Native American Legends
Married to the spirit Of Katahdin
A Passamaquoddy Legend
Once there was a girl who was called Red Rose and she was very
beautiful. One day she wandered in the woods a long way from home.
She came to a place where Mount Katahdin was in view. As she looked
at it she wished for a husband as big and strong as the mountain.
She was very tired from the long walk, so she fell asleep at the
base of a tree. As Red Rose slept, she dreamt of a tall man. When
she awoke there was an immense Native standing before her. "I am
the Spirit of Katahdin," he said. "I know your wish, and I have
come to marry you." He asked her to go to the mountain with him,
but it is a long way. "I cannot walk so far," she said. "I did not
ask you to walk," he answered. "I will carry you."
So he sat her upon his shoulder, and went away with her to Katahdin.
The entrance to the mountain was in its side between some rocks
where it could not be easily found. The Spirit of Katahdin took
her within the mountain past the rocks and there she lived with
him very happily.
After a few years, Red Rose gave birth to a little boy and a little
girl. As the years passed, Red Rose began to grow homesick. "I wish
that I could go home," she said one day. "You shall have your wish,"
answered the Spirit of Katahdin. He gave her some medicine that
made her once more young and beautiful. As a parting gift he said
that whenever his daughter passed her hand over her lips, the words
would come true, and whatever his son pointed a finger at would
So Red Rose went home to her Tribe by the great waters of the Passamaquoddy
Bay. She took the children with her to meet their Passamaquoddy
family. When they reached home it was a time of famine. There was
nothing to eat in the wigwams; there was no game in the woods; there
were no fish in the river or lakes. Everyone was sad. Red Rose felt
sad also, but the little girl passed her hand over her mouth and
said that there was game in the woods. At once the woods were full
of game. The little boy pointed his finger at the deer and it fell
dead. Then he pointed at a moose and it fell dead. He happened to
point at a tribal member and he too fell dead. Then the little girl
passed her hand over her mouth and said that the lakes and rivers
were full of eels. Then they were full of eels, and there was a
great deal to eat. Everyone was happy, and there was no more famine.
Over the years the Passamaquoddy were attacked by the tribes from
the east. The spirit of Katahdin came and gave the Passamaquoddy
people, a magic bow. Arrows shot out from it in every direction,
and every arrow killed an enemy. The other tribe was frightened
and fled. Katahdin also gave Red Rose more medicine so that every
100 years she becomes young and beautiful again. Every 100 years
she comes back to visit the Passamaquoddy, and she is very, very
beautiful indeed. It is said among the Elderly of the Tribe that
many grandparents saw Red Rose when she came on the last century
visit. For a long time Natives were afraid to go up to the top of
Mount Katahdin for they may meet the Spirit of the Mountain, who
dwells in its heart beyond the secret stone portals.
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