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

Weendigoes and the Bone-Dwarf

The boy could not now refuse to tell his father what had happened.

"Father," he said, "I found a boy in the hollow of that tree, near the lodge, where you placed my mother's bones."

Strange thoughts came over the mind of the hunter; did his wife live again in this beautiful child?

Fearful of disturbing the dead, he did not dare to visit the place where he had deposited her remains.

He, however, engaged his son to entice the boy to a dead tree, by the edge of a wood, where they could kill many flying-squirrels by setting it on fire. He said that he would conceal himself near by, and take the boy.

The next day the hunter accordingly went into the woods, and his son, calling the boy from the tree, urged him to go with him to kill the squirrels. The boy objected that his father was near, but he was at length prevailed on to go, and after they had fired the tree, and while they were busy killing or taking the squirrels, the hunter suddenly made his appearance, and clasped the strange boy in his arms. He cried out, "Kago, kago, don't, don't. You will tear my clothes!" for he was clad in a fine apparel, which shone as if it had been made of a beautiful transparent skin. The father reassured him by every means in his power.

By constant kindness and gentle words the boy was reconciled to remain with them; but chiefly by the presence of his young friend, the hunter's son, to whom he was fondly attached. The children were never parted from each other; and when the hunter looked upon the strange boy, he seemed to see living in him the better spirit of his lost wife. He was thankful to the Great Spirit for this act of goodness, and in his heart he felt assured that in time the boy would show great virtue, and in some way avenge him on the wicked Weendigo who had destroyed the companion of his lodge.

The hunter grew at ease in his spirit, and gave all of the time he could spare from the chase to the society of the two children; but, what affected him the most, both of his sons, although they were well-formed and beautiful, grew no more in stature, but remained children still.

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