.” Throughout my life, I’ve seen this done with success. I’ve even used tomahawks and hatchets for my own protection.

To some of you folks reading this, give it a try. It may surprise you.

God gave Seminoles a whole bag of tricks to survive.


James E. Billie is Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.