Myths and Legends of the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes

Page: 38

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 [106] 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 first.”

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.

[107] 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 [108] 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.