MANAIBOZHO IS CHANGED INTO A WOLF

Adapted from H. R. Schoolcraft

ONE evening, as Manabozho was walking along the shore of a great lake, weary and hungry, he met a great magician in the form of an Old Wolf, with six young ones, coming toward him.

The Wolf no Sooner caught sight of him than he told his whelps, who were close beside him, to keep out of the way of Manabozho, "For I know," he said, "that it is that mischievous fellow whom we see yonder."

The young wolves were in the act of running off when Manabozho cried out, "My grandchildren, where are you going? Stop and I will go with you. I wish to have a little chat with your excellent father."

Saying which, he advanced and greeted the Old Wolf, expressing himself as delighted at seeing him looking so well. "Whither do you journey?" he asked.

"We are looking for a good hunting-ground to pass the winter," the Old
Wolf answered. "What brings you here?"

'I was looking for you," said Manabozho. "For I have a passion for the chase, brother. I always admired your family; are you willing to change me into a wolf?"

The Wolf gave him a favorable answer, and he was forthwith changed into a wolf.

"Well, that will do," said Manabozho. "But," he said, looking at his tail, "could you oblige me by making my tail a little longer and more bushy, just a little more bushy?"

"Certainly," said the Old Wolf; and he straightway gave Manabozho such a length and spread of tail that it was continually getting between his legs, and it was so heavy that it was as much as he could do to carry it. But, having asked for it, he was ashamed to say a word, and they all started off in company, dashing up the ravine.

After getting into the woods for some distance they ran across the tracks of moose. The young ones scampered off in pursuit, the Old Wolf and Manabozho following at their leisure.

"Well," said the Old Wolf, by way of starting the conversation, "who do you think is the fastest of the boys? Can you tell by the jumps they take?"

"Why," he replied, "that one that takes such 'long jumps, he is surely the fastest."

"Ha! ha! you are mistaken," said the Old Wolf. "He makes a good start, but he will be the first to tire out; this one who appears to be behind will be the one to kill the game."

By this time they had come to the spot where the boys had started in chase. One had dropped what seemed to be a small medicine-sack, which he carried for the use of the hunting party.

"Take that, Manabozho," said the Old Wolf.

"Why, what will I do with a dirty dog skin?"

The Old Wolf took it up; it was a beautiful robe.

"Oh, I will carry it now," cried Manabozho.

"Oh, no," said the Wolf, who had used his magical powers, "it is a robe of pearls. Come along!" And away he sped at a great rate of speed.

"Not so fast," called Manabozho after him; and then he added to himself as he panted after, "Oh, this tail!"

Coming to a place where the moose had lain down, they saw that the young wolves had made a fresh start after their prey. "'Why," said the Old Wolf, "this moose is thin. I know by the tracks. I can always tell whether they are fat or not." A little farther on, one of the young wolves, in dashing at the moose, had broken a tooth on a tree.

"Manabozho," said the Old Wolf, "one of your grandchildren has shot at the game. Take his arrow; there it is."

"No," replied Manabozho, "what will I do with a dirty dog's tooth?"

The Old Wolf took it up, and behold it was a beautiful silver arrow.

When they at last overtook them, they found that the youngsters had killed a very fat moose. Manabozho was very hungry, but the Old Wolf just then again exerted his magical powers, and Manabozho saw nothing but the bones picked quite clean. He thought to himself, "Just as I expected; dirty, greedy fellows. If it had not been for this log at my back I should have been in time to have got a mouthful"; and he cursed the bushy tail which he carried to the bottom of his heart.

The Old Wolf finally called out to one of the young ones, "Give some meat to your grandfather."

One of them obeyed, and coming near to Manabozho he presented him the end of his own bushy tail, which was now nicely seasoned with burs gathered in the course of the hunt. Manabozho jumped up and called out: "You dog, do you think I am going to eat you?" And he walked off in anger.

"Come back brother," cried the Wolf. "You are losing your eyes. You do the child injustice. Look there I" and behold a heap of fresh meat was lying on the spot, all prepared.

Manabozho turned back, and at the sight of so much good food put on a smiling face. "Wonderful!" he said, "how fine the meat is !"

"Yes," replied the Old Wolf, "it is always so with us; we know our work and always get the best. It is not a long tail that makes the hunter."

Manabozho bit his lip.