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

Manabozho, the Mischief-Maker

But Manabozho was prepared with his oil, and rubbing his canoe freely from end to end, he slipped through with ease, and he was the first person who had ever succeeded in passing through the Pitch-water.

"There is nothing like a little oil to help one through pitch-water," said Manabozho to himself.

Now in view of land, he could see the lodge of the Shining Manito, high upon a distant hill.

Putting his clubs and arrows in order, just at the dawn of day Manabozho began his attack, yelling and shouting, and beating his drum, and calling out in triple voices:

"Surround him! surround him! run up! run up!" making it appear that he had many followers. He advanced, shouting aloud:

"It was you that killed my grandfather," and shot off a whole forest of arrows.

The Pearl Feather appeared on the height, blazing like the sun, and paid back the discharges of Manabozho with a tempest of bolts, which rattled like the hail.

All day long the fight was kept up, and Manabozho had fired all of his arrows but three, without effect; for the Shining Manito was clothed in pure wampum. It was only by immense leaps to right and left that Manabozho could save his head from the sturdy blows which fell about him on every side, like pine-trees, from the hands of the Manito. He was badly bruised, and at his very wit's end, when a large woodpecker flew past and lit on a tree. It was a bird he had known on the prairie, near his grandmother's lodge.

"Manabozho," called out the woodpecker, "your enemy has a weak point; shoot at the lock of hair on the crown of his head."

He shot his first arrow and only drew blood in a few drops. The Manito made one or two unsteady steps, but recovered himself. He began to parley, but Manabozho, now that he had discovered a way to reach him, was in no humor to trifle, and he let slip another arrow, which brought the Shining Manito to his knees. And now, having the crown of his head within good range, Manabozho sent in his third arrow, which laid the Manito out upon the ground, stark dead.

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