The Red Swan
" and at once made for the door and peeped out to see the strangers. He then commenced jumping and laughing, and crying out, "Women! women!" and that was all the reception he gave his brother. Maidwa told them to wash themselves and prepare, for he would go and fetch the females in.
Jeekewis scampered about, and began to wash himself; but he would every now and then, with one side of his head all feathers, and the other clear and shining, peep forth to look at the women again. When they came near, he said, "I will have this and that one;" he did not exactly know which; he would sit down for an instant, and then rise, and peep about and laugh; in fact he acted like one beside himself.
As soon as order was restored, and all the company who had been brought in were seated, Maidwa presented one of the chief's daughters to his eldest brother, saying: "These women were given to me, to dispose of in marriage. I now give one to each. I intended so from the first."
Jeekewis spoke up and said, "I think three wives would have been enough for you."
Maidwa led the other daughter to Jeekewis, and said, "My brother, here is one for you, and live happily."
Jeekewis hung down his head as if he was ashamed, but he would every now and then steal a look at his wife and also at the other women.
By and by he turned toward his wife and acted as if he had been married for years.
Maidwa seeing that no preparation had been made to entertain the company, said, "Are we to have no supper?"
He had no sooner spoken, than forth from a corner stepped the silent kettle, which placed itself by the fire, and began bubbling and boiling quite briskly. Presently that was joined by the big talking kettle, which said, addressing itself to Maidwa, "Master, we shall be ready presently;" and then, dancing along, came, from still another, the frisky little kettle, which hopped to their side, and took an active part in the preparations for the evening meal. When all was nearly ready, a delicate voice was heard singing in the last corner of the lodge, and keeping up its dainty carol all the way to the fire-place, the fourth kettle joined the three cooks, and they all fell to with all their might, and in the best possible humor, to dispatch their work.