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Myths and Legends of the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes

Page: 31

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.”

[86] 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.

[87]

HOW THE HUNTER DESTROYED SNOW

Menomini

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 Kon.


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