The Home Of Thunder
Category: TALES OF PURITAN LAND
Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land
Some Indians believe that the Thunder Bird is the agent of storm; that
the flashes of his eyes cause lightning and the flapping of his
cloud-vast wings make thunder. Not so the Passamaquoddies, for they hold
that Katahdin's spirit children are Thunders, and in this way an Indian
found them: He had been seeking game along the Penobscot and for weeks
had not met one of his fellow creatures. On a winter day he came on the
print of a pair of snow-shoes; next morning the tracks appeared in
another part of the forest, and so for many days he found them.
After a time it occurred to him to see where these tracks went to, and he
followed them until they merged with others in a travelled road, ending
at a precipice on the side of Katahdin (Great Mountain).
While lost in wonder that so many tracks should lead nowhere, he was
roused by a footfall, and a maiden stepped from the precipice to the
ledge beside him. Though he said nothing, being in awe of her stateliness
and beauty, she replied in kind words to every unspoken thought and bade
him go with her. He approached the rock with fear, but at a touch from
the woman it became as mist, and they entered it together.
Presently they were in a great cave in the heart of Katahdin, where sat
the spirit of the mountain, who welcomed them and asked the girl if her
brothers had come. I hear them coming, she replied. A blinding flash, a
roar of thunder, and there stepped into the cave two men of giant size
and gravely beautiful faces, hardened at the cheeks and brows to stone.
These, said the girl to the hunter, are my brothers, the Thunder and
the Lightning. My father sends them forth whenever there is wrong to
redress, that those who love us may not be smitten. When you hear
Thunder, know that they are shooting at our enemies.
At the end of that day the hunter returned to his home, and behold, he
had been gone seven years. Another legend says that the stone-faced sons
of the mountain adopted him, and that for seven years he was a roaming
Thunder, but at the end of that time while a storm was raging he was
allowed to fall, unharmed, into his own village.
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