It was autumn, and the Cree members in their remote territory asked their new Chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild.
Since he had been raised away from his culture and traditions, he had never been taught the old secrets so he had no idea what to do.
Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he replied that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect wood to be prepared.
But also being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is the coming winter going to be cold?"
"It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed," the meteorologist at the weather service responded.
So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared.
A week later, he called the National Weather Service again. "Is it going to be a very cold winter?"
"Yes," the man at National Weather Service again replied, "it's definitely going to be a very cold winter."
The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of wood they could find.
Two weeks later, he called the National Weather Service again. "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?"
"Absolutely," the man replied. "It's going to be one of the coldest winters ever."
"How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked.
The weatherman replied, "The Cree are collecting wood like crazy."