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Muggahmaht'adem, the Dance of old age, or the Magic of the Weewillmekq'

A Passamaquoddy Legend

Of old times. There lived in a village many Indians. Among them was a handsome young man, very brave, a great hunter. And there was a beautiful girl, What was her name? Mahli-hahn-sqwess, or Kaliwahdazi, I don't remember which. But she was proud and high-tempered, and, what was worse, a great witch, but nobody knew it. She wanted the young man to marry her, but he was very busy getting ready for the fall and winter hunt, and had no time to attend to such a thing; and told her so very plainly.

Yes, he must have been very plain with her, for she was very angry, and said to him, "You may go; but you will never return as you went." She meant that he would be ill or changed. He gave no heed to her words; he did not care for her nor fear her. But far away in the woods, far in the north, in midwinter, he went raging mad. The witch had struck him, when far away, with her magic.

He had with him an elder brother, a great brave, a very fierce man. He, not being able to do aught else, did the most desperate thing a Wabanaki Indian can do. He went down to the river, and sang the song which calls the Weewillmekq'.

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