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Main > Canada folktales > Fairy tale "The Boy who was Saved by Thoughts"

The Boy who was Saved by Thoughts

A poor widow woman once lived near the sea in Eastern Canada. Her husband had been drowned catching fish one stormy day far off the coast, and her little boy was now her only means of support. He had no brothers or sisters, and he and his mother, because they lived alone, were always good comrades. Although he was very young and small, he was very strong, and he could catch fish and game like a man. Every day he brought home food to his mother, and they were never in want.

Now it happened that the Great Eagle who made the Winds in these parts became very angry because he was not given enough to eat. He went screaming through the land in search of food, but no food could he find. And he said, "If the people will not give me food, I will take care that they get no food for themselves, and when I grow very hungry I shall eat up all the little children in the land. For my young ones must have nourishment too." So he tossed the waters about with the wind of his great wings, and he bent the trees and flattened the corn, and for days he made such a hurly-burly on the earth that the people stayed indoors, and they were afraid to come out in search of food.

At last the boy and his mother became very hungry. And the boy said, "I must go and find food, for there is not a crumb left in the house. We cannot wait longer." And he said to his mother, "I know where a fat young beaver lives in his house of reeds on the bank of the stream near the sea. I shall go and kill him, and his flesh will feed us for many days." His mother did not want him to make this hazardous journey, for the Great Eagle was still in the land. But he said to her, "You must think of me always when I am gone, and I will think of you, and while we keep each other in our memories I shall come to no harm." So, taking his long hunting knife, he set out for the beaver's home in his house of reeds on the bank of the stream near the sea. He reached the place without mishap and there he found Beaver fast asleep. He soon killed him and slung him over his shoulder and started back to his mother's house.

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