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Thursday, March 26, 2009



A long, long time ago, a little boy was living with his sister entirely
alone in an uninhabited country, far out in the north-west. He was
called the Boy that carries the Ball on his Back, from an idea that he
possessed supernatural powers. This boy was in the habit of meditating
alone, and asking within himself, whether there were other beings
similar to themselves on the earth.

When he grew up to manhood, he inquired of his sister whether she knew
of any human beings beside themselves. She replied that she did; and
that there was, at a great distance, a large village.

As soon as he heard this, he said to his sister, "I am now a young man
and very much in want of a companion;" and he asked his sister to make
him several pairs of moccasins.

She complied with his request; and as soon as he received the moccasins,
he took up his war-club and set out in quest of the distant village.

He traveled on till he came to a small wigwam, and on looking into it he
discovered a very old woman sitting alone by the fire. As soon as she
saw the stranger, she invited him in, and thus addressed him:

"My poor grandchild, I suppose you are one of those who seek for the
distant village, from which no person has ever yet returned. Unless your
guardian is more powerful than the guardians of those who have gone
before you, you will share a similar fate to theirs. Be careful to
provide yourself with the invisible bones they use in the
medicine-dance, for without these you can not succeed."

After she had thus spoken, she gave him the following directions for his

"When you come near to the village which you seek, you will see in the
center a large lodge, in which the chief of the village, who has two
daughters, resides. Before the door there is a great tree, which is
smooth and without bark. On this tree, about the height of a man from
the ground, is hung a small lodge, in which these two false daughters
dwell. It is here that so many have been destroyed, and among them your
two elder brothers. Be wise, my grandchild, and abide strictly by my

The old woman then gave to the young man the bones which were to secure
his success; and she informed him with great care how he was to

Placing them in his bosom, Onwee Bahmondang, or the Wearer of the Ball,
continued his journey, and kept eagerly on until he arrived at the
village of which he was in search; and as he was gazing around him, he
saw both the tree and the lodge which the old woman had mentioned.

He at once bent his steps for the tree, and approaching, he endeavored
to reach the suspended lodge. But all his efforts were in vain; for as
often as he attempted to reach it, the tree began to tremble, and it
soon shot up so that the lodge could hardly be perceived.

He bethought him of his guardian, and invoking his aid, and changing
himself into a squirrel, he mounted nimbly up again, in the hope that
the lodge would not now escape him. Away shot the lodge, climb as
briskly as he might.

Panting, and out of breath, he remembered the instructions of the old
woman, and drawing from his bosom one of the bones, he thrust it into
the trunk of the tree, and rested himself to be ready to start again.

As often as he wearied of climbing, for even a squirrel can not climb
forever, he repeated the little ceremony of the bones; but whenever he
came near the lodge and put forth his hand to touch it, the tree would
shoot up as before, and carry the lodge up far beyond his reach.

At length the bones being all gone, and the lodge well-nigh out of
sight, he began to despair, for the earth, too, had long since vanished
entirely from his view.

Summoning his whole heart, he resolved to try once more. On and up he
went, and, as soon as he put forth his hand to touch it, the tree again
shook, and away went the lodge.

One more endeavor, brave Onwee, and in he goes; for having now reached
the arch of heaven, the fly-away lodge could go no higher.

Onwee entered the lodge with a fearless step, and he beheld the two
wicked sisters sitting opposite each other. He asked their names. The
one on his left hand called herself Azhabee, and the one on the right,

After talking with them a little while, he discovered that whenever he
addressed the one on his left hand, the tree would tremble as before and
settle down to its former place; but when he addressed the one on his
right hand, it would again shoot upward.

When he thus perceived that by addressing the one on his left hand that
the tree would descend, he continued to do so until it had again settled
down to its place near the earth. Then seizing his war-club, he said to
the sisters:

"You who have caused the death of so many of my brethren I will now put
an end to, and thus have revenge for those you have destroyed."

As he spoke this he raised the club, and with one blow laid the two
wicked women dead at his feet.

Onwee then descended, and learning that these sisters had a brother
living with their father, who had shared all together in the spoils of
all such as the wicked sisters had betrayed, and who would now pursue
him for having put an end to their wicked profits, Onwee set off at
random, not knowing whither he went.

The father coming in the evening to visit the lodge of his daughters,
discovered what had happened. He immediately sent word to his son that
his sisters had been slain, and that there were no more spoils to be
had, which greatly inflamed the young man's temper, especially the
woeful announcement at the close.

"The person who has done this," said the brother, as soon as he had
reached the spot, chafing and half beside himself at the gloomy prospect
of having no more travelers to strip, "must be that boy who carries the
ball on his back. I know his mode of going about his business, and since
he would not allow himself to be killed by my sisters, he shall have the
honor of dying by my hand. I will pursue him and have revenge."

"It is well, my son," replied the father; "the spirit of your life
grant you success. I counsel you to be wary in the pursuit. Bahmondang
is a cunning youth. It is a strong spirit who has put him on to do this
injury to us, and he will try to deceive you in every way. Above all,
avoid tasting food till you succeed; for if you break your fast before
you see his blood, your power will be destroyed."

The son took this fatherly advice all in good part, except that portion
which enjoined upon him to abstain from staying his stomach; but over
that he made a number of wry faces, for the brother of the two wicked
sisters had, among numerous noble gifts, a very noble appetite.
Nevertheless, he took up his weapons and departed in pursuit of Onwee
Bahmondang, at the top of his speed.

Onwee finding that he was closely followed, climbed up into one of the
tallest trees, and shot forth the magic arrows with which he had
provided himself.

Seeing that his pursuer was not turned back by his arrows, Onwee renewed
his flight; and when he found himself hard pressed, and his enemy close
behind him, he transformed himself into the skeleton of a moose that had
been killed, whose flesh had come off from his bones. He then remembered
the moccasins which his sister had given him, and which were enchanted.
Taking a pair of them, he placed them near the skeleton.

"Go," said he to them, "to the end of the earth."

The moccasins then left him, and their tracks remained.

The angry brother at length came to the skeleton of the moose, when he
perceived that the track he had been long pursuing did not stop there,
so he continued to follow it up till he arrived at the end of the earth,
where, for all his trouble, he found only a pair of moccasins.

Vexed that he had been outwitted by following a pair of moccasins
instead of their owner, who was the object of his pursuit, he bitterly
complained, resolving not to give up his revenge, and to be more wary in
scrutinizing signs.

He then called to mind the skeleton he had met with on his way, and
concluded that it must be the object of his search.

He retraced his steps toward the skeleton, but to his surprise it had
disappeared, and the tracks of the wearer of the ball were in another
direction. He now became faint with hunger, and lost heart; but when he
remembered the blood of his sisters, and that he should not be allowed
to enjoy a meal, nor so much as a mouthful, until he had put an end to
Onwee Bahmondang, he plucked up his spirits and determined again to

Onwee, finding that he was closely followed, and that the hungry brother
was approaching very fast, changed himself into a very old man, with
two daughters, and living in a large lodge in the center of a beautiful
garden, which was filled with every thing that could delight the eye, or
was pleasant to the taste. He made himself appear so very old as to be
unable to leave his lodge, and to require his daughters to bring him
food and wait on him, as though he had been a mere child. The garden
also had the appearance of old age, with its ancient bushes and hanging
branches and decrepit vines loitering lazily about in the sun.

The brother kept on until he was nearly starved and ready to sink to the
earth. He exclaimed, with a long-drawn and most mournful sigh, "Oh! I
will forget the blood of my sisters, for I am starving. Oh! oh!"

But again he thought of the blood of his sisters, and what a fine
appetite he would have if he should ever be allowed to eat any thing
again, and once more he resolved to pursue, and to be content with
nothing short of the amplest revenge.

He pushed on till he came to the beautiful garden. He advanced toward
the lodge.

As soon as the fairy daughters perceived him they ran and told their
father that a stranger approached.

Their father replied, "Invite him in, my children, invite him in."

They did so promptly, and, by the command of their father, they boiled
some corn, and prepared several other palatable dishes. The savor was
most delicious to the nostrils of the hungry brother, who had not the
least suspicion of the sport that was going on at his expense.

He was faint and weary with travel, and he felt that he could endure
fasting no longer; for his appetite was terribly inflamed by the sight
of the choice food that was steaming before him.

He fell to and partook heartily of the meal; and, by so doing, he was
overcome, and lost his right of revenge. All at once he forgot the blood
of his sisters, and even the village of his nativity, and his father's
lodge, and his whole past life. He ate so keenly, and came and went to
the choice dishes so often, that drowsiness at length overpowered him,
and he soon fell into a profound sleep.

