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

Sheem, the Forsaken Boy

"My grandfather," said Owasso, "pray take my little brother also. Alone I can not go with you; he will starve if I leave him."

Mishosha only laughed at him; then uttering the charmed words, "Chemaun Poll!" and giving his canoe a slap, it glided through the water, without further help, with the swiftness of an arrow.

In a short time they reached the magician's lodge, which stood upon the further shore, a little distance back from the lake. The two daughters of Mishosha were seated within. "My daughter," he said to his eldest, as they entered the lodge, "I have brought you a husband."

The young woman smiled; for Owasso was a comely youth to look upon. The magician told him to take his seat near her, and by this act the marriage ceremony was completed, and Owasso and the magician's daughter were man and wife, and in the course of time they had born to them a son.

But no sooner was Owasso in the family than the old Manito wished him out of the way, and he went about in his own wicked fashion to compass it.

One day he asked his son-in-law to go out a-fishing with him. They started without delay; for the magician had only to speak, and off went the canoe. They reached a solitary bay in an island, a very dark, lonely, and out-of-the-way place. The Manito advised Owasso to spear a large sturgeon which came alongside, and with its great glassy eye turned up, seemed to recognize the magician. Owasso rose in the boat to dart his spear, and by speaking that moment to his canoe, Mishosha shot forward and hurled his son-in-law headlong into the water; where, leaving him to struggle for himself, he was soon out of sight.

Owasso, being himself gifted with limited magical powers, spoke to the fish, and bade him swim toward the lodge, while he carried him along, which he did at great speed. Once he directed the sturgeon to rise near the surface of the water, so that he might, if possible, get a view of the magician. The fish obeyed, and Owasso saw the wicked old Manito busy in another direction, fishing, as unconcerned as though he had not just lost a member of his family.

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