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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "Weendigoes and the Bone-Dwarf"

Weendigoes and the Bone-Dwarf

Withal his hunger did not seem to be staid, for he took up the deer which the hunter had brought in, and devoured it eagerly, leaving the family to make their meal of the dried meats which had been reserved in the lodge.

In this manner the Weendigo and the hunter's family lived for some time, and it surprised them that the monster never attempted their lives; although he never slept at night, but always went out and returned, by the break of day, stained with blood, and looking very wild and famished. When there was no deer to be had wherewith to finish his repast, he said nothing. In truth he was always still and gloomy, and he seldom spoke to any of them; when he did, his discourse was chiefly addressed to the boy.

One evening, after he had thus sojourned with them for many weeks, he informed the hunter that the time had now arrived for him to take his leave, but that before doing so, he would give him a charm that would bring good luck to his lodge. He presented to him two arrows, and thanking the hunter and his wife for their kindness, the Weendigo departed, saying, as he left them, that he had all the world to travel over.

The hunter and his wife were happy when he was gone, for they had looked every moment to have been devoured by him. He tried the arrows, and they never failed to bring down whatever they were aimed at.

They had lived on, prosperous and contented, for a year, when, one day, the hunter being absent, his wife on going out of the lodge, saw something like a black cloud approaching.

She looked until it came near, when she perceived that it was another Weendigo or Giant Cannibal. Remembering the good conduct of the other, she had no fear of this one, and asked him to look into the lodge.

He did so; and finding after he had glared around, that there was no food at hand, he grew very wroth, and, being sorely disappointed, he took the lodge and threw it to the winds. He seemed hardly at first to notice the woman in his anger; but presently he cast a fierce glance upon her, and seizing her by the waist, in spite of her cries and entreaties, he bore her off.

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