Myths and Legends of the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes

Page: 36

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 [101] 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 [103] loons, just coming up from beneath the water. Then it killed a very large fish.