He then took up his bow and arrows, and with deliberate aim shot every one of them easily, for the serpents were fixed to one spot and could not even turn around.
Having thus escaped the sentinel serpents, Manabozho pushed on in his canoe until he came to a part of the lake called Pitch-Water, as whatever touched it was sure to stick fast.
But Manabozho was prepared with his oil and, rubbing his canoe freely with it, from end to end, he slipped through with ease-and he was the first person who had ever succeeded in passing through the Pitch-Water.
"Nothing like a little oil," said Manabozho to himself.
Having by this time come in view of land, he could see the lodge of the Shining Manito, high upon a distant hill. At the dawn of day he put his clubs and arrows in order and began his attack, yelling and shouting and beating his drum, and calling out so as to make it appear that he had many followers:
"Surround him! surround him! run up! run up!"
He stalked bravely forward, shouting aloud, "It was you that killed my grandfather," and shot off a whole forest of arrows.
The Pearl Feather appeared on the height, blazing like the sun, and paid back Manabozho with a tempest of bolts which rattled like hail.
All day long the fight was kept up, and Manabozho had fired all of his arrows but three without effect, for the Shining Manito was clothed in pure wampum. It was only by immense leaps to right and left that Manabozho could save his head from the sturdy blows which fell about him on every side, like pine.trees, from the hands of the Manito. He was badly bruised, and at his very wits' end, when a large Woodpecker flew past and lit on a tree. It was a bird he had known on the prairie, near his grandmother's lodge.
"Manabozho," called out the Woodpecker, "your enemy has a weak point; shoot at the lock of hair on the crown of his head."
The first arrow he shot only drew a few drops of blood. The Manito made one or two unsteady steps, but recovered himself. He began to parley, but Manabozho, now that he had discovered a way to reach him, was in no humor to trifle, and he let slip another arrow which brought the Shining Manito to his knees. Having the crown of his head within good range Manabozho shot his third arrow, and the Manito fell forward upon the ground, dead.
Manabozho called the Woodpecker to come and receive a reward for the timely hint he had given him, and he rubbed the blood of the Shining Manito on the Woodpecker's head, the feathers of which are red to this day.
Full of his victory, Manabozho returned home, beating his war drum furiously and shouting aloud his song of triumph. His grandmother was on the shore to welcome him with the war dance, which she performed with wonderful skill for one so far advanced in years.
WHY THE DIVER DUCK HAS SO FEW TAIL FEATHERS
Adapted from H. R. Schoolcraft
HAVING overcome the powerful Pearl Feather, killed his serpents and escaped all is wiles and charms, the heart of Manabozho welled within him. An unconquerable desire for further adventures seized upon him.
He had won in a great fight on land, so he determined -his next success should come to him from the water.
He tried his luck as a fisherman and with such success that he captured an enormous fish, a fish so -rich in fat that with the oil Manabozho was able to -form a small lake. Wishing to be generous, and at the same time having a cunning plan of his own, he invited all the birds and beasts of his acquaintance to come and feast upon the oil, telling them that the order in which they partook of the banquet -would decide how fat each was to be for all time to -come.
As fast as they arrived he told them to plunge in and help themselves.
The first to make his appearance was the bear, -who took a long and steady draft; then came the deer, the opossum, and such others of the family as are noted for their comfortable covering. The moose and the buffalo were late in arriving on the scene, and the partridge, always lean in flesh, looked on till the supply was nearly gone. There was not -a drop left by the time the hare and the marten appeared on the shore of the lake, and they are, in consequence, the slenderest of all creatures.
When this ceremony was over Manabozho suggested to his friends, the assembled birds and animals, that the occasion was proper for a little merrymaking; and taking up his drum he cried out:
"New songs from the South! Come, brothers, dance!"
They all fell in and commenced their rounds. Whenever Manabozho, as he stood in the circle, saw a fat fowl which he fancied pass him, he adroitly wrung its neck and slipped it under his belt, at the same time beating his drum and singing at the top of his lungs to drown the noise of the fluttering, crying out in a tone of admiration:
"That's the way, my brothers; that's the way." At last a small duck of the diver family, thinking there was something wrong, opened one eye and saw what Manabozho was doing. Giving a spring, and crying: "Ha-ha- a! Manabozho is killing us!" he made a dash for the water.
Manabozho was so angry that the creature should have played the spy that he gave chase, and just as the Diver Duck was getting into the water he gave him a kick, which is the reason that the diver's tail feathers are few, his back flattened, and his legs straightened out, so that when he is seen walking on land he makes a sorry looking figure.
The other birds, having no ambition to be thrust in Manabozho's belt, flew off, and the animals scampered into the woods.
MANAIBOZHO IS CHANGED INTO AWOLF
Adapted from H. R. Schoolcraft
ONE evening, as Manabozho was walking along the shore of a great lake, weary and hungry, he met a great magician in the form of an Old Wolf, with six young ones, coming toward him.
The Wolf no Sooner caught sight of him than he told his whelps, who were close beside him, to keep out of the way of Manabozho, "For I know," he said, "that it is that mischievous fellow whom we see yonder."
The young wolves were in the act of running off when Manabozho cried out, "My grandchildren, where are you going? Stop and I will go with you. I wish to have a little chat with your excellent father."
Saying which, he advanced and greeted the Old Wolf, expressing himself as delighted at seeing him looking so well. "Whither do you journey?"
"We are looking for a good hunting-ground to pass the winter," the Old Wolf answered. "What brings you here?"
'I was looking for you," said Manabozho. "For I have a passion for the chase, brother. I always admired your family; are you willing to change me into a wolf?"
The Wolf gave him a favorable answer, and he was forthwith changed into a wolf.
"Well, that will do," said Manabozho. "But," he said, looking at his tail, "could you oblige me by making my tail a little longer and more bushy, just a little more bushy?"
"Certainly," said the Old Wolf; and he straightway gave Manabozho such a length and spread of tail that it was continually getting between his legs, and it was so heavy that it was as much as he could do to carry it. But, having asked for it, he was ashamed to say a word, and they all started off in company, dashing up the ravine.
After getting into the woods for some distance they ran across the tracks of moose. The young ones scampered off in pursuit, the Old Wolf and Manabozho following at their leisure.
"Well," said the Old Wolf, by way of starting the conversation, "who do you think is the fastest of the boys? Can you tell by the jumps they take?"
"Why," he replied, "that one that takes such 'long jumps, he is surely the fastest."
"Ha! ha! you are mistaken," said the Old Wolf. "He makes a good start, but he will be the first to tire out; this one who appears to be behind will be the one to kill the game."
By this time they had come to the spot where the boys had started in chase. One had dropped what seemed to be a small medicine-sack, which he carried for the use of the hunting party.
"Take that, Manabozho," said the Old Wolf.
"Why, what will I do with a dirty dog skin?"
The Old Wolf took it up; it was a beautiful robe.
"Oh, I will carry it now," cried Manabozho.
"Oh, no," said the Wolf, who had used his magical powers, "it is a robe of pearls. Come along!" And away he sped at a great rate of speed.
"Not so fast," called Manabozho after him; and then he added to himself as he panted after, "Oh, this tail!"
Coming to a place where the moose had lain down, they saw that the young wolves had made a fresh start after their prey. "'Why," said the Old Wolf, "this moose is thin. I know by the tracks. I can always tell whether they are fat or not." A little farther on, one of the young wolves, in dashing at the moose, had broken a tooth on a tree.
"Manabozho," said the Old Wolf, "one of your grandchildren has shot at the game. Take his arrow; there it is."