**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

How Lox Deceived The Ducks, Cheated The Chief, And Beguiled The Bear
by [?]

(Micmac and Passamaquoddy.)

Somewhere in the forest lived Lox, with a small boy, his brother. When winter came they went far into the woods to hunt. And going on, they reached at last a very large and beautiful lake. It was covered with water-fowl. There were wild geese and brant, black ducks and wood-ducks, and all the smaller kinds down to teal and whistlers.

The small boy was delighted to see so much game. He eagerly asked his brother how he meant to catch them. He answered, “We must first go to work and build a large wigwam. It must be very strong, with a heavy, solid door.” This was done; and Lox, being a great magician, thus arranged his plans for taking the wild-fowl. He sent the boy out to a point of land, where he was to cry to the birds and tell them that his brother wished to give them a kingly reception. (Nakamit, to act the king.) He told them their king had come. Then Lox, arraying himself grandly, sat with dignity next the door, with his eyes closed, as if in great state. Then the little boy shouted that they might enter and hear what the great sagamore had to say. They flocked in, and took their seats in the order of their size. The Wild Geese came nearest and sat down, then the Ducks, and so on to the smallest, who sat nearest the door. Last of all came the boy, who entering also sat down by the door, closed it, and held it fast. So the little birds, altumabedajik (M.), sat next to him.

Then they were all told “Spegwedajik!” “Shut your eyes!” and were directed to keep them closed for their very lives, until directed to open them again. Unless they did this first, their eyes would be blinded forever when they beheld their king in all his magnificence. So they sat in silence. Then the sorcerer, stepping softly, took them one by one, grasping each tightly by the wings, and ere the bird knew what he was about it had its head crushed between his teeth. And so without noise or fluttering he killed all the Wild Geese and Brant and Black Ducks. Then the little boy began to pity the poor small wild-fowl. He thought it was a shame to kill so many, having already more than they needed. So stooping down, he whispered to a very little bird to open its eyes. It did so, but very cautiously indeed, for fear of being blinded.

Great was his horror to see what Lox was doing! He screamed, “Kedumeds’lk!” “We are all being killed!” Then they opened their eyes, and flew about in the utmost confusion, screaming loudly in terror. The little boy dropped down as if he had been knocked over in the confusion, so that the door flew wide open, and the birds, rushing over him, began to, escape, while Lox in a rage continued to seize them and kill them with his teeth. Then the little boy, to avoid suspicion, grasped the last fugitive by the legs and held him fast. But he was suspected all the same by the wily sorcerer, who caught him up roughly, and would have beaten him cruelly but that he earnestly protested that the birds knocked him down and forced the door open, and that he could by no means help it: which being somewhat slowly believed, he was forgiven, and they began to pluck and dress the game. The giblets were preserved, the fowls sliced and dried and laid by for the winter’s store.

Then having plenty of provisions, Lox gave a feast. Among the guests were Marten and Mahtigwess, the Rabbit, who talked together for a long time in the most confidential manner, the Rabbit confiding and the Marten attending to him.