Native American Legends
A Micmac Legend
Far in the Northern Land, a great bird once sat on a rock at the
edge of the Sky. And whenever he flapped his wings, the stormy wind
blew across the sea, and caused the billows to rise, and roll to
Now, on the shore, not far from the rock, dwelt a man and his wife
and two sons. It happened one year the weather was so bad that they
could not fish and get food. The wind blew terribly night and day,
and the waves were like dancing hills. Then one of the sons walked
along the shore to see if the tide had cast up any fish. But there
He wandered on and on, and the farther he went the worse the wind
blew. At last he beheld a high and great rock, surrounded by water,
and on it sat the Wind Bird himself, flapping his wings.
Then the young man, who was brave, waded out to the rock, and offered
to carry the bird to the mainland where he might rest in the soft
sand. The bird was willing, so the young man carried him on his
back, stepping from slippery stone to stone, or wading through pools.
At the last rock the young man stumbled and fell, and broke one
of the wings of the bird. He laid the hurt creature upon the sand,
and set his wing. Then he bade him keep quiet and not move for many
So the bird sat still, and a calm fell upon the sea, for there
was no wind in all the Northland. The Indians in their canoes glided
smoothly over the glassy water, and no breeze blew. No wave rose,
and no billow appeared. The Indians caught Fish by the thousand,
and gazed through the clear water to the bottom of the sea, and
saw the Eels twisting and wriggling about. And the Wind Bird sat
still and nursed his broken wing.
But after many days the water slept. Thick slime grew on its surface.
The Fish sickened and died. The Indians could eat Fish no longer,
and no more could they see the Eels on the bottom of the sea. They
had no food and were starving.
Then the young man went to the Wind Bird and begged him to try
his broken wing, and see if it was well. So the bird gave it a little
flap, and, lo, a slight ripple passed over the surface of the sleeping
water. Then the bird struck his two wings lightly together, and
straightway a wind moved over the sea. The slime was blown away.
The waves rose and tossed, and the Fish grew well. Then the Indians
in their canoes paddled out on the water and caught many Fish. And
so they were happy and had plenty to eat.
As for the Wind Bird, they had him for a friend, and he blew smooth
or stormy weather, just as he willed.
Native American Legends
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