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

Weendigoes and the Bone-Dwarf

To the little son, who ran to and fro lamenting, he paid no heed.

At night-fall, when the hunter returned from the forest, he was amazed. His lodge was gone, and he saw his son sitting near the spot where it had stood, shedding tears. The son pointed in the direction the Weendigo had taken, and as the father hurried along he found the remains of his wife strewn upon the ground.

The hunter blackened his face, and vowed in his heart that he would have revenge. He built another lodge, and gathering together the bones of his wife, he placed them in the hollow part of a dry tree.

He left his boy to take care of the lodge while he was absent, hunting and roaming about from place to place, striving to forget his misfortune, and searching for the wicked Weendigo.

He had been gone but a little while one morning, when his son shot his arrows out through the top of the lodge, and running out to look for them, he could find them nowhere. The boy had been trying his luck, and he was puzzled that he had shot his shafts entirely out of sight.

His father made him more arrows, and when he was again left alone, he shot one of them out; but although he looked as sharply as he could toward the spot where it fell, and ran thither at once, he could not find it.

He shot another, which was lost in the same way; and returning to the lodge to replenish his quiver, he happened to espy one of the lucky arrows, which the first Weendigo had given to his father, hanging upon the side of the lodge. He reached up, and having secured it, he shot it out at the opening, and immediately running out to find where it fell, he was surprised to see a beautiful boy just in the act of taking it up, and hurrying away with it to a large tree, where he disappeared.

The hunter's son followed, and having come to the tree, he beheld the face of the boy looking out through an opening in the hollow part.

"Ha! ha!" he said, "my friend, come out and play with me;" and he urged the boy till he consented. They played and shot their arrows by turns.

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