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

The Enchanted Moccasins

Bahmondang is a cunning youth. It is a strong spirit who has put him on to do this injury to us, and he will try to deceive you in every way. Above all, avoid tasting food till you succeed; for if you break your fast before you see his blood, your power will be destroyed."

The son took this fatherly advice all in good part, except that portion which enjoined upon him to abstain from staying his stomach; but over that he made a number of wry faces, for the brother of the two wicked sisters had, among numerous noble gifts, a very noble appetite. Nevertheless, he took up his weapons and departed in pursuit of Onwee Bahmondang, at the top of his speed.

Onwee finding that he was closely followed, climbed up into one of the tallest trees, and shot forth the magic arrows with which he had provided himself.

Seeing that his pursuer was not turned back by his arrows, Onwee renewed his flight; and when he found himself hard pressed, and his enemy close behind him, he transformed himself into the skeleton of a moose that had been killed, whose flesh had come off from his bones. He then remembered the moccasins which his sister had given him, and which were enchanted. Taking a pair of them, he placed them near the skeleton.

"Go," said he to them, "to the end of the earth."

The moccasins then left him, and their tracks remained.

The angry brother at length came to the skeleton of the moose, when he perceived that the track he had been long pursuing did not stop there, so he continued to follow it up till he arrived at the end of the earth, where, for all his trouble, he found only a pair of moccasins.

Vexed that he had been outwitted by following a pair of moccasins instead of their owner, who was the object of his pursuit, he bitterly complained, resolving not to give up his revenge, and to be more wary in scrutinizing signs.

He then called to mind the skeleton he had met with on his way, and concluded that it must be the object of his search.

He retraced his steps toward the skeleton, but to his surprise it had disappeared, and the tracks of the wearer of the ball were in another direction.

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