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How Glooskcap Conquered The Great Bull-Frog
by [?]

How Glooskcap conquered the Great Bull-Frog, and in what Manner all the Pollywogs, Crabs, Leeches, and other Water Creatures were created.

(Passamaquoddy and Micmac.)

N’karnayoo, of old times, there was an Indian village far away among the mountains, little known to other men. And the dwellers therein were very comfortable: the men hunted every day, the women did the work at home, and all went well in all things save in this. The town was by a brook, and except in it there was not a drop of water in all the country round, unless in a few rain-puddles. No one there had ever found even a spring.

Now these Indians were very fond of good water. The brook was of a superior quality, and they became dainty over it.

But after a time they began to observe that the brook was beginning to run low, and that not in the summer time, but in autumn, even after the rains. And day by day it diminished, until its bed was as dry as a dead bone in the ashes of a warm fire.

Now it was said that far away up in the land where none had ever been there was on this very stream another Indian village; but what manner of men dwelt therein no one knew. And thinking that these people of the upper country might be in some way concerned in the drought, they sent one of their number to go and see into the matter.

And after he had traveled three days he came to the place; and there he found that a dam had been raised across the rivulet, so that no water could pass, for it was all kept in a pond. Then asking them why they had made this mischief, since the dam was of no use to them, they bade him go and see their chief, by whose order this had been built.

And when he came to him, lo, there lay lazily in the mud a creature who was more of a monster than a man, though he had a human form. For he was immense to measure, like a giant, fat, bloated, and brutal to behold. His great yellow eyes stuck from his head like pine-knots, his mouth went almost from ear to ear, and he had broad, skinny feet with long toes, exceeding marvelous.

The messenger complained to this monster, who at first said nothing, and then croaked, and finally replied in a loud bellow,–

“Do as you choose,
Do as you choose,
Do as you choose.

“What do I care?
What do I care?
What do I care?

“If you want water,
If you want water,
If you want water,
Go somewhere else.”

Then the messenger remonstrated, and described the suffering of the people, who were dying of thirst. And this seemed to please the monster, who grinned. At last he got up, and, making a single spring to the dam, took an arrow and bored a hole in it, so that a little water trickled out, and then he bellowed,–

“Up and begone!
Up and begone!
Up and begone!”

So the man departed, little comforted. He came to his home, and for a few days there was a little water in the stream; but this soon stopped, and there was great suffering again.

Now these Indians, who were the honestest fellows in all the world, and never did harm to any one save their enemies, were in a sorry pickle. For it is a bad thing to have nothing but water to drink, but to want that is to be mightily dry. And the great Glooskap, who knew all that was passing in the hearts of men and beasts, took note of this, and when he willed it he was among them; for he ever came as the wind comes, and no man wist how.