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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "The Woman Magician"

The Woman Magician

But in the house was the girl's little brother who had seen the husband come in; and after everybody was asleep he heard the spirits of the murdered men calling and he recognized their voices. They told him what had happened, and asked the boy to kill the young man in revenge for their deaths. So he crept from under the bed and thrust a knife into the young man's breast.

Then he awakened all the women and children in the great row of huts and told them that the spirits of the dead men had come to him and told of their murder, and had ordered him to avenge them by killing the young man.

"Oh, what shall we do? What shall we do?" they cried. "They have killed our men and they will kill us!" They were terribly frightened.

"We must fly from here before the men from Exaluq awaken and learn that the young man is slain in revenge," said one of the old women.

"But how can we fly? Our dogs are dead, and we cannot travel fast enough to escape."

"I will attend to that," said the old woman. In her hut was a litter of pups, and as she was a conjurer, she said to them, "Grow up at once." She had no fairy wand to wave over them, but she waved a stick, and after waving it once the dogs were half-grown. She waved it again, saying, "Be full-grown instantly;" and they were.

They harnessed the dogs at once, and in order to deceive their enemies they left everything in the huts and even left their lights burning, so that when the men arose in the morning they would think that they, too, had arisen and were dressing.

When it had come full daylight next morning the men of Exaluq wondered why the young man did not come back to them, and presently they went to find out. They peeked into the spy-hole of the window and saw the lamps burning, but no people inside the hut. They discovered the body of the dead man, and then when they looked they saw the tracks of sledges.

They wondered very much how the women could have gone away on sledges, since they had no dogs, and they feared some other people had helped them to get off.

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