Onwee Bahmondang watched his opportunity, and as soon as he saw that the
false brother's sleep was sound, he resumed his youthful form, and sent
off the two fairy daughters and the old garden; and drawing the
magic-ball from his back, which turned out to be a great war-club, he
fetched the slumbering brother a mighty blow, which sent him away too;
and thus did Onwee Bahmondang vindicate his title as the Wearer of the

When Onwee swung around, with the great force and weight of the club
with which he had dispatched the brother of the two wicked women, he
found himself in a large village, surrounded by a great crowd of people.
At the door of a beautiful lodge stood his sister, smiling, and ready to
invite him in. Onwee entered, and hanging up his war-club and the
enchanted moccasins, which he had recovered, he rested from his labors,
and smoked his evening pipe, with the admiration and approval of the
whole world.

With one exception only, Onwee Bahmondang had the hearty praises of all
the people.

Now it happened that there lived in this same village an envious and
boastful fellow, who had been once a chief, but coming home always badly
whipped, he was put out of office, and now spent his time about the
place mainly, in proclaiming certain great things which he had in his
eye, and which he meant to do--one of these days.

This man's name was Ko-ko, the Owl; and hearing much of the wonderful
achievements of the Wearer of the Ball, Ko-ko put on a big look, and
announced that he was going to do something extraordinary himself.

Onwee Bahmondang, he said, had not half done his work, and he, Ko-ko,
meant to go on the ground and finish it up as it should be.

He began by procuring an oak ball, which he thrust down his back, and,
confident in its magical powers, he, too, called himself the Wearer of
the Ball. In fact it was the self-same ball that Onwee had employed,
except that the magic had entirely gone out of it. Coming by night in
the shadow of the lodge, he thrust his arm in at the door, and
stealthily possessed himself of the enchanted moccasins. He would have
taken away Onwee's war-club too, if he could have carried it; but
although he was twice the size and girth of Onwee, he had not the
strength to lift it; so he borrowed a club from an old chief, who was
purblind, and mistook Ko-ko for his brother who was a brave man; and
raising a terrible tumult with his voice, and a great dust with his
heels, Ko-ko set out.

He had traveled all day, when he came to a small wigwam, and on looking
into it, he discovered a very old woman sitting alone by the fire; just
as Onwee had before.

This is the wigwam, said Ko-ko, and this is the old woman.

"What are you looking for?" asked the old woman.

"I want to find the lodge with the wicked young women in it, who slay
travellers and steal their trappings," answered Ko-ko.

"You mean the two young women who lived in the flying lodge?" said the
old woman.

"The same," answered Ko-ko. "I am going to kill them."

With this he gave a great flourish with his borrowed club, and looked
desperate and murderous as he could.

"They were slain yesterday by the Wearer of the Ball," said the old

Ko-ko looked around for the door in a very owlish way, and heaving a
short hem from his chest, he acknowledged that he had heard something to
that effect down in one of the villages.

"But there's the brother. I'll have a chance at him," said Ko-ko.

"He is dead too," said the old woman.

"Is there nobody then left for me to kill?" cried Ko-ko. "Must I then go
back without any blood upon my hands?"

He made as if he could shed tears over his sad mishap.

"The father is still living; and you will find him in the lodge, if you
have a mind to call on him. He would like to see the Owl," the old woman

"He shall," replied Ko-ko. "Have you any bones about the house; for I
suppose I shall have to climb that tree."

"Oh, yes; plenty," answered the old woman. "You can have as many as you

And she gave him a handful of fish-bones, which Ko-ko, taking them to be
the Invisible Tallies which had helped Onwee Bahmondang in climbing the
magical tree, thrust into his bosom.

"Thank you," said Ko-ko; taking up his club and striding toward the

"Will you not have a little advice," said the old woman. "This is a
dangerous business you are going on."

Ko-ko turned about and laughed to scorn the proposal, and putting forth
his right foot from the lodge first, an observance in which he had great
hopes, he started for the lodge of the wicked father.

Ko-ko ran very fast, as if he feared he should lose the chance of
massacring any member of the wicked family, until he came in sight of
the lodge hanging upon the tree.

He then slackened his pace, and crept forward with a wary eye lest
somebody might chance to be looking out at the door. All was, however,
still up there; and Ko-ko clasped the tree and began to climb.

Away went the lodge, and up went Ko-ko, puffing and panting, after it.
And it was not a great while before the Owl had puffed and panted away
all the wind he had to spare; and yet the lodge kept flying aloft,
higher, higher. What was to be done!

Ko-ko of course bethought him of the bones, for that was just what, as
he knew, had occurred to Onwee Bahmondang under the like circumstances.

He had the bones in his bosom; and now it was necessary for him to be a
squirrel. He immediately called on several guardian spirits whom he knew
of by name, and requested them to convert him into a squirrel. But not
one of all them seemed to pay the slightest attention to his request;
for there he hung, the same heavy-limbed, big-headed, be-clubbed, and
be-blanketed Ko-ko as ever.

He then desired that they would turn him into an opossum; an application
which met with the same luck as the previous one. After this he
petitioned to be a wolf, a gophir, a dog, or a bear--if they would be so
obliging. The guardian spirits were either all deaf, or indifferent to
his wishes, or absent on some other business.

Ko-ko, in spite of all his begging and supplication and beseeching, was
obliged to be still Ko-ko.

"The bones, however," he said, to himself, "are good. I shall get a nice
rest, at any rate, if I am forced to climb as I am."

With this he drew out one of the bones from his bosom, and shouting
aloud, "Ho! ho! who is there?" he thrust it into the trunk of the tree,
and would have indulged himself in a rest; but being no more than a
common fish-bone, without the slightest savor of magic in it, it snapped
with Ko-ko, who came tumbling down, with the door of the lodge which he
had shaken loose, rattling after him.

"Ho! ho! who is there?" cried the wicked father, making his appearance
at the opening and looking down.

"It is I, Onwee Bahmondang!" cried Ko-koor, thinking to frighten the
wicked father.

"Ah! it is you, is it? I will be there presently," called the old man.
"Do not be in haste to go away!"

Ko-ko, observing that the old man was in earnest, scrambled up from the
ground, and set off promptly at his highest rate of speed.

When he looked back and saw that the wicked father was gaining upon him,
Ko-koor mounted a tree, as had Onwee Bahmondang before, and fired off a
number of arrows, but as they were no more than common arrows, he got
nothing by it, but was obliged to descend, and run again for life.

As he hurried on he encountered the skeleton of a moose, into which he
would have transformed himself, but not having the slightest confidence
in any one of all the guardians who should have helped him, he passed

The wicked father was hot in pursuit, and Ko-koor was suffering terribly
for lack of wind, when luckily he remembered the enchanted moccasins. He
could not send them to the end of the earth, as had Onwee Bahmondang.

"I will improve on that dull fellow," said Ko-ko. "I will put them on

Accordingly, Ko-ko had just time to draw on the moccasins when the
wicked father came in sight.

"Go now!" cried Ko-ko, giving orders to the enchanted moccasins; and go
they did; but to the astonishment of the Owl, they turned immediately
about in the way in which the wicked father, now, very furious, was

"The other way! the other way!" cried Ko-ko.

Cry as loud as he would, the enchanted moccasins would keep on in their
own course; and before he could shake himself out of them, they had run
him directly into the face of the wicked father.

"What do you mean, you Owl?" cried the wicked father, falling upon Ko-ko
with a huge club, and counting his ribs at every stroke.

"I can not help it, good man," answered Ko-ko. "I tried my best--"

Ko-ko would have gone the other way, but the enchanted moccasins kept
hurrying him forward. "Stand off, will you?" cried the old man.

By this time, allowing the wicked father chance to bestow no more than
five-and-twenty more blows upon Ko-ko, the moccasins were taking him

"Stop!" cried the old man again. "You are running away. Ho! ho! you are
a coward!"

"I am not, good man," answered Ko-ko, carried away by the magical shoes,
"I assure you." But ere he could finish his avowal, the moccasins had
hurried him out of sight.

"At any rate, I shall soon be home at this speed," said Ko-koor to

The moccasins seemed to know his thoughts; for just then they gave a
sudden leap, slipped away from his feet, and left the Owl flat upon his
back! while they glided home by themselves, to the lodge of Onwee
Bahmondang, where they belonged.

A party of hunters passing that way after several days, found Ko-ko
sitting among the bushes, looking greatly bewildered; and when they
inquired of him how he had succeeded with the wicked father at the
lodge, he answered that he had demolished the whole establishment, but
that his name was not Ko-ko, but Onwee Bahmondang; saying which, he ran
away into the woods, and was never seen more.



