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The Mischief Maker. A Lox Legend
by [?]

The Mischief Maker. a Tradition of the Origin of the Mythology of the Senecas. A Lox Legend.


An Indian mischief maker was once roving about. He saw that he was approaching a village, and said, “How can I attract attention?”

Seeing two girls coming from the wigwams, he pulled up a wild plum-bush and placed it upon his head, the roots clasping about his chin.

It will be strange to see a plum-tree on my head, bearing ripe fruit. These girls will want trees also. So he thought. The tree shook as he walked, and many plums fell to the ground.

The girls wondered greatly at the strange man with the tree. They admired it, and said they, too, would like to be always supplied with fruit in such a manner.

“I can manage that,” he replied. So he pulled up a bush for each, and planted them on their heads. The plums were delicious, and grew as fast as they were plucked; and the girls stepped along proudly, for they had something which certainly no girls ever had before.

The Mischief Maker went on to the village. On the way he reflected, “There is no such thing in the world as a plum-tree growing on a man’s head. I will take this off.” He did so, and, on entering the village, gave a loud signal (a whoop). All the people listened, and the chiefs sent messengers to inquire what news he brought.

He said, “I have seen a very strange sight. As I was coming hither I saw two girls walking. Trees grew on their heads; the boughs were covered with plums, and the roots, which came through their hair, were fastened about their necks. They were beautiful, and seemed to be very happy.”

“We will go and see them!” cried the women.

They had not gone far before they saw one of the girls lying on the ground, while the other pulled at the tree on her head. The roots gave way and the tree came out, but all the hair came with it also. Then the other lay down, and her friend in turn pulled the tree from her head. They were very angry, and said, “If we meet with the man who played us this trick we will punish him.”

When the women who had gathered round them learned how the trees had been fastened by magic upon the girls’ heads, they returned to the village, resolved to chastise the man who had played the trick. But when they reached home he was gone.

Gone far and away to another town. Before reaching it he sat down, and said, “Now I will show these people also what I can do.” He went a little distance into the woods, where he found a wigwam. A woman with a bucket in her hand came from it. He saw that as she passed along she reached high with one hand, and felt her way by a thong which ran from tree to tree till it ended at a spring of cold water. She went on, filled her bucket, and so returned. Then another woman after her did the same.

“They must be blind,” said the Mischief Maker. “I will have some fun with them.” And so it was. There lived in that wigwam five blind sisters.

Then he untied the thong from the tree near the spring and fastened it to another, where there was no water. Then a third blind woman came with a bucket, and followed the line to the end, but found no water. She returned to the wigwam, and said, “The spring is dried up.”

“No, it isn’t,” replied one of the sisters, who was stirring pudding over the fire. “You say that because you are too lazy to bring water; you never work. Here, do you stir the pudding, and let me go for water.”