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A Folklore Tale of the Canadian Indians - Wolf Wind and the Children

wolf-wind, trees, kill, land, sea, giant and cave

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A FOLKLORE TALE OF THE CANADIAN INDIANS - WOLF WIND AND THE CHILDREN. Once upon a time, long before the white men came to Canada, there lived a wicked giant who caused great trouble and sorrow wherever he went. Men called him Wolf Wind. Where he was born no man knows, but his home was in the Cave of the Winds, far in the North Country in the Night-Night Land. There men knew he was hiding on calm days when the sun was hot and the sea was still, and on quiet nights when not a leaf or a flower or a blade of grass was stirring. But whenever he appeared, the great trees cracked in fear, and the little trees trembled, and the flowers bent their heads close to the earth trying to hide from his presence. Often he came upon them without warning and with little sign of his coming. Then the corn fell flat never to rise again, and tall trees crashed in the forest, and the flowers dropped dead because of their terror. And often the great waters grew white, and moaned or screamed loudly or dashed themselves against the rocks, try ing to escape from Wolf-Wind. In the darkness of the night, when Wolf-Wind howled, there was great fear upon all the earth.

It happened once in those old times that Wolf Wind was in a great rage, and went forth to kill and devour all who dared to come in his path. Many Indian families then lived near the sea, and the men and women fished off the coast. They caught fish to make food for the winter. They had gone far to sea in small canoes, for the waters had long been still and they thought there was no danger. The little children were left alone on shore. Suddenly, as the sun went down, without a sign of his coming, out of the North came Wolf-Wind, in his great rage, looking for prey and roaring loudly as he came.

" I am Wolf-Wind, the giant," he howled. " Cross not my path, for I will kill all the people I meet, and eat them up." His anger only grew as he dashed along. As he came down upon the fishermen and fisherwomen, far out to sea, he splashed and tossed the waters aside in his fury. The fishers had no time to get out of his way or to paddle ashore. So quick was Wolf-Wind's coming that he caught them in his path and broke up their boats and killed them all. During all that night the giant raged about, looking for more victims.

In the morning Wolf-Wind's anger was not yet spent. Far ahead of him he saw the little children of the fishers, playing on the shore. He knew they were alone, for he had killed their fathers and mothers.

He resolved to catch them and kill them too. Roar ing as he went, he dashed the waters against the rocks in his madness. As he came near to the beach he howled : "I will catch you and kill you all, and eat you and bleach your bones upon the sand." But the children heard him and ran away as fast as they could. They hid in a cave among the great rocks, and placed a big stone at the mouth of the cave so that Wolf-Wind could not get in. The giant howled loudly at the door, all day and all night long; but the stone was strong and he could not break it down. Then he went on his way, still very angry and still roaring; and he cried : "I will come back and catch you yet.

You cannot escape from me." The children were very much frightened and they stayed in the cave long after Wolf-Wind had gone. Far away they could hear him howling and crashing through the forest. They knew that Wolf-Wind had killed their fathers and mothers on the sea.

When at last they came out they ran into the forest seeking a place where they could hide and be safe.

In Willow-Willow Land So they went to the Willow Willow Land, a pleasant country with grass and flowers and many streams. Between them and the North Country, where Wolf-Wind lived, were many great trees, with thick leaves, which they thought would protect them from the giant.

But one day Wolf-Wind, true to his promise, came again in a rage to find them.

He came into the land kill ing all he met in his path.

But he could not catch the children, for the trees, with their thick leaves, kept him away. The children heard him howling in the forest, far distant. For many days in the late summer he tried to find them. But their home was close to the trees and the great branches spread over them, and the thick leaves saved them; and only the Sun from the South, coming from the Summer-Flower Country, could look in upon them. Try as he did with all his might, old Wolf-Wind could not harm the children, though he knew that they were there. So they were always safe while they lived in the Willow-Willow Land.

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