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The Legend Of Wasakachuk

Mrs. Ida Mcleod

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      OCTOBER 1970      v01 n02 p11  
Long ago a young man named Tawaham, his wife White Feather and their two sons lived in a wigwam near a beautiful lake. The elder of the boys was called Wesakachak. They were a very happy family for Tawaham was a good hunter and White Feather a fine wife and mother.

Most of Tawaham's time was spent in hunting. After successful hunts, it was the custom in those days for the women to prepare the skins of animals and make them into robes and clothing for their families. It was also the duty of the women to butcher, dress and haul home the meats. In all these tasks White Feather excelled.

By and by it became necessary for Tawaham to hunt farther and farther away from his wigwam and was absent for longer periods of time.

Meanwhile, White Feather kept the home fires burning. One of her daily duties was to go into the forest for firewood. She was a very busy woman. Garments for her family were carefully sewn.

Above all, she enjoyed working on a buckskin dress she was making for herself. It would be the most beautiful dress she ever had. It was decorated with shells and colored porcupine quills.

In time there were no more skins to prepare, no more skins to be made into clothing. White Feather waited for her husband to return. Towards evening she would put on her beautiful dress and comb her long black hair until it shone.' She wanted her husband to see how beautiful she was in her new dress. But alas, she would at the end, take off her fine dress, as his return would be delayed by the scarcity of game. As time went on she began to have more time to herself.

Early in the morning she would go off into the forest for firewood. Before long she began wearing her buckskin dress even to go for firewood. The boys would look at their mother fondly

Continued on Page 12

The Legend Of Wasakachuk

Mrs. Ida Mcleod

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      October 1970      v01 n02 p12  
for she was a kind and beautiful woman. Wesakachak wondered why she wore her best dress to work. Each day she returned later and later, brought home less and less firewood and her hair would be tangled and her lovely dress untidy and soiled.

Very soon, Wesakachak had to get the wood himself. When Tawaham returned home in the evenings White Feather would hastily tidy her and would pretend to be busy at some task.

It was plain to Wesakachak that his mother did not want his father to know about her mysterious trips into the forest.

All this mystery puzzled Wesakachak very much. Where did his mother go, to come back in such a state? His mother was a different person. She was no longer kind and thoughtful to her family. Wesakachak was kept busy looking after his brother. More and more of his mother's daily tasks became his.

Finally, he could no longer wait to find out the reason for his mother's strange behaviour.  So the very next day he stealthly followed her at a distance. To his surprise she followed the path leading to the lake. Not far off the path stood an old stump. Standing before it, White Feather struck it with three strokes. From a hole in the stump crawled out snake after snake. They coiled up around his mother's body until she sprawled on the ground with them.

For a moment Wesakachak could not move, he was stunned with fear and unbelief. What he saw before him was beyond all his understanding. When at last he was able to move, he turned on his heels and ran home as fast as he could to his little brother.

(To Be Continued)