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

Manabozho, the Mischief-Maker


After walking some time he saw a lodge at a distance. The children were playing at the door. When they saw him approaching they ran in and told their parents that Manabozho was coming.

It was the residence of the large red-headed woodpecker. He came to the door and asked Manabozho to enter. This invitation was promptly accepted.

After some time, the woodpecker, who was a magician, said to his wife:

"Have you nothing to give Manabozho? he must be hungry."

She answered, "No."

"He ought not to go without his supper," said the woodpecker. "I will see what I can do."

In the center of the lodge stood a large tamarack-tree. Upon this the woodpecker flew, and commenced going up, turning his head on each side of the tree, and every now and then driving in his bill. At last he pulled something out of the tree and threw it down; when, behold, a fine fat raccoon lay on the ground. He drew out six or seven more. He then descended, and told his wife to prepare them.

"Manabozho," he said, "this is the only thing we eat; what else can we give you?"

"It is very good," replied Manabozho.

They smoked their pipes and conversed with each other.

After eating, Manabozho got ready to go home; when the woodpecker said to his wife, "Give him the other raccoons to take home for his children."

In the act of leaving the lodge, Manabozho, on purpose, dropped one of his mittens, which was soon after observed upon the ground.

"Run," said the woodpecker to his eldest son, "and give it to him; but mind that you do not give it into his hand; throw it at him, for there is no knowing him, he acts so curiously."

The boy did as he was directed.

"Grandfather," said he to Manabozho, as he came up to him, "you have left one of your mittens; here it is."

"Yes," he said, affecting to be ignorant of the circumstance, "it is so; but don't throw it, you will soil it on the snow."

The lad, however, threw it, and was about to return, when Manabozho cried out, "Bakah! Bakah! stop—stop; is that all you eat?

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