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Title: Myths and Legends of the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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               AND THE
             GREAT LAKES

        Selected and Edited by

        NORTHWEST," ETC., ETC.



         A. C. McCLURG & CO.

         A. C. McCLURG & CO.

        Published August, 1914

   W. F. Hall Printing Co., Chicago


    _Illustrated. Small quarto._
      _$1.50 net._

    _Over fifty full-page illustrations. Small quarto._
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    _Beautifully illustrated. Small quarto._
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    Especially of Washington and Oregon.
    _With fifty full-page illustrations. Small quarto._
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  MONTANA: "The Land of Shining Mountains."
    _Illustrated. Indexed. Square 8vo._
      _75 cents net._

    _Illustrated. Crown 8vo._
      _$1.35 net._

  A. C. McClurg & Co., Publishers

    The Donor, a Hunter, is the Shrouded Figure on the Horse.
    _From Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology._]


Mystery, magic, and manitoes abound in the land of Hiawatha, in the
land of the Ojibwas, among the green islands, graceful and beautiful,
lying amidst the dancing blue waters when the sun shines over Gitche
Gomee, the Great Water.[1] Manitoes, great and mighty, lived in the
cool depths of the mighty forests, in the rivers and lakes, and even
in the snows of winter. And adventures there were in those early days
amongst these islands of the North, when manitoes directed the affairs
of men.

    [1] Gitche Gomee is Lake Superior.

But the animal fathers lived upon the earth before there came the
"two-legged walkers." There were many animals. There were many
beavers. It was the beavers who made Gitche Gomee, the Great Water.
They made it by building two dams. The first they built at the Grand
Sault, and the second was five leagues below. When Great Hare came up
the river, he said, "This must not be so." Therefore he stepped upon
the first dam. But he was in haste. He did not break it down;
therefore there are now great falls and whirlpools at that place. But
at the second dam, Great Hare stepped upon it mightily; therefore
there are now few falls and only a little swirling water at that
place. Great Hare was very mighty. When he chased Beaver he stepped
across a bay eight leagues wide.

Around Michilimackinack was the land of Great Hare. There, amongst the
green islets, under the cool shade of wide spreading trees, where fish
leaped above the rippling waters, he made the first fish net. He made
it after watching Spider weave a web for catching flies.

It was Wenibojo,[2] who, in Ojibwa land, discovered the wild rice and
taught the Indians to use it. He first pointed out the low grassy
islands in the lakes, waving their bright green leaves and spikes of
yellowish-green blossoms. He showed them how to cut paths through the
wild rice beds before the grain was ripe, and later, to beat it into
their canoes. He told them always to gather the wild rice before a
storm, else the wind would blow it all into the water. Therefore the
Indians use wild rice in all their feasts. They even taught the white
men to use it.

    [2] Wenibojo is only a variation of the name also given as
    Manabush. Both are identical with Hiawatha.

When the snows of winter lay deep upon the forests of the North, when
ice covered lakes and rivers, then the story tellers of the Ojibwas,
as of all other Indian tribes, told the tales of the olden times, when
manitoes lived upon the earth, and when the animal fathers roamed
through the forest. But such stories are not told in summer. All the
woods and shores, all the bays and islands, are, in summer, the home
of keen-hearing spirits, who like not to have Indians talking about
them. But when the deep snows come, then the spirits are more drowsy.
Then the Indians, when North West rattles the flaps of the wigwams,
and wild animals hide in the shelter of the deep forest, tell their
tales. All winter they tell them, while the fires burn in the
wigwams--tell them until the frogs croak in the spring.

Tales they tell of how Gitche Manito, the Good One, taught the Indians
how to plant the Indian corn, how to strip and bury Mondamin, and how
to gather the corn in the month of falling leaves, that there may be
food in the camps when the snows of winter come. Tales they tell of
Gitche Manedo, the Evil One, who brings only distress and
sickness--tales of the land of Hiawatha. Mystery and magic lay all
about them.

It is a far cry from the stories of the North along the banks of the
Mississippi, from that land of long winters, through the country of
the mound builders, to the sunnier Southland; yet from north to south,
around the glimmering Indian fires, grouped eager men and women and
children, listening to the story tellers.

But quite different are the tales of the Southland--of the Cherokees,
Biloxis, and Chitimachas. They are stories of wild turkeys, of
persimmons and raccoons, and of the spirits which dwell in the
mountain places where none dare go. Stories also are they of Brer
Rabbit and the tar wolf, which came from Indian slaves working in the
fields in early days, through the negro slaves working beside them, to
the children of the white men.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is a loss to American literature that so much of the legendary
history of these Indian tribes has gone, beyond hope of recovery.
Exquisite in color, poetical in feeling, these legends of sun, moon,
and stars, of snow, ice, lightning, thunders, the winds, the life of
the forest birds and animals about them, and the longing to understand
the why and the how of life--all which we have only in fragments.
Longfellow's work shows the wonderful beauty of these northern
legends, nor has he done violence to any of them in making them
poetical. His picture of the departure of Hiawatha, the lone figure
standing stately and solemn, as the canoe drifted out towards the
glowing sunset, while from the shore, in the shadow of the forest,
came the low Indian chant, mingling with the sighing of the pine
trees, is truely Indian. For the mystical and poetical is strong in
the Indian nature.

As in all the other volumes of this series, no effort has been made to
ornament or amplify these legends in the effort to make them
"literary," or give them "literary charm." They must speak for
themselves. What editing has been done has been in simplifying them,
and freeing them from the verbose setting in which many were found.
For in this section of the country, settled before it was realized
that there was an Indian literature, the original work of noting down
the myths was very imperfectly done.

Thanks are due to the work of Albert E. Jenks, on the wild rice
Indians of the upper lakes; to James Mooney, for the myths of the
Cherokees; to George Catlin, for some of the upper Mississippi
legends; to the well-known but almost inaccessible work of
Schoolcraft, and to others.

                                                    K. B. J.


  The Earth-Maker                                 _Winnebago_      1

  Creation                                       _Chitimacha_      5

  The Creation                                      _Wyandot_      8

  Creation of the Races                              _Biloxi_     12

  Story of the Creation                              _Ojibwa_     14

  Creation (a fragment)                              _Ojibwa_     16

  Creation of the Mandans                            _Mandan_     17

  The Flood                                      _Chitimacha_     19

  The Great Flood (a fragment)                       _Mandan_     20

  The Great Flood                                  _Menomini_     21

  Origin of Fire                                   _Menomini_     26

  The Thunderers and the Origin of Fire            _Menomini_     28

  The Origin of Fire                             _Chitimacha_     31

  The Gifts of the Sky God                       _Chitimacha_     32

  Mondamin                                           _Ojibwa_     34

  Mondamin                                           _Ottawa_     37

  The Corn Woman                                   _Cherokee_     40

  Discovery of Wild Rice                             _Ojibwa_     42

  Origin of Wild Rice                                _Ojibwa_     44

  Origin of Winnebago                              _Menomini_     45

  The Origin of Tobacco                            _Menomini_     49

  Origin of Maple Sugar                            _Menomini_     51

  Manabush and the Moose                           _Menomini_     53

  Origin of Day and Night                          _Menomini_     54

  Origin of the Bear                               _Cherokee_     56

  Origin of the Word Chicago                         _Ojibwa_     58

  Origin of the Word Chicago                       _Menomini_     60

  The Coming of Manabush                           _Menomini_     61

  The Story of Manabush                            _Menomini_     62

  Manabozho and West                                 _Ojibwa_     65

  Manabush and the Great Fish                      _Menomini_     69

  The Departure of Manabush                        _Menomini_     72

  The Return of Manabush                           _Menomini_     74

  The Request for Immortality                      _Menomini_     75

  Peboan and Seegwun                                 _Ojibwa_     77

  The Grave Fires                                    _Ojibwa_     79

  The Death Trail                                  _Cherokee_     82

  The Duck and the North West Wind                   _Ojibwa_     84

  How the Hunter Destroyed Snow                    _Menomini_     87

  The Pipe of Peace                                  _Ojibwa_     90

  The Thunder's Nest                                 _Ojibwa_     92

  The Pipestone                                       _Sioux_     93

  The Pipestone                                 _Knisteneaux_     94

  Pau-puk-kee-wis                                    _Ojibwa_     95

  Iagoo, the Boaster                                 _Ojibwa_    102

  Ojeeg, the Summer-Maker                            _Ojibwa_    104

  Rabbit Goes Duck Hunting                         _Cherokee_    109

  Rabbit and the Tar Baby                            _Biloxi_    111

  Rabbit and Tar Wolf                              _Cherokee_    114

  Rabbit and Panther                               _Menomini_    116

  How Rabbit Stole Otter's Coat                    _Cherokee_    118

  Rabbit and Bear                                    _Biloxi_    122

  Why Deer Never Eat Men                           _Menomini_    125

  How Rabbit Snared the Sun                          _Biloxi_    128

  When the Orphan Trapped the Sun                    _Ojibwa_    130

  The Hare and the Lynx                              _Ojibwa_    134

  Welcome to a Baby                                _Cherokee_    137

  Baby Song                                        _Cherokee_    139

  Song to the Firefly                                _Ojibwa_    140

  Song of the Mother Bears                         _Cherokee_    141

  The Man in the Stump                             _Cherokee_    143

  The Ants and the Katydids                          _Biloxi_    144

  When the Owl Married                             _Cherokee_    145

  The Kite and the Eagle                                         147

  The Linnet and the Eagle                           _Ojibwa_    148

  How Partridge got his Whistle                    _Cherokee_    149

  How Kingfisher got his Bill                      _Cherokee_    151

  Why the Blackbird Has Red Wings                _Chitimacha_    153

  Ball Game of the Birds and Animals               _Cherokee_    155

  Why the Birds Have Sharp Tails                     _Biloxi_    158

  The Wildcat and the Turkeys                        _Biloxi_    159

  The Brant and the Otter                            _Biloxi_    161

  The Tiny Frog and the Panther                                  163

  The Frightener of Hunters        _Choctaw_ (_Bayou Lacomb_)    166

  The Hunter and the Alligator     _Choctaw_ (_Bayou Lacomb_)    167

  The Groundhog Dance                              _Cherokee_    169

  The Racoon                                       _Menomini_    171

  Why the Opossum Plays Dead                         _Biloxi_    172

  Why the 'Possum's Tail is Bare                   _Cherokee_    174

  Why 'Possum Has a Large Mouth    _Choctaw_ (_Bayou Lacomb_)    176

  The Porcupine and the Two Sisters                _Menomini_    177

  The Wolf and the Dog                             _Cherokee_    179

  The Catfish and the Moose                        _Menomini_    180

  Turtle                                           _Menomini_    181

  The Worship of the Sun                             _Ojibwa_    185

  Tashka and Walo                  _Choctaw_ (_Bayou Lacomb_)    189

  Sun and Moon                                     _Menomini_    192

  The Moon Person                                    _Biloxi_    193

  The Star Creatures                               _Cherokee_    194

  Meteors                                          _Menomini_    195

  The Aurora Borealis                              _Menomini_    196

  The West Wind                                  _Chitimacha_    197

  The Lone Lightning                                 _Ojibwa_    198

  The Thunders                                     _Cherokee_    200

  Months of the Year                                _Natchez_    201

  Why the Oaks and Sumachs Redden                       _Fox_    202

  The Man of Ice                                   _Cherokee_    205

  The Nunnehi                                      _Cherokee_    207

  The Little People                                _Cherokee_    210

  War Song                                           _Ojibwa_    212

  The War Medicine                                 _Cherokee_    213

  The Coming of the White Man                       _Wyandot_    214


  Early Indian drawing showing a wrestling bout         _Frontispiece_

  Early Indian pottery                                              20

  Wild rice tied in bunches or sheaves                              42

  Wild rice kernels after threshing and winnowing                   42

  Birch-bark yoke, and sap buckets, used in maple sugar making      52

  Picture writing. An Ojibwa Meda song                              84

  Permanent ash-bark wigwam of the wild rice gathering Ojibwa      104

  Shell gorget showing eagle carving                               128

  Indian jar from the mounds of Arkansas                           128

  Spider gorgets                                                   158

  Shell pins made and used by Indians of the Mississippi Valley    176

  Ojibwa dancer's beaded medicine bag                              198




When Earth-maker came to consciousness, he thought of the substance
upon which he was sitting. He saw nothing. There was nothing anywhere.
Therefore his tears flowed. He wept. But not long did he think of it.
He took some of the substance upon which he was sitting; so he made a
little piece of earth for our fathers. He cast this down from the high
place on which he sat. Then he looked at what he had made. It had
become something like our earth. Nothing grew upon it. Bare it was,
but not quiet. It kept turning.

"How shall I make it become quiet?" thought Earth-maker. Then he took
some grass from the substance he was sitting upon and cast it down
upon the earth. Yet it was not quiet.

Then he made a man. When he had finished him, he called him Tortoise.
At the end of all his thinking, after he came to consciousness, he
made the two-legged walkers.

Then Earth-maker said to this man, "The evil spirits are abroad to
destroy all I have just created. Tortoise, I shall send you to bring
order into the world." Then Earth-maker gave him a knife.

But when Tortoise came to earth, he began to make war. He did not look
after Earth-maker's creation. So Earth-maker took him back.

Then he sent Hare down to earth to restore order. He said, "See,
Grandmother, I have done the work my father directed me to do. The
lives of my uncles and aunts, the two-legged walkers, will be endless
like mine."

His grandmother said, "Grandson, how could you make the lives of your
uncles and aunts endless like yours? How could you do something in a
way Earth-maker had not intended it to be? Earth-maker could not make
them thus."

Hare thought, "My grandmother must be related to some of the evil
spirits I have killed. She does not like what I have done, for she is
saying that I killed the evil spirits."

Now grandmother heard him think. "No, Grandson, I am not thinking of
that. I am saying that our father made death so there should not be a
lack of food on earth. He made death to prevent overcrowding. He also
made a spirit world in which they should live after death."

Hare did not like what she said. "Grandmother surely does not like
it," he thought. "She must be related to the evil spirits."

"No, Grandson, it is not so. But to quiet you, your uncle and aunts
will live to be very old." Then she spoke again, "Now, Grandson, stand
up. The two-legged walkers shall follow me always. I shall follow you
always. Therefore try to do what I tell you. Remember you are a man.
Do not look back after you have started."

Then they started to go around the earth.

"Do not look back," she said.

"I wonder why she says that," thought Hare. Then he turned his head
the least little bit to the left, and looked back to the place from
which they had started. Instantly everything caved in.

"Oh, my! Oh, my!" exclaimed grandmother. "Grandson, a man you are; but
I thought you were a great man, so I greatly encouraged you. Now even
if I wished to, I could not prevent death."

This she meant, so they say.

Then they went around the earth, to the edge of the fire which
encircles the earth. That way they went, so they say.



There was a Creator of All Things. This Great Mystery understood all
things. He had no eyes, yet he could see. He had no ears, yet he could
hear. He had a body, but it could not be seen.

When the earth was first made, the Creator of All Things placed it
under the water. The fish were first created. But when the Creator
wanted to make men, there was no dry land. Therefore Crawfish was sent
down to bring up a little earth. He brought up mud in his claws.
Immediately it spread out and the earth appeared above the waters.
Then the Great Mystery made men. He made the Chitimachas. It was at
Natchez that he first made them.

He gave them laws but the people did not follow the laws. Therefore
many troubles came, so that the Creator could not rest. Therefore the
Creator made tobacco. Then men could become quiet and rest. Afterwards
he made women, but at first they were like wood. So he directed a
chief to teach them how to move, and how to cook, and to sew skins.

Now when the animals met the Chitimachas, they ridiculed them. For
these men had no fur, and no wool, and no feathers to protect them
from storms, or rain, or the hot sun. The Chitimachas were sad because
of this.

Then the Creator gave them bows and arrows, and taught them how these
things should be used. He told them that the flesh of the animals was
good for food, and their skins for covering. Thus the animals were

The Creator taught them also how to draw fire from two pieces of wood,
one flat and the other pointed; thus they learned to cook their food.
The Creator taught them also to honor the bones of their relatives;
and so long as they lived, to bring them food.

Now in those days, the animals took part in the councils of men. They
gave advice to men, being wiser. Each animal took especial care of the
Chitimachas. Therefore the Indians respect the animals which gave good
advice to their ancestors, and this aids them even today in time of

The Creator also made the moon and the stars. Both were to give life
and light to all things on earth. Moon forgot the sacred bathing,
therefore he is pale and weak, giving but little light to man. But Sun
gives light to all things. Sun often stops on her trail to give more
time to the Indians when they are hunting, or fighting their enemies.
Moon does not, but always pursues his wife over the sky trail. Yet he
can never catch up with her.

The mounds in the Chitimacha country are the camping places of the
spirit sent down by the Creator to visit the Indians. This spirit
taught the men how to cook their food and to cure their wounds. He is
still highly honored.



There was, in olden days, something the matter with the earth. It has
changed. We think so. We think the Great Mystery made it and made men
also. He made them at a place called Mountains. It was eastward. When
he had made the earth and these mountains, he covered the earth over
with something. He did it with his hands.

Under this, he put men. All the different tribes were there. One of
the young men climbed up and found his way to the surface. It was very
beautiful. Then a deer ran past, with an arrow in its side. He
followed it to where it fell and died. He looked back to see its
tracks, and he soon saw other tracks. They were the footprints of the
person who shot the deer. He soon came up. It was the Maker of Men.
Thus he taught the Indians what they must do when they came out of the
earth. The creator showed the Indian how to skin the deer, and prepare
it for food, and how to use the skin for dress.

When everything was ready, he said, "Make a fire."

The Indian said, "I do not know how."

Therefore the creator made the fire. Then he said, "Put the meat on
the fire. Roast it."

The Indian did this, but he did not turn the stick. Therefore it was
burned on one side and not roasted on the other. So the creator showed
him how to turn the stick.

Then the Great Mystery called all the Indians up out of the earth.
They came out by tribes. To each tribe he gave a chief. Then he made a
head chief over all the tribes, who should teach them what they should

The Great Mystery also made Good and Evil. They were brothers. One
made pleasant things grow. The other spent all his time spoiling his
brother's work. He made stony places, and rocks, and made bad fruits
to grow. He made great trouble among men. He annoyed them very much.
Good had to go back and do his work over again. It kept him very busy.
Then Good decided to destroy Evil.

Therefore Good proposed to run a race with Evil. When they met, Good
said, "Tell me first--what do you most fear?"

"Bucks' horns," said Evil. "What do you most fear?"

"Indian grass braided," said Good.

Then Evil at once went to his grandmother, who braided Indian grass.
He got a great deal of it. He put the grass in the trail, and put it
in the limbs of the trees along the trail where Good was to run. Good
also filled the path, where his brother Evil was to run, with bucks'

They said, "Who shall run first?" They argued about it. At last Good
said, "Well, I will, because I proposed the race." So he started off
and Evil followed him. When Good became tired, he pulled down a strand
of braided green grass and chewed it. Thus he ran rapidly. But Evil
became tired. Yet Good would not stop until he reached the end of the

The next day Evil started on his trail. Everywhere he was stopped by
the branches of bucks' horns. They greatly annoyed him. He said to
Good, "Let me stop." Good said, "No, you must go on." At last, towards
evening, Evil fell in the trail. At once Good took bucks' horns and
killed him.

Then Good returned to his grandmother. She was very angry. She loved
Evil. That night Good was awakened by a sound. The spirit of Evil was
talking with his grandmother. Then when Evil knew Good was awake, he
said, "Let me into the wigwam." But Good always said, "No."

At last Evil said, "I go to the northwest land. You will never see me
more. Those who follow me will never come back. Death will keep them."



    [3] Obviously influenced by missionary teaching, but a most
    curious myth.

Kuti Mankdce, the One Above, made people. He made one person, an
Indian. While the Indian was sleeping, he made a woman. Then the One
Above went away to find food for the man and woman.

After he left, something was standing there upright. It was a tree. A
person said, "Why do you not eat the fruit of this tree? I think he
made it for you to eat."

So the woman pulled off some fruit and stewed it and she and the
Indian ate it. Shortly after, the One Above returned. Now he had gone
away to find food for them. When he found they had stewed this fruit,
he was very angry. He said, "Work for yourself. Find your own food,
else you shall be hungry."

When the One Above had been a long time gone, he sent back a letter to
the Indians. But the Indians did not receive it, because the Americans
took it. That is why Americans know how to read and write.

Now after the letter came, the people found a very clear stream of
water. The American found it first and lay down in it; therefore he is
very white all over. Next came the Frenchman, but the water was not so
clear. Then came the Indians; therefore Indians are not of light
complexion, because they did not find the water when it was clear.
Afterwards came the Spaniard, and he was not white, because the water
had become very muddy.

