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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "Manabozho, the Mischief-Maker"

Manabozho, the Mischief-Maker

Besides that, it was a slight consideration that he had devoured all the game within reach of the lodge; and so, one evening, as he was walking along the shore of the great lake, weary and hungry, he encountered a great magician in the form of an old wolf, with six young ones, coming toward him.

The wolf no sooner caught sight of him than he told his whelps, who were close about his side, to keep out of the way of Manabozho; "For I know," he said, "that it is that mischievous fellow whom we see yonder."

The young wolves were in the act of running off, when Manabozho cried out, "My grandchildren, where are you going? Stop and I will go with you. I wish to have a little chat with your excellent father."

Saying which he advanced and greeted the old wolf, expressing himself as delighted at seeing him looking so well. "Whither do you journey?" he asked.

"We are looking for a good hunting-ground to pass the winter," the old wolf answered. "What brings you here?"

"I was looking for you," said Manabozho. "For I have a passion for the chase, brother. I always admired your family; are you willing to change me into a wolf?"

The wolf gave him a favorable answer, and he was forthwith changed into a wolf.

"Well, that will do," said Manabozho; then looking at his tail, he added, "Oh! could you oblige me by making my tail a little longer and more bushy."

"Certainly," said the old wolf; and he gave Manabozho such a length and spread of tail, that it was constantly getting between his legs, and it was so heavy that it was as much as he could do to find strength to carry it. But having asked for it, he was ashamed to say a word; and they all started off in company, dashing up a ravine.

After getting into the woods for some distance, they fell in with the tracks of moose. The young ones scampered off in pursuit, the old wolf and Manabozho following at their leisure.

"Well," said the old wolf, by way of opening discourse, "who do you think is the fastest of the boys? Can you tell by the jumps they take?

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