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

Weendigoes and the Bone-Dwarf

The hunter, on entering, found his son sitting by the fire, very quiet and unconcerned, although he saw that all the articles of the lodge were lying thrown about in all directions.

"Why, my son," he said "you must play very hard every day; and what is it that you do, all alone, to throw the lodge in such confusion?"

The boy again had his excuse. "Father," he answered, "I play in this manner: I chase and drag my blanket around the lodge, and that is the reason you see the ashes spread about."

The hunter was not satisfied until his son had shown him how he played with the blanket, which he did so adroitly as to set his father laughing, and at last drive him out of the lodge with the great clouds of ashes that he raised.

The next morning the boy renewed his request that his father should be absent all day, and see if he could not kill two deer. The hunter thought this a strange desire on the part of his son, but as he had always humored the boy, he went into the forest as usual, bent on accomplishing his wish, if he could.

As soon as he was out of sight, his son hastened to his young companion at the tree, and they continued their sports.

The father on nearing his home in the evening, as he reached the rising ground, again heard the sounds of play and laughter; and as the wind brought them straight to his ear, he was now certain that there were two voices.

The boy from the tree had no more than time to escape, when the hunter entered, and found his son, sitting as usual, near the fire. When he cast his eyes around, he saw that the lodge was in greater confusion than before. "My son," he said, "you must be very foolish when alone to play so. But, tell me, my son; I heard two voices, I am sure;" and he looked closely on the prints of the footsteps in the ashes. "True," he continued, "here is the print of a foot which is smaller than my son's;" and he was now satisfied that his suspicions were well founded, and that some very young person had been the companion of his son.

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