Some time after the Negro was made. The One Above thought he should
attend to work, so he made the Negro's nose flat. And by this time the
water was very muddy, and the stream was very low. So the Negro washed
only the palms of his hands. Therefore Negroes are very black except
on the palms of their hands.



When Gitche Manito, the Good Mystery, created the earth-plain, it was
bare, without trees or shrubs. Then he created two Indians, a man and
a woman. Now when there were ten persons on the earth-plain, death
happened. The first man lamented, and went back and forth over the
plain, complaining.

He said, "Why did the Good Spirit send death so soon?" The Good
Mystery heard this. He called a great council. He said, "Man is not
happy. I have made him very frail, therefore death happens. What shall
we do?"

The council lasted six days, and there was not a breath of air to
disturb the waters. The seventh was the _nageezhik_, the excellent
day. The sky was blue and there were no clouds. On that day Gitche
Manito sent down a messenger to earth. In his right hand was a piece
of white hare's skin, and in the left the head of a white-headed
eagle. On each was the blue stripe of peace.

The messenger said, "Gitche Manito sent me. He has heard your words.
You must obey his commands." Then he gave to the Indians the hare's
skin, the eagle's head, and a white otter skin with the blue stripe of

Thus Gitche Manito taught the Indians how to make magic and how to be


(A fragment)


Long ago, Nokomis came down from Sky-land, but remained fluttering in
mid air. There was no place on which to rest her foot.

The Fishes at once held a great council. Now Tortoise had a
shell-covered back, very broad. After the council, he rose to the
surface so that Nokomis might rest upon his back. Then the
drift-masses of the sea gathered about the Tortoise. Thus the land was

Then Nokomis found herself alone on the land. So she married a manido
from the Sky-land. Two sons had Nokomis--twin brothers. But the
brothers were not friends. One was a good huntsman; the other could
kill no game at all. So they disputed. Then one brother rose to the
Sky-land. He caused the Thunders to roar over his brother's head.

Now the sister of these twin brothers was the ancestor of the Ojibwas.



The Mandans were the People of the Pheasants. They were the first
people in the world. At first they lived in the earth. Now, in the
dark Earth-land, they had many vines. Then at last one vine grew up
through a hole in the Earth-plain, far above their heads. One of their
young men at once went up the vine until he came out on the
Earth-plain. He came out on the prairies, on the bank of a river, just
where the Mandan village now stands.[4]

    [4] 1834.

He looked all about him. The Earth-plain was very beautiful. There
were many buffaloes there. He killed one with his bow and arrow, and
found it was good for food.

Then the young man returned to his people under the ground. He told
them all he had seen. They held a council, and then they began to
climb up the vine to the Earth-plain. Some of the chiefs, and the
young warriors, and many of the women went up. Then came a very fat
woman. The chiefs said, "Do not go up." But she did, so the vine

The Mandans were very sorry about this. Because no more could go up,
the tribe on the Earth-plain is not very large. And no one could
return to his village in the ground. Therefore the Mandans built their
village on the banks of the river. But the rest of the people remained



Long, long ago, a great storm came. At once the people baked a great
earthen pot, and in this two of them saved themselves. The pot was
held up on the surface of the water. Now two rattlesnakes were also
saved in the earthen jar, because in the olden days rattlesnakes were
the friends of man. In those days, when an Indian left his lodge the
rattlesnake entered it and protected it until he returned.

When all the land was flooded, the red-headed woodpecker hooked his
claws into the sky and so hung above the waters. But the flood rose so
high that part of his tail was wet. You can see the marks even to this

When the waters sank, he was sent to find land. He could find none.
Then a dove was sent and came back with a grain of sand. This sand was
placed on top of the great waters and immediately it stretched out. It
became dry land. Therefore the dove is called "Ground Watcher."


(A fragment)


The earth is a large tortoise. It moves very slowly and carries a
great deal of earth on its back. Long ago there was a tribe which is
now dead. They used to dig deep down in the earth for badgers. They
dug with knives. One day they stuck a knife far down into the earth.
It cut through the shell of Tortoise.

Therefore Tortoise at once began to sink into the water. The water
rose through the knife cut until it covered all the ground. All the
people were drowned except one man.

But some of the old people say it was this way. They say there were
four Tortoises, one in the East, one in the West, one in the South,
and another in the North. Each Tortoise made it rain for ten days.
Therefore the water covered the earth and all the people were drowned.

  [Illustration: EARLY INDIAN POTTERY.
    _From Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology._]



Manabush[5] wanted to punish the evil manidoes, the Ana maqkiu who had
destroyed his brother Wolf. Therefore he invented the ball game.

    [5] The Manabozho of the Ojibwas.

The place selected by Manabush for a ball ground was near a large sand
bar on a great lake near Mackinac. He asked the Thunderers to play
against the Ana maqkiu. These evil manidoes came out of the ground as
Bears. One chief was a silvery white bear, and the other a gray bear.
They played the ball game all day. Manabush watched the game from a
tree on a knoll.

When night came, Manabush went to a spot between the places where the
Bear chiefs had played ball. He said, "I want to be a pine tree, cut
off halfway between the ground and the top, with two strong branches
reaching out over the places where the Bear chiefs lie down." At once
he became just such a tree.

Now when the players came to the ball game the next morning, the Bear
chiefs at once said, "This tree was not standing there yesterday."

The Thunderers at once said, "Oh, yes. It was there." Thus they
argued. At last one Bear chief said, "This tree is Manabush. Therefore
we will kill him." At once they sent for Grizzly Bear. They said,
"Climb this tree. Tear off the bark. Scratch it." Grizzly Bear did so.
He also bit the branches.

Then the Bear chiefs called to Serpent. They said, "Ho, Serpent! Come
climb this tree. Bite it. Strangle it in your coils." Serpent at once
did so. It was very hard for Manabush; yet he said nothing at all.

Then the Bear chiefs said, "No, it is not Manabush. Therefore we will
finish the game."

Now when they were playing, someone carried the ball so far that the
Bear chiefs were left entirely alone. At once Manabush drew an arrow
from his quiver and shot the White Bear chief. Then he shot another
arrow at Gray Bear chief. He wounded both of them. Then Manabush
became a man again and ran for the sand bar. Soon the underground Ana
maqkiu came back. They saw the two Bear chiefs were wounded. They
immediately called for a flood from the earth to drown Manabush. It
came very quickly and followed that one. Then Badger came. He hid
Manabush in the earth. As he burrowed, he threw the earth behind him,
and that held the water back. So the Ana maqkiu could not find
Manabush. Therefore they gave up the search just as the water began to
fill Badger's burrow. So Manabush and Badger returned above ground.

Now the underground people carried their chiefs to a wigwam. They said
to an old woman, "Take care of them." Then Manabush followed them. He
met the old woman. He took her skin and hid himself in it. So he went
into the wigwam. He killed both the Bear chiefs. Then he took the
skins of the bears. When he came out of the wigwam he shook a network
of basswood twigs, so that the Ana maqkiu might know he had been

At once they pursued him. Water poured out of the earth in many
places. A great flood came.

Manabush at once ran to the top of the highest mountain. The waters
followed him closely. He climbed a great pine tree on the mountain
top, but the waters soon reached him. Manabush said to the pine, "Grow
twice as high." At once it did so. Yet the waters rose higher.
Manabush said again to the tree, "Grow twice as high."

He said this four times, yet the waters kept rising until they
reached his arm pits. Then Manabush called to Kisha Manido for help.
The Good Mystery at once commanded the waters to stop.

Manabush looked around. There were only a few animals in the water. He
called, "Ho, Otter! Come to me and be my brother. Dive down into the
water. Bring up some earth that I may make a new world." Otter dived
down into the water and was gone a long time. When he appeared again
on the surface, Manabush saw he was drowned.

Then he called again, "Ho, Mink! Come to me and be my brother. Dive
down into the water. Bring me some earth." Then Mink dived into the
water. He was gone a long time. He also was drowned.

Manabush looked about him again. He saw Muskrat. He called, "Ho,
Muskrat! Come to me and be my brother. Dive down into the water. Bring
me up earth from below." Muskrat immediately dived into the water. He
was gone a very long time. Then when he came up, Manabush went to him.
In his paw was a tiny bit of mud. Then Manabush held Muskrat up, and
blew on him, so he became alive again.

Then Manabush took the earth. He rubbed it between the palms of his
hands and threw it out on the water. Thus a new world was made and
trees appeared on it.

Manabush told Muskrat that his tribe should always be numerous, and
that wherever his people should live they should have enough to eat.

Then Manabush found Badger. To him he gave the skin of the Gray Bear
chief. But he kept for himself the skin of the silvery White Bear



While Manabush was still a young man, he said to Nokomis, the Earth,
"Grandmother, it is cold here and we have no fire. I shall go and get

Nokomis said, "Oh, no! It is too dangerous."

But Manabush said, "Yes, we must have fire."

At once Manabush made a canoe of birch bark. Then he became a rabbit.
So he started eastward, across the great water, to a land where lived
an old man who had fire. He guarded the fire carefully so that people
might not steal it.

Now the old man had two daughters. One day they came out of the sacred
wigwam where the fire was kept. Behold! There was a little rabbit, wet
and cold and trembling. They took it up at once in their arms. They
carried it into the wigwam. They set it down near the fire.

So Manabush sat by the fire while the two girls were busy. The old man
was asleep. Then Rabbit hopped nearer the fire. When he hopped, the
whole earth shook. The old man roused. He said, "My daughters, what
has happened?"

The girls answered, "Nothing at all. We picked up a little wet rabbit
and are letting him dry by the fire." Then again the old man fell
asleep. The girls were busy.

Suddenly Rabbit seized a stick of burning wood and ran out of the
wigwam. He ran with great speed towards his canoe. The old man and the
two girls followed him closely. But Rabbit reached his canoe and
paddled quickly away, to the wigwam of Nokomis. He paddled so quickly
that the fire stick burned fiercely. Sparks flew from it and burned

At once Rabbit and Nokomis gave fire to the Thunderers. They have had
the care of fire ever since.



When the Great Mystery created the earth, he made also many manidos.
Those of animal form were People of the Underground, and evil. But the
bird manidos were Eagles and Hawks. They were the Thunderers. The
golden eagle was the Thunder-which-no-one-could-see.

Now when Masha Manido, the Good Mystery, saw that Bear was still an
animal, he permitted him to change his form. Thus Bear became an
Indian, with light skin. All this happened near Menomini River, near
where it empties into Green Bay. At this place also Bear first came
out of the ground.

Bear found himself alone, so he called to Eagle, "Ho, Eagle! come to
me and be my brother." So Eagle came down to earth and became an

While the Thunderers stood there, Beaver came near. Now as Beaver was
a woman, she became a younger brother of the Thunderers. Soon after,
as Bear and Eagle stood on a river bank, they saw a stranger,
Sturgeon. They called to him. Therefore Sturgeon became Bear's younger
brother and his servant. So also Elk was adopted by the Thunderers. He
became a younger brother and water carrier.

At another time, Bear was going up Wisconsin River and sat down to
rest. Out from beneath a waterfall came Wolf.

Wolf said, "What are you doing in this place?"

Bear said, "I am traveling to the source of the river. I am resting."

Just then Crane came flying by. Bear called, "Ho, Crane. Carry me to
my people at the head of the river. Then will I make you my younger

Crane stopped and took Bear on his back. As he was flying off, Wolf
called, "Ho, Bear. Take me also as your younger brother. I am alone."

Bear said, "I will take Wolf as my younger brother."

This is how Wolf and Crane became younger brothers of Bear. Wolf
afterwards let Dog and Deer join him, having seats in the council.

Now Big Thunder lived at Winnebago Lake, near Fond du Lac. The
Thunderers were all made by Masha Manido to be of benefit to the whole
world. When they return from the Southwest in the spring, they bring
with them the rains which make the earth green and the plants and
trees to grow. If it were not for the Thunderers, the earth would be
dry and all things would perish.

Masha Manido gave to the Thunderers squaw corn, which grows on small
sticks and has ears of several colors.

The Thunderers were also the Makers-of-Fire. Manabush first gave it to
them, but he had stolen it from an old man living on an island in the
middle of a great lake.

Bear and Sturgeon owned rice, which grew abundantly in the waters near
Bear's village. One day the Thunderers visited Bear's village and
promised to give corn and fire, if Bear would give them rice.

The Thunderers are the war chiefs and have charge of the lighting of
the fire. So Bear gave rice to them. Then he built a long tepee and a
fire was kindled in the center by the Thunderers. From this all the
people of the earth received fire. It was carried to them by the
Thunderers. When the people travel, the Thunderers go ahead to the
camping place and start the fire which is used by all.



Fire first came from the Great Being, Kutnakin. He gave it into the
care of an Indian so old that he was blind.

Now the Indians all knew that fire was good, therefore they tried to
steal it. The old man could not see them when they came stealthily to
his wigwam, but he could feel the presence of anyone. Then he would
beat about him with his stick until he drove away the seekers for

Now one day an Indian seized the fire suddenly. At once the Watcher of
the Fire began beating about him with his stick, until the thief
dropped the fire. But the old man did not know he had dropped it. He
still beat about him so fiercely with his stick that he pounded some
of the fire into a log.

That is why fire is in wood.



Long, long ago, many Indians started to reach the Sky-world. They
walked far to the north until they came to the edge of the sky, where
it is fitted down over the Earth-plain. When they came to this place,
they tried to slip through a crack under the edge, but the Sky-cover
came down very tightly and quickly, and crushed all but six. These six
had slipped through into the Sky-land.

Then these men began to climb up, walking far over the sky floor. At
last they came to the lodge of Kutnakin. They stayed with him as his
guests. At last they wished to go back to their own lodges on the

Kutnakin said, "How will you go down to the Earth-plain?"

One said, "I will go down as a squirrel." So he started to spring down
from the Sky-land. He was dashed to pieces.

Kutnakin said to the next, "How will you go down to the Earth-plain?"

And this man also went as an animal. And so the next one also. They
were dashed to pieces. Then the others saw that they were crushed by
their fall.

Therefore the fourth said, "I will go down as a spider." And he spun a
long line down which he climbed safely to earth.

The fifth said, "I will go down as an eagle," and he spread his wings
and circled through the air until he alighted on a tree branch.

The last one said, "I will go down as a pigeon," and so he came softly
to earth.

Now each one brought back a gift from Kutnakin. The one who came back
as a spider had learned how to howl and sing and dance when people
were sick. He was the first medicine man. But one Indian had died
while these six men were up in the Sky-land. He died before the shaman
came down to earth as a spider. Therefore death came among the
Indians. Had the shaman come back to earth in time to heal this
Indian, there would have been no death.

The one who came back as an eagle taught men how to fish. And the
pigeon taught the Indians the use of wild maize.



When the springtime came, long, long ago, an Indian boy began his
fast, according to the customs of his tribe. His father was a very
good man but he was not a good hunter, and often there was no food in
the wigwam.

So, as the boy wandered from his small tepee in the forest, he thought
about these things. He looked at the plants and shrubs and wondered
about their uses, and whether they were good for food. He thought, "I
must find out about these things in my vision."

One day, as he lay stretched upon his bed of robes in the solitary
wigwam, a handsome Indian youth came down from Sky-land. He was gaily
dressed in robes of green and yellow, with a plume of waving feathers
in his hands.

"I am sent to you," said the stranger, "by the Great Mystery. He will
teach you what you would know." Then he told the boy to rise and
wrestle with him. The boy at once did so. At last the visitor said,
"That is enough. I will come tomorrow."

The next day the beautiful stranger came again from the Sky-land.
Again the two wrestled until the stranger said, "That is enough. I
will come tomorrow."

The third day he came again. Again the fasting youth found his
strength increase as he wrestled with the visitor. Then that one said,
"It is enough. You have conquered." He sat himself down in the wigwam.
"The Great Mystery has granted your wish," he said. "Tomorrow when I
come, after we have wrestled and you have thrown me down, you must
strip off my garments. Clear the earth of roots and weeds and bury my
body. Then leave this place; but come often and keep the earth soft,
and pull up the weeds. Let no grass or weeds grow on my grave." Then
he went away, but first he said, "Touch no food until after we wrestle

The next morning the father brought food to his son; it was the
seventh day of fasting. But the boy refused until the evening should

Again came the handsome youth from the Sky-land. They wrestled long,
until he fell to the earth. Then the Indian boy took off the green and
yellow robes, and buried his friend in soft, fresh earth. Thus the
vision had come to him.

Then the boy returned to his father's lodge, for his fasting was
ended. Yet he remembered the commands of the Sky-land stranger. Often
he visited the grave, keeping it soft and fresh, pulling up weeds and
grass. And when people were saying that the Summer-maker would soon go
away and the Winter-maker come, the boy went with his father to the
place where his wigwam had stood in the forest while he fasted. There
they found a tall and graceful plant, with bright silky hair, and
green and yellow robes.

"It is Mondamin," said the boy. "It is Mondamin, the corn."[6]

    [6] Then Nokomis, the old woman,
        Spake, and said to Minnehaha:
        "'Tis the Moon when leaves are falling;
        All the wild rice has been gathered,
        And the maize is ripe and ready;
        Let us gather in the harvest,
        Let us wrestle with Mondamin,
        Strip him of his plumes and tassels,
        Of his garments green and yellow."



When the Ottawas lived on the Manatoline Islands, in Lake Huron, they
had a very strong medicine man. His name was Mass-wa-wei-nini, Living
Statue. Then the Iroquois came and drove the Ottawas away. They fled
to Lac Court Oreilles, between Lake Superior and the Mississippi
River. But Living Statue remained in the land of his people. He
remained to watch the Iroquois, so that his people might know of their
plans. His two sons stayed with him.

At night, the medicine man paddled softly around the island, in his
canoe. He paddled through the water around the beautiful green island
of his people. One morning he rose early to go hunting. His two boys
were asleep. So Living Statue followed the game trail through the
forest; then he came to a wide green plain. He watched keenly for the
enemy of his people. Then he began to cross the plain.

When Living Statue was in the middle of the plain, he saw a small man
coming towards him. He wore a red plume in his hair.

"Where are you going?" asked Red Plume.

"I am hunting," said Living Statue.

Red Plume drew out his pipe and they smoked together.

"Where does your strength come from?" asked Red Plume.

"I have the strength common to all men," said Living Statue.

"We must wrestle," said Red Plume. "If you can make me fall, you will
cry, 'I have thrown you, _Wa ge me na_!'"

Now when they had finished smoking, they began to wrestle. They
struggled long. Red Plume was small, but his medicine was strong.
Living Statue grew weaker and weaker, but at last, by a sudden effort,
he threw Red Plume. At once he cried, "I have thrown you, _Wa ge me

Immediately Red Plume vanished. When Living Statue looked at the place
where he had fallen, he saw only _Mondamin_, an ear of corn. It was
crooked. There was a red tassel at the top.

Someone said, "Take off my robes. Pull me in pieces. Throw me over the
plain. Take the spine on which I grew and throw it in shady places
near the edge of the wood. Return after one moon. Tell no one."

Mass-wa-wei-nini did as the voice directed. Then he returned into the
woods. He killed a deer. So he returned to his wigwam.

Now after one moon, he returned to the plain. Behold! There were
blades and spikes of young corn. And from the broken bits of spine,
grew long pumpkin vines.

When summer was gone, Living Statue went again to the plain with his
sons. The corn was in full ear. Also the large pumpkins were ripe.

Thus the Ottawas received the gift of corn.



One day a hunter could find no game. He had but a few grains of corn
with him. He was very hungry. In the night a dream came to him and he
heard the sound of singing.

Early the next morning the hunter rose, but again he found no game.
When he slept again the dream came to him, and again came the sound of
singing, but this time it was nearer. Yet again he could find no game.

The third night the dream came to the hunter, and when he awoke, he
still heard the song. Then he rose quickly and followed the song. At
last he came to a single green stalk of Selu.

The stalk spoke to him. It said, "Take off my roots, and take them
with you to your wigwam. Tomorrow morning you must chew them before
anyone awakes. Then go again into the woods. So will you always be
successful in hunting."

The green stalk gave him many directions for hunting the elk and the
deer. So it talked until the sun rose to the very top of the sky
trail. Immediately the green stalk became a woman. She rose gracefully
into the air and vanished.

Then all the people knew that the hunter had seen Selu, the Corn, wife
of Kanati. Therefore the hunter was always successful.



Long ago, Wenibojó[7] made his home with his grandmother, Nokomis. One
day Nokomis said to her grandson, "Prove yourself a man. Take a long
journey. Go through the great forests. Fast you. Prepare for the
hardships of life."

