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

Sheem, the Forsaken Boy

The sound continued for some time, and then died away in perfect stillness. "Oh, it is the voice of Sheem," cried Owasso. "It is the voice of my brother! If I could but only see him!" And he hung down his head in deep anguish.

His wife witnessed his distress, and to comfort him she proposed that they should attempt to make their escape, and carry him succor on the morrow.

When the morning came, and the sun shone warmly into the lodge, the wife of Owasso offered to comb her father's hair, with the hope that it would soothe him to sleep. It had that effect; and they no sooner saw him in deep slumber than they seized the magic canoe, Owasso uttered the charmed words, "Chemaun Poll!" and they glided away upon the water without need of oar or sail.

They had nearly reached the land on the opposite side of the lake, and could distinctly hear the voice of the younger brother singing his lament as before, when the old magician wakened. Missing his daughter and her husband, he suspected deception of some kind; he looked for his magic boat and found it gone. He spoke the magic words, which were more powerful from him than from any other person in the world, and the canoe immediately returned; to the sore disappointment of Owasso and his wife.

When they came back to the shore, Mishosha stood upon the beach and drew up his canoe. He did not utter a word. The son-in-law and daughter entered the lodge in silence.

The time, walking along in its broad open path, brought the autumn months to a close, and the winter had set in. Soon after the first fall of snow, Owasso said:

"Father, I wish to try my skill in hunting. It is said there is plenty of game not far off, and it can now be easily tracked. Let us go."

The magician consented; they set out, and arriving at a good ground for their sport, they spent the day in hunting. Night coming on, they built them selves a lodge of pine-branches to sleep in. Although it was bitterly cold, the young man took off his leggings and moccasins, and hung them up to dry.

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