Myths and Legends of the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes

Page: 24

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, [63] 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 approaching.

Wolf-brother said, “My fate will be the fate of all [64] 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