    [7] Another form of the Ojibwa Manabozho, or the Menomini

So Wenibojó took his bow and arrow from his wigwam. He wandered
out into the forest. Many days he wandered. Then at last he
reached a broad lake, covered thick with heavy-headed stalks. But
Wenibojó knew not that the grain was food.

So Wenibojó went back to his grandmother, Nokomis. He told her of the
broad, quiet lake, with the heavy-headed stalks. So Nokomis came, and
in their canoe they gathered the wild rice and sowed it in another

    _From Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology._]

    _From Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology._]

Again Wenibojó left Nokomis. With his bow and arrow he wandered far
into the forest. Then some little bushes spoke as he walked.
"Sometimes they eat us," they said. Wenibojó made no answer. Again
the bushes spoke, "Sometimes they eat us."

"Who are you talking to?" he asked.

"To Wenibojó," they said. So he bent down and dug up the bushes by the
roots. The roots were long, like an arrow. They were good to eat, but
Wenibojó had fasted too long.

After a while, Wenibojó wandered on. He was very hungry. Many bushes
spoke to him. Many said, "Sometimes they eat us," but he made no

One day he followed the river trail, when the sun was high. Many
little bunches of straw were growing out of the water. They spoke to
him. They said, "Wenibojó, sometimes they eat us."

So Wenibojó picked some of the grains from the heavy-headed stalks and

"You are good to eat," he said. "What do they call you?"

"They call us _manomin_," answered the wild rice.

Then Wenibojó waded far out into the water. He beat out grains and ate
many. They were good for food.

Then Wenibojó remembered the grain which Nokomis had sown, and he
returned to his grandmother and the _manomin_ lake.



Now one evening Wenibojó returned to his wigwam from hunting. He had
found no game. As he came towards his fire, he saw a duck sitting on
the edge of a kettle of boiling water. Immediately the duck flew away.

Wenibojó looked in the kettle. Behold! Grains were floating upon the
water. Then he ate the broth made with the grains. It was good.

So Wenibojó followed the trail of the duck. He came to a lake of
_manomin_. All the birds and the ducks and geese were eating the
grain. Therefore Wenibojó learned to know _manomin_, the wild rice.



One day Manabush walked along the lake shore. He was tired and hungry.
Then he saw, around a sand spit jutting far out into the water, many

Now Manabush had with him only a medicine bag. He hung that on a
manabush tree in the brush. He put a roll of bark on his back, and
returned to the lake shore. He passed slowly by so as not to frighten
the birds. Duck and Swan suddenly recognized him, and swam quickly
away from the shore.

One of the Swans called out, "Ho! Manabush, where are you going?"

"I am going to have a dance," said Manabush. "As you may see, I have
all my songs with me."

Then he called out to all the birds, "Come to me, brothers! Let us
sing and dance."

At once the birds returned to the shore and walked back upon an open
space in the grass. Manabush took the bundle of bark from his back. He
placed it on the ground, got out his singing sticks, and then he said
to the birds,

"Now, all of you dance around me as I drum. Sing as loudly as you can
and keep your eyes closed. The first to look will always have red

So Manabush began to beat time upon his bundle of bark. The birds with
eyes closed danced around him. Then Manabush began to keep time with
one hand, as the birds sang loudly. With the other he seized a Swan by
the neck. Swan gave a loud squawk.

"That's right, brothers! Sing as loudly as you can," shouted Manabush.

Soon he seized another Swan by the neck. Then he seized a Goose. At
last there were not so many birds singing. Then a tiny duck opened his
eyes to see why. At once he shrieked, "Manabush is killing us!
Manabush is killing us!" And he started for the water, followed by the
rest of the birds.

Now this little duck was a poor runner. Manabush quickly caught him
and said, "I won't kill you; but you shall always have red eyes. And
you shall be the laughing stock of all the birds."

And with that Manabush pushed him so hard, yet holding on to his tail,
that the duck went far out into the middle of the lake and his tail
came off. Because of that he has red eyes and no tail, even to this

Then Manabush gathered up the birds he had killed and took them out
on the sand spit. He buried them in the sand and built a fire over
them to cook them, but he left sticking out the heads of some and the
legs of others so he would know where they were.

But Manabush was tired. He slapped his thigh and said, "You watch the
birds and awaken me if anyone comes near them." He stretched out on
the sand with his back to the fire and went to sleep.

After awhile, Indians came along in their canoes. They saw the fire
and the roasting birds. They went ashore on the sand pit. They pulled
out the birds and ate them. But they put back into the sand the heads
and feet, just as they had found them. So they departed.

Afterwards, Manabush awoke, very hungry. He pulled at the head of a
swan. Behold! The head came out, but there was no bird. He pulled at
the feet of a goose. No bird was there. So he tried every head and
foot; but the birds were gone.

He slapped his thigh again and asked, "Who has been here? Someone has
robbed me of my feast. I told you to watch."

His thigh answered, "I fell asleep also. I was very tired. See! There
are people moving away in their canoes! They are dirty and poorly

Then Manabush ran to the point of the sand spit. He could see the
people who were just disappearing around a point. He shouted,
"Winnebago! Winnebago!" Therefore the Menomini have always called
their thievish neighbors Winnebago.



One day when Manabush was passing by a high mountain, a fragrant odor
came to him from a crevice in the cliffs. He went closer. Then he knew
that in the mountain was a giant who was the Keeper of the Tobacco. He
entered the mouth of a cave, going through a long tunnel to the center
of the mountain.

There in a great wigwam was the giant. The giant said sternly, "What
do you want?"

Manabush said, "I want some tobacco."

"Come back again in one year," said the giant. "The manidoes have just
been here for their smoke. They come but once a year."

Manabush looked around. He saw a great number of bags filled with
tobacco. He seized one and ran out into the open air, and close after
him came the giant.

Up to the mountain tops fled Manabush leaping from peak to peak. The
giant came close behind him, springing with great bounds. When
Manabush reached a very high peak, he suddenly lay flat on the
ground; but the giant, leaping, went over him and fell into the chasm

The giant picked himself up, and began to climb up the face of the
cliff. He almost reached the top, hanging to it by his hands. Manabush
seized him, and drew him upwards, and dropped him down on the ground.

He said, "For your meanness, you shall become Kakuene, the jumper. You
shall become the pest of those who raise tobacco." Thus the giant
became a grasshopper.

Then Manabush took the tobacco, and divided it amongst his brothers,
giving to each some of the seed. Therefore the Indians are never
without tobacco.



One day Manabush returned from the hunt without any food. He could
find no game at all. So Nokomis gathered all their robes, and the
beaded belts, and their belongings together. They built a new wigwam
among the sugar maple trees.

Nokomis said, "Grandson, go into the woods and gather for me pieces of
birch bark. I am going to make sugar." Manabush went into the woods.
He gathered strips of birch bark, which he took back to the wigwam.
Nokomis had cut tiny strips of the bark to use as thread in sewing the
bark into hollow buckets. Then Nokomis went from tree to tree cutting
small holes through the maple bark, so that the sap might flow. She
placed a birch-bark vessel under each hole. Manabush followed her from
tree to tree looking for the sap to drop. None fell. When Nokomis had
finished, Manabush found all the vessels half full.

He stuck his finger into the thick syrup. It was sweet. Then he said,
"Grandmother, this is all very good, but it will not do. If people
make sugar so easily, they will not have to work at all. I will
change all this. They must cut wood and keep the sap boiling several
nights. Otherwise they will not be busy."

So Manabush climbed to the very top of a tree. He showered water all
over the maples, like rain. Therefore the sugar in the tree dissolved
and flows from the tree as thin sap. This is why the uncles of
Manabush and their children always have to work hard when they want to
make sugar.

    _From Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology._]



Manabush killed a moose. He was very hungry, but he was greatly
troubled as to how he should eat it.

"If I begin at the head," he said, "they will say I ate him headfirst.
But if I begin at the side, they will say I ate him sideways. And if I
begin at the tail, they will say I ate him tail first."

He was greatly troubled. And while he thus spoke, the wind blew two
tree branches together. It made a harsh, creaking sound.

"I cannot eat in this noise," said Manabush, and he climbed the tree.
Immediately the branches caught him by the arm and held him. Then a
pack of wolves came and ate up the moose.



One day as Wabus, the Rabbit, traveled through a forest, he came to a
clearing on the bank of the river. There sat Totoba, the Saw-whet Owl.
The light was dim and Rabbit could not see well. He said to Saw-whet,

"Why do you want it so dark? I do not like it. I will cause it to be

Saw-whet said, "Do so, if you are strong enough. Let us try our

So Rabbit and the Owl called a great council of the birds. Some of the
birds and animals wanted Rabbit to succeed so that it would be light.
Others wanted it to remain dark.

Rabbit and Owl began to try their powers. Rabbit began to repeat
rapidly, "_Wabon. Wabon. Wabon_" (Light. Light. Light), while Owl kept
saying as rapidly as he could, "_Uni tipa qkot. Uni tipa qkot. Uni
tipa qkot_" (Night. Night. Night).

If one of them should speak the word of the other, he would lose. So
Rabbit kept repeating rapidly, "_Wabon. Wabon. Wabon_," while Owl
said as rapidly as he could, "_Uni tipa qkot. Uni tipa qkot. Uni tipa
qkot._" At last Owl said Rabbit's word, "_Wabon_," so he lost.

Therefore Rabbit decided there should be light. But because some of
the animals and birds could hunt only in the dark, he said it should
be night part of the time. But all the rest of the time it is day.



Long ago, before the white man came, in the land of the Cherokees was
a clan called the Ani Tsagulin. One of the boys of the clan used to
wander all day long in the mountains. He never ate his food at home.

"Why do you do so?" asked his father and mother. The boy did not

"Why do you do so?" they asked many days, as the boy wandered away
into the hills. He did not answer them.

Then his mother saw that long brown hair covered his body. They said
again, "Where do you go?" They asked, "Why do you not eat at home?"

At last the boy said, "There is plenty to eat there. It is better than
the corn in the village. Soon I shall stay in the woods all the time."

His father and mother said, "No."

The boy kept saying, "It is better than here. I am beginning to be
different. Soon I shall not want to live here. If you come with me you
will not have to hunt, or to plant corn. But first you must fast
seven days."

The people began to talk about it. They said, "Often we do not have
enough to eat here. There he says there is plenty. We will go with

So they fasted seven days. Then they left their village and went to
the mountains.

Now the other tribes had heard what they had talked in their village.
At once they sent messengers. But when the messengers met them, they
had started towards the mountains and their hair was long and brown.
Their nature was changing. This was because they had fasted seven
days. But the Ani Tsagulin would not go back to their village. They
said to the others:

"We are going where there is always plenty to eat. Hereafter we shall
be called _Yana_, bears. When you are hungry, come into the woods and
call us, and we will give you food to eat."

So they taught these messengers how to call them and to hunt them.
Because, even though they may seem to be killed, the Ani Tsagulin live



Once an Ottawa hunter and his wife lived on the shores of Lake
Michigan. Then the hunter went south, toward the end of the lake, to
hunt. When he reached the lake[8] where he had caught beaver the year
before, it was still covered with ice. Then he tapped the ice to find
the thinner places where the beaver families lived. He broke holes at
these weaker points in the ice, and went to his wigwam to get his

    [8] Between Milwaukee and Chicago, going south to where
    Chicago now stands.

Now the hunter's wife chanced to pass one of these holes and she saw a
beaver on the ice. She caught it by the tail and called to the hunter
to come and kill it quickly, before it could get back into the water.

"No," said the hunter, "if I kill this beaver, the others will become
frightened. They will escape from the lake by other openings in the

Then the woman became angry, and they quarreled.

When the sun was near setting, the hunter went out on the ice again,
to set more traps. When he returned to his tepee, his wife had gone.
He thought she had gone to make a visit. The next morning she had not
returned, and he saw her footprints. So he followed her trail to the
south. As he followed her trail, he saw that the footprints gradually
changed. At last they became the trail of a skunk. The trail ended in
a marsh, and many skunks were in that marsh.

Then he returned to his people. And he called the place, "The Place of
the Skunk."



    [9] Schoolcraft gives the origin of the word Chicago, as

    Chi-cag The animal of the leek or wild onion.

    Chi-cag-o-wunz The wild leek or pole-cat plant.

    Chi-ca-go Place of the wild leek.

    It would really seem, from the myths and the origin of the
    word, as given above, that the name originated from the great
    amount of skunk weed on the marshes now covered by the city.

Potawatomi Indians used to live in the marshes where Chicago now
stands. They sent out word to the other tribes that hunting was good.
Then the Menomini Indians went to the marshes for game. In the night
their dogs barked much. But when the Menomini Indians reached the spot
where the dogs barked, they found only skunks.



When the daughter of Nokomis, the Earth, died, Nokomis wrapped her new
baby in soft dry grass. She laid him on the ground under a large
wooden bowl. Then she mourned four days for her daughter.

At the end of four days, Nokomis heard a sound in her wigwam. It came
from the wooden bowl. Then she remembered. She took up the bowl. At
once she saw a tiny white rabbit, with trembling pink ears. She took
it up. She said, "Oh, my dear little Rabbit. Oh, my Manabush." She
took care of him.

One day Rabbit hopped across the wigwam. The earth shook. At once the
evil underground spirits, the Ana maqkiu, said to one another, "What
has happened? A great manido is born somewhere!" Immediately they
began to plot against him.

In this way Manabush came to earth. He soon grew to be a young man.



    [10] The Manabozho of the Ojibwa given by Longfellow as

The daughter of Nokomis, the Earth, is the mother of Manabush, who is
also the Fire. Flint first grew up out of Nokomis, and was alone. Then
Flint made a bowl and filled it with earth. Wabus, the Rabbit, came
from the earth, and became a man. Thus was Manabush created.

Beneath the earth lived the Underground People, the enemies of
Manabush. They were the Ana maqkiu who annoyed him constantly, and
sought to destroy him.

Now Manabush shaped a piece of flint to make an axe. While he was
rubbing it on a rock, he heard the rock make sounds:

    _Ke ka   ke ka   ke ka   ke ka_
    _Goss    goss    goss    goss_

He soon understood what the rock was saying: that he was alone on the
earth. That he had neither father, mother, brother, nor sister. This
is what Flint said while Manabush was rubbing it upon the rock.

While he was thinking of this, he heard something coming. It was
Mokquai, the Wolf. He said to Manabush, "Now you have a brother, for
I, too, am alone. We shall live together and I will hunt for you."

Manabush said, "I am glad to see you, my brother. Therefore I shall
make you like myself." So he made him a man.

Then Manabush and his brother moved away to the shore of a lake and
there built a wigwam. Manabush told his brother of the evil spirits,
the Underground People, who lived beneath the water. He said, "Never
go into the water, and never cross on the ice."

Now one day Wolf-brother went a-hunting. It was late when he started
back. He found himself on the shore of the lake, just opposite the
wigwam. He could see it clearly. He did not want to make a long
journey around by the lake shore; therefore he began to cross on the
ice. When he reached the middle of the lake, the ice broke. The
Underground People pulled him under the water and he was drowned.

Now Manabush knew this. He mourned four days for Wolf-brother. On the
fifth day, while he was following the hunting trail, he saw him

Wolf-brother said, "My fate will be the fate of all our people. They
will all die, but after four days they will return." Then Manabush saw
it was only the shade of his brother.

Then he said, "My brother, return to the place of the setting sun. You
are now called Naqpote. You will have charge of the dead."

The Wolf-shade said, "If I go there, and others follow me, we shall
not be able to return when we leave this place."

Manabush again spoke. He said, "Go, Naqpote. Prepare a wigwam for
others. Build a large fire that they may be guided to it. When they
arrive there must be a wigwam for them."

Thus Naqpote left the earth. He lives in the land of the shades, in
the country of the setting sun, where the earth is cut off.



Manabozho lived with his grandmother Nokomis, the Earth, on the edge
of a wide prairie. The first sound he heard was that of an owl. He
quickly climbed down the tree. He ran to Nokomis.

"Noko," he cried, "I have heard a monido."

Nokomis said, "What kind of a noise did it make?"

"It said, _Ko ho, Ko ho!_" said Manabozho.

"Oh, it is only a bird," said Nokomis.

One day Manabozho thought, "It is very strange I know so little and
grandmother is so wise. I wonder if I have any father or mother." He
went back to the wigwam. He was very silent.

"What is the matter?" said Nokomis.

Manabozho asked, "Have I no father or mother?"

Now his mother had died when he was a very little baby, but Nokomis
did not want to tell him. At last she said, "West is your father. He
has three brothers. They are North, East, and South. They have great
power. They travel on mighty wings. Your mother is not alive."

Manabozho said, "I will visit my father," but he meant to make war on
him because he had learned that his father had not been kind to his
mother and he meant to punish him.

Manabozho started on his journey. He traveled very rapidly. He went
very far at each step. So at last he met his father, West, on the top
of a high mountain. West was glad to see his son. Manabozho pretended
to be glad.

They talked much. One day the son asked, "What are you most afraid of
on earth?"

"Nothing," said West.

Manabozho said, "Oh, yes, there must be something."

At last West said, "There is a black stone on earth. I am afraid of
that. If it should strike me, it would injure me." West said this was
a great secret.

One day he asked Manabozho, "What are you most afraid of?"

"Nothing," was the answer.

"Oh, yes, there must be something you are afraid of," said West.

The son said, "_Ie-ee Ie-ee_--it is--it is--" He seemed afraid to
mention it.

West said, "Don't be afraid!" Then at last his son said, "It is the
root of the _apukwa_, the bulrush."

They quarreled because West had not been kind to the mother of

Some days later they quarreled. Manabozho said, "I will get some of
the black rock."

"Oh, no! Do not do so," cried West.

"Oh, yes!" said his son.

West said at once, "I will get some of the _apukwa_ root."

"Oh, no!" cried Manabozho, pretending to be afraid. "Do not! Do not!"

"Oh, yes!" said West.

Manabozho at once went out and brought to his father's wigwam a large
piece of black rock. West pulled up and brought in some bulrush roots.
Manabozho threw the black rock at West. It broke in pieces. Therefore
you may see pieces lying around even to this day. West struck his son
with the bulrush root. Thus they fought. But at last Manabozho drove
West far over the plains to the Darkening Land. So West came to the
edge of the world, where the earth is broken off short. Then he cried,
"Stop, my son! I am immortal, therefore I cannot be killed. I will
remain here on the edge of the Earth-plain. You must go about doing
good. You must kill monsters and serpents and all evil things. All
the kingdoms of the earth are divided, but at the last you may sit
with my brother North."[11]

    [11] Back retreated Mudjekeewis,
         Rushing westward o'er the mountains,
         Stumbling westward down the mountains,
         Three whole days retreated fighting,
         Still pursued by Hiawatha
         To the doorways of the West-Wind,
         To the portals of the Sunset ...
               .  .  .  .
         "Hold," at length cried Mudjekeewis,
         "Hold, my son, my Hiawatha!
         'Tis impossible to kill me,
         For you cannot kill the immortal."

Thus Manabozho became the Northwest wind.



    [12] The Ojibwas have a similar myth.

After his brother Wolf had died, Manabush looked about him. He found
he was no longer alone on earth. There were many other people, the
children of Nokomis. They were his aunts and uncles.

The evil manidoes annoyed the people very much. Therefore Manabush
wished to destroy them. Therefore he went to the shores of the lake
where they lived. He called to the waters to disappear. Four times he
called out. At once the waters vanished. There lay the Ana maqkiu.
They lay on the mud in the bottom of the lake. They looked like
fishes. The chief lay near the shore. He was very large.

Manabush said to Great Fish, "I shall destroy you because you will not
allow my people to come near the shore." So he went towards Great
Fish. But the smaller manidoes caused the waters to return. Thus they
all escaped.

Then Manabush went into the woods. He made a canoe of birch bark. He
wanted to destroy Great Fish in the water. As he left the shore in his
canoe, he began to sing, "Great Fish, come and swallow me." Only the
young fish came near. Manabush said scornfully, "I do not wish you. I
want your chief to come and swallow me." Great Fish was much annoyed.
He darted forward and swallowed Manabush and his canoe.

Thus Manabush found himself in the Great Fish. He looked about him.
Many of his people were there. Bear and Deer, Porcupine and Raven,
Buffalo, Pine-tree Squirrel, and many others.

Manabush said to Buffalo, "My uncle, how did you get here? I never saw
you near the water, but always on the prairie."

Buffalo said, "I came near the lake to get some fresh green grass.
Great Fish caught me." And thus said all the animals. They said, "We
came near the lake and Great Fish swallowed us."