In a little lodge at a beautiful spot on a lake shore, alone with his
sister, lived a boy remarkable for the smallness of his stature. Many
large rocks were scattered around their habitation, and it had a very
wild and out-of-the-way look.

The boy grew no larger as he advanced in years, and yet, small as he
was, he had a big spirit of his own, and loved dearly to play the master
in the lodge. One day in winter he told his sister to make him a ball to
play with, as he meant to have some sport along the shore on the clear
ice. When she handed him the ball, his sister cautioned him not to go
too far.

He laughed at her, and posted off in high glee, throwing his ball before
him and running after it at full speed, and he went as fast as his ball.
At last his ball flew to a great distance; he followed as fast as he
could. After he had run forward for some time, he saw what seemed four
dark spots upon the ice, straight before him.

When he came up to the shore he was surprised to see four large, tall
men, lying on the ice, spearing fish. They were four brothers, who
looked exactly alike. As the little boy-man approached them, the nearest
looked up, and in his turn he was surprised to see such a tiny being,
and turning to his brothers, he said:

"Tia! look! see what a little fellow is here."

The three others thereupon looked up too, and seeing these four faces,
as if they had been one, the little spirit or boy-man said to himself:

"Four in one! What a time they must have in choosing their

After they had all stared for a moment at the boy, they covered their
heads, intent in searching for fish. The boy thought to himself:

"These four-faces fancy that I am to be put off without notice because I
am so little, and they are so broad and long. They shall find out. I may
find a way to teach them that I am not to be treated so lightly."

After they were covered up, the boy-man, looking sharply about, saw that
among them they had caught one large trout, which was lying just by
their side. Stealing along, he slyly seized it, and placing his fingers
in the gills, and tossing his ball before him, he ran off at full speed.

They heard the pattering of his little steps upon the ice, and when the
four looked up all together, they saw their fine trout sliding away, as
if of itself, at a great rate, the boy being so small that he could not
be distinguished from the fish.

"See!" they cried out, "our fish is running away on the dry land!"

When they stood up they could just see, over the fish's head, that it
was the boy-man who was carrying it off.

The little spirit reached the lodge, and having left the trout at the
door, he told his sister to go out and bring in the fish he had brought

She exclaimed, "Where could you have got it? I hope you have not stolen

"Oh," he replied, "I found it on the ice. It was caught in our lake.
Have we no right to a little lake of our own? I shall claim all the fish
that come out of its waters."

"How," the sister asked again, "could you have got it there?"

"No matter," said the boy; "go and cook it."

It was as much as the girl could do to drag the great trout within
doors. She cooked it, and its flavor was so delicious that she asked no
more questions as to how he had come by it.

The next morning the little spirit or boy-man set off as he had the day

He made all sorts of sport with his ball as he frolicked along--high
over his head he would toss it, straight up into the air; then far
before him, and again, in mere merriment of spirit, he would send it
bounding back, as if he had plenty of speed and enough to spare in
running back after it. And the ball leaped and bounded about, and glided
through the air as if it were a live thing, and enjoyed the sport as
much as the boy-man himself.

When he came within hail of the four large men, who were fishing there
every day, he cast his ball with such force that it rolled into the
ice-hole about which they were busy. The boy, standing on the shore of
the lake, called out:

"Four-in-one, pray hand me my ball."

"No, indeed," they answered, setting up a grim laugh which curdled their
four dark faces all at once, "we shall not;" and with their
fishing-spears they thrust the ball under the ice.

"Good!" said the boy-man, "we shall see."

Saying which he rushed upon the four brothers and thrust them at one
push into the water. His ball bounded back to the surface, and, picking
it up, he ran off, tossing it before him in his own sportive way.
Outstripping it in speed he soon reached home, and remained within till
the next morning.

The four brothers, rising up from the water at the same time, dripping
and wroth, roared out in one voice a terrible threat of vengeance, which
they promised to execute the next day. They knew the boy's speed, and
that they could by no means overtake him.

By times in the morning, the four brothers were stirring in their lodge,
and getting ready to look after their revenge.

Their old mother, who lived with them, begged them not to go.

"Better," said she, "now that your clothes are dry, to think no more of
the ducking than to go and all four of you get your heads broken, as you
surely will, for that boy is a monedo or he could not perform such feats
as he does."

But her sons paid no heed to this wise advice, and, raising a great
war-cry, which frightened the birds overhead nearly out of their
feathers, they started for the boy's lodge among the rocks.

The little spirit or boy-man heard them roaring forth their threats as
they approached, but he did not appear to be disquieted in the least.
His sister as yet had heard nothing; after a while she thought she could
distinguish the noise of snow-shoes on the snow, at a distance, but
rapidly advancing. She looked out, and seeing the four large men coming
straight to their lodge she was in great fear, and running in,

"He is coming, four times as strong as ever!" for she supposed that the
one man whom her brother had offended had become so angry as to make
four of himself in order to wreak his vengeance.

The boy-man said, "Why do you mind them? Give me something to eat."

"How can you think of eating at such a time?" she replied.

"Do as I request you, and be quick."

She then gave little spirit his dish, and he commenced eating.

Just then the brothers came to the door.

"See!" cried the sister, "the man with four heads!"

The brothers were about to lift the curtain at the door, when the
boy-man turned his dish upside down, and immediately the door was closed
with a stone; upon which the four brothers set to work and hammered with
their clubs with great fury, until at length they succeeded in making a
slight opening. One of the brothers presented his face at this little
window, and rolled his eye about at the boy-man in a very threatening

The little spirit, who, when he had closed the door, had returned to his
meal, which he was quietly eating, took up his bow and arrow which lay
by his side, and let fly the shaft, which, striking the man in the head,
he fell back. The boy-man merely called out "Number one" as he fell, and
went on with his meal.

In a moment a second face, just like the first, presented itself; and
as he raised his bow, his sister said to him:

"What is the use? You have killed that man already."

Little spirit fired his arrow--the man fell--he called out "Number two,"
and continued his meal.

The two others of the four brothers were dispatched in the same quiet
way, and counted off as "Number three" and "Number four."

After they were all well disposed of in this way, the boy-man directed
his sister to go out and see them. She presently ran back, saying:

"There are four of them."

"Of course," the boy-man answered, "and there always shall be four of

Going out himself, the boy-man raised the brothers to their feet, and
giving each a push, one with his face to the East, another to the West,
a third to the South, and the last to the North, he sent them off to
wander about the earth; and whenever you see four men just alike, they
are the four brothers whom the little spirit or boy-man dispatched upon
their travels.

But this was not the last display of the boy-man's power.

When spring came on, and the lake began to sparkle in the morning sun,
the boy-man said to his sister:

"Make me a new set of arrows, and a bow."

Although he provided for their support, the little spirit never
performed household or hard work of any kind, and his sister obeyed.

When she had made the weapons, which, though they were very small, were
beautifully wrought and of the best stuff the field and wood could
furnish, she again cautioned him not to shoot into the lake.

"She thinks," said the boy-man to himself, "I can see no further into
the water than she. My sister shall learn better."

Regardless of her warnings, he on purpose discharged a shaft into the
lake, waded out into the water till he got into its depth, and paddled
about for his arrow, so as to call the attention of his sister, and as
if to show that he hardily braved her advice.

She hurried to the shore, calling on him to return; but instead of
heeding her, he cried out:

"You of the red fins, come and swallow me!"

Although his sister did not clearly understand whom her brother was
addressing, she too called out:

"Don't mind the foolish boy!"

The boy-man's order seemed to be best attended to, for immediately a
monstrous fish came and swallowed him. Before disappearing entirely,
catching a glimpse of his sister standing in despair upon the shore, the
boy-man hallooed out to her:


She wondered what he meant. At last it occurred to her that it must be
an old moccasin. She accordingly ran to the lodge, and bringing one, she
tied it to a string attached to a tree, and cast it into the water.

The great fish said to the boy-man under water.

"What is that floating?"

To which the boy-man replied:

"Go, take hold of it, swallow it as fast as you can; it is a great

The fish darted toward the old shoe and swallowed it, making of it a
mere mouthful.

The boy-man laughed in himself, but said nothing, till the fish was
fairly caught, when he took hold of the line and began to pull himself
in his fish-carriage ashore.

The sister, who was watching all this time, opened wide her eyes as the
huge fish came up and up upon the shore; and she opened them still more
when the fish seemed to speak, and she heard from within a voice,
saying, "Make haste and release me from this nasty place."

It was her brother's voice, which she was accustomed to obey; and she
made haste with her knife to open a door in the side of the fish, from
which the boy-man presently leaped forth. He lost no time in ordering
her to cut it up and dry it; telling her that their spring supply of
meat was now provided.

