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How The Great Glooskap Fought The Giant Sorcerers At Saco, And Turned Them Into
by [?]

How the Great Glooskap Fought the Giant Sorcerers At Saco, and turned them into Fish.

(Penobscot.)

N’karnayoo, of old times: Woodenit atok hagen Glusgahbe. This is a story of Glooskap (P.) There was a father who had three sons and a daughter: they were m’teoulin, or mighty magicians; they were giants; they ate men, women, and children; they did everything that was wicked and horrible; and the world grew tired of them and of all their abominations. Yet when this family was young, Glooskap had been their friend; he had made the father his adopted father, the brothers his brothers, the sister his sister. [Footnote: The Indians make formal adoptions of relatives of every grade, and in addition to this use all the terms of relationship as friendly greetings. This is in fact made apparent in all the stories in this collection.] Yet as they grew older, and he began to hear on every side of their wickedness, he said: “I will go among them and find if this be true. And if it be so, they shall die. I will not spare one of those who oppress and devour men, I do not care who he may be.”

This family was at Samgadihawk, or Saco, on the sandy field which is in the Intervale or the summer bed of the Saco River, in the El-now-e-bit, the White Mountains, between Geh-sit-wah-zuch [Footnote: Geh-sit-wah-zuch, “many mountains” (Pen.). Mount Kearsarge, so called from the several lesser peaks around it.] and K’tchee penahbesk, [Footnote: K’tchee penabesk, “the great rock,” a much more sensible and appropriate name than that of “Cathedral Rocks,” which has been bestowed upon it; also chee penabsk.] and near Oonahgemessuk weegeet, the Home of the Water Fairies. [Footnote: Also called from a legend, Oonahgemessuk k’tubbee, the Water Fairies’ Spring. This appropriate and beautiful name has been rejected in favor of the ridiculously rococo term “Diana’s Bath.” As there is a “Diana’s Bath” at almost every summer watering place in America, North Conway must of course have one. The absolute antipathy which the majority of Americans manifest for the aboriginal names, even in a translation, is really remarkable.] Now the old man, the father of the evil magicians and his adopted father, had only one eye, and was half gray. [Footnote: This would directly connect him with the beings which are half stone, like the Oonahgemessuk, or water-goblins, the dwellers in Katahdin, and the Eskimo elves. This will be referred to again.] And Glooskap made himself like him,–there was not between them the difference of a hair; and having this form, he entered the wigwam and sat down by the old man. And the brothers, who killed everybody, not sparing one living soul, hearing a talking, looked in slyly, and seeing the new-comer, so like their father that they knew not which was which, said, “This is a great magician. But he shall be tried ere he goes, and that bitterly.”

Then the sister took the tail of a whale, and cooked it for the stranger to eat. But as it lay before him, on the platter and on his knees, the elder brother entered, and saying rudely, “This is too good for a beggar like you,” took it away to his own wigwam. Then Glooskap spoke: “That which was given to me was mine; therefore I take it again.” And sitting still he simply wished for it, and it came flying into the platter where it was before. So he ate it.

Then the brothers said, “Indeed, he is a great magician. But he shall be tried ere he goes, and that bitterly.”

When he had eaten, they brought in a mighty bone, the jaw of a whale, and the eldest brother, with great ado, and using both his arms and all his strength, bent it a little. Then he handed it to Glooskap, who with his thumb and fingers, snapped it like a pipe-stem. And the brothers said again, “Truly, this is a great magician. But he shall for all that be tried ere he goes, and that bitterly.”