Then Manabush said, "We will now have to go to the shore of Nokomis,
my grandmother. You will all have to help me." At once they all began
to dance around inside of Great Fish. Therefore he began to swim
quickly towards shore. Manabush began to cut a hole over his head, so
they could get out when Great Fish reached the shore of Nokomis, the
Earth. They sang a magic song. They sang, "I see the sky. I see the
sky." Pine Squirrel had a curious voice. He hopped around singing,
"_Sek-sek-sek-sek!_" This was very amusing to the other people.

Great Fish thought, "I ought not to have swallowed that man. I must
swim to the shore where Nokomis lives." So he swam quickly until he
reached the beach. Then Manabush cut a larger hole. Thus they all
climbed out of Great Fish. The birds helped Manabush. They stood on
the sides of Great Fish and picked the flesh from his bones.[13]

    [13] And again the sturgeon, Nahma,
         Heard the shout of Hiawatha,
         Heard his challenge of defiance,
         The unnecessary tumult,
         Ringing far across the water.
               .  .  .  .
         In his wrath he darted upward,
         Flashing leaped into the sunshine,
         Opened his great jaws and swallowed
         Both canoe and Hiawatha.



Now Manabush was going away. He went to Mackinac. When he reached
there, he made a high, narrow rock, and this he leaned against the
cliff. This rock is as high as an arrow can be shot from a bow. At
this place he was seen by his people for the last time. Before he
went, he talked with them.

Manabush said, "I am going away now. I have been badly treated by
other people who live in the land about you. I shall go across a great
water towards the rising sun, where there is a land of rocks. There I
shall set up my wigwam. When you hold a _mita-wiko-nik_ and are all
together, you shall think of me. When you speak my name, I shall hear
you. Whatever you ask, that I will do."

Then Manabush spoke no more to his people. He entered the canoe. Then
he went slowly over the great water, to the land of rocks. He
vanished from his people as he went towards the rising sun.[14]

    [14] The Ojibwas say he went toward the setting sun.

         Thus departed Hiawatha,
         Hiawatha the Beloved,
         In the glory of the sunset,
         In the purple mists of evening,
         To the regions of the home-wind,
         Of the Northwest wind, Keewaydin ...



The uncles of Manabush, the people, used to visit a rock near Mackinac
where the old men said Manabush was living. They built a long lodge
there. They sang in their _mita-wiko-nik_ there. Manabush heard them.
Sometimes he came to them. He appeared as a little white rabbit,
trembling, with pink ears, just as he had first appeared to Nokomis,
his grandmother.



One day long after Manabush had gone away from his people, an Indian
dreamed that he spoke to him. At daylight, he sought seven friends,
chief men of the Mita-wit. They held a council together, and then rose
and went in search of Manabush.

The Dreamer blackened his face.

On the shore of the Great Waters, they entered canoes, and paddled
toward a rocky place in the Land of the Rising Sun. Very long they
paddled over the water, until they reached the land where dwelt

Soon they reached his wigwam. Manabush bade them enter. The door of
the wigwam lifted and fell again as each one entered. When all were
seated, Manabush said:

"My friends, why is it you have come so long a journey to see me? What
is it you wish?"

All but one answered, at once: "Manabush, we wish some hunting
medicine; thus we may supply our people with much food."

"You shall have it," said Manabush. Then he turned to the silent one.
He asked, "What do you wish?"

The Indian replied, "I wish no hunting medicine. I wish to live

Manabush rose and went towards the Indian. He took him by the
shoulders and carried him to his sleeping place. He set him down, and

"You shall be a stone. Thus you shall be everlasting."

Immediately the other Indians arose and went down to the shore. In
their canoes they returned to their own land. It is from these seven
who returned that we know of the abode of Manabush.



Long ago an old man sat alone in his lodge beside a frozen stream. The
fire was dying out, and it was near the end of winter. Outside the
lodge, the cold wind swept before it the drifting snow. So the old man
sat alone, day after day, until at last a young warrior entered his
lodge. He was fresh and joyous and youthful.

The old man welcomed him. He drew out his long pipe and filled it with
tobacco. He lighted it from the dying embers of the fire. Then they
smoked together.

The old man said, "I blow my breath and the streams stand still. The
water becomes stiff and hard like the stones."

"I breathe," said the warrior, "and flowers spring up over the plain."

"I shake my locks," said the old man, "and snow covers the land.
Leaves fall from the trees. The birds fly away. The animals hide. The
earth becomes hard."

"I shake my locks," said the young man, "and the warm rain falls.
Plants blossom; the birds return; the streams flow."

Then the sun came up over the edge of the Earth-plain, and began to
climb the trail through the Sky-land. The old man slept. Behold! The
frozen stream near by began to flow. The fire in the lodge died out.
Robins sat upon the lodge poles and sang.

Then the warrior looked upon the sleeping old man. Behold! It was
Peboan, the Winter-maker.[15]

    [15] In his lodge beside a river,
         Close beside a frozen river,
         Sat an old man, sad and lonely,
         White his hair was as a snow-drift;
         Dull and low his fire was burning,
         And the old man shook and trembled,
               .  .  .  .
         Hearing nothing but the tempest
         As it roared along the forest,
         Seeing nothing but the snow-storm,
         As it whirled and hissed and drifted.
         All the coals were white with ashes
         And the fire was slowly dying,
         As a young man, walking lightly,
         At the open doorway entered.
         Red with blood of youth his cheeks were,
         Soft his eyes, as stars in Spring-time.



A small war party of Ojibwas fought, long ago, with enemies on an open
plain. Then their chief was shot by an arrow in his breast as he rode
after the retreating enemy. When his warriors found their chief dead,
they placed him, sitting, with his back against a tree. They left him
there with his bow and arrows.

But the chief was not dead. He saw the warriors leave him and he ran
after them as they rode the homeward trail. He followed closely in
their trail. He slept in their camp, yet they did not see him.

When the war party reached their own village, they sang the song of
victory, yet they sent up the death wail for those who were killed.
The women and children came out. The chief heard his warriors tell of
his death. He said, "No, I am not dead," but they did not hear him.

Then the chief went to his own wigwam. His wife was weeping, and
wailing for his death. "I am here," he said, but she did not hear him.
"I am hungry," he said. She made no answer. Only she raised again the
death wail.

Then the chief thought. Perhaps only his spirit had returned. Perhaps
his body was yet on the field of battle. So he followed the trail back
to the battle field. It was a four days' journey. For three days he
saw no one as he journeyed. The fourth day, on the edge of the plain,
he saw a fire in his trail. He walked to one side and the other; the
fire moved also and always burned before him. Then he turned in
another direction. The fire was again in his trail. Then he sprang
suddenly, and jumped through the flame.

At once he awoke. He was sitting on the ground, with his back against
a tree. Over his head in the branches sat a large war eagle. Now Eagle
was his guardian, because he had come to him in his fasting vision in
his youth.

Then the wounded chief arose. He followed the trail of the war party
to his village. Four days he followed the homeward trail. He came to a
stream which flowed between him and his wigwam, therefore he gave the
whoop which means the return of an absent friend. Then the Indians
began to think. They said, "No one is absent. Perhaps it is an enemy."
So they sent over a canoe with armed men. Thus the chief landed among
his own people.

Then the chief gave them instructions. He said it was pleasing to a
spirit to have a fire burning at the grave for four days after the
body was buried. This was because it is four days' journey on the
death trail to the Ghost-land; so the spirit needed a fire at his
camping place every evening.

Also he said the spirit needed his bow and arrow, his best robes, in
his journey. Therefore the Ojibwas burn a fire four nights at a new
grave, that the spirit may be happy in following the Trail of the Dead
to the Spirit-land.[16]

    [16] Thus they buried Minnehaha.
         And at night a fire was lighted,
         On her grave four times was kindled,
         For her soul upon its journey
         To the Islands of the Blessed.
         From his doorway Hiawatha
         Saw it burning in the forest,
         Lighting up the gloomy hemlocks;
         From his sleepless bed uprising,
         From the bed of Minnehaha,
         Stood and watched it at the doorway,
         That it might not be extinguished,
         Might not leave her in the darkness.



After a man dies, he must travel far on the death trail. It journeys
to the Darkening-land, where Sun slips over the edge of the
Earth-plain. Then the spirit comes to a deep, rapid stream. There are
steep and rugged hills on each side, so that one may not follow a land
trail. The Trail of the Dead leads over the stream, and the only
bridge is a pine log. It is a very slippery log, and even the bark has
been peeled off. Also on the other side of the bridge are six persons.
They have rocks in their hands, and throw them at spirits when they
are just at the middle of the log.

Now when an evil spirit sees the stones coming, he tries to dodge
them. Therefore he slips off the log. He falls far into the water
below, where are evil things. The water carries him around and around,
as in a whirlpool, and then brings him back again among the evil
things. Sometimes evil spirit climbs up on the rocks and looks over
into the country of the good spirits. But he cannot go there.

Now the good spirit walks over safely. He does not mind the stones
and does not dodge them. He crosses the stream and goes to a good
hunting land. It is more beautiful there than on the Earth-plain.
There are no storms. The sky is always blue, and the grass is green,
and there are many buffaloes. Therefore there is always feasting and



Once Shingebiss, the duck, lived all alone in his wigwam on the shore
of a lake. It was winter and very cold. Ice had frozen over the top of
the water. Shingebiss had but four logs of wood in his wigwam, but
each log would burn one month and there were but four winter

    [17] And at night Kabibonokka
         To the lodge came, wild and wailing,
         Heaped the snow in drifts about it,
         Shouted down into the smoke-flue,
         Shook the lodge poles in his fury,
         Flapped the curtain of the doorway,
         Shingebis, the diver, feared not,
         Shingebis, the diver, cared not;
         Four great logs had he for firewood,
         One for each moon of the winter,
         And for food the fishes served him,
         By his blazing fire he sat there,
         Warm and merry, eating, laughing,
         Singing, "O Kabibonokka,
         You are but my fellow mortal!"

    _From Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology._]

Shingebiss had no fear of the cold. He would go out on the coldest
day. He would seek for places where rushes and flags grew through the
ice. He pulled them up and dived through the broken ice for fish. Thus
he had plenty of food. Thus he went to his wigwam dragging long
strings of fish behind him on the ice.

North West noticed this. He said, "Shingebiss is a strange man. I will
see if I cannot get the better of him."

North West shook his rattle and the wind blew colder. Snow drifted
high. But Shingebiss did not let his fire go out. In the worst storms
he continued going out, seeking for the weak places in the ice where
the roots grew.

North West noticed this. He said, "Shingebiss is a strange man. I
shall go and visit him."

That night North West went to the door of the wigwam. Shingebiss had
cooked his fish and eaten it. He was lying on his side before the
fire, singing songs.

He sang,

    Ka neej   Ka neej
    Be in   Be in
    Bon in   Bon in
    Oc ee   Oc ee
    Ca We-ya   Ca We-ya.

This meant, "Spirit of North West, you are but my fellow man."

Now he sang this because he knew North West was standing at the door
of his wigwam. He could feel his cold breath. He kept right on singing
his songs.

North West said, "Shingebiss is a strange man. I shall go inside."

Therefore North West entered the wigwam and sat down on the opposite
side of the lodge. Shingebiss lay before the fire and sang:

"Spirit of North West, you are but my fellow man."

Then he got up and poked the fire. The wigwam became very warm. At
last North West said, "I cannot stand this. I must go out. Shingebiss
is a very strange man." So he went out.

Then North West shook his rattles until the great storms came. Thus
there was much ice and snow and wind. All the flag roots were frozen
in hard ice. Still Shingebiss went fishing. He bit off the frozen
flags and rushes, and broke the hard ice around their roots. He dived
for fish and went home dragging strings of fish behind him on the ice.

North West noticed this. He said, "Shingebiss must have very strong
medicine. Some manito is helping him. I cannot conquer him. Shingebiss
is a very strange man."

So he let him alone.



Once a hunter with his wife and two children lived in a tepee. Each
day the hunter went out for game. He was a good hunter and he brought
back much game.

But one day, after autumn had gone and winter had come, the hunter met
Kon, Snow, who froze his feet badly. Then the hunter made a large
wooden bowl and filled it with Kon. He buried it in a deep hole where
the midday sun could shine down upon it, and where Snow could not run
away. Then he covered the hole with sticks and leaves so that Snow
would be a prisoner until summer.

Now when midsummer came, and everything was warm, the hunter came back
to this hole and pulled away the sticks and leaves. He let the midday
sun shine down upon Kon so that he melted. Thus the hunter punished

But when autumn came again, one day the hunter heard someone say to
him, when he was in the forest: "You punished me last summer, but
when winter comes I will show you how strong I am."

The hunter knew it was Kon's voice. He at once built another tepee,
near the one in which he lived, and filled it full of firewood.

At last winter came again. When the hunter was in the forest one day,
he heard Kon say: "Now I am coming to visit you, as I said I should.
In four days I shall be at your tepee."

When the hunter returned home, he made ready more firewood; he built a
fire at the two sides of the tepee. After four days, everything became
frozen. It was very cold. The hunter kept up the fires in the tepee.
He took out all the extra fur robes to cover his wife and children.
The cold became more severe. It was hard not to freeze.

On the fifth day, towards night, the hunter looked out from his tepee
upon a frozen world. Then he saw a stranger coming. He looked like any
other stranger, except that he had a very large head and an immense
beard. When he came to the tepee, the hunter asked him in. He at once
came in, but he would not go near either of the fires. This puzzled
the hunter, and he began to watch the stranger.

It became colder and colder after the stranger had come into the
tepee. The hunter added more wood to each of the fires until they
roared. The stranger seemed too warm. The hunter added more wood, and
the stranger became warmer and warmer. Then the hunter saw that as he
became warm, he seemed to shrink. At last his head and body were quite
small. Then the hunter knew who the stranger guest was. It was Kon,
the Cold. So he kept up his fires until Kon melted altogether away.



In the olden days, so they say, the Indians fought much. Always they
followed the war trail. Then Gitche Manito, the Good Mystery, thought,
"This is not well. My children should not always follow the war
trail." Therefore he called a great council. He called all the tribes
together. Now this was on the upper Mississippi.

Gitche Manito stood on a great wall of red rock. On the green plain
below him were the wigwams of his children. All the tribes were there.

Gitche Manito broke off a piece of the red rock. He made a pipe out of
it. He made a pipe by turning it in his hands. Then he smoked the
pipe, and the smoke made a great cloud in the sky.

He spoke in a loud voice. He said, "See, my people, this stone is red.
It is red because it is the flesh of all tribes. Therefore can it be
used only for a pipe of peace when you cease to follow the war trail.
Therefore it is the Place of Peace. To all the tribes it belongs."

Then the cloud grew larger and Gitche Manito vanished in it.

Now therefore, because of the command of Gitche Manito, the Indians
smoke the pipe of peace when they cease to follow the war trail. And
because it is the Place of Peace, the tomahawk and the scalping knife
are never lifted there.[18]

    [18] On the Mountains of the Prairie,
         On the great Red Pipe-stone Quarry,
         Gitche Manito, the mighty,
         He the Master of Life descending,
         On the red crags of the quarry,
         Stood erect and called the nations,
         Called the tribes of men together.
               .  .  .  .
         "I am weary of your quarrels,
         Weary of your wars and bloodshed,
         Weary of your prayers for vengeance,
         Of your wranglings and dissensions;
               .  .  .  .
         Break the red stone from this quarry,
         Mould and make it into Peace-pipes,
         Take the reeds that grow beside you,
         Deck them with your brightest feathers,
         Smoke the calumet together."



Thunder had a Nest where a very small bird sits upon her eggs during
fair weather. When an egg hatches, the skies are rent with bolts of



Before there were any people on the earth, Gitche Manito hunted the
buffalo. He killed them and cooked them before his camp fire on the
Red Rocks, on the top of the Coteau des Prairies, the Mountain of the
Prairies. So the blood of the buffaloes ran over the rocks and made
them red.

Gitche Manito was then a very large bird. We can still see his tracks
in the red stone. Now it happened a large snake crawled out of its
hole to eat the eggs of the Bird. Then at once the egg hatched out in
a clap of thunder.

Gitche Manito took a piece of stone to throw at the snake. He shaped
it in his hands like to a man.

Now this man's feet stood fast in the ground where he was. Thus he
stayed for many ages; therefore he grew very old. He was older than a
hundred men at the present time. At last another tree grew beside him.
It grew a long while, until a snake bit off the roots. Then the two
people left the pipestone quarry. They wandered away. They were the
grandfathers of all the tribes.



A great flood came. Then the tribes met on the Coteau des Prairies, on
the Mountain of the Prairies, to get out of the way of the waters.
Then the waters rose higher; thus the tribes were drowned. Gitche
Manito made them into stone. Therefore the stone is red.

Now when the waters were rising, a young woman caught the foot of a
large bird flying near. It was War-eagle. He carried her to the top of
a large mountain. Thus she was saved. Then she married War-eagle.

Now all the tribes were drowned. Therefore the children of War-eagle
and the Indian woman were the ancestors of all the Indians.



A man found himself standing alone on the prairie. He was very large
and strong. He thought to himself, "How did I come here? Am I all
alone on the earth? I must travel until I find the abode of men."

So he started out. After a long time he came to a wood. There were
decayed stumps there, very old, as if cut in the olden times. Again he
journeyed a long time. He came to a wood in which there were more
stumps, newly cut. Then he came to the fresh trail of people. He saw
wood just cut, lying in heaps. At sunset he came out of the forest. He
saw a village of many lodges standing on rising ground.

He said, "I will go there on the run." He ran. When he came to the
first lodge, he sprang over it. Those within saw something pass over
the smoke hole. They heard a thump on the ground.

They said, "What is that?" They ran out. They invited him to enter.
Many warriors were in the wigwam, and an old chief.

The chief said, "Where are you going? What is your name?"

He said, "I am in search of adventures. I am Pau-puk-kee-wis." Then
they laughed.

After a short time he went on. A young man went with him as his
_mesh-in-au-wa_, as his pipe bearer.

As they journeyed, Pau-puk-kee-wis did strange things. He leaped over
trees. He whirled on one foot until dust clouds were flying.

One day a large village of wigwams came in their trail. They went to
it. The chief told them of evil manitoes who had killed all the people
going to that village. War parties had been sent against them. The
warriors were all killed.

Pau-puk-kee-wis said, "I will go and visit them."

The chief said, "Oh, no. They are evil. They will kill you."

Pau-puk-kee-wis said, "I will go and visit them."

Then the chief said, "I will send twenty warriors with you."

So Pau-puk-kee-wis, with his pipe bearer and twenty warriors, started
off at once. They came near that lodge. Pau-puk-kee-wis said, "Hide
here. Thus you will be safe. You will see what I do." He went to that
lodge. He entered.

The manitoes were very ugly. They were evil looking. There were a
father and four sons. They offered him food. He refused it.

The old manito said, "What have you come for?"

"Nothing," said Pau-puk-kee-wis.

"Do you want to wrestle?" asked the manito.

"Yes," said Pau-puk-kee-wis.

At once the eldest brother rose and they began to wrestle. These
manitoes were very evil. They wished to kill Pau-puk-kee-wis in order
to eat him. But that man was very strong. He tripped the manito. Then
he threw him down. His head struck on a stone.

The next brother wrestled with Pau-puk-kee-wis. He fell. Then the
other two wrestled. All four fell on the ground. The old manito began
to run. Pau-puk-kee-wis pursued him. He pursued him in a very queer
way, just for fun. Sometimes he leaped over him and ran ahead.
Sometimes he pushed him ahead from behind.

All the twenty warriors cried, "Ha! ha! ha! Ha! ha! ha!
Pau-puk-kee-wis is driving him."

At last Pau-puk-kee-wis killed him. Thus all the evil manitoes were

Then they looked on the bones of the warriors and people who had been
killed by those evil ones. Then Pau-puk-kee-wis took three arrows. He
performed a ceremony to Gitche Manito. He shot one arrow. He cried,
"You who are lying down, rise up or you will be hit." At once the
bones all moved to one place.

He shot a second arrow. He cried, "You who are lying down, rise up,
or you will be hit." The proper bones moved together, toward each

He shot a third arrow. He cried, "You who are lying down, rise up, or
you will be hit." The people became alive again. Then Pau-puk-kee-wis
led them back to the village of the friendly chief.

This one then came to him with his council. He said, "You should rule
my people. You only are able to defend them."

Pau-puk-kee-wis said, "I am going on a journey. Let my pipe bearer be
chief." So he was.

Pau-puk-kee-wis began his journey. "Ho! ho! ho!" cried all the people.
"Come back again. Ho! ho! ho!"

He journeyed on. He came to a lake made by beavers.[19] He stood on
the beaver dam and watched. He saw the head of a beaver peering out.

    [19] With a smile he spake in this wise:
         "O, my friend, Ahmeek, the beaver,
         Cool and pleasant is the water;
         Let me dive into the water,
         Let me rest there in your lodges;
         Change me, too, into a beaver!"
             Cautiously replied the beaver,
         With reserve he thus made answer,
         "Let me first consult the others,
         Let me ask the other beavers."