The sister now began to believe that her brother was an extraordinary
boy; yet she was not altogether satisfied in her mind that he was
greater than the rest of the world.

They sat, one evening, in the lodge, musing with each other in the dark,
by the light of each other's eyes--for they had no other of any
kind--when the sister said, "My brother, it is strange that you, who can
do so much, are no wiser than the Ko-ko, who gets all his light from the
moon; which shines or not, as it pleases."

"And is not that light enough?" asked the little spirit.

"Quite enough," the sister replied. "If it would but come within the
lodge and not sojourn out in the tree-tops and among the clouds."

"We will have a light of our own, sister," said the boy-man; and,
casting himself upon a mat by the door, he commenced singing:

Fire-fly, fire-fly, bright little thing,
Light me to bed and my song I will sing;
Give me your light, as you fly o'er my head,
That I may merrily go to my bed.

Give me your light o'er the grass as you creep,
That I may joyfully go to my sleep;
Come, little fire-fly, come little beast,
Come! and I'll make you to-morrow a feast.

Come, little candle, that flies as I sing,
Bright little fairy-bug, night's little king;
Come and I'll dream as you guide me along;
Come and I'll pay you, my bug, with a song.

As the boy-man chanted this call, they came in at first one by one, then
in couples, till at last, swarming in little armies, the fire-flies lit
up the little lodge with a thousand sparkling lamps, just as the stars
were lighting the mighty hollow of the sky without.

The faces of the sister and brother shone upon each other, from their
opposite sides of the lodge, with a kindly gleam of mutual trustfulness;
and never more from that hour did a doubt of each other darken their
little household.

World Famous Fairy Tales THE MAN WITH HIS LEG TIED UP.


As a punishment for having once upon a time used that foot against a
venerable medicine man, Aggo Dah Gauda had one leg looped up to his
thigh, so that he was obliged to get along by hopping. By dint of
practice he had become very skillful in this exercise, and he could make
leaps which seemed almost incredible.

Aggo had a beautiful daughter, and his chief care was to secure her from
being carried off by the king of the buffalos, who was the ruler of all
the herds of that kind, and had them entirely at his command to make
them do as he willed.

Dah Gauda, too, was quite an important person in his own way, for he
lived in great state, having a log house of his own, and a court-yard
which extended from the sill of his front-door as many hundred miles
westward as he chose to measure it.

Although he might claim this extensive privilege of ground, he advised
his daughter to keep within doors, and by no means to go far in the
neighborhood, as she would otherwise be sure to be stolen away, as he
was satisfied that the buffalo-king spent night and day lurking about
and lying in wait to seize her.

One sunshiny morning, when there were just two or three promising clouds
rolling moistly about the sky, Aggo prepared to go out a-fishing; but
before he left the lodge he reminded her of her strange and industrious
lover, whom she had never seen.

"My daughter," said he, "I am going out to fish, and as the day will be
a pleasant one, you must recollect that we have an enemy near, who is
constantly going about with two eyes that never close, and do not expose
yourself out of the lodge."

With this excellent advice, Aggo hopped off in high spirits; but he had
scarcely reached the fishing-ground when he heard a voice singing, at a

Man with the leg tied up,
Man with the leg tied up,
Broken hip--hip--

Man with the leg tied up,
Man with the leg tied up,
Broken leg--leg--

There was no one in sight, but Aggo heard the words quite plainly, and
as he suspected the ditty to be the work of his enemies, the buffalos,
he hopped home as fast as his one leg could carry him.

Meantime, the daughter had no sooner been left alone in the lodge than
she thought with herself:

"It is hard to be thus forever kept in doors. But my father says it
would be dangerous to venture abroad. I know what I will do. I will get
on the top of the house, and there I can comb and dress my hair, and no
one can harm me."

She accordingly ascended the roof and busied herself in untying and
combing her beautiful hair; for it was truly beautiful, not only of a
fine, glossy quality, but it was so very long that it hung over the
eaves of the house and reached down on the ground, as she sat dressing

She was wholly occupied in this employment, without a thought of danger,
when, all of a sudden, the king of the buffalos came dashing on with his
herd of followers, and making sure of her by means of her drooping
tresses, he placed her upon the back of one of his favorite buffalos,
and away he cantered over the plains. Plunging into a river that bounded
his land, he bore her safely to his lodge on the other side.

And now the buffalo-king having secured the beautiful person of Aggo Dah
Gauda's daughter, he set to work to make her heart his own--a little
ceremony which it would have been, perhaps, wiser for his majesty, the
king of the buffalos, to have attended to before, for he now worked to
little purpose. Although he labored with great zeal to gain her
affections, she sat pensive and disconsolate in the lodge, among the
other females, and scarcely ever spoke, nor did she take the least
interest in the affairs of the king's household.

To the king himself she paid no heed, and although he breathed forth to
her every soft and gentle word he could think of, she sat still and
motionless for all the world like one of the lowly bushes by the door of
her father's lodge, when the summer wind has died away.

The king enjoined it upon the others in the lodge as a special edict, on
pain of instant death, to give to Aggo's daughter every thing that she
wanted, and to be careful not to displease her. They set before her the
choicest food. They gave her the seat of honor in the lodge. The king
himself went out hunting to obtain the most dainty meats, both of
animals and wild fowl, to pleasure her palate; and he treated her every
morning to a ride upon one of the royal buffalos, who was so gentle in
his motions as not even to disturb a single one of the tresses of the
beautiful hair of Aggo's daughter as she paced along.

And not content with these proofs of his attachment, the king would
sometimes fast from all food, and having thus purified his spirit and
cleared his voice, he would take his Indian flute, and, sitting before
the lodge, give vent to his feelings in pensive echoes, something after
this fashion:

My sweetheart,
My sweetheart,
Ah me!
When I think of you,
When I think of you,
Ah me!
What can I do, do, do?

How I love you,
How I love you,
Ah me!
Do not hate me,
Do not hate me,
Ah me!
Speak--e'en berate me.
When I think of you,
Ah me!
What can I do, do, do?

In the mean time, Aggo Dah Gauda had reached home, and finding that his
daughter had been stolen, his indignation was so thoroughly awakened
that he would have forthwith torn every hair from his head, but, being
entirely bald, this was out of the question, so, as an easy and natural
vent to his feelings, Aggo hopped off half a mile in every direction.
First he hopped east, then he hopped west, next he hopped north, and
again he hopped south, all in search of his daughter; till the one leg
was fairly tired out. Then he sat down in his lodge, and resting himself
a little, he reflected, and then he vowed that his single leg should
never know rest again until he had found his beautiful daughter and
brought her home. For this purpose he immediately set out.

Now that he proceeded more coolly, he could easily track the
buffalo-king until he came to the banks of the river, where he saw that
he had plunged in and swam over. There having been a frosty night or two
since, the water was so covered with thin ice that Aggo could not
venture upon it, even with one leg. He encamped hard by till it became
more solid, and then crossed over and pursued the trail.

As he went along he saw branches broken off and strewed behind, which
guided him in his course; for these had been purposely cast along by the
daughter. And the manner in which she had accomplished it was this. Her
hair was all untied when she was caught up, and being very long it took
hold of the branches as they darted along, and it was these twigs that
she broke off as signs to her father.

When Aggo came to the king's lodge it was evening. Carefully
approaching, he peeped through the sides, and saw his daughter sitting
disconsolate. She immediately caught his eye, and knowing that it was
her father come for her, she all at once appeared to relent in her
heart, and, asking for the royal dipper, said to the king, "I will go
and get you a drink of water."

This token of submission delighted his majesty, and, high in hope, he
waited with impatience for her return.

At last he went out, but nothing could be seen or heard of the captive
daughter. Calling together his followers, they sallied forth upon the
plains, and had not gone far when they espied by the light of the moon,
which was shining roundly just over the edge of the prairie, Aggo Dah
Gauda, his daughter in his arms, making all speed with his one leg
toward the west.

The buffalos being set on by their king, raised a great shout, and
scampered off in pursuit. They thought to overtake Aggo in less than no
time; but although he had a single leg only, it was in such fine
condition to go, that to every pace of theirs, he hopped the length of a

But the buffalo-king was well assured that he would be able to overtake
Aggo, hop as briskly as he might. It would be a mortal shame, thought
the king, to be outstripped by a man with one leg tied up; so, shouting
and cheering, and issuing orders on all sides, he set the swiftest of
his herd upon the track, with strict commands to take Aggo dead or
alive. And a curious sight it was to see.

[Illustration: THE MAN WITH HIS LEG TIED UP. Page 176.]

