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

White Feather and the Six Giants

You do not wear it, yet, but you are worthy of it. Return home and take a short nap. You will dream of hearing a voice, which will tell you to rise and smoke. You will see in your dream a pipe, a smoking-sack, and a large white feather. When you awake you will find these articles. Put the feather on your head, and you will become a great hunter, a great warrior, and a great man, able to do any thing. As a proof that these things shall come to pass, when you smoke, the smoke will turn into pigeons."

The voice then informed the young man who he was, and made known the character of his grandfather, who was imposing upon him to serve his own ends.

The voice-spirit then caused a vine to be laid at his side, and told him that he was now of an age to avenge the wrongs of his kindred. "When you meet your enemy," the spirit added, "you will run a race with him. He will not see the vine, because it is enchanted. While you are running, you will throw it over his head and entangle him, so that you will win the race."

Long before this speech was ended the young man had turned to the quarter from which the voice proceeded, and he was astonished to behold a man; for as yet he had never seen any human being beside his grandfather.

As he looked more keenly, he saw that this man, who had the looks of great age, was wood from the breast downward, and that he appeared to be fixed in the earth. As his eye dwelt upon this strange being, the countenance by degrees faded away, and when he advanced to the spot whence it had addressed him, it was gone.

He returned home; slept; in the midst of his slumbers, as from the hollow of the air, heard the voice; wakened and found the promised gifts. His grandfather, when his attention was called to his awakening, was greatly surprised to find the youth with a white feather on his forehead, and to see flocks of pigeons flying out of his lodge. He then remembered the old tradition, and knowing that now the day when he should lose control of his charge had begun, he bitterly bewailed the hour.

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