Peeta Kway The Foam-woman





AN OTTOWA LEGEND.





There once lived a woman called Monedo Kway[83] on the sand mountains

called "the Sleeping Bear," of Lake Michigan, who had a daughter as

beautiful as she was modest and discreet. Everybody spoke of the beauty

of this daughter. She was so handsome that her mother feared she would

be carried off, and to prevent it she put her in a box on the lake,

which was tied by a long string to a stake on the shore. Every morning

the mother pulled the box ashore, and combed her daughter's long,

shining hair, gave her food, and then put her out again on the lake.



One day a handsome young man chanced to come to the spot at the moment

she was receiving her morning's attentions from her mother. He was

struck with her beauty, and immediately went home and told his feelings

to his uncle, who was a great chief and a powerful magician. "My

nephew," replied the old man, "go to the mother's lodge, and sit down

in a modest manner, without saying a word. You need not ask her the

question. But whatever you think she will understand, and what she

thinks in answer you will also understand." The young man did so. He

sat down, with his head dropped in a thoughtful manner, without

uttering a word. He then thought, "I wish she would give me her

daughter." Very soon he understood the mother's thoughts in reply.

"Give you my daughter?" thought she; "you! No, indeed, my daughter

shall never marry you." The young man went away and reported the

result to his uncle. "Woman without good sense;" said he, "who is she

keeping her daughter for? Does she think she will marry the

Mudjikewis?[84] Proud heart! we will try her magic skill, and see

whether she can withstand our power." The pride and haughtiness of the

mother was talked of by the spirits living on that part of the lake.

They met together and determined to exert their power in humbling her.

For this purpose they resolved to raise a great storm on the lake. The

water began to toss and roar, and the tempest became so severe, that

the string broke, and the box floated off through the straits down Lake

Huron, and struck against the sandy shores at its outlet. The place

where it struck was near the lodge of a superannuated old spirit called

Ishkwon Daimeka, or the keeper of the gate of the lakes. He opened the

box and let out the beautiful daughter, took her into his lodge, and

married her.



When the mother found that her daughter had been blown off by the

storm, she raised very loud cries and lamented exceedingly. This she

continued to do for a long time, and would not be comforted. At length,

after two or three years, the spirits had pity on her, and determined

to raise another storm and bring her back. It was even a greater storm

than the first; and when it began to wash away the ground and encroach

on the lodge of Ishkwon Daimeka, she leaped into the box, and the waves

carried her back to the very spot of her mother's lodge on the shore.

Monedo Equa was overjoyed; but when she opened the box, she found that

her daughter's beauty had almost all departed. However, she loved her

still because she was her daughter, and now thought of the young man

who had made her the offer of marriage. She sent a formal message to

him, but he had altered his mind, for he knew that she had been the

wife of another: "I marry your daughter?" said he; "your daughter!

No, indeed! I shall never marry her."



The storm that brought her back was so strong and powerful, that it

tore away a large part of the shore of the lake, and swept off Ishkwon

Daimeka's lodge, the fragments of which, lodging in the straits, formed

those beautiful islands which are scattered in the St. Clair and

Detroit rivers. The old man himself was drowned, and his bones are

buried under them. They heard him singing his songs of lamentation as

he was driven off on a portion of his lodge; as if he had been called

to testify his bravery and sing his war song at the stake.



I ride the waters like the winds;

No storms can blench my heart.





Peboan And Seegwun An Allegory Of Winter And Spring Pele's Hair facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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