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Mukumik! Mukumik! Mukumik!






Source: Folk-lore And Legends: North American Indian

Pauppukkeewis was a harum-scarum fellow who played many queer tricks,
but he took care, nevertheless, to supply his family and children with
food. Sometimes, however, he was hard-pressed, and once he and his
whole family were on the point of starving. Every resource seemed to
have failed. The snow was so deep, and the storm continued so long,
that he could not even find a partridge or a hare, and his usual
supply of fish had failed him. His lodge stood in some woods not far
away from the shores of the Gitchiguma, or great water, where the
autumnal storms had piled up the ice into high pinnacles, resembling
castles.

"I will go," said he to his family one morning, "to these castles, and
solicit the pity of the spirits who inhabit them, for I know that they
are the residence of some of the spirits of Rabiboonoka."

He did so, and his petition was not disregarded. The spirits told him
to fill his mushkemoots or sacks with the ice and snow, and pass on
towards his lodge, without looking back, until he came to a certain
hill. He was then to drop his sacks, and leave them till morning,
when he would find them full of fish.

The spirits cautioned him that he must by no means look back, although
he should hear a great many voices crying out to him abusing him; for
they told him such voices would be in reality only the wind playing
through the branches of the trees.

Pauppukkeewis faithfully obeyed the directions given him, although he
found it difficult to avoid looking round to see who was calling to
him. When he visited the sacks in the morning, he found them filled
with fish.

It happened that Manabozho visited him on the morning when he brought
the fish home, and the visitor was invited to partake of the feast.
While they were eating, Manabozho could not help asking where such an
abundance of food had been procured at a time when most were in a
state of starvation.

Pauppukkeewis frankly told him the secret, and and what precautions to
take to ensure success. Manabozho determined to profit by the
information, and, as soon as he could, set out to visit the icy
castles. All things happened as Pauppukkeewis had told him. The
spirits appeared to be kind, and told Manabozho to fill and carry. He
accordingly filled his sacks with ice and snow, and then walked off
quickly to the hill where he was to leave them. As he went, however,
he heard voices calling out behind him.

"Thief! thief! He has stolen fish from Rabiboonoka," cried one.

"Mukumik! Mukumik! take it away, take it away," cried another.

Manabozho's ears were so assailed by all manner of insulting cries,
that at last he got angry, and, quite forgetting the directions given
him, he turned his head to see who it was that was abusing him. He saw
no one, and proceeded on his way to the hill, to which he was
accompanied by his invisible tormentors. He left his bags of ice and
snow there, to be changed into fish, and came back the next morning.
His disobedience had, however, dissolved the charm, and he found his
bags still full of rubbish.

In consequence of this he is condemned every year, during the month of
March, to run over the hills, with Pauppukkeewis following him,
crying--

"Mukumik! Mukumik!"





Next: The Swing By The Lake

Previous: The Old Chippeway



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