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

The Bird Lover

Although game was scarce in the neighborhood of the widow's lodge, Monedowa returned at evening, in his character of a hunter, with two deer. This was his daily practice, and the widow's family never more lacked for food.

It was noticed, however, that Monedowa himself ate but little, and that of a peculiar kind of meat, flavored with berries, which, with other circumstances, convinced them that he was not as the Indian people around him.

In a few days his mother-in-law told him that the manito would come to pay them a visit, to see how the young man, her son, prospered.

Monedowa answered that he should on that day be absent. When the time arrived, he flew upon a tall tree, overlooking the lodge, and took his station there as the wicked manito passed in.

The mudjee monedo cast sharp glances at the scaffolds so well laden with meat, and as soon as he had entered, he said, "Why, who is it that is furnishing you with meat so plentifully?"

"No one," she answered, "but my son; he is just beginning to kill deer."

"No, no," he retorted; "some one is living with you."

"Kaween, no indeed," replied the widow; "you are only making sport of my hapless condition. Who do you think would come and trouble themselves about me?"

"Very well," answered the manito, "I will go; but on such a day I will again visit you, and see who it is that furnishes the meat, and whether it is your son or not."

He had no sooner left the lodge and got out of sight, than the son-in-law made his appearance with two more deer. On being made acquainted with the conduct of the manito, "Very well," he said, "I will be at home the next time, to see him."

Both the mother and the wife urged Monedowa to be aware of the manito. They made known to him all of his cruel courses, and assured him that no man could escape from his power.

"No matter," said Monedowa; "if he invites me to the race-ground, I will not be backward. What follows, may teach him, my mother, to show pity on the vanquished, and not to trample on the widow and those who are without fathers.

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