Aggodagauda And His Daughter Or The Man With His Leg Tied Up

: The Myth Of Hiawatha

The prairie and forest tribes were once at war, and it required the

keenest eyes to keep out of the way of danger. Aggodagauda lived on the

borders, in the forests, but he was in a by-place not easy to find. He

was a successful hunter and fisher, although he had, by some mischance,

lost the use of one of his legs. So he had it tied, and looped up, and

got over the ground by hopping.

Use had given him grea
power in the sound leg, and he could hop to a

distance, which was surprising. There was nobody in the country who

could outgo him on a hunt. Even Paup-Puk-keewiss, in his best days,

could hardly excel him. But he had a great enemy in the chief or king

of the buffaloes, who frequently passed over the plains with the force

of a tempest. It was a peculiarity of Aggodagauda, that he had an only

child, a daughter, who was very beautiful, whom it was the aim of this

enemy to carry off, and he had to exert his skill to guard her from the

inroad of his great and wily opponent. To protect her the better, he

had built a log house, and it was only on the roof of this that he

could permit his daughter to take the open air, and disport herself.

Now her hair was so long, that when she untied it, the raven locks hung

down to the ground.

One fine morning, the father had prepared himself to go out a fishing,

but before leaving the lodge put her on her guard against their arch

enemy. "The sun shines," said he, "and the buffalo chief will be apt to

move this way before the sun gets to the middle point, and you must be

careful not to pass out of the house, for there is no knowing but he is

always narrowly watching. If you go out, at all, let it be on the roof,

and even there keep a sharp lookout, lest he sweep by and catch you

with his long horns." With this advice he left his lodge. But he had

scarcely got seated in his canoe, on his favorite fishing-ground, when

his ear caught opprobrious strains from his enemy. He listened again,

and the sound was now clearer than before--

"Aggodagauda--one legged man,

Man with his leg tied up;

What is he but a rapakena,[92]

Hipped, and legged?"

He immediately paddled his canoe ashore, and took his way home--hopping

a hundred rods at a leap. But when he reached his house his daughter

was gone. She had gone out on the top of the house, and sat combing her

long and beautiful hair, on the eaves of the lodge, when the buffalo

king, coming suddenly by, caught her glossy hair, and winding it about

his horns, tossed her on to his shoulders, swept off in an opposite

direction to his village. He was followed by his whole troop, who made

the plains shake under their tread. They soon reached, and dashed

across a river, and pursued their course to the chief's village, where

she was received by all with great attention. His other wives did all

they could to put the lodge in order, and the buffalo king himself was

unremitting in his kindness and attention. He took down from the walls

his pibbegwun, and began to play the softest strains, to please her

ear. Ever and anon, as the chorus paused, could be heard the words--

"Ne ne mo sha makow,

Aghi saw ge naun.

My sweetheart--my bosom is true,

You only--it is you that I love."

They brought her cold water, in bark dishes from the spring. They set

before her the choicest food. The king handed her nuts from the

pecan-tree, then he went out hunting to get her the finest meats and

water fowl. But she remained pensive, and sat fasting in her lodge day

after day, and gave him no hopes of forgiveness for his treachery.

In the mean time, Aggodagauda came home, and finding his daughter had

been stolen, determined to get her back. For this purpose he

immediately set out. He could easily track the king, until he came to

the banks of the river, and saw that he had plunged in and swam over.

But there had been a frosty night or two since, and the water was

covered with thin ice, so that he could not walk on it. He determined

to encamp till it became solid, and then crossed over and pursued the

trail. As he went along he saw branches broken off and strewed behind,

for these had been purposely cast along by the daughter, that the way

might be found. And the manner in which she had accomplished it was

this. Her hair was all untied when she was caught up, and being very

long, it caught on the branches as they darted along, and it was these

twigs that she broke off for signs to her father. When he came to the

king's lodge it was evening. Carefully approaching it, he peeped

through the sides and saw his daughter sitting disconsolately. She

immediately caught his eye, and knowing that it was her father come for

her, she all at once appeared to relent in her heart, and asking for

the dipper, said to the king, "I will go and get you a drink of water."

This token of submission delighted him, and he waited with impatience

for her return. At last he went out with his followers, but nothing

could be seen or heard of the captive daughter. They sallied out in the

plains, but had not gone far, by the light of the moon, when a party of

hunters, headed by the father-in-law of Aggodagauda, set up their yells

in their rear, and a shower of arrows was poured in upon them. Many of

their numbers fell, but the king being stronger and swifter than the

rest, fled toward the west, and never again appeared in that part of

the country.

While all this was passing, Aggodagauda, who had met his daughter the

moment she came out of the lodge, and being helped by his guardian

spirit, took her on his shoulders and hopped off, a hundred steps in

one, till he reached the stream, crossed it, and brought back his

daughter in triumph to his lodge.