At one time a buffalo would gain handsomely upon Aggo, and be just at
the point of laying hold of him, when off Aggo would hop, a good
furlong, in an oblique line, wide out of his reach; which bringing
him nearly in contact with another of the herd, away he would go again,
just as far off in another direction.

And in this way Aggo kept the whole company of the buffalos zig-zagging
across the plain, with the poor king at their head, running to and fro,
shouting among them and hurrying them about in the wildest way. It was
an extraordinary road that Aggo was taking toward home; and after a time
it so puzzled and bewildered the buffalos that they were driven half out
of their wits, and they roared, and brandished their tails, and foamed,
as if they would put out of countenance and frighten out of sight the
old man in the moon, who was looking on all the time, just above the
edge of the prairie.

As for the king himself, losing at last all patience at the absurd idea
of chasing a man with one leg all night long, he called his herd
together, and fled, in disgust, toward the west, and never more appeared
in all that part of the country.

Aggo, relieved of his pursuers, hopped off a hundred steps in one, till
he reached the stream, crossed it in a twinkling of the eye, and bore
his daughter in triumph to his lodge.

In the course of time Aggo's beautiful daughter married a very worthy
young warrior, who was neither a buffalo-king nor so much as the owner
of any more of the buffalos than a splendid skin robe which he wore,
with great effect, thrown over his shoulders, on his wedding-day. On
which occasion, Aggo Dah Gauda hopped about on his one leg livelier than

THE RED SWAN. Children Story


Three brothers were left destitute, by the death of their parents, at an
early age. The eldest was not yet able to provide fully for their
support, but he did all that he could in hunting; and with this aid, and
the stock of provisions already laid by in the lodge, they managed to
keep along. They had no neighbors to lend them a helping hand, for the
father had withdrawn many years before from the body of the tribe, and
had lived ever since in a solitary place. The lads had no idea that
there was a human being near them. They did not even know who their
parents had been; for, at the time of their death, the eldest was too
young to remember it.

Forlorn as they were, they however kept a good heart, and making use of
every chance, in course of time they all acquired a knowledge of hunting
and the pursuit of game. The eldest became expert in the craft of the
forest, and he was very successful in procuring food. He was noted for
his skill in killing buffalo, elk, and moose; and he instructed his
brothers, so that each should become a master over a particular animal
which was assigned to him.

After they had become able to hunt and to take care of themselves, the
elder proposed to leave them and to go in search of the world, promising
to return as soon as he could procure them wives. In this intention he
was overruled by his brothers, who said that they could not part with

Jeekewis, the second, was loud in disapproval of the scheme, saying:
"What will you do with those you propose to get? We have lived so long
by ourselves, we can still do without them." This counsel prevailed, and
for a time the three brothers continued together.

One day they agreed to kill each a male of that kind of animal, which
each was most expert in hunting, for the purpose of making quivers from
their skins. When these quivers were prepared, they were straightway
filled, with arrows; for they all had a presentiment that something was
about to happen which called upon them to be ready.

Soon after they hunted on a wager to see who should come in first with
game, and have the privilege of acting as entertainer to the others.
They were to shoot no other beast or bird than such as each was in the
habit of killing.

They set out on different paths. Maidwa, the youngest, had not gone far
before he saw a bear, an animal he was not to kill, by the agreement.
He, however, followed him closely, and driving an arrow through and
through him, he brought him to the ground.

Although contrary to the engagement with his brothers, Maidwa commenced
skinning him, when suddenly something red tinged the air all around him.
He rubbed his eyes, thinking he was perhaps deceived; but rub as hard as
he would, the red hue still crimsoned the air, and tinged every object
that he looked on--the tree-tops, the river that flowed, and the deer
that glided away along the edge of the forest--with its delicate

As he stood musing on this fairy spectacle, a strange noise came to his
ear from a distance. At first it seemed like a human voice. After
following the sound he reached the shore of a lake. Floating at a
distance upon its waters sat a most beautiful Red Swan, whose plumage
glittered in the sun, and when it lifted up its neck, it uttered the
peculiar tone he had heard. He was within long bow-shot, and, drawing
the arrow to his ear, he took a careful aim and discharged the shaft. It
took no effect. The beautiful bird sat proudly on the water, still
pouring forth its peculiar chant, and still spreading the radiance of
its plumage far and wide, and lighting up the whole world, beneath the
eye of Maidwa, with its ruby splendors.

He shot again and again, till his quiver was empty, for he longed to
possess so glorious a creature. Still the swan did not spread its wings
to fly, but, circling round and round, stretched its long neck and
dipped its bill into the water, as if indifferent to mortal shafts.

Maidwa ran home, and bringing all the arrows in the lodge, shot them
away. He then stood with his bow dropped at his side, lost in wonder,
gazing at the beautiful bird.

While standing thus, with a heart beating more and more eagerly every
moment for the possession of this fair swan, Maidwa remembered the
saying of his elder brother, that in their deceased father's
medicine-sack were three magic arrows; but his brother had not told
Maidwa that their father, on his death-bed, which he alone had attended,
had especially bequeathed the arrows to his youngest son, Maidwa, from
whom they had been wrongfully kept. The thought of the magic arrows put
heart in Maidwa, and he hastened with all speed to secure them.

At any other time he would have shrunk from opening his father's
medicine-sack, but something prompted him to believe that there was no
wrong now, and snatching them forth he ran back, not staying to restore
the other contents to the sack, but leaving them scattered, here and
there, about the lodge.

He feared, as he returned, that the swan must by this time have taken
wing; but, as he emerged from the wood, to his great delight the air was
as rosy as ever, and there, in her own serene and beautiful way, still
sat the glorious Red Swan.

With trembling hand he shot the first of his magic shafts: it grazed a
wing. The second came closer, and cut away a few of the bright red
feathers, which fluttered and fell like flakes of fire in the water. The
third, which he carefully aimed and drew home upon the string with all
his force, made the lucky hit, and passed through the neck of the bird a
little above the breast.

"The bird is mine," said Maidwa, to himself; but to his great surprise,
instead of seeing it droop its neck and drift to the shore, the Red Swan
flapped its wings, rose slowly, and flew off with a majestic motion
toward the falling sun.

Maidwa, that he might meet his brothers, rescued two of the magic arrows
from the water; and although the third was borne off, he had a hope yet
to recover that too, and to be master of the swan. He was noted for his
speed; for he would shoot an arrow and then run so fast that the arrow
always fell behind him; and he now set off at his best speed of foot. "I
can run fast," he thought, "and I can get up with the swan some time or

He sped on, over hills and prairies, toward the west, and was only
going to take one more run, and then seek a place to sleep for the
night, when, suddenly, he heard noises at a distance, like the murmur of
waters against the shore; as he went on, he heard voices, and presently
he saw people, some of whom were busy felling trees, and the strokes of
their labor echoed through the woods. He passed on, and when he emerged
from the forest, the sun was just falling below the edge of the sky.

He was bent on success in pursuit of the swan, whose red track he marked
well far westward till she was lost to sight. Meanwhile he would tarry
for the night and procure something to eat, as he had fasted since he
had left home.

At a distance, on a rising ground, he could see the lodges of a large
village. He went toward it, and soon heard the watchman, who was set on
a height to overlook the place, and give notice of the approach of
friends or foes, crying out, "We are visited;" and a loud halloo
indicated that they had all heard it.

When Maidwa advanced, the watchman pointed to the lodge of the chief.
"It is there you must go in," he said, and left him.

"Come in, come in," said the chief; "take a seat there;" pointing to the
side of the lodge where his daughter sat. "It is there you must sit."

They gave him something to eat, and, being a stranger, very few
questions were put to him; it was only when he spoke that the others
answered him.

"Daughter," said the chief, as soon as the night had set in, "take our
son-in-law's moccasins and see if they be torn; if so, mend them for
him, and bring in his bundle."

Maidwa thought it strange that he should be so warmly received, and
married instantly against his own wishes, although he could not help
noticing that the chief's daughter was pretty.

It was some time before she would take the moccasins which he had laid
off. It displeased him to see her loth to do so; and when at last she
did reach them, he snatched them from her hand and hung them up himself.
He lay down and thought of the swan, and made up his mind to be off with
the dawn. He wakened early, and finding the chief's daughter looking
forth at the door, he spoke to her, but she gave no answer. He touched
her lightly.

"What do you want?" she said, and turned her face away from him.

"Tell me," said Maidwa, "what time the swan passed. I am following it;
come out, and point the way."

"Do you think you can overtake it?" she said.

"Yes," he answered.

"Naubesah--fool!" retorted the chief's pretty daughter.

