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TIIE FOUR WINDS.
"Honor be to Mudjekeewis!" Cried the warriors, cried the old men, When he came in triumph homeward With the sacred Belt of Wampum, From the regions of the North-Wind, From the kingdom of Wabasso, From the land of the White Rabbit.
He had stolen the Belt of Wampum From the neck of Mishe-Mokwa, From the Great Bear of the mountains, From the terror of the nations, As he lay asleep and cumbrous On the summit of the mountains, Like a rock with mosses on it, Spotted brown and gray with mosses.
Silently he stole upon him, Till the red nails of the monster Almost touched him, almost scared him, Till the hot breath of his nostrils Warmed the hands of Mudjekeewis, As he drew the Belt of Wampum Over the round ears, that heard not, Over the small eyes, that saw not, Over the long nose and nostrils, The black muffle of the nostrils, Out of which the heavy breathing Warmed the hands of Mudjekeewis.
Then he swung aloft his war-club, Shouted loud and long his war-cry, Smote the mighty Mishe-Mokwa In the middle of the forehead, Right between the eyes he smote him.
With the heavy blow bewildered, Rose the Great Bear of the mountains; But his knees beneath him trembled, And he whimpered like a woman, As he reeled and staggered forward, As he sat upon his haunches; And the mighty Mudjekeewis, Standing fearlessly before him, Taunted him in loud derision, Spake disdainfully in this wise:—
"Hark you, Bear! you are a coward, And no Brave, as you pretended; Else you would not cry and whimper Like a miserable woman! Bear! you know our tribes are hostile, Long have been at war together; Now you find that we are strongest, You go sneaking in the forest, You go hiding in the mountains! Had you conquered me in battle Not a groan would I have uttered; But you, Bear! sit here and whimper, And disgrace your tribe by crying, Like a wretched Shaugodaya, Like a cowardly old woman!"
Then again he raised his war-club, Smote again the Mishe-Mokwa In the middle of his forehead, Broke his skull, as ice is broken When one goes to fish in Winter. Thus was slain the Mishe-Mokwa, He the Great Bear of the mountains, He the terror of the nations."Honor be to Mudjekeewis!" With a shout exclaimed the people, "Honor be to Mudjekeewis! Henceforth he shall be the West-Wind, And hereafter and forever Shall he hold supreme dominion VOL. II. 16
Over all the winds of heaven. Call him no more Mudjekeewis, Call him Kabeyun, the West-Wind!"
Thus was Mudjekeewis chosen Father of the Winds of Heaven. For himself he kept the West-Wind, Gave the others to his children; UntoWabun gave the East-Wind, Gave the South to Shawondasee, And the North-Wind, wild and cruel, To the fierce Kabibonokka.
Young and beautiful was Wabun; He it was who brought the morning, He it was whose silver arrows Chased the dark o'er hill and valley; He it was whose cheeks were painted With the brightest streaks of crimson, And whose voice awoke the village, Called the deer, and called the hunter.
Lonely in the sky was Wabun; Though the birds sang gayly to him, Though the wild-flowers of the meadow Filled the air with odors for him, Though the forests and the rivers Sang and shouted at his coming, Still his heart was sad within him, For he was alone in heaven.
But one morning, gazing earthward, While the village still was sleeping, And the fog lay on the river, Like a ghost, that goes at sunrise, He beheld a maiden walking All alone upon a meadow, Gathering water-flags and rushes By a river in the meadow.
Every morning, gazing earthward, Still the first thing he beheld there Was her blue eyes looking at him, Two blue lakes among the rushes.
And he loved the lonely maiden,
And he wooed her with caresses,
But the fierce Kabibonokka Had his dwelling among icebergs, In the everlasting snow-drifts, In the kingdom of Wabasso, In the land of the White Rabbit. He it was whose hand in Autumn Painted all the trees with scarlet, Stained the leaves with red and yellow; He it was who sent the snow-flakes, Sifting, hissing through the forest, Froze the ponds, the lakes, the rivers, Drove the loon and sea-gull southward, Drove the cormorant and curlew To their nests of sedge and sea-tang In the realms of Shawondasee.
Once the fierce Kabibonokka Issued from his lodge of snow-drifts, From his home among the icebergs, And his hair, with snow besprinkled, Streamed behind him like a river, Like a black and wintry river,
As he howled and hurried southward,
There among the reeds and rushes
Cried the fierce Kabibonokka,
And at night Kabibonokka
Then Kabibonokka entered,