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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "The Enchanted Moccasins"

The Enchanted Moccasins

A long, long time ago, a little boy was living with his sister entirely alone in an uninhabited country, far out in the north-west. He was called the Boy that carries the Ball on his Back, from an idea that he possessed supernatural powers. This boy was in the habit of meditating alone, and asking within himself, whether there were other beings similar to themselves on the earth.

When he grew up to manhood, he inquired of his sister whether she knew of any human beings beside themselves. She replied that she did; and that there was, at a great distance, a large village.

As soon as he heard this, he said to his sister, "I am now a young man and very much in want of a companion;" and he asked his sister to make him several pairs of moccasins.

She complied with his request; and as soon as he received the moccasins, he took up his war-club and set out in quest of the distant village.

He traveled on till he came to a small wigwam, and on looking into it he discovered a very old woman sitting alone by the fire. As soon as she saw the stranger, she invited him in, and thus addressed him:

"My poor grandchild, I suppose you are one of those who seek for the distant village, from which no person has ever yet returned. Unless your guardian is more powerful than the guardians of those who have gone before you, you will share a similar fate to theirs. Be careful to provide yourself with the invisible bones they use in the medicine-dance, for without these you can not succeed."

After she had thus spoken, she gave him the following directions for his journey:

"When you come near to the village which you seek, you will see in the center a large lodge, in which the chief of the village, who has two daughters, resides. Before the door there is a great tree, which is smooth and without bark. On this tree, about the height of a man from the ground, is hung a small lodge, in which these two false daughters dwell. It is here that so many have been destroyed, and among them your two elder brothers.

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