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

Manabozho, the Mischief-Maker

"

"Why," he replied, "that one that takes such long jumps, he is the fastest to be sure."

"Ha! ha! you are mistaken," said the old wolf. "He makes a good start, but he will be the first to tire out; this one, who appears to be behind, will be the one to kill the game."

By this time they had come to the spot where the boys had started in chase. One had dropped what seemed to be a small medicine-sack, which he carried for the use of the hunting-party.

"Take that, Manabozho," said the old wolf.

"Esa," he replied, "what will I do with a dirty dog-skin?"

The old wolf took it up; it was a beautiful robe.

"Oh, I will carry it now," cried Manabozho.

"Oh, no," said the old wolf, who had exerted his magical powers, "it is a robe of pearls. Come along!" And away sped the old wolf at a great rate of speed.

"Not so fast," called Manabozho after him; and then he added to himself as he panted after, "Oh, this tail!"

Coming to a place where the moose had lain down, they saw that the young wolves had made a fresh start after their prey.

"Why," said the old wolf, "this moose is poor. I know by the traces; for I can always tell whether they are fat or not."

A little further on, one of the young wolves, in dashing at the moose, had broken a tooth on a tree.

"Manabozho," said the old wolf, "one of your grandchildren has shot at the game. Take his arrow; there it is."

"No," replied Manabozho; "what will I do with a dirty dog's tooth?"

The old wolf took it up, and behold it was a beautiful silver arrow.

When they at last overtook them, they found that the youngsters had killed a very fat moose. Manabozho was very hungry; but the old wolf just then again exerted his magical powers, and Manabozho saw nothing but the bones picked quite clean. He thought to himself, "Just as I expected; dirty, greedy fellows. If it had not been for this log at my back, I should have been in time to have got a mouthful:" and he cursed the bushy tail which he carried, to the bottom of his heart.

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