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

Manabozho, the Mischief-Maker

He answered, "It makes a noise like this: ko-ko-ko-ho."

His grandmother told him he was young and foolish; that what he heard was only a bird which derived its name from the peculiar noise it made.

He returned to the prairie and continued his watch. As he stood there looking at the clouds, he thought to himself, "It is singular that I am so simple and my grandmother so wise; and that I have neither father nor mother. I have never heard a word about them. I must ask and find out."

He went home and sat down, silent and dejected. Finding that this did not attract the notice of his grandmother, he began a loud lamentation, which he kept increasing, louder and louder, till it shook the lodge, and nearly deafened the old grandmother. She at length said, "Manabozho, what is the matter with you? You are making a great deal of noise."

Manabozho started off again with his doleful hubbub; but succeeded in jerking out between his big sobs, "I have n't got any father nor mother; I have n't;" and he set out again lamenting more boisterously than ever.

Knowing that he was of a wicked and revengeful temper, his grandmother dreaded to tell him the story of his parentage; as she knew he would make trouble of it.

Manabozho renewed his cries, and managed to throw out, for a third or fourth time, his sorrowful lament that he was a poor unfortunate, who had no parents and no relations.

She at last said to him, "Yes, you have a father and three brothers living. Your mother is dead. She was taken for a wife by your father, the West, without the consent of her parents. Your brothers are the North, East, and South; and being older than yourself, your father has given them great power with the winds, according to their names. You are the youngest of his children. I have nursed you from your infancy; for your mother, owing to the ill-treatment of your father, died in giving you birth. I have no relations beside you this side of the planet in which I was born, and from which I was precipitated by female jealousy.

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