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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "The Red Swan"

The Red Swan

The magician was so long in recovering from the stunning blow which had been dealt him, that Maidwa feared that in restoring the crown of his head he had destroyed his life. Presently, however, he was pleased to see him show, by the motion of his hands and limbs, that his strength was returning; and in a little while he rose and stood upon his feet. What was the delight of Maidwa to behold, instead of a withered old man, far advanced in years and stricken in sorrow, a bright and cheerful youth, who glittered with life as he stood up before him.

"Thank you, my friend," he said. "Your kindness and bravery of heart have restored me to my former shape. It was so ordained, and you have now accomplished the victory."

They embraced; and the young magician urged the stay of his deliverer for a few days, and they formed a strong attachment to each other. The magician, to the deep regret of Maidwa, never once alluded to the Red Swan in all their conferences.

At last the day arrived when Maidwa prepared to return to his home. The young magician bestowed on him ample presents of wampum, fur, robes, and other costly things. Although Maidwa's heart was burning within him to see the Red Swan, to hear her spoken of, and to learn what his fortune was to be in regard to that fond object of his pursuit, he constrained his feelings, and so checked his countenance as to never look where he supposed she might be. His friend the young magician observed the same silence and caution.

Maidwa's pack for traveling was now ready, and he was taking his farewell smoke, when the young magician thus addressed him: "My friend Maidwa, you know for what cause you came thus far, and why you have risked so much and waited so long. You have proved my friend indeed. You have accomplished your object, and your noble perseverance shall not go unrewarded. If you undertake other things with the same spirit, you will always succeed. My destiny compels me to remain where I am, although I should feel happy to be allowed to go with you.

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