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THE JUNIOR CLASSICS

 

MANABOZHO IS ROBBED BY THE WOLVES

Adapted from H. R. Schoolcraft

SHORTLY after this the Old Wolf suggested to Manabozho that he should
go out and try his luck in hunting by himself. When he chose to put
his mind to it he was quite expert, and this time he succeeded in
killing a fine fat moose which he thought he would take aside slyly and
devour alone.

He was very hungry and he sat down to eat, but as he never could go to
work in a straightforward way, he immediately fell into great doubts as
to the proper point at which to begin.

"Well," said he, "I do not know where to commence. At the head? No,
people will laugh, and say, 'He ate him backward.'"

He went to the side. "No," said he, "they will say I ate him
sideways."

He then went to the hind quarter. "No, that will not do, either; they
will say I ate him forward. I will begin here, say what they will."

He took a delicate piece from the small of the back, and was just on
the point of putting it to his mouth when a tree close by made a
creaking noise. He seemed vexed at the sound. He raised the morsel to
his mouth the second time, when the tree creaked again.

"Why," he exclaimed, "I cannot eat when I hear such a noise. "Stop,
stop! " he cried to the tree. He put down the morsel of meat,
exclaiming. "I CANNOT eat with such a noise," and starting away he
climbed the tree and was actually pulling at the limb which had
bothered him, when his forepaw was caught between the branches so that
he could not free himself.

While thus held fast he saw a pack of wolves advancing through the wood
in the direction of his meat. He suspected them to be the Old Wolf and
his cubs, but night was coming on and he could not make them out. "Go
the other way, go the other Way!" he cried out; "what do you expect to
get here?"

The Wolves stopped for a while and talked among themselves, and said:
"Manabozho must have something there, or he would not tell us to go
another way. "

"I begin to know know him," said the Old Wolf, "and all his tricks.
Let us go forward and see." They came on and, finding the moose soon
made away with it.

Manabozho looked wistfully on while they ate until they were fully
satisfied, when off they scampered in high spirits. A heavy blast of
wind opened the branches finally, and released him. The wolves had
left nothing but bare bones. He made for home.

When he related his mishap, the Old Wolf, taking him by the forepaw,
condoled with him deeply on his ill luck. A tear even started to his
eye as he added: "My brother, this should teach us not to meddle with
points of ceremony when we have good meat to eat."



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