"Make me a beaver like yourself," said Pau-puk-kee-wis. He wanted to
see how beavers lived.

"I will go and ask what the others have to say," said Beaver.

Soon all the beavers looked out to see if he were armed. He had left
his bow and arrow in a hollow tree.

"Make me a beaver," said Pau-puk-kee-wis. "I wish to live among you."

"Yes," said Beaver chief. "Lie down." He lay down. He found himself a

"You must make me large," he said.

"Yes," said Beaver chief. "When we get into the lodge, you shall be
made very large."

So they all dived down into the water again. They passed heaps of tree
limbs and logs lying on the bottom of the river.

"What are these for?" asked Pau-puk-kee-wis.

"For our winter food," said Beaver chief.

Now when they got into the lodge, they made Pau-puk-kee-wis very
large. They made him ten times larger than themselves.

Soon a beaver came running in. He cried, "The Indians are hunting us."
At once all the beavers ran out of the lodge door on the bottom of the
river. Pau-puk-kee-wis was too large. He could not get out. The
Indians broke down the dam. They lowered the water. They broke in the
lodge. They saw that one.

"_Ty-au! Ty-au!_" cried the Indians. "_Me-sham-mek_, the chief of the
beavers, is here."

So they killed him. Yet Pau-puk-kee-wis kept thinking. They placed his
great body on a pole. Seven or eight Indians carried it. They went
back to their lodges. They sent out invitations for a great feast.
Then the women came out to skin him on the snow. When his flesh became
cold, the _Jee-bi_ of Pau-puk-kee-wis went away. His spirit went away.

So Pau-puk-kee-wis found himself standing alone on a prairie. Soon
there came near by a herd of elk. He thought, "They are very happy. I
will be an elk." He went near them, and said, "Make me an elk. I wish
to live among you."

They said, "Yes. Get down on your hands and knees."

Soon he found himself an elk.

"I want big horns and big feet," said Pau-puk-kee-wis. "I want to be
very large."

"Yes, yes," said the elk. So they made him very large. At last they
said, "Are you large enough?" Pau-puk-kee-wis said, "Yes."

So he lived with the elks. One cold day they all went into the woods
for shelter. Soon some of the herd came racing by like a strong wind.
At once all began to run.

"Keep out on the prairies," they said to Pau-puk-kee-wis.

But he was so large he got tangled up in the thick woods. He soon
smelt the hunters. They were all following his trail. Pau-puk-kee-wis
jumped high. He broke down saplings. Then the hunters shot him. He
jumped higher. He jumped over the tree tops. Then all the hunters shot
him. So they killed him. Then they skinned him. When his flesh became
cold, the spirit of Pau-puk-kee-wis went away.

Thus Pau-puk-kee-wis had many adventures. After a long time Manabozho
killed him. Then he was really dead because he was killed in his human
form. Manabozho said, "You shall not be permitted to live on the earth
again. I will make you a war eagle."

Thus Pau-puk-kee-wis became a war eagle. He lives in the sky.



    [20] From his lodge went Pau-puk-keewis,
         Came with speed into the village,
         Found the young men all assembled
         In the lodge of old Iagoo,
         Listening to his monstrous stories,
         To his wonderful adventures.
               .  .  .  .
         Homeward now returned Iagoo,
         The great traveller, the great boaster,
         Full of new and strange adventures,
         Marvels many and many wonders.

Iagoo was a great boaster. Once he told the people of a water lily he
had seen. He said the leaf was large enough to make garments for his
wife and daughter.

One evening Iagoo was sitting in his wigwam, on the bank of the river.
He heard ducks quack on the stream. He shot at them, without aiming.
He shot through the door of the wigwam. Behold! His arrow pierced a
swan flying by. It killed many ducks in the stream. The arrow flew
farther. It killed two loons, just coming up from beneath the water.
Then it killed a very large fish.

Iagoo went hunting. He followed the trail of the deer through the
forest. He shot a deer and skinned it. He lifted the meat upon his
shoulders. As he came from his hunting place, Iagoo saw a person on a
prairie before him. He pursued that person. Iagoo ran half a day after
that one. Then he remembered the meat upon his shoulders. He
remembered he carried the body of the deer.

Iagoo had many adventures. He found mosquitoes in a bog-land. They
were very large. The wing of one he used for a sail for his canoe,
when the breeze blew. The nose of that insect was as large as his
wife's digging stick.

One day Iagoo watched a beaver's lodge. He watched for the peering
head of a beaver. Behold! An ant went by. She had killed a hare. She
dragged hare's body on the ground behind her.



Ojeeg was a great hunter. He lived on the southern shore of Lake
Superior. Ojeeg had a wife and one son.

Now the son hunted game as the father taught him. He followed the
trails over the snow. For snow lay always on the ground. It was always
cold. Therefore the boy returned home crying.

One day as he went to his father's wigwam in the cold and snow he saw
Red Squirrel, gnawing the end of a pine cone. Now the son of Ojeeg had
shot nothing all day because his hands were so cold. When he saw Red
Squirrel, he came nearer, and raised his bow.

Red Squirrel said, "My grandson, put up your arrow. Listen to me."

The boy put the arrow in his quiver.

Red Squirrel said, "You pass my wigwam very often. You cry because you
cannot kill birds. Your fingers are numb with cold. Obey me. Thus it
shall always be summer. Thus you can kill many birds."

    _From Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology._]

Red Squirrel said again, "Obey me. When you reach your father's
wigwam, throw down your bow and arrows. Begin to weep. If your mother
says, 'My son, what is the matter?' do not answer her. Continue
weeping. If she says, 'My son, eat this,' you must refuse the food.
Continue weeping. In the evening when your father comes in he will say
to your mother, 'What is the matter with my son?' She will say, 'He
came in crying. He will not tell me.' Your father will say, 'My son,
what is the matter? I am a spirit. Nothing is too hard for me.' Then
you must answer, 'It is always cold and dreary. Snow lies always upon
the ground. Melt the snow, my father, so that we may have always
summer.' Then your father will say, 'It is very difficult to do what
you ask. I will try.' Then you must be quiet. You must eat the food
they give you."

Thus it happened.

Ojeeg then said, "I must make a feast. I must invite my friends to go
on this journey with me." At once Ojeeg killed a bear. The next day he
had a great feast. There were Otter, Beaver, and Lynx. Also Wolverine
and Badger were at the feast.

Then they started on their journey. On the twentieth day they came to
the foot of a high mountain. There was blood in the trail. Some person
had killed an animal. They followed the trail of that person. They
arrived at a wigwam.

Ojeeg said, "Do not laugh. Be very quiet."

A man stood in the doorway of the wigwam. He was a great manito. He
was a head only. Thus he was very strange. Then he made a feast for
them. He made very curious movements, so Otter laughed. At once the
manito leaped upon him. He sprang on him, but Otter slipped out from
under him and escaped.

The manito and the animals talked all night. The manito said to Ojeeg,
the Fisher, "You will succeed. You will be the summer-maker. But you
will die. Yet the summer will come."

Now when they followed the trail in the morning, they met Otter. He
was very cold and hungry, therefore Fisher gave him meat.

Then they journeyed on. On the twentieth day, they came to the top of
a lofty mountain. Then they smoked their pipes.

Then Ojeeg, the Fisher, and the animals prepared themselves. Ojeeg
said to Otter, "We must first make a hole in the Sky-cover. You try

Otter made a great spring. He did not even touch the Sky-cover. He
fell back, down the hill, to the bottom of the hill. Then Otter said,
"I will go home." So he did.

Then Beaver tried. He fell. Also Lynx and Badger fell.

Then Wolverine tried. He made a great leap and touched the sky. Then
he leaped again. He pressed against the Sky-cover. He leaped a third
time. The Sky-cover broke, and Wolverine went into the Sky-land.
Fisher also sprang in quickly after him.

Thus Wolverine and Fisher were in the Sky-plain, in the summer land.
There were many flowers and streams of bright water. There were birds
in the trees, and fish and water birds on the streams. Many lodges
stood there, but they were empty. In each lodge were many _mocuks_,
many bird cages, with birds in them.

At once Ojeeg began to cut the _mocuks_. The birds flew out. They flew
down through the hole in the Sky-cover to the Earth-plain below. They
carried warm air down with them.

Now when the people of the Sky-land saw these strangers, and their
birds escaping, they ran to their wigwams. But they were too late.
Spring, and summer, and autumn had slipped down the hole in the
Sky-cover. Endless summer was just passing through, but they broke it
in two with a blow. Therefore only a part of endless summer came down
to the Earth-plain.

Now when Wolverine heard the noise of the sky people, running to
their lodges, he jumped down the hole and escaped. Fisher also tried
to jump, but the people had shut the cover. Therefore Fisher ran and
the people pursued him. He climbed a great tree in the north, and the
people began shooting at him. Now Fisher was a spirit; he could not be
hurt except in the tip of his tail. At last they shot him in his tail.

Fisher called to the Sky People to stop shooting. But they did not
stop until darkness came. Then they went away. Fisher climbed down. He
went towards the north. He said, "I have kept my promise to my son.
The seasons will now be different. There will be many moons without
snow and cold."

Thus Fisher died, with the arrow sticking in his tail. It can be seen
there, even to this day.[21]

    [21] He was telling them the story
         Of Ojeeg the Summer-Maker,
         How he made a hole in heaven,
         How he climbed up into heaven,
         And let out the summer-weather,
         The perpetual summer-weather.
         How the Otter first essayed it,
         How the Beaver, Lynx, and Badger,
         Tried in turn the great achievement,
         From the summit of the mountain ...



Rabbit was very boastful. One day he met Otter. Otter said, "Sometimes
I eat ducks."

"Well, I eat ducks, too," said Rabbit.

So they went up the stream until they saw several ducks in the water.
They followed the trail softly. Then they stood on the river bank.

Rabbit said, "You go first." At once Otter dived from the bank. He
swam under water until he reached a duck; then he pulled it under
quickly so that the other ducks were not frightened. While he was
under water, Rabbit peeled bark from a sapling and made a noose.

"Now, watch me," he said, when Otter came back. He dived in and swam
under water until he was nearly choked. So he came to the top to
breathe. He did this several times. The last time he came up among the
ducks and threw the noose over the head of one.

Duck spread her wings and flew up, with Rabbit hanging to the end of
the noose. Up and up flew the duck, but Rabbit could not hold on any
longer. Then he let go and dropped.

Rabbit fell into a hollow sycamore. It was very tall, and had no hole
at the bottom. Rabbit stayed there until he was so hungry he ate his
own fur, even as he does to this day.

After many days, he heard children playing around the tree. He began
to sing,

    Cut a door and look at me,
    I'm the prettiest thing you ever did see.

The children at once ran home to tell their father. He came and cut a
hole in the tree. As he chopped away, Rabbit kept singing,

    Cut it larger, so you can see me. I am very pretty.

So they made the hole larger. Then Rabbit told them to stand back so
they could get a good look at him. They stood back. Then Rabbit sprang
out and leaped away.



Rabbit aided his friend the Frenchman with his work. They planted
potatoes. Rabbit looked upon the potato vines as his share of the crop
and ate them all.

Again Rabbit aided his friend the Frenchman. This time they planted
corn. When it was grown, Rabbit said, "This time I will eat the
roots." So he pulled up all the corn by the roots, but he found
nothing to satisfy his hunger.

Then the Frenchman said, "Let us dig a well." Rabbit said, "No. You
dig it alone."

The Frenchman said, "Then you shall not drink water from the well."

"That does not matter," said Rabbit. "I am used to licking off the dew
from the ground."

So the Frenchman dug his well. Then he made a tar baby and stuck it up
close to the well. One day Rabbit came near the well, carrying a long
piece of hollow cane and a tin bucket. When he reached the well he
spoke to the tar baby; it did not answer.

"Friend, what is the matter? Are you angry?" asked Rabbit.

Tar baby did not answer. So Rabbit hit him with a forepaw. The forepaw
stuck there.

"Let me go," said Rabbit, "or I will hit you on the other side."

Tar baby paid no attention, so Rabbit hit him with the other forepaw,
and that stuck fast.

"I will kick you," said Rabbit. But when he kicked him the hindpaw

"Very well," he said, "I will kick you with the other foot." So he
kicked him with the other foot and that stuck fast. By that time
Rabbit looked like a ball, all four paws sticking to the tar baby.

Just then the Frenchman came to the well. He picked Rabbit up, tied
his paws together, laid him down and scolded him. Rabbit pretended to
be in great fear of a brier patch.

"If you are so afraid of a brier patch," said the Frenchman, "I will
throw you into one."

"Oh, no, no!" said Rabbit.

"I will throw you into the brier patch," repeated the Frenchman.

"I am much afraid of it," answered Rabbit.

"Since you are in such dread of it, I will throw you into it," said
the Frenchman. So he picked up Rabbit and threw him far into the
brier patch. Rabbit fell far away from the Frenchman.

Then he picked himself up and ran off, laughing at the trick he had
played on the Frenchman.



Once the weather was dry for so long that there was no more water in
the springs and creeks. The animals held a council to see what to do
about it. They decided to dig a well, and all agreed to help, except
Rabbit who was a lazy fellow.

Rabbit said, "I don't need to dig for water. The dew on the grass is
enough for me."

The others did not like this, but they all started to dig the well. It
stayed dry for a long while and even the water in the well was low.
Still Rabbit was lively and bright.

"Rabbit steals our water at night," they said. So they made a wolf of
pine gum and tar. They set it by the well to scare the thief.

That night Rabbit came again to the well. He saw the black thing

"Who's there?" he asked. But Tar Wolf did not answer. Rabbit came
nearer. Yet Tar Wolf did not move. Rabbit grew brave and said, "Get
out of my way."

Tar Wolf did not move. So Rabbit hit him with his paw; but it stuck
fast in the gum.

Rabbit became angry and said, "Let go my paw!" Still Tar Wolf said
nothing. So Rabbit hit him with his hind foot; that stuck in the gum.

So Tar Wolf held Rabbit fast until morning. Then the other animals
came for water. When they found Rabbit stuck fast, they made great fun
of him for a while. At last Rabbit managed to get away.



Rabbit was a great boaster. He wanted a medicine lodge and to have
people think he was a great medicine man.

Now one day, Wabus, the Rabbit, and his wife were traveling. They came
to a low hill covered with poplar sprouts. They were green and tender.
Therefore Rabbit decided to make his home there.

Rabbit went first to the top of a hill and built a wigwam. He made
trails from it in all directions, so he might see anyone who

When the wigwam was finished, Rabbit told his wife he was going to
dance; but first he ran all about the hill to see if anyone was
watching him. He found no trail. Then he returned and began his song.

Now just as Rabbit returned to his wigwam, Panther reached the base of
the hill, and he found Rabbit's trail. He followed it until he reached
the place where Rabbit and his wife were dancing. Here he hid to watch

Now Rabbit told his wife to sit at one end of the lodge while he went
to the other. He took his medicine bag. Then he approached her four
times, chanting,

    Ye ha-a-a-a-a   Ye ha-a-a-a-a
    Ye ha-a-a-a-a   Ye ha-a-a-a-a

Then he shot at his wife, just as a medicine man does when he shoots
at a new member. Then Rabbit's wife arose and shot at him. Thus they
were very happy.

Then Rabbit began to sing a song which meant this: "If Panther comes
across my trail while I am biting the bark from the poplars, he will
not be able to catch me for I am a good runner."

When he had finished his song, Rabbit told his wife he would go out
hunting. Panther waited for his return.

Now as Rabbit started home again he was very happy. But when he
reached Panther's hiding place, his enemy sprang on his trail. Rabbit
saw him and started back on his trail. Panther raced after him. He
caught him and said,

"You are the man who said I could not catch you. Now who is the
fastest runner?" And before Rabbit could answer Panther ate him up.
But Rabbit was such a boastful man.



All the animals were of different sizes and wore different coats. Some
wore long fur and others wore short fur. Some had rings on their
tails; others had no tails at all. The coats of the animals were of
many colors--brown, or black, or yellow, or gray.

The animals were always quarreling about whose coat was the finest.
Therefore they held a council to decide the matter.

Now everyone had heard a great deal about Otter, but he lived far up
the trail; he did not often visit the others. It was said he had the
finest coat of all, but it was so long since they had seen him that no
one remembered what it was like. They did not even know just where he
lived, but they knew he would come when he heard of the council.

Rabbit was afraid the council would say that Otter had the finest
coat. He learned by what trail Otter would come to the council. Then
he went a four days' march up the trail to meet him. At last he saw
Otter coming. He knew him at once by his beautiful coat of soft brown

Otter said, "Where are you going?"

"They sent me to bring you to the council," answered Rabbit. "They
were afraid you might not know the trail."

So Rabbit turned back and they traveled together. They traveled all
day. At night Rabbit picked out a camping place. Otter was a stranger
in that part. Rabbit cut down bushes for beds and made everything
comfortable. Next morning they started on again.

In the afternoon, Rabbit picked up pieces of bark and wood, as they
followed the trail, and loaded them on his back.

"Why are you doing that?" asked Otter.

"So that we may be warm and comfortable tonight," said Rabbit. Near
sunset they stopped and made camp. After supper Rabbit began to
whittle a stick, shaving it down to a paddle.

"Why are you doing that?" asked Otter again.

"Oh," said Rabbit, "I have good dreams when I sleep with a paddle
under my head."

When the paddle was finished, Rabbit began to cut a good trail through
the bushes to the river.

"Why are you doing that?" asked Otter.

"This is called 'The Place Where It Rains Fire,' and sometimes it
does rain fire here," said Rabbit. "The sky looks a little that way
tonight. You go to sleep and I will sit up and watch. If you hear me
shout, you run and jump into the river. Better hang your coat on that
limb over there, so it will not get burned."

Otter did as Rabbit told him; then both curled up and Otter went to
sleep. But Rabbit stayed awake. After a while the fire burned down to
red coals. Rabbit called to Otter; he was fast asleep. Then he called
again, but Otter did not awaken.

Then Rabbit rose softly. He filled the paddle with hot coals, threw
them up into the air and shouted, "It's raining fire! It's raining

The hot coals fell on Otter and he jumped up.

"To the river," shouted Rabbit and Otter fled into the water. So he
has lived in the water ever since.

Rabbit at once took Otter's coat and put it on, leaving his own
behind. Then he followed the trail to the council.

All the animals were waiting for Otter. At last they saw him coming
down the trail. They said to each other, "Otter is coming!" They sent
one of the small animals to show him the best seat. After he was
seated, the animals all went up in turn to welcome him. But Otter kept
his head down with one paw over his face.

The animals were surprised. They did not know Otter was so bashful.
At last Bear pulled the paw away. There was Rabbit! He sprang up and
started to run. Bear struck at him and pulled the tail off his coat.
But Rabbit was too quick and got safely away.



Rabbit and Bear had been friends for some time. One day Rabbit said to
Bear, "Come and visit me. I live in a very large brier patch." Then he
went home.

When he reached home he went out and gathered a quantity of young
canes which he hung up.

After a while Bear reached a place near his house, but was seeking the
large brier patch. Now Rabbit really dwelt in a very small patch. When
Rabbit found that Bear was near, he began to make a pattering sound
with his feet.

Bear was scared. He retreated to a distance and then stopped and stood
listening. As soon as Rabbit saw this, he cried out, "Halloo! my
friend! Was it you whom I treated in that manner? Come and take a

So Bear went back to Rabbit's house and took a seat. Rabbit gave the
young canes to his guest, who swallowed them all. Rabbit nibbled now
and then at one, while Bear swallowed all the others.

"This is what I have always liked," said Bear when he went home.
"Come and visit me. I dwell in a large bent tree."

Not long after, Rabbit started on his journey. He spent some time
seeking the large bent tree but he could not find it. Bear lived in a
hollow tree, and he sat there growling. Rabbit heard the growls and
fled for some distance before he sat down.

Then Bear called, "Halloo! my friend! Was it you whom I treated in
that manner? Come here and sit down."

Rabbit did so.

Bear said, "You are now my guest, but there is nothing for you to
eat." So Bear went in search of food.

Bear went to gather young canes, but as he went along, he gathered
also the small black bugs which live in decayed logs. When he had been
gone some time, he returned to his lodge with only a few young canes.
He put them down before Rabbit and then walked around him in a circle.
In a little while, he offered Rabbit the black bugs.

"I have never eaten such food," said Rabbit.

Bear was offended. He said, "When I was your guest, I ate all the food
you gave me, as I liked it very well. Now when I offer you food, why
do you treat me in this way?" Then Bear said, also, "Before the sun
sets, I shall kill you."

