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

The Enchanted Moccasins

Be wise, my grandchild, and abide strictly by my directions."

The old woman then gave to the young man the bones which were to secure his success; and she informed him with great care how he was to proceed.

Placing them in his bosom, Onwee Bahmondang, or the Wearer of the Ball, continued his journey, and kept eagerly on until he arrived at the village of which he was in search; and as he was gazing around him, he saw both the tree and the lodge which the old woman had mentioned.

He at once bent his steps for the tree, and approaching, he endeavored to reach the suspended lodge. But all his efforts were in vain; for as often as he attempted to reach it, the tree began to tremble, and it soon shot up so that the lodge could hardly be perceived.

He bethought him of his guardian, and invoking his aid, and changing himself into a squirrel, he mounted nimbly up again, in the hope that the lodge would not now escape him. Away shot the lodge, climb as briskly as he might.

Panting, and out of breath, he remembered the instructions of the old woman, and drawing from his bosom one of the bones, he thrust it into the trunk of the tree, and rested himself to be ready to start again.

As often as he wearied of climbing, for even a squirrel can not climb forever, he repeated the little ceremony of the bones; but whenever he came near the lodge and put forth his hand to touch it, the tree would shoot up as before, and carry the lodge up far beyond his reach.

At length the bones being all gone, and the lodge well-nigh out of sight, he began to despair, for the earth, too, had long since vanished entirely from his view.

Summoning his whole heart, he resolved to try once more. On and up he went, and, as soon as he put forth his hand to touch it, the tree again shook, and away went the lodge.

One more endeavor, brave Onwee, and in he goes; for having now reached the arch of heaven, the fly-away lodge could go no higher.

Onwee entered the lodge with a fearless step, and he beheld the two wicked sisters sitting opposite each other.

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