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How Glooskap Made His Uncle Mikchich The Turtle Into A Great Man
by [?]

So Mikchich went to the feast. Now the chief of Piktook had three beautiful daughters, and the youngest was the loveliest in the land. And on her he cast his eyes, and returning said, “I have seen one whom I want.” Now all the young men in Piktook desired this girl, and would kill any one who would win her.

So the next day Glooskap, taking a bunch of wawbap (P., wampum), went, to the chief and proposed for Mikchich, [Footnote: All invitations to festivals, or formal ceremonies, proposals of marriage, etc., were preceded among these tribes by a gift of wampum.] and the mother at once said “Yes.” So the girl made up a bed of fresh twigs and covered it with a great white bear-skin, and went to Mikchich, and they returned and had dried meat for supper. So they were married.

Now Turtle seemed to be very lazy; and when others hunted he lounged at home. One day his young wife said to him that if this went on thus they must soon starve. So he put on his snow-shoes and went forth, and she followed him to see what he would do. And he had not gone far ere he tripped and fell down, and the girl, returning, told her mother that he was worthless. But the mother said, “He will do something yet. Be patient.”

One day it came to pass that Glooskap said to Mikchich, “To-morrow there will be a great game at ball, and you must play. But because you have made yourself enemies of all the young men here, they will seek to slay you, by crowding all together and trampling upon you. And when they do this it will be by your father-in-law’s lodge, and to escape them I give you the power to jump high over it. This you may do twice, but the third time will be terrible for you, and yet it must be.”

All this happened as he foretold; for the young men indeed tried to take his life, and to escape them Mikchich jumped over the lodge, so that he seemed like a bird flying. But the third time he did this he was caught on the top of the tent-poles, and hung there dangling in the smoke which rose from below.

Then Glooskap, who was seated in the tent, said, “Uncle, I will now make you the sogmo, or great chief of the Tortoises, and you shall bear up a great nation.” Then he smoked Mikchich [Footnote: In a verbal Passamaquoddy narrative (John Gabriel), and in one given in The Maritime Provinces, this was effected by Glooskap with tobacco-smoke from his pipe. In Mr. Rand’s manuscript it is the smoke of the tent-fire. The Passamaquoddy narrations are invariably more spirited and humorous than the Micmac.] so long that his skin became a hard shell, and the marks of the smoke may be seen thereon to this day. And removing his entrails he destroyed them, so that but one short one was left. And he cried aloud, “Milooks! (M.) My nephew, you will kill me!” But the nephew replied, “Not so. I am giving you great life. From this time you may roll through a flame and never feel it, and live on land or in the water. And though your head be cut off, it will live for nine days, and your heart, even, shall beat as long when taken from your body.” So Mikchich rejoiced greatly.

And this came betimes, for he soon had need of it all. For the next day all the men went on a hunt, and the Master warned him that they would seek to slay him. Now the young men went on before, and Turtle lingered behind; but all at once he made a magic flight far over their heads, unseen, and deep in the forest he slew a moose. Then he drew this to the snow-shoe track or road, and when his foes came up there he sat upon the moose, smoking, and waiting for them. Now Glooskap had told them that they would see some one come out ahead of them all that day, and when this came to pass they were more angered in their hearts than ever.