Native American Legends
How the lord of men and beasts strove with the mighty Wasis, and was shamefully defeated
A Penobscot Legend
Now it came to pass when Glooskap had conquered all his enemies,
even the Kewahqu', who were giants and sorcerers, and the
m'téoulin, who were magicians, and the Pamola,
who is the evil spirit of the night air, and all manner of ghosts,
witches, devils, cannibals, and goblins, that he thought upon what
he had done, and wondered if his work was at an end.
And he said this to a certain woman. But she replied, "Not so fast,
Master, for there yet remains One whom no one has ever conquered
or got the better of in any way, and who will remain unconquered
to the end of time."
"And who is he?" inquired the Master.
"It is the mighty Wasis," she replied, "and there he sits;
and I warn you that if you meddle with him you will be in sore trouble."
Now Wasis was the Baby. And he sat on the floor sucking
a piece of maple-sugar, greatly contented, troubling no one.
As the Lord of Men and Beasts had never married or had a child,
he knew naught of the way of managing children. Therefore he was
quite certain, as is the wont of such people, that he knew all about
it. So he turned to Baby with a bewitching smile and bade him come
Then Baby smiled again, but did not budge. And the Master spoke
sweetly and made his voice like that of the summer bird, but it
was of no avail, for Wasis sat still and sucked his maple-sugar.
Then the Master frowned and spoke terribly, and ordered Wasis to
come crawling to him immediately. And Baby burst out into crying
and yelling, but did not move for all that.
Then, since he could do but one thing more, the Master had recourse
to magic. He used his most awful spells, and sang the songs which
raise the dead and scare the devils. And Wasis sat and looked on
admiringly, and seemed to find it very interesting, but all the
same he never moved an inch.
So Glooskap gave it up in despair, and Wasis, sitting on the floor
in the sunshine, went goo! goo! and crowed.
And to this day when you see a babe well contented, going goo!
goo! and crowing, and no one can tell why, know that it is because
he remembers the time when he overcame the Master who had conquered
all the world. For of all the beings that have ever been since the
beginning, Baby is alone the only invincible one.
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