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Main > Canada folktales > Fairy tale "The Native American Cinderella"

The Native American Cinderella

On the shores of a wide bay on the Atlantic coast of what is now called Canada there dwelt in old times a great Native American warrior, known for his wondrous deeds. He had a very wonderful and strange power -- he could make himself invisible. In this way he could mingle unseen with his enemies and listen to their plots. He was known among the people as Strong Wind, the Invisible.

Strong Wind dwelt with his sister in a tent near the sea, and his sister helped him greatly in his work. Many maidens would have been glad to marry him, and he was much sought after because of his mighty deeds. It was known that Strong Wind would marry the first maiden who could see him as he came home at night. Many made the trial, but it was a long time before one succeeded.

Strong Wind used a clever trick to test the truthfulness of all who sought to win him. Each evening as the sun went down, his sister walked on the beach with any girl who wished to make the trial. His sister could always see Strong Wind, but no one else could because he made himself invisible to all but her. And as he came home from work, his sister would see him drawing near, and she would ask the girl who sought him, "Do you see him? Do you see my brother?" And each girl could not see him Alisa, age 9but wanted to win the hand of Strong Wind, and so would falsely answer, "Yes." His sister would then ask, "With what does he draw his sled?" And each girl would answer, "With the hide of a moose," or "With a pole," or "With a great cord." And then his sister would know that they all had lied, and their answers were mere guesses. Many tried and lied and failed, for Strong Wind would not marry any one who was untruthful.

There lived in the village a great chief who had three daughters. Their mother had long been dead. One of these was much younger than the others. She was very beautiful and gentle and well beloved by all, and for that reason her older sisters were very jealous of her charms and treated her cruelly.

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