Rabbit's heart beat hard from terror, for Bear stood at the entrance
of the hollow log to prevent his escape. But Rabbit was very nimble.
He dodged first this way and then that, and with a long leap he got
out of the hollow tree. He went at once to his brier patch and sat

Rabbit was very angry with Bear. He shouted to him, "When people are
hunting you, I will go toward your hiding place, and show them where
you are."

That is why, when dogs hunt a rabbit, they always shoot a bear. That
is all.



After Rabbit had decided about light and darkness, he saw Owasse, the
Bear, coming.

Rabbit said, "Bear, what do you want for food?" Bear said, "Acorns and

Then Rabbit asked Fish Hawk. He said, "Fish Hawk, what will you select
for your food?"

Fish Hawk said, "I will take that fellow, Sucker, lying in the water

Sucker said at once, "You may eat me if you can, but that has still to
be decided."

Sucker at once swam out into the deepest part of the river, where Fish
Hawk could not reach him. Then Fish Hawk rose into the air to a point
where his shadow fell exactly on the spot where Sucker lay. Now as
Sucker lay there, he saw the shadow of a large bird on the bed of the
stream. He became frightened. He thought, "It must be a manido," so he
swam slowly to the surface. At once Fish Hawk darted down on him and
carried him into the air. Then he ate him.

Rabbit looked about him again. He saw Moqwaio, the Wolf. He cried,
"Ho, Wolf! What do you wish for food?"

Wolf said, "I will eat Deer." Deer said, "You cannot eat me, because I
can run too swiftly." Wolf said, "We will see about that." So they had
a race. Deer started ahead and ran very swiftly. Wolf ran swiftly,
too, but his fur robe was too heavy. At last he thought, "This robe is
too heavy. I will slip it off." So he threw it off. Then he bounded
ahead and caught Deer and ate him.

Then Rabbit asked another Deer, of the same totem, "Deer, what will
you select as food?"

Deer said, "I will eat people. There are many Indians in the country.
I will eat them."

At once all the animals began to talk. They said to Deer, "The Indian
is too powerful. You can never eat him."

Deer said, "Well, I will plan to eat Indians, anyway." Then he walked

Now one day an Indian was out hunting. He saw deer tracks to the right
and so followed them. They went in a large circle until they brought
him back where he had started. Then he saw deer tracks to the left. So
he followed those, until they also brought him back, in a large
circle, to the point where he started. Then the Indian saw that Deer
was following him.

Deer was determined to eat the Indians, because there were many of
them. It would not be difficult to hunt for food. But first he wanted
to frighten the hunter. So he pulled two ribs from his sides, and
stuck them into his lower jaw. They looked like tusks. Deer looked
very fierce. Then Deer came walking along, looking for an Indian. But
the hunter raised his bow and shot Deer. He carried the deer meat back
to his wigwam.

The shade of Deer at once went to the council of birds and animals. He
told Rabbit all about it.

Rabbit said, "I told you that you could not eat people. You see how it
is? Now you will have to live on grass and twigs."

And so they do, even to this day.



Rabbit and his grandmother lived in a wigwam. Rabbit used to go
hunting every day, very early in the morning. But no matter how early
he went, a person leaving long footprints had passed along ahead of
him. Each morning Rabbit thought, "I will reach there before him." Yet
each morning the person leaving long footprints passed before him.

One morning Rabbit said to his grandmother, "Oh, Grandmother, although
I have long wished to be the first to get there, again has he got
there ahead of me. Oh, Grandmother, I will make a noose, and I will
place it in the trail of that one, and thus I will catch him."

"Why should you do that?" asked grandmother.

"I hate that person," said Rabbit. He departed. When he reached there,
he found that the person had already departed. So he lay down near by
and waited for night. Then he went to the trail where the person with
long feet had been passing, and set a snare.

    _From Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology._]

    _From Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology._]

Very early the next morning he went to look at his trap. Behold! Sun
had been caught. Rabbit ran home very quickly.

"Oh, Grandmother, I have caught something but it scares me. I wished
to take the noose, but it scared me every time I went to get it."

Then Rabbit took a knife and again went there. The person said, "You
have done very wrong. Come and release me."

Rabbit did not go directly toward him. He went to one side. He bent
his head low and cut the cord. At once Sun went above on his trail.
But Rabbit had been so near him that Sun burned his fur on the back of
his neck.

Rabbit ran home. He cried, "Oh, Grandmother, I have been severely

"Alas! My grandson has been severely burned," said grandmother.



Animals and men lived on the earth in the beginning. The animals
killed all the people except a girl and her tiny brother, who hid from
them. The brother did not grow at all. Therefore when the sister
collected firewood, she took him with her. She made him a bow and

One day she said, "Now I must leave you for a while. Soon the
snowbirds will come and pick worms out of the wood I have cut. Shoot
one of them and bring it to me."

The boy waited. The birds came and he shot at them with his arrows. He
could not kill one. The next day he shot at them again. Then he killed
one. He came back to the wigwam with a bird.

He said, "My sister, skin it. I will wear the skins of the snowbirds."

"What shall we do with the body?" she asked.

"Cut it in two. We will put it in our broth." Now at that time, the
animals were very large. People did not eat them.

The boy killed ten snowbirds. Then his sister made a coat for him. One
day he said, "Are we alone on the Earth-plain?"

She said, "The animals who live in such a place have killed all our
relatives. You must never go there." Therefore he went in that

Now he walked a long while and met no one. Then he lay down on a knoll
where the sun had melted the snow. He fell asleep. Then Sun looked
down at him and burned his bird-skin coat. He tightened it so that the
boy was bound into it. When he awoke, the boy said to Sun, "You are
not too high. I will pay you back."

He went home. He said to his sister, "Sun has spoiled my coat." He
would not eat. He lay down on the ground. He lay ten days on one side.
Then he turned over and lay ten days on the other side.

At last he rose. He said to his sister, "Make me a snare. I shall
catch Sun."

She said, "I have no string." The boy said, "Make a string." Then she
remembered a bit of dried sinew which her father had had. So she made
a snare for him.

The boy said, "That will not do. Make a better snare." She said, "I
have no string." At last she remembered. She cut off some of her hair.
She made a string from that.

The boy said, "That will not do. Make me a noose." She thought again.
Then she remembered. She went out of the wigwam. She took something.
She made a braid out of that thing.

The boy said, "This will do." He was much pleased. When he took it, it
became a long red cord. There was much of it. He wound it around his

The boy left the wigwam while Sun was at home. He did this so that he
might catch him as he came over the edge of the earth. He put the
noose at the spot just where Sun came over the edge. When Sun came
along, the noose caught his head. He was held tight, so that he could
not follow his trail in the Sky-land.

Now the animals who ruled the earth were frightened because Sun did
not follow the trail. They said, "What shall we do?" So they called a
great council. They said, "We must send someone to cut the noose."
Thus they spoke in the council.

Now all the animals were afraid to cut the cord. Sun was so hot he
would burn them. At last Dormouse said, "I will go." He stood up in
the council. He was as high as a mountain. He was the largest of all
the animals.

When Dormouse reached the place where Sun was snared, his fur began
to singe and his back to burn. It was very hot. Dormouse cut the cord
with his teeth. But so much of him was burned up, he became very
small. Therefore Dormouse is the smallest of animals. That is why he
is called Kug-e-been-gwa-kwa.



Once there was a little white hare, living in a wigwam with her
grandmother. Now Grandmother sent Hare back to her native land. When
Hare had gone a short way, Lynx came down the trail. Lynx sang:

    Where, pretty white one,
    Where, pretty white one,
        Where do you go?

"_Tshwee! Tshwee! Tshwee! Tshwee!_" cried Hare, and ran back to

"See, Grandmother," she said, "Lynx came down the trail and sang,

    Where, pretty white one,
    Where, pretty white one,
        Where do you go?"

"Ho!" said Grandmother. "Have courage! Tell Lynx you are going to your
native land."

Hare went back up the trail. Lynx stood there, so Hare sang,

    To the point of land I go,
    There is the home of the little white one,
        There I go.

Lynx looked at the trembling little hare, and began to sing again,

    Little white one, tell me,
    Little white one, tell me,
    Why are your ears so thin and dry?

"_Tshwee! Tshwee! Tshwee! Tshwee!_" cried little Hare, and ran back to

"See, Grandmother," said Hare, "Lynx came down the trail and sang,

    Little white one, tell me,
    Little white one, tell me,
    Why are your ears so thin and dry?"

"Ho!" said Grandmother, "Go and tell him your uncles made them so when
they came from the South."

So Hare ran up the trail and sang,

    My uncles came from the south;
    They made my ears as they are.
    They made them thin and dry.

And then Hare laid her little pink ears back upon her shoulders, and
started to go to the point of land. But Lynx sang again,

    Why do you go away, little white one?
    Why do you go away, little white one?
    Why are your feet so dry and swift?

"_Tshwee! Tshwee! Tshwee! Tshwee!_" cried Hare and again she ran back
to Grandmother.

"Ho! do not mind him," said Grandmother. "Do not listen to him. Do not
answer him. Just run straight on."

So the little white hare ran up the trail as fast as she could. When
she came to the place where Lynx had stood, he was gone. So Hare ran
on and had almost reached her native land, on the point of land, when
Lynx sprang out of the thicket and ate her up.



Little wren is the messenger of the Birds. She pries into everything.
She gets up early in the morning and goes around to every wigwam to
get news for the Bird council. When a new baby comes into a wigwam,
she finds out whether it is a boy or a girl.

If it is a boy, the Bird council sings mournfully, "Alas! The whistle
of the arrow! My shins will burn!" Because the Birds all know that
when the boy grows older he will hunt them with his bows and arrows,
and will roast them on a stick.

But if the baby is a girl, they are glad. They sing, "Thanks! The
sound of the pestle! In her wigwam I shall surely be able to scratch
where she sweeps." Because they know that when she grows older and
beats the corn into meal, they will be able to pick up stray grains.

Cricket also is glad when the baby is a girl. He sings, "Thanks! I
shall sing in the wigwam where she lives." But if it is a boy, Cricket
laments, "_Gwo-he!_ He will shoot me! He will shoot me! He will shoot
me!" Because boys make little bows to shoot crickets and grasshoppers.

When the Cherokee Indians hear of a new baby, they ask, "Is it a bow,
or a meal sifter?" Or else they ask, "Is it ball-sticks or bread?"



    Ha wi ye   hy u we,
    Ha wi ye   hy u we.
    Yu we   yu we he,
    Ha wi ye   hy u we.

    The Bear is very bad, so they say,
    Long time ago he was very bad, so they say.
    The Bear did so and so, they say.



In the hot summer evenings, when the grassy patches around the lakes
and rivers sparkle with fireflies, the Indians sing a song to them.

    Flitting white-fire-bug,
    Flitting white-fire-bug,
    Give me your light before I go to sleep.
    Give me your light before I go to sleep.
    Come, little waving fire-bug.
    Come, little waving fire-bug.
    Light me with your bright torch.
    Light me with your bright torch.[22]

    [22] Saw the fire-fly, Wah-wah-taysee,
         Flitting through the dusk of evening,
         With the twinkle of its candle,
         Lighting up the brakes and bushes;
         And he sang the song of children,
         Sang the song Nokomis taught him;
         "Wah-wah-taysee, little fire-fly,
         Little, flitting, white-fire insect ..."



One day a hunter in the woods heard singing in a cave. He came near
and peeped in. It was a mother bear singing to her cubs and telling
them what to do when the hunters came after them.

Mother Bear said,

    When you hear the hunter coming down the creek, then
    Tsagi,   tsagi,   hwilahi,
    Tsagi,   tsagi,   hwilahi,
    Upstream, upstream, you must go.
    Upstream, upstream, you must go.

    But if you hear them coming down stream,
    Ge-i,   ge-i,   hwilahi,
    Ge-i,   ge-i,   hwilahi,
    Downstream, downstream, you must go.
    Downstream, downstream, you must go.

Another hunter out in the woods one day thought he heard a woman
singing to a baby. He followed the sound up a creek until he came to a
cave under the bushes. Inside there was a mother bear rocking her cub
in her paws and singing to it,

    Let me carry you on my back,
    Let me carry you on my back,
    Let me carry you on my back,
    Let me carry you on my back,
    On the sunny side go to sleep.
    On the sunny side go to sleep.

This was after some of the people had become bears. The hunter knew
they were of the Ani Tsagulin tribe.[23]

    [23] See "Origin of the Bear."



An Indian had a field of corn ripening in the sun. One day when he
wanted to look at it, he climbed a stump. Now the stump was hollow and
in it was a nest of bear cubs. The man slipped and fell down upon the

At once the cubs began calling for their mother, and Mother Bear came
running. She began to climb down into the stump backwards. Then the
Indian caught hold of her leg; thus she became frightened. She began
to climb out and dragged the Indian also to the top of the stump. Thus
he got out of the stump.



The Ancient of Ants was building a house. She worked hard to finish
her house before the cold weather came.

Now when it was very cold, the Katydid and the Locust reached her
house, asking for shelter. They said they had no houses.

The Ancient of Ants scolded them. She said, "After you are grown up,
in the warm weather, you sing all the time, instead of building a
house." She would not let them come into her house.

Then the Katydid and the Locust were ashamed, and as the weather was
very cold, they died. That is why katydids and locusts die every
winter, while the ants live in their warm houses. But the katydids and
locusts never do anything in warm weather but sing.



Once there was a widow with only one daughter. She said often, "You
should marry and then there will be a man to go hunting."

Then one day a man came courting the daughter. He said, "Will you
marry me?"

The girl said, "I can only marry a good worker. We need a man who is a
good hunter and who will work in the cornfield."

"I am exactly that sort of a man," he said. So the mother said they
might marry.

Then the next morning the mother gave the man a hoe. She said, "Go,
hoe the corn. When breakfast is ready I will call you." Then she went
to call him. She followed a sound as of someone hoeing on stony soil.
When she reached the place, there was only a small circle of hoed
ground. Over in the thicket someone said, "Hoo-hoo!"

When the man came back in the evening, the mother said, "Where have
you been all day?"

He said, "Hard at work."

The mother said, "I couldn't find you."

"I was over in the thicket cutting sticks to mark off the field," he

"But you did not come to the lodge to eat at all," she answered.

"I was too busy," he said.

Early the next morning he started off with his hoe over his shoulder.

Then the mother went again to call him, when the meal was ready. The
hoe was lying there, but there was no sign of work done. And away over
in the thicket, she heard a hu-hu calling, _Sau-h! sau-h! sau-h!
hoo-hoo! hoo-hoo! hoo-hoo! chi! chi! chi! whew!_

Now when the man came home that night, the mother asked,

"What have you been doing all day?"

"Working hard," he said.

"But you were not there when I came after you."

"Oh, I went over in the thicket awhile," said the man, "to see some of
my relatives."

Then the mother said, "I have lived here a long while, and no one
lives in that swamp but lazy hu-hus. My daughter wants a husband that
can work and not a hu-hu!" And she drove him from the house.


Kite was very boastful. One day he spoke scornfully of Eagle, who
heard his words. Kite began to sing in a loud voice,

    I alone,
    I alone,
    Can go up,
    So as to seem as if hanging from the blue sky.

Eagle answered scornfully. He sang,

    Who is this,
    Who is this,
    Who boasts of flying so high?

Kite was ashamed. He answered in a small voice, "Oh, I was only
singing of the great Khakate. It is he who is said to fly so high."

Eagle answered, "Oh, you crooked tongue! You are below my notice."

Then Eagle soared high into the sky. But just as soon as he was out of
hearing, Kite began to sing again in a very loud voice,

    I alone,
    I alone,
    Can go up,
    So as to seem as if hanging from the blue sky.



All the Birds met in council, each claiming to fly the highest. Each
one claimed to be the chief. Therefore the council decided that each
bird should fly toward the Sky-land.

Some of the birds flew very swiftly; but they tired and flew back to
earth. Now Eagle went far above all. When Eagle could fly no farther,
Linnet, who had perched upon Eagle's back, flew up. Far above Eagle
flew the tiny gray bird.

Now when the Birds held a council again, Eagle was made chief. Eagle
had flown higher than all the rest, and had carried Linnet on his



In the old days, Terrapin had a fine whistle and Partridge had none.
Terrapin whistled constantly. He was always boasting of his fine

One day Partridge said, "Let me try your whistle."

Terrapin said, "No." He was afraid Partridge would try some trick.

Partridge said, "Oh, if you are afraid, stay right here while I use

So Terrapin gave it to him. Partridge strutted around, whistling

He said, "How does it sound with me?"

"You do it very well," said Terrapin, walking by his side.

"Now how do you like it?" asked Partridge, running ahead.

"It's fine," said Terrapin, trying to keep up with him. "But don't run
so fast!"

"How do you like it now?" asked Partridge, spreading his wings and
flying to a tree top. Terrapin could only look up at him.

Partridge never gave the whistle back. He has it even to this day. And
Terrapin was so ashamed because Partridge stole his whistle, and
Turkey had stolen his scalp, that he shuts himself up in his box
whenever anyone comes near him.



Some of the old men say that Kingfisher was meant in the beginning to
be a water bird, but because he had no web on his feet and not a good
bill, he could not get enough to eat. The animals knew of this, so
they held a council. Afterwards they made him a bill like a long,
sharp awl. This fish gig he was to use spearing fish. When they
fastened it on to his mouth, he flew first to the top of a tree. Then
he darted down into the water and came up with a fish on his bill. And
ever since, Kingfisher has been the best fisherman.

But some of the old people say it was this way.

Blacksnake found Yellowhammer's nest in the hollow tree and killed all
the young birds. Yellowhammer at once went to the Little People for
help. They sent her to Kingfisher. So she went on to him.

Kingfisher came at once, and after flying back and forth past the hole
in the hollow tree, he made a quick dart at the snake and pulled him
out, dead. When they looked, they saw he had pierced Blacksnake with
a slender fish he carried in his bill. Therefore the Little People
said he would make good use of a spear, so they gave him his long



One day an Indian became so angry with everyone that he set the sea
marshes on fire because he wanted to burn up the world.

A little blackbird saw it. He flew up into a tree and shouted, "_Ku
nam wi cu! Ku nam wi cu!_ The world and all is going to burn."

The man said, "If you do not go away, I will kill you." But the bird
only kept shouting, "_Ku nam wi cu!_ The world and all is going to

Then the Indian threw a shell and hit the little bird on the wings,
making them bleed. That is how the red-winged blackbird came by its
red wings.

Now when people saw the marshes burning, they quickly ran down and
killed game which had been driven from it by the fire. Then they said
to the angry man,

"Because you put fire in those tall weeds, the deer and bear and other
animals have been driven out and we have killed them. You have aided
us by burning them."

Nowadays when the red-winged blackbird comes around the house, he
still shouts, _Ku nam wi cu_, so they say.



Once the Animals challenged the Birds to a great ball play, and the
Birds accepted. The Animals met near the river, in a smooth grassy
field. The Birds met in the tree top over by the ridge.

Now the leader of the Animals was Bear. He was very strong and heavy.
All the way to the river he tossed up big logs to show his strength
and boasted of how he would win against the Birds. Terrapin was with
the Animals. He was not the little terrapin we have now, but the first
Terrapin. His shell was so hard the heaviest blows could not hurt him,
and he was very large. On the way to the river he rose on his hind
feet and dropped heavily again. He did this many times, bragging that
thus he would crush any bird that tried to take the ball from him.
Then there was Deer, who could outrun all the others. And there were
many other animals.

Now the leader of the Birds was Eagle; and also Hawk, and the great
Tlanuwa. They were all swift and strong of flight.

Now first they had a ball dance. Then after the dance, as the birds
sat in the trees, two tiny little animals no larger than field mice
climbed up the tree where Eagle sat. They crept out to the branch tips
to Eagle.

They said, "We wish to play ball."

Eagle looked at them. They were four-footed. He said, "Why don't you
join the Animals? You belong there."

"The Animals make fun of us," they said. "They drive us away because
we are small."

Eagle pitied them. He said, "But you have no wings."

Then at once Eagle and Hawk and all the Birds held a council in the
trees. At last they said to the little fellows, "We will make wings
for you."

But they could not think just how to do it. Then a Bird said, "The
head of our drum is made of groundhog skin. Let us make wings from
that." So they took two pieces of leather from the drum and shaped
them for wings. They stretched them with cane splints and fastened
them on the forelegs of one of the little animals. So they made
Tlameha, the Bat. They began to teach him.

First they threw the ball to him. Bat dropped and circled about in the
air on his new wings. He did not let the ball drop. The Birds saw at
once he would be one of their best men.

Now they wished to give wings also to the second little animal, but
there was no more leather. And there was no more time. Then somebody
said they might make wings for the other man by stretching his skin.
Therefore two large birds took hold from opposite sides with their
strong bills. Thus they stretched his skin. Thus they made Tewa, the
Flying Squirrel.

