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

The Red Swan

Amid the greetings of their new friends, Maidwa and the Red Swan, with the chief's daughter, took their leave by peep of day, and toward evening they reached the other town. The watchman gave the signal, and numbers of men, women and children stood out to see them. They were again shown into the chief's lodge, who welcomed him, saying:

"Son-in-law, you are welcome."

And he requested Maidwa to take a seat by his daughter, and the two women did the same.

After suitable refreshment for all, and while Maidwa smoked a pipe, the chief asked him to relate his adventures in the hearing of all the inmates of the lodge, and of the strangers who had gathered in at report of his singular fortunes.

Maidwa gave them his whole story. When he came to those parts which related to the Red Swan, they turned and looked upon her in wonder and admiration, for she was very beautiful.

The chief then informed Maidwa that his brothers had been to their town in search of him, but that they had gone back some time before, having given up all hopes of ever seeing him again. He added, that since he had shown himself a man of spirit, whom fortune was pleased to befriend, he should take his daughter with him.

"For although your brothers," he said, "were here, they were too bashful to enter any of our lodges. They merely inquired for you and returned. You will take my daughter, treat her well, and that will bind us more closely together."

It is always the case in an assembly or gathering that some one of the number is foolish, and disposed to play the clown. It happened to be so here. One of this very sort was in the lodge, and, after Maidwa had given the old chief presents, as he had to the other, this pretender jumped up in a passion, and cried out:

"Who is this stranger, that he should have her? I want her myself."

The chief bade him be quiet, and not to disturb or quarrel with one who was enjoying their hospitality.

"No, no," he exclaimed, rushing forward as in act to strike.

Maidwa sat unmoved, and paid no heed to his threats.

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