She, however, went out, and pointed in the direction he should go. The
young man paced slowly along till the sun arose, when he commenced
traveling at his accustomed speed. He passed the day in running, and
although he could not see anywhere on the horizon the Red Swan, he
thought that he discerned a faint red light far over in the west.

When night came, he was pleased to find himself near another village;
and when at a distance he heard the watchman crying out, "We are
visited;" and soon the men of the village stood out to see the stranger.

He was again told to enter the lodge of the chief, and his reception was
in every respect the same as on the previous night; except that the
young woman was more beautiful, and that she entertained him very
kindly. Although urged to stay with them, the mind of Maidwa was fixed
on the object of his journey.

Before daybreak he asked the young woman at what time the Red Swan
passed, and to point out the way. She marked against the sky with her
finger the course it had taken, and told him that it had passed
yesterday when the sun was between mid-day and its falling-place.

Maidwa again set out rather slowly, but when the sun had risen, he tried
his speed by shooting an arrow ahead, and running after it; but it fell
behind him, and he knew that he had lost nothing of his quickness of

Nothing remarkable happened through the day, and he went on leisurely.
Some time after dark, as he was peering around the country for a
shelter, he saw a light emitted from a small low lodge. He went up to it
very slyly, and, peeping through the door, he discovered an old man
alone, with his head down upon his breast, warming his back before the

Maidwa thought that the old man did not know that he was standing near
the door; but in this he was mistaken; for, without turning his eyes to
look at him, the old man said, "Walk in, my grandchild; take a seat
opposite to me, and take off your things and dry them, for you must be
fatigued; and I will prepare you something to eat; you shall have
something very delicate."

Maidwa accepted this kind invitation, and entered the lodge. The old man
then remarked, as if in mere course of conversation: "My kettle with
water stands near the fire;" and immediately a small earthen pot with
legs appeared by the fire. He then took one grain of corn, also one of
whortleberry, and put them in the pot.

Maidwa was very hungry, and seeing the limited scale of the old man's
housekeeping, he thought his chance for a supper was very slight. The
old man had promised him something very delicate, and he seemed likely
to keep his word. Maidwa looked on silently, and did not change his face
any more than if the greatest banquet that was ever spread had been
going forward.

The pot soon boiled, when the old man said in a very quiet way:

"The pot will stand at a distance from the fire."

It removed itself, and the old man added to Maidwa:

"My grandchild, feed yourself;" handing him at the same time a dish and
ladle of the same ware as the pot itself.

The young man, whose hunger was very great, helped himself to all that
was in the pot. He felt ashamed to think that he had done so, but before
he could speak the old man said:

"Eat, nay grandchild; eat, eat!" and soon after he again said--"Help
yourself from the pot."

Maidwa was surprised, on dipping in his ladle, to see that it was full;
and although he emptied it a second time, it was still again filled and
refilled till his hunger was entirely satisfied. The old man then
observed, without raising his voice:

"The pot will return to its corner;" and the pot took itself off to its
accustomed place in an out-of-the-way corner of the lodge.

Maidwa observed that the old man was about to address him, and took an
attitude which showed that he was prepared to listen.

"Keep on, my grandchild," said the old man; "you will surely gain that
you seek. To tell you more I am not permitted; but go on as you have
begun and you will not be disappointed. To-morrow you will again reach
one of my fellow old men, but the one you will see after him will tell
you all, and the manner in which you must proceed to accomplish your
journey. Often has this Red Swan passed, and those who have followed it
have never returned; but you must be firm in your resolution, and be
prepared for all that may happen."

"So will it be," answered Maidwa; and they both laid down to sleep.

Early in the morning the old man ordered his magic kettle to prepare
breakfast, so that his guest might eat before leaving. As Maidwa passed
out, the old man gave him a blessing with his parting advice.

Maidwa set forth in better spirits than at any time since he had
started. Night again found him in company with an old man who
entertained him kindly, with a frisky little kettle which hurried up to
the fire before it was spoken to, bustled about and set his supper
briskly before Maidwa, and frisked away again, without waiting for
orders. The old man also carefully directed him on his way in the

He traveled with a light heart, as he now expected to meet the one who
was to give him directions how to proceed to get the Red Swan.

Toward night-fall Maidwa reached the lodge of the third old man. Before
coming to the door he heard him saying:

"Grandchild, come in;" and going in promptly he felt quite at home.

The old man prepared him something to eat, acting as the other magicians
had done, and his kettle was of the same size, and looked as if it were
an own brother of the two others which had feasted him, except that this
kettle, in coming and going about its household duties, would make a
passing remark, or sing a little tune for itself.

The old man waited until Maidwa had fully satisfied his hunger, when he
addressed him:

"Young man, the errand you are bound on is beset with trials and
difficulties. Numbers have passed with the same purpose as that which
now prompts you, but they never returned. Be careful, and if your
guardian spirits are powerful you may succeed. This Red Swan you are
following is the daughter of a magician who has abundance of every
thing, but only this one child, whom he values more than the sacred
arrows. In former times he wore a cap of wampum, which was attached to
his scalp; but powerful Indians, warriors of a distant chief, came and
told him that their chief's daughter was on the brink of the grave, and
that she herself requested his wampum-cap, which she was confident would
save her life. 'If I can only see it,' she said, 'I will recover.' It
was for this cap they had come, and after long solicitation the magician
at length consented to part with it, in the hope that it would restore
to health the dying maiden, although when he took it off to hand it to
the messengers it left the crown of his head bare and bloody. Years have
passed since, and it has not healed. The coming of the warriors to
procure it for the sick maiden was a cheat, and they are now constantly
making sport of the unhappy scalp--dancing it about from village to
village--and on every insult it receives the poor old chief to whom it
belongs groans with pain. Those who hold it are too powerful for the
magician, and many have sacrificed themselves to recover it for him, but
without success. The Red Swan has enticed many a young man, as she has
you, to enlist them to procure the scalp, and whoever is so fortunate as
to succeed, it is understood, will receive the Red Swan as his reward.
In the morning you will proceed on your way, and toward evening you will
come to this magician's lodge. You will know it by the groans which you
will hear far over the prairie as you approach. He will ask you in. You
will see no one but himself. He will question you much as to your dreams
and the strength of your guardian spirits. If he is satisfied with your
answers, he will urge you to attempt the recovery of his scalp. He will
show you the course to take, and if you feel inclined, as I see that
you do, go forward, my son, with a strong heart; persevere, and I have a
presentiment that you will succeed."

Maidwa answered, "I will try."

Betimes in the morning, after having eaten from the magic kettle, which
sung a sort of farewell chant on its way from the fire-place to its
station in the corner, he set off on his journey.

Toward evening, Maidwa, as he crossed a prairie, heard, as had been
predicted, groans from a distant lodge, which were only interrupted by a
voice from a person whom he could not see, calling to him aloud:

"Come in! come in!"

On entering the lodge, the magician heaved a great groan from the very
bottom of his chest, and Maidwa saw that the crown of his head was all
bare and bloody.

"Sit down, sit down," he said, "while I prepare you something to eat.
You see how poor I am. I have to attend to all my own wants, with no
other servant than that poor little kettle in the corner. Kettle, we
will have something to eat, if you please."

"In a moment," the kettle spoke up from the corner.

"You will oblige me by making all the dispatch you can," said the
magician, in a very humble tone, still addressing the kettle.

"Have patience," replied the kettle, "and I will be with you presently."

After a considerable delay, there came forward out of the corner from
which it had spoken, a great heavy-browed and pot-bodied kettle, which
advanced with much stateliness and solemnity of manner till it had come
directly in front of the magician, whom it addressed with the question:

"What shall we have, sir?"

"Corn, if you please," the magician answered.

"No, we will have whortleberries," rejoined the kettle, in a firm voice.

"Very well; just as you choose."

When he supposed it was time, the magician invited Maidwa to help

"Hold a minute," interposed the kettle, as Maidwa was about to dip in
his ladle. He paused, and after a delay, the kettle, shaking itself up
and simmering very loudly, said, "Now we are ready."

Maidwa fell to and satisfied his hunger.

"Will the kettle now withdraw?" asked the magician, with am air of much

"No," said the kettle, "we will stay and hear what the young man has to
say for himself."

"Very well," said the magician. "You see," he added to Maidwa, "how poor
I am. I have to take counsel with the kettle, or I should be all alone,
without a day's food, and with no one to advise me."

All this time the Red Swan was carefully concealed in the lodge, behind
a curtain, from which Maidwa heard now and then a rustling noise, that
fluttered his spirits and set his heart to beating at a wonderful rate.

