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

Manabozho, the Mischief-Maker

So the next day, taking up a bone to obtain the marrow, he said to the wolf:

"Brother, cover your head and do not look at me, for I very much fear a piece may fly in your eye."

The wolf did so; and Manabozho, taking the large leg-bone of the moose, first looking to see if the wolf was well covered, hit him a blow with all his might. The wolf jumped up, cried out, and fell prostrate from the effects of the blow.

"Why," said he, when he came to a little and was able to sit up, "why do you strike me so?"

"Strike you?" said Manabozho, with well-feigned surprise, "no; you must have been looking at me."

"No," answered the wolf, "I say I have not."

But Manabozho insisted, and as the old wolf was no great master of tricky argument, he was obliged to give it up.

Shortly after this the old wolf suggested to Manabozho that he should go out and try his luck in hunting by himself.

When he chose to put his mind upon it he was quite expert, and this time he succeeded in killing a fine fat moose, which he thought he would take aside slyly, and devour alone, having prepared to tell the old wolf a pretty story on his return, to account for his failure to bring any thing with him.

He was very hungry, and he sat down to eat; but as he never could go to work in a straight-forward way, he immediately fell into great doubts as to the proper point at which to begin.

"Well," said he, "I do not know where to commence. At the head? No. People will laugh, and say—'He ate him backward.'"

He went to the side. "No," said he, "they will say I ate him sideways."

He then went to the hind-quarter. "No, that will not do, either; they will say I ate him forward. I will begin here, say what they will."

He took a delicate piece from the small of the back, and was just on the point of putting it to his mouth, when a tree close by made a creaking noise. He seemed vexed at the sound. He raised the morsel to his mouth the second time, when the tree creaked again.

"Why," he exclaimed, "I can not eat when I hear such a noise.

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