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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "White Feather and the Six Giants"

White Feather and the Six Giants

There was an old man living in the depth of a forest, with his grandson, whom he had taken in charge when quite an infant. The child had no parents, brothers, or sisters; they had all been destroyed by six large giants, and he had been informed that he had no other relative living beside his grandfather. The band to whom he had belonged had put up their children on a wager in a race against those of the giants, and had thus lost them. There was an old tradition in the tribe, that, one day, it would produce a great man, who would wear a white feather, and who would astonish every one by his feats of skill and bravery.

The grandfather, as soon as the child could play about, gave him a bow and arrows to amuse himself with. He went into the edge of the woods one day, and saw a rabbit; but not knowing what it was, he ran home and described it to his grandfather. He told him what it was, that its flesh was good to eat, and that if he would shoot one of his arrows into its body he would kill it. The boy went out again and brought home the little animal, which he asked his grandfather to boil, that they might feast on it. He humored the boy in this, and he encouraged him to go on in acquiring the knowledge of hunting, until he could kill deer and the larger kinds of game; and he became, as he grew up, an expert hunter.

As they lived alone, and away from other Indians, the curiosity of the stripling was excited to know what was passing in the world. One day he came to the edge of a prairie, where he saw ashes like those at his grandfather's lodge, and lodge-poles left standing.

He returned, and inquired whether his grandfather had put up the poles and made the fire. He was answered, No. Nor did he believe that he had seen any thing of the kind. He must have lost his senses to be talking of such things.

Another day the young man went out to see what there was, within a day's hunt, that was curious; and on entering the woods he heard a voice calling out to him, "Come here, you destined wearer of the White Feather.

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