As soon as Maidwa had partaken of food and laid aside his leggings and
moccasins, the old magician commenced telling him how he had lost his
scalp, the insults it was receiving, the pain he suffered thereby, his
wishes to regain it, the many unsuccessful attempts that had already
been made, and the numbers and power of those who retained it. He would
interrupt his discourse, at times, with sudden groans, and say:

"Oh, how shamefully they are treating it."

Maidwa listened to all the old magician had to say with solemn

The magician renewed his discourse, and inquired of Maidwa as to his
dreams, or what he saw in his sleep, at such times as he had fasted and
darkened his face to procure guardian spirits.

Maidwa then told him one dream. The magician groaned.

"No, that is not it," he said.

Maidwa told him of two or three others.

The magician groaned again and again, and said, rather peevishly, "No,
these are not the dreams."

"Keep cool," said the kettle, which had left the fire, and was standing
in the middle of the floor, where a pleasant breeze was blowing through
the lodge, and added, "Have you no more dreams of another kind?"

"Yes," said Maidwa; and he told him one.

"That will do," said the kettle. "We are much pleased with that."

"Yes, that is it--that is it!" the magician added. "You will cause me to
live. That was what I was wishing you to say. Will you then go and see
if you can not recover my poor scalp?"

"Yes," said Maidwa, "I will go; and the day after to-morrow, when you
hear the ka-kak cries of the hawk, you will know that I am successful.
You must prepare your head, and lean it out through the door, so that
the moment I arrive I may place your scalp on."

"Yes, yes," said the magician. "As you say it will be done."

Early the next morning Maidwa set out to fulfill his promise; and in the
afternoon, when the sun hangs toward home, he heard the shouts of a
great many people. He was in a wood at the time, and saw, as he thought,
only a few men, but as he went on they increased in numbers. On emerging
upon the plain, their heads appeared like the hanging leaves, they were
so many.

In the middle of the plain he perceived a post, and something waving at
its top. It was the wampum scalp; and every now and then the air was
rent with the war-song, for they were dancing the war-dance in high
spirit around it.

Before he could be observed, Maidwa changed himself into a humming-bird,
and flew toward the scalp. As he passed some of those who were standing
by, he came close to their ears, and as they heard the rapid whirr or
murmur which this bird makes when it flies, they jumped aside, and asked
each other what it could be. Maidwa had nearly reached the scalp, but
fearing that he should be perceived while untying it, he again changed
himself into the down that floats lightly on the air, and sailed slowly
on to the scalp. He loosened it, and moved off heavily, as the weight
was almost too great for him to bear up. The Indians around would have
snatched it away had not a lucky current of air just then buoyed him up.
As they saw that it was moving away they cried out, "It is taken from
us! it is taken from us!"

Maidwa was borne gently along but a little way above their heads; and as
they followed him, the rush and hum of the people was like the dead
beating of the surges upon a lake shore after a storm. But the good wind
gaining strength, soon carried him beyond their pursuit. A little
further on he changed himself into a hawk, and flew swiftly off with
his trophy, crying, "Ka-kak! ka-kak!" till it resounded with its shrill
tone through the whole country, far and wide.

Meanwhile the magician had remembered the instructions of Maidwa,
placing his head outside of the lodge as soon as he heard the ka-kak cry
of the hawk.

In a moment Maidwa came past with rustling wings, and as he flew by,
giving the magician a severe blow on the head with the wampum scalp, his
limbs extended and quivered in an agony, the scalp adhered, and Maidwa,
in his own person, walked into the lodge and sat down, feeling perfectly
at home.

The magician was so long in recovering from the stunning blow which had
been dealt him, that Maidwa feared that in restoring the crown of his
head he had destroyed his life. Presently, however, he was pleased to
see him show, by the motion of his hands and limbs, that his strength
was returning; and in a little while he rose and stood upon his feet.
What was the delight of Maidwa to behold, instead of a withered old man,
far advanced in years and stricken in sorrow, a bright and cheerful
youth, who glittered with life as he stood up before him.

"Thank you, my friend," he said. "Your kindness and bravery of heart
have restored me to my former shape. It was so ordained, and you have
now accomplished the victory."

They embraced; and the young magician urged the stay of his deliverer
for a few days, and they formed a strong attachment to each other. The
magician, to the deep regret of Maidwa, never once alluded to the Red
Swan in all their conferences.

At last the day arrived when Maidwa prepared to return to his home. The
young magician bestowed on him ample presents of wampum, fur, robes, and
other costly things. Although Maidwa's heart was burning within him to
see the Red Swan, to hear her spoken of, and to learn what his fortune
was to be in regard to that fond object of his pursuit, he constrained
his feelings, and so checked his countenance as to never look where he
supposed she might be. His friend the young magician observed the same
silence and caution.

Maidwa's pack for traveling was now ready, and he was taking his
farewell smoke, when the young magician thus addressed him: "My friend
Maidwa, you know for what cause you came thus far, and why you have
risked so much and waited so long. You have proved my friend indeed. You
have accomplished your object, and your noble perseverance shall not go
unrewarded. If you undertake other things with the same spirit, you will
always succeed. My destiny compels me to remain where I am, although I
should feel happy to be allowed to go with you. I have given you, of
ordinary gifts, all you will need as long as you live; but I see you
are backward to speak of the Red Swan. I vowed that whoever procured me
my lost wampum-scalp should be rewarded by possessing the Red Swan."

He then spoke in a language which Maidwa did not understand, the curtain
of the lodge parted, and the Red Swan met his gaze. It was a beautiful
female that he beheld, so majestical and airy in her look, that he
seemed to see a creature whose home should rather be in the free heaven,
and among the rosy clouds, than in this dusky lodge.

"Take her," the young magician said; "she is my sister; treat her well.
She is worthy of you, and what you have done for me merits more. She is
ready to go with you to your kindred and friends, and has been so ever
since your arrival; and my good wishes shall go with you both."

The Red Swan smiled kindly on Maidwa, who advanced and greeted her. Hand
in hand they took their way forth from the lodge, and, watched by the
young magician, advanced across the prairie on their homeward course.

They traveled slowly, and looked with double joy on the beautiful
country over which they had both so lately passed with hearts ill at

After two or three days they reached the lodge of the third old man who
had entertained him with the singing kettle; but the kettle was not
there. The old man, nevertheless, received them very kindly, and said
to Maidwa, "You see what your perseverance has secured you; do so
always, and you will succeed in whatever you undertake."

On the following morning, when they were about to start, he pulled from
the side of the lodge a bag, which he presented to Maidwa, saying,
"Grandchild, I give you this; it contains a present for you; and I hope
you will live happily till old age."

Bidding him farewell, they again set forward; and they soon came to the
second old man's lodge; he also gave them a present and bestowed his
blessing. Nor did Maidwa see any thing here of the frisky little kettle
which had been so lively on his former visit.

As they went on and came to the lodge of the first old man, their
reception and farewell were the same; and when Maidwa glanced to the
corner, the silent kettle, which had been the first acquaintance he had
made in that family on his travels, was not there. The old man smiled
when he discovered the direction of Maidwa's glance, but he said

When, on continuing their journey, they at last approached the first
town which Maidwa had passed in his pursuit, the watchman gave notice as
before, and he was shown into the chief's lodge.

"Sit down there, son-in-law," said the chief, pointing to a place near
his daughter. "And you also," he said to the Red Swan.

The chief's daughter was engaged in coloring a girdle, and, as if
indifferent to these visitors, she did not even raise her head.
Presently the chief said, "Let some one bring in the bundle of our

When the bundle was laid before him, Maidwa opened one of the bags which
had been given to him. It was filled with various costly
articles--wampum, robes, and trinkets, of much richness and value;
these, in token of his kindness, he presented to the chief. The chief's
daughter stole a glance at the costly gifts, then at Maidwa and his
beautiful wife. She stopped working, and was silent and thoughtful all
the evening. The chief himself talked with Maidwa of his adventures,
congratulated him on his good fortune, and concluded by telling him that
he should take his daughter along with him in the morning.

Maidwa said "Yes."

The chief then spoke up, saying, "Daughter, be ready to go with him in
the morning."

Now it happened when the chief was thus speaking that there was a
foolish fellow in the lodge, who had thought to have got this chief's
daughter for a wife; and he jumped up, saying:

"Who is he," looking grimly at Maidwa, "that he should take her for a
few presents? I will kill him."

And he raised a knife which he had in his hand, and gave it a mighty
flourish in the air. He kept up this terrible flourish till some one
came and pulled him back to his seat, which he had been waiting for,
and then he sat quiet enough.

Amid the greetings of their new friends, Maidwa and the Red Swan, with
the chief's daughter, took their leave by peep of day, and toward
evening they reached the other town. The watchman gave the signal, and
numbers of men, women and children stood out to see them. They were
again shown into the chief's lodge, who welcomed him, saying:

"Son-in-law, you are welcome."