Then Eagle threw to him the ball. At once Flying Squirrel sprang after
it, caught it in his teeth, and carried it through the air to another
tree nearby.

Then the game began. Almost at the first toss, Flying Squirrel caught
the ball and carried it up a tree. Then he threw it to the Birds, who
kept it in the air for some time. When it dropped to the earth, Bear
rushed to get it, but Martin darted after it and threw it to Bat, who
was flying near the ground. Bat doubled and dodged with the ball, and
kept it out of the way of Deer. At last Bat threw it between the
posts. So the Birds won the game.

Bear and Terrapin, who had boasted of what they would do, never had a
chance to touch the ball.

Because Martin saved the ball when it dropped to the ground, the Birds
afterwards gave him a gourd in which to build his nest. He still has



Once upon a time, they say, the world turned over. Then the waters
rose very high and many people died. A woman took two children and
lodged in a tree. She sat there waiting for the waters to sink, for
she had no way of reaching the ground.

When the woman saw the Ancient of Red-headed Buzzards, she called to
him, "Help me to get down and I will give you one of the children." He
assisted her, but she did not give him the child.

The waters were so deep that the birds were clinging by their claws to
the clouds, but their tails were under water. That is why their tails
are always sharp. One of these birds was the Ancient of Yellowhammers.
Therefore its tailfeathers are sharp at the ends. The large Red-headed
Woodpecker was there, too, and the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and that
is why their tails have their present shape.

  [Illustration: SPIDER GORGETS.
    1. From a Mound, Missouri.
    2. From a Stone Grave, Illinois.
    3. From a Mound, Illinois.
    4. From a Mound, Tennessee.
    _From Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology._]



The Ancient of Wildcats had been creeping up on the Wild Turkeys
trying to catch some. He tried in vain. Then he got a bag, crawled
inside, and rolled himself along. He rolled himself to the Ancient of
Turkey Gobblers.

Wildcat said, "Get into my bag and see what fun it is to roll."

The Ancient of Turkey Gobblers crawled into the bag. Wildcat tied up
the end and rolled it along for some time. After he had rolled it
quite a distance, he stopped and untied the bag.

"It is very good," said the First of All the Turkey Gobblers. Then he
said to the other Wild Turkeys, "Get in the bag and see how pleasant
it is."

But the young Turkeys were afraid. Gobbler urged them to try the new
game. At last one young Turkey stepped into the bag. Wildcat tied the
end and pretended that he was going to roll it. It would not go.

"It will not go because it is too light. There is only one in it,"
said Wildcat. "Let another young Turkey step in."

At last another young Turkey stepped in. Wildcat tied the bag, threw
it over his shoulder and ran home. When he reached home he laid the
bag down.

Then Wildcat said to his mother, "I have brought home something on my
back, and placed it outside. Beware lest you untie the bag."

His mother said to herself, "I wonder what it can be." So she untied
the bag. One of the turkeys flew out. She managed to catch the other
one. She caught both feet with one hand, and both wings with the
other. She cried out, "Help! Help! I have caught four!"

The Ancient of Wildcats scolded his mother. Then he killed the turkey
and cooked it. His mother went into another room.

Then Wildcat spread his feast. As he was eating the Turkey he made a
constant noise. He walked back and forth. He talked continually and
kept up a steady rattling. When he stopped the noise a little he said,
"I am going home," as if a guest were speaking. He said this again and
again. He made a noise with his feet as if people were walking about.
He ate all the turkey except the hip bone.



Once upon a time the Ancient of Brants and the Ancient of Otters were
living as friends. One day the Ancient of Otters said to the Ancient
of Brants, "Come to see me tomorrow," and departed.

Brant went to make the call. When he arrived, the Ancient of Otters
said, "Halloo! I have nothing at all for you to eat! Sit down!" Then
he went fishing. He used a "leather vine" which he jerked now and then
to straighten it. He caught many fish. When he reached home he cooked

When the fish were cooked, ready for the feast, the Ancient of Otters
put some into a very flat dish. But the Ancient of Brants could not
eat from a flat dish. All he could do was to hit his bill against the
dish, and raise his head as if swallowing something. But Otter ate

Otter said to his guest, "Have you eaten enough?"

"Yes, I am satisfied," said Brant.

"No, you are not satisfied," said Otter. He took more fish and placed
them in the flat dish, eating rapidly as before. Brant could only hit
his bill against the side of the dish.

When the Ancient of Brants was departing, he said to Otter, "Come to
see me tomorrow."

When Otter reached the house of the Ancient of Brants the next day,
Brant cried, "Halloo! I have nothing at all to give you to eat! Sit

Then the Ancient of Brants went fishing, using a "leather vine" which
he jerked now and then to straighten it. He caught many fish and took
them home to cook them. When the fish were cooked, they began to
feast. But the Ancient of Brants had put some into a small round dish.
Ancient of Otters could not get his mouth into the dish. But Brant ate

"Have you eaten enough?" Brant asked, after a while.

Otter replied, "Yes, I am satisfied."

"Nonsense!" said the Ancient of Brants. "How could you possibly be
satisfied! I have served you as you served me."

But this ended their friendship.



The Ancient of Tiny Frogs[24] was shut up by his grandmother, so that
he might learn magic. Then she took him on a journey.

    [24] The tiny frog, called péska, is a black one, not more
    than an inch long, living in muddy streams in Louisiana. It
    differs from the bullfrog, common frog, and tree frog.

First they met the Ancient of Panthers. The grandmother said to him,
"This is your sister's son. Look at him and wrestle with him." The
Ancient of Panthers was very brave. To show his strength, he climbed
very high up a tree which he tore to pieces, falling to the ground
with it.

Then he seized the Ancient of Tiny Frogs. But the frog caught him by
the hind legs and whipped him against a tree. He beat him so severely
that Panther's jaw was broken in many places. That is why all panthers
have a short jaw.

The Ancient of Tiny Frogs and his grandmother continued their journey.
Next they met Bear. The grandmother said to him, "Look at your
sister's son. Go and wrestle with him." Bear began to pull the limbs
off a tree to show his strength. Soon he rushed upon the Ancient of
Tiny Frogs. But that one caught Bear by the hind legs and beat him
against a tree until he broke off short his tail. That is why bears
have such very short tails.

Again the old grandmother, singing as she walked, went along the trail
with her grandson. They met Buffalo. She said, "Look at your sister's
son. Go and wrestle with him." Now Buffalo was very strong. With his
horns he uprooted a tree, and then spent some moments in breaking it
to pieces. Then he rushed at the Ancient of Tiny Frogs. But that one
caught Buffalo by the hind legs and beat him against a tree. He beat
him until the back of his neck was broken and he had a great hump on
his shoulders. So Buffalo went away, but that is why buffaloes have
such very heavy, humpbacked shoulders.

Again they walked along the trail, singing. It was not long before
they met with Deer. To him the grandmother said, "Look at your
sister's son. Go and wrestle with him." Deer leaped up to show his
agility. Then he sprang at the Ancient of Tiny Frogs. But that one
seized him by the legs and beat him against a tree, breaking his nose,
and leaving him with a very small nose, even as deer today have small

Then the Ancient of Tiny Frogs said to Deer: "I shall remain here
under the leaves. When hunters are after you and have almost reached
you, I will urge you to escape by saying, '_Pés! Pés!_' When I say
that, do your best to get away."

Hardly had he finished speaking, when he cried out, "_Pés! Pés!_ It is
so! Go quickly! Do your best!" Then Deer leaped away. For just then
the hunters had come, sure enough.

Therefore, when a tiny frog cries out now, people say that some one is
on the point of running after a deer.


_Choctaw_ (_Bayou Lacomb_)

Kashehotapalo is the frightener of hunters. His head is small and
dried up, like an old man's. His legs and feet are like those of a
deer. He lives in low, swampy places, far away from men.

If the hunters come near him, when they are chasing a deer, he slips
up behind them and calls loudly. Thus he frightens them away. His
voice is like that of a woman. His name means "the woman call."


_Choctaw_ (_Bayou Lacomb_)

All the hunters in a village killed many deer one winter, except one
man. This one saw many deer. Sometimes he drew his bow and shot at
them; yet they escaped.

Now this hunter had been away from his village three days. He had seen
many deer; not one had he killed. On the third day, when the sun was
hot over his head, he saw an alligator.

Alligator was in a dry, sandy spot. He had had no water for many days.
He was dry and shriveled.

Alligator said to the hunter, "Where can water be found?" The hunter
said, "In that forest, not far away, is cold water."

"I cannot go there alone," said Alligator. "Come nearer. Do not fear."
The hunter went nearer, but he was afraid.

"You are a hunter," said Alligator, "but all the deer escape you.
Carry me into the water, and I will make you a great hunter. You shall
kill many deer."

The hunter was still afraid. Then he said, "I will carry you, but
first I must bind you so that you cannot scratch me; and your mouth,
so that you cannot bite me."

So Alligator rolled over on his back and let the hunter bind him. He
fastened his legs and mouth firmly. Then he carried Alligator on his
shoulders to the water in the forest. He unfastened the cords and
threw him in.

Alligator came to the surface three times. He said, "Take your bow and
arrow and go into the woods. You will find a small doe. Do not kill
it. Then you will find a large doe. Do not kill it. You will meet a
small buck. Do not kill that. Then you will meet a large, old buck.
Kill that."

The hunter took his bow and arrow. Everything happened just as
Alligator had foretold. Then he killed the large, old buck. So he
became a very great hunter. There was always venison in his wigwam.



Seven wolves once caught a groundhog. They said, "Now we'll kill you
and have something to eat."

Groundhog said, "When we find good food, we should rejoice over it, as
people do in the green-corn dances. You will kill me, and I cannot
help myself. But if you want to dance, I'll sing for you. Now this is
a new dance. I will lean up against seven trees in turn. You will
dance forward and then go back. At the last turn you may kill me."

Now the Wolves were very hungry, but they wanted to learn the new
dance. Groundhog leaned up against a tree and began to sing. He sang,

    _Ho wi ye a hi_

and all the Wolves danced forward. When he shouted "_Yu!_" they turned
and danced back in line.

"That's fine," said Groundhog, after the first dance was over. Then
he went to the next tree and began the second song. He sang,

    _Hi ya yu we_,

and the Wolves danced forward. When he shouted "_Yu!_" they danced
back in a straight line.

At each song, Groundhog took another tree, getting closer and closer
to his hole under a stump. At the seventh song, Groundhog said,

"Now this is the last dance. When I shout '_Yu!_' all come after me.
The one who gets me may have me."

Then he sang a long time, until the Wolves were at quite a distance in
a straight line. Then he shouted "_Yu!_" and darted for his hole.

At once the Wolves turned and were after him. The foremost Wolf caught
his tail and gave it such a jerk he broke it off. That is why
Groundhog has such a short tail.



One day Racoon went into the woods to fast and dream. He dreamed that
someone said to him, "When you awaken, paint your face and body with
bands of black and white. That will be your own."

When Racoon awoke, he painted himself as he had been told to do. So we
see him, even to the present day.



The Ancient of Opossums thought that he would reach a certain pond
very early in the morning, so that he might catch the crawfish on the
shore. But someone else reached there first, and when Opossum reached
there the crawfish were all gone.

This person did this every day. Opossum did not know who it was, so he
lay in wait for him. He found it was the Ancient of Racoons.

They argued about the crawfish and the pond. They agreed to see which
could rise the earlier in the morning, go around the shore of the pond
and catch the crawfish.

Racoon said, "I rise very early. I never sleep until daylight comes."

Opossum said the same thing. Then each went home.

Now Opossum lay down in a hollow tree and slept there a long time. He
arose when the sun was very high and went to the pond. But Racoon had
been there ahead of him, and had eaten all the crawfish. Racoon sang
the Song of the Racoon as he was going home. Opossum stood listening.
He, too, sang. He sang the Song of the Opossum, thus:

    _Hí na   kí-yu   wus-sé-di_

He met the Racoon who had eaten all the crawfish.

"Ha!" said Racoon. "I have been eating very long, and I was going
home, as I was sleepy."

Opossum said, "I, too, have been eating so long that I am sleepy, so I
am going home."

Opossum was always telling a lie. People say this of the Opossum
because if one hits that animal and throws it down for dead, soon it
gets up and walks off.



'Possum used to have a long, bushy tail and he was so proud of it that
he combed it out every morning and sang about it at the dance. Now
Rabbit had had no tail since Bear pulled it off because he was
jealous. Therefore he planned to play a trick on 'Possum.

The animals called a great council. They planned to have a dance. It
was Rabbit's business to send out the news. One day as he was passing
'Possum's house, he stopped to talk.

"Are you going to the council?" he asked.

"Yes, if I can have a special seat," said 'Possum. "I have such a
handsome tail I ought to sit where everyone can see me."

Rabbit said, "I will see that you have a special seat. And I will send
someone to comb your tail for the dance." 'Possum was very much

Rabbit at once went to Cricket, who is an expert hair cutter;
therefore the Indians call him the barber. He told Cricket to go the
next morning and comb 'Possum's tail for the dance. He told Cricket
just what to do.

In the morning, Cricket went to 'Possum's house. 'Possum stretched
himself out on the floor and went to sleep, while Cricket combed out
his tail and wrapped a red string around it to keep it smooth until
night. But all the time, as he wound the string around, he was
snipping off the hair closely. 'Possum did not know it.

When it was night, 'Possum went to the council and took his special
seat. When it was his turn to dance, he loosened the red string from
his tail and stepped into the middle of the lodge.

The drummers began to beat the drum. 'Possum began to sing, "See my
beautiful tail."

Every man shouted and 'Possum danced around the circle again, singing,
"See what a fine color it has." They all shouted again, and 'Possum
went on dancing, as he sang, "See how it sweeps the ground."

Then the animals all shouted so that 'Possum wondered what it meant.
He looked around. Every man was laughing at him. Then he looked down
at his beautiful tail. It was as bare as a lizard's tail. There was
not a hair on it.

He was so astonished and ashamed that he could not say a word. He
rolled over on the ground and grinned, just as he does today when
taken by surprise.


_Choctaw_ (_Bayou Lacomb_)

Very little food there was for Deer one dry season. He became thin and
weak. One day he met 'Possum. Deer at once exclaimed, "Why, 'Possum,
how fat you are! How do you keep so fat when I cannot find enough to

'Possum said, "I live on persimmons. They are very large this year, so
I have all I want to eat."

"How do you get the persimmons?" asked Deer. "They grow so high!"

"That is easy," said 'Possum. "I go to the top of a high hill. Then I
run down and strike a persimmon tree so hard with my head that all the
ripe persimmons drop on the ground. Then I sit there and eat them."

"That is easily done," said Deer. "I will try it. Now watch me."

'Possum waited. Deer went to the top of a nearby hill. He ran down and
struck the tree with his head. 'Possum watched him, laughing. He
opened his mouth so wide while he laughed that he stretched it. That
is why 'Possum has such a large mouth.

    _From Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology._]



Once there dwelt in a village two sisters, who were the swiftest
runners in the Menomini tribe. Towards the setting sun was another
village, two days' walk away.

The sisters wished to visit this village. They began to run at great
speed. At noon they came to a hollow tree lying across the trail. In
the snow on the ground, there, behold! lay the trail of Porcupine,
leading to the hollow tree. One of them broke off a stick and began to
poke into the log, that Porcupine might come out. She said, "Let's
have some fun with him."

"No," said the other sister, "he is a manido. We should leave him

But the girl with a stick poked into the hollow log until Porcupine
came out. Then she caught him and pulled out his long quills and threw
them in the snow. The other said, "No, it is cold. Porcupine will need
his robe."

At last the sisters ran on. The village was still far away.

Now when they left Porcupine, he crawled up a tall pine tree until he
reached the very top. Then he faced the north and began to shake his
small rattle, singing in time to its sound.

Soon the sky darkened. Snow began to fall. Now the sisters could not
run rapidly because of the deepening snow.

One looked back and saw Porcupine in the tree top, shaking his rattle.
She said, "We must go back to our own village. I am afraid some harm
will overtake us."

The other answered, "No, let us go on. We need not fear Porcupine."
The snow became deeper, so they rolled up their blankets as they ran

When the sun followed the trail over the edge of the world, the
sisters could not even see the village. Still they ran on. Then in the
late evening they came to a stream which they knew was near the

Behold! It was dark. The snow was very deep. The sisters no longer had
strength. They could hear voices in the village. They could not call
loud enough to be heard. Thus they perished in the snow.

One should never harm Porcupine because he is a manido.



In the beginning, so they say, Dog was put on the mountain side and
Wolf beside the fire. When winter came, Dog could not stand the cold,
and drove Wolf away from the fire. Wolf ran into the mountains and he
liked it so well that he has stayed there ever since.



Once when the Catfish were all together in one place in the water, the
Catfish chief said, "I have often seen a moose come to the edge of the
water to eat grass. Let us watch for him and kill him and eat him. He
always comes when the sun is a little way up in the sky."

The Catfish agreed to attack Moose. So they went to watch. They crept
everywhere in among the grass and rushes when Moose came down to the
water's edge, slowly picking at the grass. All the tribe watched to
see what the Catfish chief would do. He slipped slowly through the
marshy grass to where Moose was standing. He thrust his spear into
Moose's leg.

Moose said, "Who has thrust a spear into my leg?" He looked down and
saw the Catfish tribe. At once he began to trample upon them with his
hoofs. He killed many, but others escaped and swam down the river.

Catfish still carry spears, but their heads are flat, because Moose
tramped them down in the mud.



There was a large camp in which Miqkano, the Turtle, took up his
abode. He built a wigwam but he had no one to keep house for him. He
thought he needed a wife.

Now Turtle found a young woman whom he liked. He said, "I want you to
be my wife."

She said, "How are you going to provide for me? You cannot keep up
with the rest of the people when they move."

Turtle replied, "I can keep up with the best of your people."

Then the young woman wanted to put him off. She said, "Oh, well, I
will marry you in the spring."

Turtle was vexed with this. At last he said, "I shall go to war and
take some captives. When I return in the spring, I shall expect you to
marry me."

Then Turtle prepared to go on the war path. He called all his friends,
the Turtles, to him. He left camp, followed by a throng of curious
Indians. The young woman he wanted to marry laughed as the Turtles
moved away. They were so very slow.

Turtle was vexed again. He said, "In four days from now you will
surely mourn for me because I shall be at a great distance from you."

"Why," said the girl, laughing, "in four days from this time you will
scarcely be out of sight."

Turtle immediately corrected himself, and said, "I did not mean four
days, but four years. Then I shall return."

Now the Turtles started off. They traveled slowly on until one day
they found a great tree lying across their trail.

Turtle said, "This we cannot pass unless we go around it. That would
take too long. What shall we do?"

Some said, "Let us burn a hole through the trunk," but in this they
did not succeed.

Therefore they had to turn back home, but it was a long time before
they came near the Indian village again. They wanted to appear as
successful warriors, so as they came near, they set up the war song.
The Indians heard them. They at once ran out to see the scalps and the
spoils. But when they came near, the Turtles each seized an Indian by
the arm and said,

"We take you our prisoners. You are our spoils."

The Indians who were captured in this way were very angry. Now the
Turtle chief had captured the young woman he said he was going to
marry. He said to the Indian girl, "Now that I have you I will keep

Now it was necessary to organize a dance to celebrate the victory over
the Indians. Everyone dressed in his best robe and beads. Turtle sang,

"Whoever comes near me will die, will die, will die!" and the others
danced around him in a circle. At once the Indians became alarmed.
Each one fled to his own lodge, in the village. Turtle also went to
the village, but he arrived much later because he could not travel so

Someone said to him, "That girl has married another man."

"Is that true?" stormed Turtle. "Let me see the man."

So he went to that wigwam. He called, "I am going for the woman who
promised to be my wife."

Her husband said, "Here comes Turtle. Now what is to be done?"

"I shall take care of that," said his wife.

Turtle came in and seized her. He said, "Come along with me. You
belong to me."

She pulled back. She said, "You broke your promise." The husband said
also, "Yes, you promised to go to war and bring back some prisoners.
You failed to do so."

Turtle said, "I did go. I returned with many prisoners." Then he
picked up the young woman and carried her off.

Now when Turtle arrived at his own wigwam, the young woman went at
once to a friend and borrowed a large kettle. She filled it with water
and set it on to boil. Turtle became afraid. He said, "What are you

She said, "I am heating some water. Do you know how to swim?"

"Oh, yes," said Turtle. "I can swim."

The young woman said, "You jump in the water and swim. I can wash your

So Turtle tried to swim in the hot water. Then the other Turtles,
seeing their chief swimming in the kettle, climbed over the edge and
jumped into the water. Thus Turtle and his warriors were conquered.



