The Man Who Married The Thunder's Sister
Category: CHEROKEE TALES
Source: Indian Legends Retold
A certain young man went to a dance one evening and met there two
strange young women, both of whom had the longest and handsomest hair
he had ever seen. He looked at them a great deal from a distance and
finally spoke to them, and before the dance broke up he had asked the
younger and prettier of the two sisters to be his wife.
In reply she told him to fast for seven days and she would meet him
again at the same place.
The young man was so deeply in love that he gladly accepted the hard
condition, and after going without any food for the prescribed time,
he went to another dance. There he met again the two sisters with the
beautiful long hair. When it was time to leave, the younger one said
that he might follow her, but she warned him that if he ever told
where he went or what he saw, he would surely die.
They all went along a footpath until they came to a small brook, when
the two girls stepped quietly into the water and continued on their
way. The young man hesitated at first, but when his sweetheart turned
her head and beckoned he stepped boldly in, and it was as if he were
walking in deep, soft grass.
Presently the brook ran into a wide and deep river, and now he stopped
short, for he was afraid of being drowned.
"Oh," said the girl, "that is only the road to our home!" So in he
plunged, and he did not seem to be in the water at all but in the long
The girls led him to a cave under a great rock and offered him a seat,
but when he looked at the seat he saw that it was an immense live
turtle. He said then that he would rather stand. But what surprised
him most was to see both young women take off their lovely hair and
hang it up beside the doorway, leaving their heads quite bare.
Soon there came a loud clap of thunder, and directly after a flash of
lightning that disclosed a tall man entering the cave. This was the
brother of the girls, and his name was Thunder. He invited the youth
to ride with him and offered him a horse which turned out to be a
large water snake. The young man refused the invitation, for he had
become a good deal frightened and decided that he would rather go
There came another frightful peal and a dazzling flash, and the next
thing he knew he was lying on the river bank with his feet in the
water. He reached his home safely, but he could not resist telling his
friends about his wonderful experience; therefore within three days
he died, for no one may tell of a visit to the underworld and live.
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