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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "Strong Desire and the Red Sorcerer"

Strong Desire and the Red Sorcerer

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She also gave Strong Desire general advice how he was to conduct himself to sustain his assumed character of a woman. His fear would scarcely permit him to consent to engage in an adventure attended with so much danger; but the recollection of his father's looks and reproaches of the want of courage, decided him.

Early in the morning he left the lodge of the little old woman who makes war, which was clouded in a heavy brackish fog, so thick and heavy to breathe, that he with difficulty made his way forth. When he turned to look back for it, it was gone.

He took the hard beaten path to the banks of the lake, and made for the water at a point directly opposite the Red Head's lodge.

Where he now stood it was beautiful day. The heavens were clear, and the sun shone out as brightly to Strong Desire as on the first morning when he had put forth his little head from the door of his father's lodge. He had not been long there, sauntering along the beach, when he displayed the glittering bowl by dipping water from the lake. Very soon a number of canoes came off from the island. The men admired his dress, and were charmed with his beauty, and almost with one voice they all made proposals of marriage. These, Strong Desire promptly declined.

When this was reported to Red Head, he ordered his royal bark to be launched by his chosen men of the oar, and crossed over to see this wonderful girl. As they approached the shore, Strong Desire saw that the ribs of the sorcerer's canoe were formed of living rattlesnakes, whose heads pointed outward to guard him from his enemies. Being invited, he had no sooner stepped into the canoe, than they began to hiss and rattle furiously, which put him in a great fright; but the magician spoke to them, when they became pacified and quiet. Shortly after they were at the landing upon the island. The marriage took place immediately; and the bride made presents of various valuables which had been furnished her by the old witch who inhabited the cloudy lodge.

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