Manabozho, the Mischief-Maker
But as the days grew brighter he recovered by degrees his air of cheerful confidence, and was ready to try his hand upon any new adventure that might occur to him. The old spirit of mischief was still alive within him.
The young wolf who had been left with him was a good hunter, and never failed to keep the lodge well supplied with meat. One day Manabozho addressed him as follows:
"My grandson, I had a dream last night, and it does not portend good. It is of the large lake which lies in that direction. You must be careful to always go across it, whether the ice seem strong or not. Never go around it, for there are enemies on the further shore who lie in wait for you. The ice is always safe."
Now Manabozho knew well that the ice was thinning every day under the warm sun, but he could not stay himself from playing a trick upon the young wolf.
In the evening when he came to the lake, after a long day's travel in quest of game, the young wolf, confiding in his grandfather, said, "Hwooh! the ice does look thin, but Nesho says it is sound;" and he trotted upon the glassy plain.
He had not got half way across when the ice snapped, and with a mournful cry, the young wolf fell in and was immediately seized by the water-serpents, who knew that it was Manabozho's grandson, and were thirsting for revenge upon him for the death of their relations in the war upon Pearl Feather.
Manabozho heard the young wolf's cry as he sat in his lodge; he knew what had happened; and, from that moment, he was deprived of the greater part of his magical power.
He returned, scarcely more than an ordinary mortal, to his former place of dwelling, whence his grandmother had departed no one knew whither. He married the arrow-maker's daughter, and became the father of several children, and very poor. He was scarcely able to procure the means of living. His lodge was pitched in a remote part of the country, where he could get no game. It was winter, and he had not the common comforts of life. He said to his wife one day, "I will go out a walking and see if I can not find some lodges.