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How Glooskap Made A Magician Of A Young Man
by [?]

How Glooskap made a Magician of a Young Man, who aided another to win a Wife and do Wonderful Deeds

(Micmac.)

It is well known unto all Indians who still keep the true faith of the olden time that there are wondrous dwellers in the lonely woods, such as elves and fairies, called by the Micmacs Mikumwessos, and by the Passamaquoddies Oonahgawessos. And these can work great wonders, and also sing so as to charm the wildest beasts. From them alone come the magic pipes or flutes, which sometimes pass into possession of noted sorcerers and great warriors; and when these are played upon, the woman who hears the melody is bewitched with love, and the moose and caribou follow the sound even to their death. And when the Megumawessos are pleased with a mortal they make him a fairy, even like themselves.

N’Karnayoo. In old times there was an Indian village, and in it were two young men, [Footnote: According to another Micmac version of this legend, the elder of these pilgrims was Keekwahjoo, the Badger, and the younger Caktoogwasees, or Little Thunder.] who had heard that Glooskap, ere he left the world, would bestow on those who came to him whatever they wanted. So they went their way, an exceeding long pilgrimage, until they came to a great island, where he dwelt. And there they first met with Dame Bear and Marten, and next with the Master himself. Then they all, sitting down to supper, had placed before them only one extremely small dish, and on this there was a tiny bit of meat, and nothing more. But being a bold and jolly fellow, the first of the pilgrims, thinking himself mocked for sport, cut off a great part of the meat, and ate it, when that which was in the dish grew in a twinkling to its former size; and so this went on all through the supper, every one eating his fill, the dish at the end being as full as ever.

Of these two, one wished to become a Mikum-wess, and the other to win a very beautiful girl, the daughter of a great chief, who imposed such cruel tasks on all who came for her, that they died in attempting them.

And the first was taken by Glooskap; and after he had by a merry trick covered him with filth and put him to great shame, he took him to the river, and after washing him clean and combing his hair gave him a change of raiment and a hair string of exceeding great magic virtue, since when he had bound it on he became a Mikumwess, having all the power of the elfin-world. And also because he desired to excel in singing and music, the Master gave him a small pipe, and it was that which charmed all living beings; [Footnote: The identity of these incidents with those of “classic” times is worth noting. There is a lustration and the clothing the neophyte in a new garment, and he receives the magic fillet, as in the Mysteries of the old world. Nor is the resemblance of the pipe to that of Orpheus less striking. In many respects this is the most remarkable old Indian myth I have ever met with.] and then singing a song bade him join in with him. And doing this he found that he could sing, and ever after had a wondrous voice.

Now to seek the beautiful girl it was necessary to sail afar over the sea; and during this adventure the Mikumwess was charged to take care of the younger pilgrim. So he begged the Master to lend him his canoe. And Glooskap answered, “Yes, I will do this for thee, if thou wilt honestly return it when thou needest it no more. Yet in very truth I did never yet lend it to mortal man but that I had to go after it myself.” [Footnote: One of the traits of bonhomie and common humanity which continually occur in the Glooskap tales, even in the most serious situations and solemn myths. In this respect the resemblance of the Northwest Algonquin tales to the Norse is truly striking. The canoe is among all Indians, even in Central America, exactly what the umbrella is in civilized society. With all his immense originality Glooskap had a number of “old Joes,” of which he never seems to have tired. One was the inexhaustible dish, and another the giant skunk set upon end to salute his visitors, and this of the canoe was probably the commonest of all. He is a true Indian divinity, shining like the lightning and striking only when there is a storm, but appearing like the Aurora Borealis, or even the Robin Goodfellow-Will-o’-the-Wisp at others.]