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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "Sheem, the Forsaken Boy"

Sheem, the Forsaken Boy

Neither pleasure nor pain ought, therefore, to separate us, especially from our younger brother, who, being but a child, and weakly withal, is entitled to a double share of our affection. If we follow our separate fancies, it will surely make us neglect him, whom we are bound by vows, both to our father and mother, to support."

The young man received this address in silence, and still took his course as though nothing out of the ordinary way had occurred. After awhile he seemed to recover his spirits; and as they lived in a large country, where there were open fields, the two brothers, at his invitation, often amused themselves in playing ball. One afternoon he chose the ground near to a beautiful lake, and they played and laughed with great spirit, and the ball was seldom allowed to touch the ground.

Now in this lake there happened to harbor a wicked old Manito, Mishosha by name, who looked at the brothers as they played, and he was vastly pleased with their nimbleness and beauty. He thought to himself, what shall I do to get these lads to accompany me? One of them shall hit the ball sideways, and it shall fall into my canoe.

It so happened, and it somehow seemed as if Owasso, the elder brother, had purposely given it that direction. When Owasso saw the old man, he professed to be greatly surprised, as was the other, Sheem by name, in truth, for he had not noticed the old Manito before.

"Bring the ball to us," they both cried out. "Come to the shore."

"No," answered the old magician. He, however, came near enough for either of them to wade out to him. "Come, come," he said. "Come and get your ball."

They insisted that he should come ashore, but he sturdily declined to oblige them.

"Very well," said Owasso, "I will go and get it." And he ran into the water. "Hand it to me," he said, when he had approached near enough to receive it.

"Ha!" answered the Manito, "reach over and get it yourself."

Owasso was about to grasp the ball, when the old magician suddenly seized him and pushed him into the boat.

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