And he requested Maidwa to take a seat by his daughter, and the two
women did the same.

After suitable refreshment for all, and while Maidwa smoked a pipe, the
chief asked him to relate his adventures in the hearing of all the
inmates of the lodge, and of the strangers who had gathered in at report
of his singular fortunes.

Maidwa gave them his whole story. When he came to those parts which
related to the Red Swan, they turned and looked upon her in wonder and
admiration, for she was very beautiful.

The chief then informed Maidwa that his brothers had been to their town
in search of him, but that they had gone back some time before, having
given up all hopes of ever seeing him again. He added, that since he had
shown himself a man of spirit, whom fortune was pleased to befriend, he
should take his daughter with him.

"For although your brothers," he said, "were here, they were too bashful
to enter any of our lodges. They merely inquired for you and returned.
You will take my daughter, treat her well, and that will bind us more
closely together."

It is always the case in an assembly or gathering that some one of the
number is foolish, and disposed to play the clown. It happened to be so
here. One of this very sort was in the lodge, and, after Maidwa had
given the old chief presents, as he had to the other, this pretender
jumped up in a passion, and cried out:

"Who is this stranger, that he should have her? I want her myself."

The chief bade him be quiet, and not to disturb or quarrel with one who
was enjoying their hospitality.

"No, no," he exclaimed, rushing forward as in act to strike.

Maidwa sat unmoved, and paid no heed to his threats.

He cried the louder--"I will have her, I will have her!" whereupon the
old chief, being now vexed past patience, took his great war-club and
tapped this clownish fellow upon the head, which so far subdued him that
he sat for some time quite still; when, after a while, he came to
himself, the chief upbraided him for his folly, and told him to go out
and tell stories to the old women.

When at last Maidwa was about to leave, he invited a number of the
families of the chief to go with him and visit their hunting-grounds,
where he promised them that they would find game in abundance. They
consented, and in the morning a large company assembled and joined
Maidwa; and the chief, with a party of warriors, escorted them a long
distance. When ready to return, the chief made a speech and besought the
blessing of the Good Spirit on Maidwa and his friends.

They parted, each on its course, making music with their war-drums,
which could be heard from afar as they glittered with waving feathers in
the morning sun, in their march over the prairie, which was lost in the
distant sky.

After several days' travel, Maidwa and his friends came in sight of his
home. The others rested within the woods while he went alone in advance
to see his brothers.

He entered the lodge. It was all in confusion and covered with ashes. On
one side, sitting among the cinders, with his face blackened, and crying
aloud, was his elder brother. On the other side sat the younger,
Jeekewis, also with blackened face, his head covered with stray feathers
and tufts of swan-down. This one presented so curious a figure that
Maidwa could not keep from laughing. He seemed to be so lost and
far-gone in grief that he could not notice his brother's arrival. The
eldest, however, after a while, lifting up his head, recognized Maidwa,
jumped up and shook hands, and kissed him, and expressed much joy at his

Maidwa, as soon as he had seen the lodge set in order, made known that
he had brought each of them a wife. As soon as Jeekewis heard a wife
spoken of, he roused from his torpor, sprang to his feet, and said:

"Why is it just now that you have come?" and at once made for the door
and peeped out to see the strangers. He then commenced jumping and
laughing, and crying out, "Women! women!" and that was all the reception
he gave his brother. Maidwa told them to wash themselves and prepare,
for he would go and fetch the females in.

Jeekewis scampered about, and began to wash himself; but he would every
now and then, with one side of his head all feathers, and the other
clear and shining, peep forth to look at the women again. When they came
near, he said, "I will have this and that one;" he did not exactly know
which; he would sit down for an instant, and then rise, and peep about
and laugh; in fact he acted like one beside himself.

As soon as order was restored, and all the company who had been brought
in were seated, Maidwa presented one of the chief's daughters to his
eldest brother, saying: "These women were given to me, to dispose of in
marriage. I now give one to each. I intended so from the first."

Jeekewis spoke up and said, "I think three wives would have been enough
for you."

Maidwa led the other daughter to Jeekewis, and said, "My brother, here
is one for you, and live happily."

Jeekewis hung down his head as if he was ashamed, but he would every now
and then steal a look at his wife and also at the other women.

By and by he turned toward his wife and acted as if he had been married
for years.

Maidwa seeing that no preparation had been made to entertain the
company, said, "Are we to have no supper?"

He had no sooner spoken, than forth from a corner stepped the silent
kettle, which placed itself by the fire, and began bubbling and boiling
quite briskly. Presently that was joined by the big talking kettle,
which said, addressing itself to Maidwa, "Master, we shall be ready
presently;" and then, dancing along, came, from still another, the
frisky little kettle, which hopped to their side, and took an active
part in the preparations for the evening meal. When all was nearly
ready, a delicate voice was heard singing in the last corner of the
lodge, and keeping up its dainty carol all the way to the fire-place,
the fourth kettle joined the three cooks, and they all fell to with all
their might, and in the best possible humor, to dispatch their work.

It was not long before the big kettle advanced toward Maidwa, and said,
in his own confident way, "Supper is ready!"

The feast was a jovial one; and although they were all hungry, and plied
their ladles with right good will, yet, dip in as often as they would,
the four magic kettles held out, and had plenty to the end of the revel.

To draw to a close, Maidwa and his friends lived in peace for a time;
their town prospered; there was no lack of children; and every thing
else was in abundance.

One day the two brothers began to look dark upon Maidwa, and to reproach
him for having taken from the medicine-sack their deceased father's
magic arrows; they upbraided him especially that one was lost.

After listening to them in silence, he said that he would go in search
of it, and that it should be restored; and the very next day, true to
his word, he left them.

After traveling a long way, and looking in every direction, almost
hopeless of discovering the lost treasure, he came to an opening in the
earth, and descending, it led him to the abode of departed spirits. The
country appeared beautiful, the pastures were greener than his own, and
the sky bluer than that which hung over the lodge, and the extent of it
was utterly lost in a dim distance; and he saw animals of every kind
wandering about in great numbers. The first he came to were buffalos;
his surprise was great when they addressed him as human beings.

They asked him what he came for, how he had descended, and why he was so
bold as to visit the abode of the dead.

He answered that he was in quest of a magic arrow, to appease the anger
of his brothers.

"Very well," said the leader of the buffalos, whose form was nothing but
bone. "Yes, we know it," and he and his followers moved off a little
space from Maidwa, as if they were afraid of him. "You have come,"
resumed the buffalo-spirit, "to a place where a living man has never
before been. You will return immediately to your tribe, for, under
pretense of recovering one of the magic arrows which belong to you by
your father's dying wish, they have sent you off that they might become
possessed of your beautiful wife, the Red Swan. Speed home! You will
find the magic arrow at the lodge-door. You will live to a very old age,
and die happily. You can go no further in these abodes of ours."

Maidwa looked, as he thought, to the west, and saw a bright light as if
the sun was shining in its splendor, but he saw no sun.

"What light is that yonder?" he asked.

The all-boned buffalo answered--"It is the place where those who were
good dwell."

"And that dark cloud?" Maidwa again asked.

"It is the place of the wicked," answered the buffalo.

Maidwa turned away, for it was very dark, and it pained his eyes to look
upon it; and, moving away by the aid of his guardian spirits, he again
stood upon the earth, and beheld the sun giving light as usual.

All else that he learned in the abodes of the dead, and his travels and
acts previous to his return homeward, are unknown, for he never spoke of
them to any human being.

After wandering a long time to gather knowledge to make his people happy
and to add to their comfort, he one evening drew near to his own
village. Passing all the other lodges he came to his own door, where he
found the magic arrow, as he had been promised. He heard his brothers
from within at high words with each other. They were quarreling for the
possession of his wife, who, through all his absence, had remained
constant, and sadly awaited his return. Maidwa listened in shame and

He entered the lodge, holding his head aloft as one conscious of good
principle and shining with anger. He spoke not a word, but, placing the
magic arrow to his bow, he would have laid his brothers dead at his
feet; but just then the talking kettle stepped forward and spoke such
words of wisdom, and the singing kettle trolled forth such a soothing
little song, and the guilty brothers were so contrite and keenly
repentant of their intended wrong, and the Red Swan was so radiant and
forgiving, the silent kettle straightway served them up so hearty and
wholesome a meal, and the frisky little kettle was so joyful and danced
about so merrily, that when the magic arrows were laid away in the
medicine-sack by Maidwa, there was that night in all the Indian country
no happier family than the three brothers, who ever after dwelt together
in all kindness, as all good brothers should.