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

Manabozho, the Mischief-Maker

He, however, sat down without saying a word.

At length the old wolf spoke to one of the young ones, saying:

"Give some meat to your grandfather."

One of them obeyed, and coming near to Manabozho, he presented him the other end of his own bushy tail, which was nicely seasoned with burs, gathered in the course of the hunt.

Manabozho jumped up and called out:

"You dog, now that your stomach is full, do you think I am going to eat you to get at my dinner? Get you gone into some other place."

Saying which Manabozho, in his anger, walked off by himself.

"Come back, brother," cried the wolf. "You are losing your eyes."

Manabozho turned back.

"You do the child injustice. Look there!" and behold, a heap of fresh, ruddy meat, was lying on the spot, already prepared.

Manabozho, at the view of so much good provision, put on a smiling face.

"Amazement!" he said; "how fine the meat is!"

"Yes," replied the old wolf, "it is always so with us; we know our work, and always get the best. It is not a long tail that makes the hunter."

Manabozho bit his lip.

They now fixed their winter quarters. The youngsters went out in search of game, and they soon brought in a large supply. One day, during the absence of the young hunters, the old wolf amused himself in cracking the large bones of a moose.

"Manabozho," said he, "cover your head with the robe, and do not look at me while I am busy with these bones, for a piece may fly in your eye."

He did as he was bid; but looking through a rent that was in the robe, he saw what the other was about. Just at that moment a piece flew off and hit him on the eye. He cried out:

"Tyau, why do you strike me, you old dog?"

The wolf answered—"You must have been looking at me."

"No, no," retorted Manabozho, "why should I want to look at you?"

"Manabozho," said the old wolf, "you must have been looking or you would not have got hurt."

"No, no," he replied again, "I was not. I will repay the saucy wolf this mischief," he thought to himself.

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