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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "The Two Jeebi"

The Two Jeebi

The hunter and his wife looked on with astonishment, but remained silent. They supposed that their guests might have been stricken with famine.

The next day, however, the same unusual conduct was repeated. The strange females again tore off the fat and devoured it with eagerness. The third day, the hunter thought that he would anticipate their wants by tying up a share of the hunt, and placing it apart for their express use. They accepted it, but still appeared dissatisfied, and went to the wife's portion and tore off more.

The hunter and his wife were surprised at such rude and unaccountable conduct, but they remained silent, for they respected their guests, and had observed that they had been attended with marked good luck during the sojourn of these mysterious visitors in their lodge.

In other respects, the deportment of the females was strictly unexceptionable. They were modest, distant, and silent. They never uttered a word during the day. At night they would occupy themselves in procuring wood, which they carried to the lodge, and then, restoring the implements exactly where they had found them, resume their places without speaking. They were never known to stay out until daylight. They never laughed or jested.

The winter was nearly passed away, when, one evening, the hunter was abroad later than usual. The moment he came in and laid down his day's hunt, as was his custom, before his wife, the two females seized upon the deer and began to tear off the fat in so unceremonious a way that her anger was excited. She constrained herself, however, in a good degree, but she could not conceal her feelings, though she said but little.

The strange guests observed the state of her mind, and they became uneasy, and withdrew further still into the remote gloom of the lodge. The good hunter saw the eclipse that was darkening the quiet of his lodge, and carefully inquired of its cause; but his wife denied having used any words of complaining or reproach.

They retired to their couches, and the hunter tried to compose himself to sleep, but could not, for the sighs and sobs of the two females were incessant.

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