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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "What the Man in the Moon Did"

What the Man in the Moon Did

The Moon Man took him to a place where there were many large boulders and made him lie across one as if he were to be paddled. Quadjaq was scared but he did not dare disobey.

The Man from the Moon took a long, thin ray of moonlight and whipped the boy softly with it.

"Do you feel stronger?" he asked.

"Yes, I feel a little stronger," said the lad.

"Then lift yon boulder," said the Man.

But Quadjaq was not able to lift it, so he was whipped again.

"Do you feel stronger now?" asked the Man.

"Yes, I feel stronger," said Quadjaq.

"Then lift the boulder."

But again he was not able to lift the stone more than a foot from the ground, and he had to be whipped again. After the third time he was so strong that he lifted the boulder as if it had been a pebble.

"That will do now," said the Man from the Moon. "Rays of light even from the Moon give you strength. To-morrow morning I shall send three bears. Then you may show what power you have."

The Man then got into his sledge and went back to his place in the Moon.

Every time a moonbeam had hit Quadjaq he had felt himself growing. His feet began first and became enormously large, and when the Man left him, he found himself a good-sized man.

In the morning he waited for the bears, and three bears did really come, growling and looking so fierce that the men of the village ran into their huts and shut the doors. But Quadjaq put on his boots and ran down to the ice where the bears were. The men peering out through the window holes said, "Can that be Quadjaq? The bears will soon eat the foolish fellow."

But he seized the first one by its hind legs and smashed its head on an iceberg near which it was standing. The next one fared no better. But the third one he took in his arms and carried it up to the village and let it eat some of his persecutors.

"That is for abusing me!" he cried. "That is for ill-treating me!"

Those that he did not kill ran away never to return. Only a few who had been kind to him when he was a poor skinny boy were spared.

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