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

Strong Desire and the Red Sorcerer

"Hundreds," answered Red Head; "and what is better, now that I am fairly settled in life by this happy marriage, I shall be able to give my whole attention to massacre."

"And you will kill hundreds more," interposed Strong Desire, in the most insinuating manner imaginable.

"Just so, my dear," Red Head replied, with a great leer; "thousands. There will be no end to my delicious murders. I love dearly to kill people. I would like to kill you if you were not my wife."

"There, there," said Strong Desire, with the coaxing air of a little coquette, "go to sleep; that's a good Red Head."

No other subject of conversation occurring to the chief, now that he had exhausted the delightful topic of wholesale murder, he straightway fell into a deep sleep.

The chance so anxiously sought for had come; and Strong Desire, with a smiling eye, drawing his blade of grass with lightning swiftness once across the neck of the Red Head, severed the huge and wicked head from the body.

In a moment, stripping off his woman's dress, underneath which he had all along worn his male attire, Strong Desire seized the bleeding trophy, plunged into the lake, and swam safely over to the main shore. He had scarcely reached it, when, looking back, he saw amid the darkness the torches of persons come out in search of the new married couple. He listened until they had found the headless body, and he heard their piercing shrieks of rage and sorrow as he took his way to the lodge of his kind adviser.

The little old woman who makes war was in an excellent humor, and she received Strong Desire with rejoicing. She admired his prudence, and assured him his bravery should never be questioned again. Lifting up the head, which she gazed upon with vast delight, she said he need only have brought the scalp. Cutting off a lock of the hair for herself, she told him he might now return with the head, which would be evidence of an achievement that would cause his own people to respect him.

"In your way home," added the little old woman, "you will meet with but one difficulty.

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