Long ago, an Ojibwa Indian and his wife lived on the shores of Lake
Huron. They had one son, who was named "O-na-wut-a-qui-o,

Now the boy was very handsome, and his parents thought highly of him,
but he refused to make the fast of his tribe. His father gave him
charcoal; yet he would not blacken his face. They refused him food;
but he wandered along the shore, and ate the eggs of birds. One day
his father took from him by force the eggs of the birds. He took them
violently. Then he threw charcoal to him. Then did the boy blacken his
face and begin his fast.

Now he fell asleep. A beautiful woman came down through the air and
stood beside him. She said, "I have come for you. Step in my trail."

At once he began to rise through the air. They passed through an
opening in the sky, and he found himself on the Sky-plain. There were
flowers on the beautiful plain, and streams of fresh, cold water. The
valleys were green and fair. Birds were singing. The Sky-land was very

There was but one lodge, and it was divided into two parts. In one end
were bright and glowing robes, spears, and bows and arrows. At the
other end, the garments of a woman were hung.

The woman said, "My brother is coming and I must hide you." So she put
him in a corner and spread over him a broad, shining belt. When the
brother came in, he was very richly dressed, and glowing. He took down
his great pipe and his tobacco.

At last, he said, "Nemissa, my elder sister, when will you end these
doings? The Greatest of Spirits has commanded that you should not take
away the children of earth. I know of the coming of O-na-wut-a-qui-o."
Then he called out, "Come out of your hiding. You will get hungry if
you remain there." When the boy came out, he gave him a handsome pipe
of red sandstone, and a bow and arrows.

So the boy stayed in the Sky-land. But soon he found that every
morning, very early, the brother left the wigwam. He returned in the
evening, and then the sister left it and was gone all night. One day
he said to the brother, "Let me go with you." "Yes," said the brother,
and the next morning they started off.

The two traveled a long while over a smooth plain. It was a very long
journey. He became hungry. At last he said, "Is there no game?"

"Wait until we reach the place where I always stop to eat," said the
brother. So they journeyed on. At last they came to a place spread
over with fine mats. It was near a hole in the Sky-plain.

The Indian looked down through the hole. Below were great lakes and
the villages of his people. He could see in one place feasting and
dancing, and in another a war party silently stealing upon the enemy.
In a green plain young warriors were playing ball.

The brother said, "Do you see those children?" and he sent a dart down
from the Sky-plain. At once a little boy fell to the ground. Then all
the people gathered about the lodge of his father. The Indian, looking
down through the hole, could hear the _she-she-gwan_ of the _meta_,
and the loud singing. Then Sun, the brother, called down, "Send me up
a white dog."

Immediately a white dog was killed by the medicine men, and roasted,
because the child's father ordered a feast. All the wise men and the
medicine men were there.

Sun said to the Indian, "Their ears are open and they listen to my

Now the Indians on the Earth-plain divided the dog, and placed pieces
on the bark for those who were at that feast. Then the master of the
feast called up, "We send this to thee, Great Manito." At once the
roasted dog came up to Sun in the Sky-plain. Thus Sun and the Indian
had food. Then Sun healed the boy whom he had struck down. Then he
began again to travel along the trail in the Sky-plain, and they
reached their wigwam by another road.

Then O-na-wut-a-qui-o began to weary of the Sky-land. At last he said
to Moon, "I wish to go home."

Moon said, "Since you like better the care and poverty of the earth,
you may return. I will take you back."

At once the Indian youth awoke. He was in the very plain where he had
fallen asleep after he had blackened his face and begun his fast. But
his mother said he had been gone a year.


_Choctaw_ (_Bayou Lacomb_)

Tashka and Walo were brothers. They lived a long while ago, so they
say. Every morning they saw Sun come up over the edge of the earth.
Then he followed the trail through the sky.

When they were four years old, they started to follow Sun's trail.
They walked all day, but that night when Sun died, they were still in
their own country. They knew all the hills and rivers. Then they

Next morning they began again to follow Sun, but when he died at the
edge of the earth, they could still see their own land.

Then they followed Sun many years. At last they became grown men.

One day they reached a great sea-water. There was no land except the
shore on which they stood. When Sun went down over the edge of the
earth that day, they saw him sink into the waters. Then they crossed
the sea-water, to the edge. So they came to Sun's home.

All around there were many women. The stars are women, and Moon also.
Moon is Sun's wife.

Moon asked them how they had found their way. They were very far from
their own land. They said, "For many years we have followed Sun's

Sun said, "Do you know your way home?" They said, "No." So Sun took
them up to the edge of the water. They could see the earth, but they
could not see their own land.

Sun asked, "Why did you follow me?" They said, "We wished to see where
you lived."

Sun said, "I will send you home. But for four days you must not speak
a word to any person. If you do not speak, you shall live long. You
shall have much wealth."

Then Sun called to Buzzard. He put the two brothers on Buzzard's back.
He said, "Take them back to earth." So Buzzard started for the earth.

Now the clouds are halfway between heaven and earth. The wind never
blows above the clouds, so they say.

Buzzard flew from heaven to the clouds. The brothers could easily keep
their hold. Then Buzzard flew from the clouds to the earth. But now
Wind blew them in all directions. Then at last they came to earth.
They saw the trees around their own village. They rested under the
trees. An old man passing by knew them. So he went down the trail and
told their mother. She at once hastened to see them. When she met
them, she began to talk. She made them talk to her. They told her. So
they spoke before the four days were ended. Therefore Sun could not
keep his promise.



Once upon a time, Ke-so, the Sun, and his sister, Tipa-ke-so, the
Moon, the "last-night sun," lived together in a wigwam in the East.
One day Sun dressed himself to go hunting, took his bows and arrows,
and left. He was gone a long time. When he did not return, his sister
became frightened, and came out into the sky to look for her brother.
At last he returned, bringing with him a bear which he had shot.

Moon still comes up into the sky and travels for twenty days. Then she
disappears, and for four days nothing is seen of her. At the end of
the four days, she comes into the sky again, and travels twenty days

Sun is a being like ourselves. He wears an otter skin about his head.



In olden days, the Moon Person used to make visits to the Indians. One
day a child put out a dirty little hand and made a black spot on Moon
Person. Therefore Moon felt ashamed and when night came he
disappeared. He went up above. He stays up above all the time now, so
they say. Sometimes he is dressed altogether in a shining robe, and
therefore he is bright at night. But immediately afterwards he
disappears. You can still see the black spot, so they say.



One night hunters in the mountains noticed two shining lights moving
along the top of a distant ridge. After a while the lights vanished on
the other side. Thus they watched many nights, talking around the camp

One morning they traveled to the ridge. Then they searched long. At
last they found two round creatures covered with soft fur or downy
feathers. They had small heads.

Then the hunters took these strange creatures to their camp. They
watched them. In the day, they were only balls of gray fur; only when
the breeze stirred their fur, then sparks flew out. At night they grew
bright and shone like stars.

They kept very quiet. They did not stir, so the hunters did not fasten
them. One night they suddenly rose from the ground like balls of fire.
They went above the tops of the trees, and then higher until they
reached the Sky-land. So the hunters knew they were stars.



When a star falls from the sky it leaves a fiery trail. It does not
die. Its shade goes back to its own place to shine again. The Indians
sometimes find the small stars where they have fallen in the grass.



In the Land of the North Wind live the _manabaiwok_, the giants of
whom our old people tell.

The _manabaiwok_ are our friends, but we do not see them any more.
They are great hunters and fishermen. Whenever they come out with
their torches to spear fish, we know it because the sky is bright over
that place.



A little boy named Ustapu was one day lying on the shore of a lake.
His people had just reached the shore from the prairies, but the wind
was too high for them to cross.

As he lay there, he suddenly saw another boy fanning himself with a
fan of turkey wings. This was the boy who made the West Wind. Ustapu
said to his tribe, "I can break the arm of the boy who makes West
Wind." But they laughed at him. He took a shell and threw it at the
boy and struck his left arm.

Therefore when the west wind is high, the Indians say that the boy is
using his strong arm. When the west wind is a gentle breeze, they say
he is using his injured arm. Before that, the west wind had always
been so strong it was very disagreeable, because Wind-maker could use
both arms. Now it is much gentler.

The Indians think this boy also made the other winds.



At one time an orphan boy whose uncle was very unkind to him ran away.
He ran a long way. He ran until night. Then because he was afraid of
wild animals, he climbed into a tree in the forest. It was a high pine
tree, and he climbed into the forked branches of it.

A person came to him from the upper sky. He said, "Follow me. Step in
my trail. I have seen how badly you are treated." Then at once as the
boy stepped in his trail, he rose higher and higher into the upper
sky. Then the person put twelve arrows into his hands. He said, "There
are evil manitoes in the sky. Go to war against them. Shoot them with
your bow and arrows."

The boy went into the northern part of the upper sky. Soon he saw a
manito and shot at him. But that one's magic was too strong. Therefore
the shot failed. There was only a single streak of lightning in the
northern sky, yet there was no storm, and not even a cloud.

    _From Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology._]

Eleven times the boy thus failed to kill a manito, and thus he had
but one arrow left. He held this in his hands a long while, looking
around. Now these evil manitoes had very strong medicine. They could
change their form in a moment. But they feared the boy's arrows
because they were also strong magic. And because they had been given
to him by a good manito, they had power to kill.

At last the boy saw the chief of the evil manitoes. He drew his bow
and shot his last arrow; but the chief saw it coming. At once he
changed himself into a rock. And the arrow buried itself in a crack of
the rock. The chief was very angry. He cried, "Now your arrows are all
gone! And because you have dared to shoot at me, you shall become the
trail of your arrow."

Thus at once he changed the boy into Nazhik-a-wawa, the Lone



The Great Thunder and his sons, the two Thunder boys, live far in the
West, above the Sky-plain. The lightning and the rainbow are their
beautiful robes. Medicine men pray to Thunder, and call him the Red
Man because there is so much red in his dress.

There are other thunders that live lower down, in the cliffs and
mountains, and under waterfalls. They travel on bridges from one peak
to another, but the Indian cannot see these bridges. The Great
Thunders above the sky are kind and helpful when we make medicine to
them, but the others are always plotting mischief. One must not point
to the rainbow.



The Natchez begin the year in March, each being a lunar month.
Therefore there are thirteen.

     1 Deer month
     2 Strawberry month
     3 Little Corn month
     4 Watermelon month
     5 Peach month (July)
     6 Mulberry month
     7 Great Corn month (maize)
     8 Turkey month (October)
     9 Bison month
    10 Bear month
    11 Cold meal month (January)
    12 Chestnut month
    13 Nut month (nuts broken to make bread, at the close of
         winter, when supplies run low)



Once on a time, long ago, when it was winter, so they say, it snowed
for the first time. And while the very first snow lay on the ground,
so they say, three men went early in the morning to hunt for game.

In a thick growth of shrub on a side hill, a bear had entered in. They
could see the trail in the snow. One went in after him, and started
him going in flight.

"Away from The-place-whence-comes-the-cold he is making fast!" he
called to the others.

But the one who had gone round by way of The-place-from-whence-comes-
the-cold, cried, "In the direction From-whence-comes-the-source-of-midday
is he hurrying away." Thus he said.

The third, who had gone round by way of The-place-whence-comes-the-
source-of-midday, cried out, "Towards-the-place-where-the-sun-falls-down
is he hastening."

Back and forth for a long while did they keep the bear fleeing from
one to another. After a while, one of the hunters who was coming
behind looked down. Behold! The earth below was green. For it is
really true, so they say, that up into the Sky-land were they led away
by the bear. While they were chasing him about the dense growth of
shrubs, that was surely the time that up into the Sky-land they went.

Then quickly he called, "Oh, Union-of-rivers, let us turn back. Truly
into the Sky-land is he leading us away." So he called to
Union-of-rivers, but no answer did he receive from that one.

Now Union-of-rivers, who went running between the man ahead and the
man behind, had a little puppy, Hold-tight.

Now in the autumn, they overtook the bear. Then they slew him. After
they had slain him, many boughs of an oak did they cut, also of
sumach. So with the bear lying on top of the boughs, they skinned him,
and cut up the meat. Then they began to scatter the pieces in all

Towards The-place-whence-comes-the-dawn-of-day they hurled the head.
In winter, when dawn is nearly breaking, stars appear which are that
head, so they say.

Also to the east flung they his backbone. In winter time, certain
stars lie close together. These are the backbone, so they say.

And it has also been told of the bear and the hunters that the group
of four stars in front are the bear and the three hunters. And between
the front star and the star behind, a tiny little star hangs. That is
the little dog, Hold-tight, which was the pet of Union-of-rivers.

And so often as autumn comes, the oaks and sumachs redden at the leaf
because their boughs were stained with the blood of the bear.



Once when the people were burning the woods in the fall, a poplar tree
began to burn. It burned until the fire went down into the roots; and
then down into the ground. It burned and burned until there was a
great hole in the ground, and the people began to be afraid the whole
world would burn. They tried to put out the fire, but it was too deep
in the ground.

At last someone said, "There is a man living in a house of ice, far
toward the Frozen Land. He can put out the fire."

So messengers were sent. They traveled many sleeps until they came to
the house of the Man of Ice. He was a little fellow with long braids
of hair, hanging to the ground.

He said at once, "Oh, yes, I can help you," and began to unbraid his
hair. When it was all loose, he took it in one hand and struck the
ends against the other hand. The messengers felt a wind blow against
their cheeks.

He struck the ends of his hair again across his hand. A light rain
began to fall. A third time he struck the open hand with his hair.
Sleet began to fall with the rain. The fourth time, and large
hailstones fell. They fell as though they came out of the ends of his

"Now go home," said the medicine man. "I shall be there tomorrow."

So the messengers returned. They found the people standing around the
burning hole.

The next day, as the people stood again at the burning hole, watching
the fire, a light wind came from the north. They were afraid because
they knew the medicine man had sent it. The wind made the flames sweep
higher. Then a light rain began to fall. It but made the fire hotter.
Then came sleet with a heavy rain, and hail. The flames died down but
clouds of smoke and steam arose.

Then the people fled to their wigwams for shelter. A great wind arose
which blew the hail into the depths of the fire and piled up a great
heap of hailstones. Then the fire died out and the smoke ceased.

Now when the people went to look again--a lake stood where flames had
been. Yet from below the water came the sound of embers still



The Nunnehi are The People Who Live Anywhere. They were spirit people
who lived in the highlands of the Cherokee country, and they liked the
bald mountain peaks where no timber ever grows.

No one could see the Nunnehi except when the spirit-people let
themselves be seen, and then they looked and acted just like other
Indians. But they like music and dancing, and hunters in the mountains
often could hear the dance songs and the drum; yet when they went
towards the sound, it would suddenly shift behind them or in some
other direction. They were a friendly people, too. Some Indians have
thought they were the same as the Little People; but those are no
larger than little children.

Once a boy was with the Nunnehi. When he was about ten or twelve years
old, he was playing one day near the river, shooting at a mark with
his bow and arrow. Then he started to build a fish trap in the water.
While he was piling up the stones in two long walls, a man came and
stood on the bank.

The man said, "What are you doing?" The boy told him. The man said,
"That's pretty hard work. You ought to rest awhile. Come and take a
walk up the river."

The boy said, "No. I am going to the lodge to get something to eat."

"Come to my lodge," said the man. "I'll give you good food and bring
you home again in the morning."

So the boy went to the man's lodge with him. They went up the river.
The man's wife and all the other people were glad to see him. They
gave him plenty to eat. While he was eating, a man that the boy knew
very well indeed came in and spoke to him. So he did not feel strange.

Afterwards he played with the other children and slept there that
night. In the morning, their father took him down the trail. They went
down a trail that had a cornfield on one side and a peach orchard on
the other, until they came to a cross trail. Then the man said,

"Go along this trail across that ridge and you will come to the river
road that will take you straight to your home."

So he went back to his house. The boy went down the trail, but soon
he turned and looked back. There was no cornfield there; there were no
peach trees or house--nothing but trees on the mountain side. Still he
was not frightened. He went on until he came to the river trail in
sight of his home. He saw many people standing about talking. When
they saw him, they ran towards him shouting, "Here he is! He is not
drowned or killed in the mountains!"

Then they said, "Where have you been? We have been looking for you
ever since yesterday noon."

"A man took me over to his house, just across the ridge," said the
boy. "I thought Udsi-skala would tell you where I was."

Udsi-skala said, "I have not seen you. I was out all day in my canoe
looking for you. It was one of the Nunnehi who made himself look like

His mother said, "You say you had plenty to eat there?"

"Yes," said the boy.

"There is no house there," his mother answered. "There is nothing
there but trees and rocks, but we hear a drum sometimes in the big
bald peak above. The people you saw were the Nunnehi."



There is another race of spirits, the Little People. They live in rock
caves and in the mountain side. They hardly reach to a man's knee, but
they are very handsome, with long hair falling to the ground. They
work wonders, and are fond of music. They spend half their time
drumming and dancing. If their drum is heard in lonely places in the
mountains, it is not safe to follow it. They do not like to be
disturbed and they throw a spell over people who annoy them. And even
when such a person at last gets back home, he seems dazed.

Sometimes the Little People come near a house at night, but even if
people hear them talking, they must not go out. And in the morning,
the corn is gathered, or the field cleared, as if a great many people
had been at work.

When a hunter finds a knife in the woods, he must say, "Little People,
I want to take this," because it may belong to them. Otherwise, they
may throw stones at him as he goes home.

There are other spirits. The Water Dwellers live in the water and
fishermen pray to them.

There are also the hunter spirits who are very handsome. Sometimes
they help the hunters, but when someone trips and falls, we know one
of these hunter spirits tripped him up.

Then there is Det-sata. Det-sata was once a boy who ran away from his
home. He has a great many children who are all just like him and have
his name. When a flock of birds flies up suddenly as if frightened, it
is because Det-sata is chasing them. He is mischievous and sometimes
hides an arrow from the bird hunter who may have shot it off into a
perfectly clear space, but looks and looks without finding it.

Then the hunter says, "Det-sata, you have my arrow. If you do not give
it up, I'll scratch you." When he looks again, he finds it.



    From the place of the South
        They come.
    From the place of the South
        They come.
    The birds of war--
    Hear the sound of their passing screams in the air.



Some warriors had medicine to change themselves into any animal or
bird they wished.

Long ago, a warrior coming in from the hunt, found enemies attacking
the wigwams of his people across the river. The men were away hunting.
On the river bank, he found a mussel shell. With his medicine he
changed the shell into a canoe. Thus he crossed the river, and went to
his grandmother's wigwam. She sat with her head in a blanket, waiting
to be killed. At once he changed her into a small gourd, and fastened
her to his belt. Then he climbed a tree and became a swamp woodcock.
Thus he flew back across the river. So the warrior and his grandmother



Now in early days, the Wyandots lived about the St. Lawrence River, in
the mountains to the eastward. They were the first tribe of old. They
had the first chieftainship. The chief said to his nephews, the

"Go down to the seacoast and look. If you see anything, come and tell

Now the Lenapées had a village by the sea. They often looked out, but
they saw nothing. One day something came. When it came near the land,
it stopped. Then the people were afraid. They ran into the woods. The
next day two Indians went quietly to look. It was lying there in the
water. Then something just like it came out of it and walked on two
legs over the water.[25] When it came to the land, two men stepped out
of it. They were different from us. They made signs for the Lenapées
to come out of the woods. They gave presents. Then the Lenapées gave
them skin clothes.

    [25] A row boat.

The white men went away. They came back many times. They asked the
Indians for room to put a chair on the land. So it was given. But soon
they began to pull the lacing out of the bottom and to walk inland
with it. They have not yet come to the end of the string.

Transcriber's Note

Variations in spelling and accent usage are preserved as printed.

"The Death Trail" is accredited to the Cherokee in the Table of
Contents, but to the Choctaw as a subtitle to the story itself. This
is preserved as printed.

"The Kite and the Eagle" has no credit to a particular nation.

"The Tiny Frog and the Panther" had no credit in the Table of
Contents, but is accredited to the Biloxi as a subtitle to the
story. This is preserved as printed.

Page 12 mentioned Kuti Mandkce. With reference to the 1912 Bureau of
American Ethnology Bulletin 47, _A Dictionary of Biloxi and Ofo
Languages_, this has been amended to Kuti Mankdce.

Minor punctuation errors have been repaired.

The following amendment has been made on the assumption that it was a
printer error:

    Page v--Gitchee amended to Gitche--... who made Gitche Gomee,
    the Great Water.

Illustrations have been moved where necessary so that they are not in
the middle of a paragraph. The frontispiece illustration has been
moved to follow the title page.

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