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was a very hazardous enterprize, as the rays of the sun would burr whoever came so near t.o them. At last the dormouse undertook it—for at this time the dormouse was the largest animal in the world. When it stood up it looked like a mountain. When it got to the place where the sun was snared, its back began to smoke and burn, with the intensity of the heat, and the top of its carcass was reduced to enormous heaps of ashes. It succeeded, however, in cutting the cord with its teeth, and freeing the sun, but it was reduced to a very small size, and has remained so ever since. Men call it the Kug-e-been-gwa-kwa.
A TRADITION OF THE DACOTAHS.
Ampata Sapa was the wife of a brave young hunter and warrior, by whom she had two children. They lived together in great happiness, which was only varied by the changes of a forest life. Sometimes they lived on the prairies; sometimes they built their wigwam in the forest, near the banks of a stream, and they paddled their canoe up and down the rivers. In these trips they got fish, when they were tired of wild meats. In the summer season they kept on the open grounds; in the winter, they fixed their camp in a sheltered position, in the woods. The very change of their camp was a source of pleasure, for they were always on the lookout for something new. They had plenty, and they wanted nothing.
In this manner the first years of their marriage passed away. But it so happened, that as years went by, the reputation of her husband in the tribe increased, and he soon came to be regarded as a Weetshahstshy Atapee, or chief. This opened a new field for his ambition and pride. The fame of a chief, it is well known, is often increased by the number of his wives. His lodge was now thronged with visitors. Some came to consult him; some to gain his favour. All this gave Ampata Sapa no uneasiness, for the Red People like to have visitors, and to show hospitality. The first thing that caused a jar in her mind, was the rumour that her husband was about to take a new wife. This was like a poison in her veins ; for she had a big heart. She was much attached to her husband, and she could not bear the idea of sharing his affections with another. But she found that the idea had already got strong hold of her husband's mind, and her remonstrances did little good. He defended himself on the ground, that it would give him greater influence in the tribe if he took the daughter of a noted chief. But before he had time to bring her to ks lodge, Ampata Sapa had fled from it, taking her two children, and returned to her father's lodge. Her father lived at some distance, and here she remained a short time in quiet. The whole band soon moved up the Mississippi, to their hunting ground. She was glad to go with them, and would, indeed, have been glad to go any where, to get farther from the lodge of her faithless husband.
Here the winter wore away. When the Spring opened, they came back again to the banks of the river, and mended and fitted up the canoes, which they had left in the fall. In these they put their furs, and descended to the Falls of St. Anthony. Ampata Sapa lingered behind 8 short time the morning of their embarkation, as they began to draw near the rapids which precede the great plunge. She then put her canoe in the water, and embarked with her children. As she approached the falls, the increasing velocity of the current rendered the paddles of but little use. She rested with her's suspended in her hands, while she arose, and uttered her lament:
"It was him only that I loved, with the love of my heart. It was for him that I prepared, with joy, the fresh killed meat, and swept with boughs my lodge-fire. It was for him I dressed the skin of the noble deer, and worked, with my hands, the Moccasins that graced his feet.
I waited while the sun ran his daily course, for his return from the chase, and I rejoiced in my heart when I heard his manly footsteps approach the lodge. He .threw down his burden at the door—it was a haunch of the deer ;—I flew to prepare the meat for his use.
My heart was bound up in him, and he was all the world to me. But he has left me for another, and life is now a burden which I cannot bear. Even my children add to my griefs—they look so much like him. How can I support life, when all its moments are bitter 1 I have lifted up my voice to the Master of life. I have asked him to take back that life, which he gave, and which I no longer wish, I am on the current that hastens to fulfil my prayer. I see the white foam of the water. It is my shroud. I hear the deep murmur from below. It is my funeral song. Farewell.
It was too late to arrest her course. She had approached too near the abyss, before her purpose was discovered by her friends. They beheld her enter the foam—they saw the canoe for an instant, on the verge, and then disappear for ever. Such was the end of Ampata Sapa; and they say her canoe can sometimes be seen, by moonlight, plunging over the falls.
Internal dissention has done more to destroy the Indian power in America, than the white man's sword. Could the tribes learn the wisdom of confederation, they might yet be saved. This is a problem now undergoing an interesting process of solution.
AN ODJIBWA TALE.
