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

The Red Swan

I have given you, of ordinary gifts, all you will need as long as you live; but I see you are backward to speak of the Red Swan. I vowed that whoever procured me my lost wampum-scalp should be rewarded by possessing the Red Swan."

He then spoke in a language which Maidwa did not understand, the curtain of the lodge parted, and the Red Swan met his gaze. It was a beautiful female that he beheld, so majestical and airy in her look, that he seemed to see a creature whose home should rather be in the free heaven, and among the rosy clouds, than in this dusky lodge.

"Take her," the young magician said; "she is my sister; treat her well. She is worthy of you, and what you have done for me merits more. She is ready to go with you to your kindred and friends, and has been so ever since your arrival; and my good wishes shall go with you both."

The Red Swan smiled kindly on Maidwa, who advanced and greeted her. Hand in hand they took their way forth from the lodge, and, watched by the young magician, advanced across the prairie on their homeward course.

They traveled slowly, and looked with double joy on the beautiful country over which they had both so lately passed with hearts ill at ease.

After two or three days they reached the lodge of the third old man who had entertained him with the singing kettle; but the kettle was not there. The old man, nevertheless, received them very kindly, and said to Maidwa, "You see what your perseverance has secured you; do so always, and you will succeed in whatever you undertake."

On the following morning, when they were about to start, he pulled from the side of the lodge a bag, which he presented to Maidwa, saying, "Grandchild, I give you this; it contains a present for you; and I hope you will live happily till old age."

Bidding him farewell, they again set forward; and they soon came to the second old man's lodge; he also gave them a present and bestowed his blessing. Nor did Maidwa see any thing here of the frisky little kettle which had been so lively on his former visit.

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