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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "The Bird Lover"

The Bird Lover

There was not a family in all that beautiful region which had not in this way been visited and thinned out; and the manito had quite naturally come to be held in abhorrence by all the Indian mothers in the country.

It happened that there lived near him a poor widow woman, whose husband and seven sons he had made way with; and she was now living with an only daughter, and a son of ten or twelve years old.

This widow was very poor and feeble, and she suffered so much for lack of food and other comforts of the lodge, that she would have been glad to die, but for her daughter and her little son. The Mudjee Monedo had already visited her lodge to observe whether the boy was sufficiently grown to be challenged to the race; and so crafty in his approaches and so soft in his manners was the monedo, that the mother feared that he would yet decoy the son and make way with him as he had done with his father and his seven brothers, in spite of all her struggles to save him.

And yet she strove with all her might to strengthen her son in every good course. She taught him, as best she could, what was becoming for the wise hunter and the brave warrior. She remembered and set before him all that she could recall of the skill and the craft of his father and his brothers who were lost.

The widow woman also instructed her daughter in whatever could make her useful as a wife; and in the leisure-time of the lodge, she gave her lessons in the art of working with the quills of porcupine, and bestowed on her such other accomplishments as should make her an ornament and a blessing to her husband's household. The daughter, Minda by name, was kind and obedient to her mother, and never failed in her duty. Their lodge stood high up on the banks of a lake, which gave them a wide prospect of country, embellished with groves and open fields, which waved with the blue light of their long grass, and made, at all hours of sun and moon, a cheerful scene to look upon.

Across this beautiful prairie, Minda had one morning made her way to gather dry limbs for their fire; for she disdained no labor of the lodge.

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Category: United States folktales
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