The Winged Hunter

: Indian Legends Retold

A lone hunter had spent all of his arrows, and was at a loss. He was a

long way from home. Upon the lake were many wild geese, but how was he

to kill them? Finally he swam underneath the flock, caught several by

the feet, and tied them to his belt with withes of basswood bark. When

the geese flew up into the air, they carried the hunter with them.

Now he planned to loosen one or two of the birds so that he might sink<
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gradually to the ground, but the rest broke loose suddenly, and he

fell into a tall, hollow stump where he remained a prisoner. To be

sure, it was only a day or two before some women came near after wood,

but his cries frightened them, so that they retreated. Later they

returned with their men and released him.

Immediately the hunter made new arrows with which he killed both deer

and bears, extracting oil from the latter which he kept in leathern

bottles. He now wished to return home; but since he had tried flying,

walking seemed to him too laborious. After much thought, he made

himself a pair of wings out of a thin piece of tanned deerskin, and

flew homeward, carrying the bottles for ballast, and letting fall one

or two into the wigwams of the women who had set him free.