Great good luck once happened to a young woman who was living all alone in the woods, with nobody near her but her little dog, for, to her surprise, she found fresh meat every morning at her door. She felt very anxious to know who it was that supplied her, and watching one morning, very early, she saw a handsome young man deposit the meat After his being seen by her, he became her husband, and she had a son by him. One day not long after this, the man did not return at evening, as usual, from hunting. She waited till late at night, but all in vain. Next day she swung her baby to sleep in its tiksnagun, or cradle, and then said to her dog: "Take care of your brother whilst I am gone, and when he cries, halloo for me." The cradle was made of the finest wampum, and all its bandages and decorations were oi the same costly material. After a short time the woman heard the cry of her faithful dog, and running home as fast as she could, she found her child gone and the dog too. But, on looking round, she saw pieces of the wampum of her child's cradle bit off by the dog, who strove to retain the child and prevent his being carried off by an old woman called Mukakee Mindemoea, or the ToadWoman. The mother followed at full speed, and occasionally came to lodges inhabited by old women, who told her at what time the thief had passed; they also gave her shoes, that she might follow on. There were a number of these old women, who seemed as if they were all prophetesses. Each of them would say to her, that when she arrived in pursuit of her stolen child at the next lodge, she must set the toes of the moccasins they had loaned her pointing homewards, and they would return of themselves. She would get others from her entertainers farther on, who would also give her directions how to proceed to recover her son. She thus followed in the pursuit, from valley to valley, and stream to stream, for months and years: when she came, at length, to the lodge of the last of the friendly old Nocoes, or grandmothers, as they were called, who gave her final instruc. tions how to proceed. She told her she was near the place where her son was, and directed her to build a lodge of shingoob, or cedar boughs, near the old Toad-Woman's lodge, and to make a little bark dish and squeeze her milk into it "Then," she said, "your first child (meaning the dog) will come and find you out" She did accordingly, and in a short time she heard her son, now grown, going out to hunt, with his dog, calling on to him, "Monedo Pewaubik (that is, Steel or Spirit Iron,) Twee. Twee!" She then set ready the dish and filled it with her milk. The dog soon scented it and came into the lodge; she placed it before him. u See my child," said she, addressing him, "the food you used to have from me, your mother." The dog went and told his young master that he had found his real mother; and informed him that the old woman, whom he called his mother, was not his mother, that she had stolen him when an infant in his cradle, and that he had himself followed her in hopes of getting him back. The young man and his dog then went on their hunting excursion, and brought back a great quantity of meat of all kinds. He said to his pretended mother, as he laid it down, "Send some to the stranger that has arrived lately." The old hag answered, "No! why should I send to her—the Sheegowish."* He insisted; and she at last consented to take something, throwing it in at the door, with the remark, "My son gives you, or feeds you this." But it was of such an offensive nature, that she threw it immediately out after her.
After this the young man paid the stranger a visit, at her lodge of cedar boughs, and partook of her dish of milk. She then told him she was his real mother, and that he had been stolen away from her by the detestable Toad-Woman, who was a witch. He was not quite convinced. She said to him, "Feign yourself sick, when you go home, and when the Toad-Woman asks what ails you, say that you want to see your cradle; for your cradle was of wampum, and your faithful brother, the dog, bit a piece off to try and detain you, which I picked up, as I followed in your track. They were real wampum, white and blue, shining and beautiful." She then showed him the pieces. He went home and did as his real mother bid him. "Mother," said he, "why am I so different in my looks from the rest of your children?" "Oh," said she, "it was a very bright clear blue sky when you were born ; that is the reason." When the Toad-Woman saw he was ill, she asked what she could do for him. He said nothing would do him good, but the sight of his cradle. She ran immediately and got a cedar cradle; but he said "That is not my cradle." She went and got one of her own children's cradles, (for she had four,) but he turned his head and said, "That is not mine." She then produced the real cradle, and he saw it was the same, in substance, with the pieces the other had shown him; and he was convinced, for he could even see the marks of the dog's teeth upon it.
He soon got well, and went out hunting, and killed a fat bear. He and his dog-brother then stripped a tall pine of all its branches, and stuck the carcass on the top, taking the usual sign of his having killed an animal— the tongue. He told the Toad-Woman where he had left it, saying, "It is very far, even to the end of the earth." She answered, "It is not so far
* Sheegowiti, a widow, and mowigh, something nasty.
but I can get it," so off she set. As soon as she was gone, the young man and his dog killed the Toad-Woman's children, and staked them on each side of the door, with a piece of fat in their mouths, and then went to his real mother and hastened her departure with them. The Toad-Woman spent a long time in finding the bear, and had much ado in climbing the tree to get down the carcass. As she got near home, she saw the children looking out, apparently, with the fat in their mouths, and was angry at them, saying, "Why do you destroy the pomatum of your brother." But her fury was great indeed, when she saw they were killed and impaled. She ran after the fugitives as fast as she could, and was near overtaking them, when the young man said, "We are pressed hard, but let this stay her progress," throwing his fire steel behind him, which caused the ToadWoman to slip and fall repeatedly. But still she pursued and gained on them, when he threw behind him his flint, which again retarded her, for it made her slip and stumble, so that her knees were bleeding; but she continued to follow on, and was gaining ground, when the young man said, "Let the Oshau shaw go min un (snake berry) spring up to detain her," and immediately these berries spread like scarlet all over the path for a long distance, which she could not avoid stooping down to pick and eat. Still she went on, and was again advancing on them, when the young man at last, said to the dog, "Brother, chew her into mummy, for she plagues us." So the dog, turning round, seized her and tore her to pieces, and they escaped.