Fools Crow

Fools Crow

by

James Welch

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Three Bears Character Analysis

Chief of the Lone Eaters’ band. Three Bears is a harsh but fair leader, and after Fast Horse is found responsible for Yellow Kidney’s capture and torture by the Crows, Three Bears advocates to banish him. He also supports the capturing and killing of Owl Child when he continues to rob and kill Napikwans and attract the deadly attention of the blue-coat seizers. However, Three Bears is still prepared to go to war with the Napikwans to preserve the Pikuni way of life. He has a special relationship with Rides-at-the-door, who often councils him on tribal matters, and when Three Bears dies during the white-scabs outbreak at the end of the novel, he presents Rides-at-the-door with his red-stone pipe and makes him his successor.

Three Bears Quotes in Fools Crow

The Fools Crow quotes below are all either spoken by Three Bears or refer to Three Bears. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Fools Crow published in 1986.
Chapter 7 Quotes

Three Bears turned to Fast Horse. “We do not want trouble with the whites. Now that the great war in that place where Sun Chief rises is over, the blue-coat seizers come out to our country. Their chiefs have warned us more than once that if we make life tough for their people, they will ride against us.” He pointed his pipe in the direction of Owl Child. “If these foolish young men continue their raiding and killing of the Napikwans, we will all suffer. The seizers will kill us, and the Pikuni people will be as the shadows on the land. This must not happen.”

Related Characters: Three Bears (speaker), Owl Child, Heavy Runner
Page Number: 61-2
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 22 Quotes

“We will lose our grandchildren, Three Bears. They will be wiped out or they will turn into Napikwans. Already some of our children attend their school at the agency. Our men wear trousers and the women prefer the trade-cloth to skins. We wear their blankets, cook in their kettles, and kill the blackhorns with their bullets. Soon our young women will marry them, like the Liars and the Cutthroats.”

Related Characters: Rides-at-the-door (speaker), Three Bears, Joe Kipp
Page Number: 257
Explanation and Analysis:
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Three Bears Character Timeline in Fools Crow

The timeline below shows where the character Three Bears appears in Fools Crow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
Later, Heavy Shield Woman goes to visit Three Bears , the chief of the Lone Eaters, and requests that, should her husband return safely... (full context)
Chapter 7
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
Three Bears comes out of his lodge, and Owl Child asks to feast with them. Three Bears... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Three Bears gives Owl Child a package of boiled meat. As the young men ride away, Owl... (full context)
Chapter 8
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
As the crowd disperses, Three Bears approaches Rides-at-the-door. The chief noticed White Man’s Dog leaving in the middle of Yellow Kidney’s... (full context)
Chapter 9
War Theme Icon
Meanwhile, White Man’s Dog has been ordered by Three Bears to deliver the news of Yellow Kidney’s return to the outlying Pikuni camps. As Double... (full context)
Chapter 10
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
...of White Man’s Dog’s travels, he is seated in the place of honor next to Three Bears . He tells them that he visited all the bands, except that of the Many... (full context)
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...Heavy Shield Woman’s vow, and that they each believe her to be a virtuous woman. Three Bears officially invites Heavy Shield Woman to begin her preparation for the ceremony, and he reminds... (full context)
Chapter 13
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Joe introduces two of the men as Captain Snelling and John Gates. They tell Three Bears and the Lone Eaters that Malcolm Clark was recently killed, and that Owl Child has... (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
Three Bears is upset, and he tells Joe that there are better ways to earn a living... (full context)
Chapter 22
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
...message. The seizer chiefs would like to meet with the Pikuni chiefs for a discussion. Three Bears knows that it must be about Owl Child, but he doesn’t know what the seizers... (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
...chiefs in one place so that they can be easily executed. “We are being squeezed, Three Bears ,” he says. He tells him that Mountain Chief desires war, and Heavy Runner, another... (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
“Perhaps it is useless to resist?” questions Three Bears . Rides-at-the-door, however, insists they must, but that they also must give something to the... (full context)
Chapter 23
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...no peace since taking on the role, she questions her virtue. She considers going to Three Bears and denouncing her role as Medicine Woman. (full context)
Chapter 35
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...as if the Pikunis have “become a different people.” They arrive at the lodge of Three Bears ; the chief had died the day before. As he died, he had given Rides-at-the-door... (full context)