The Story of Wiihsakacaakwa and the Blind Men
Wiihsakacaakwa was walking along.
Then he came across two old blind men. They were sitting down, holding onto each other’s hands.
Then Wiihsakacaakwa quietly entered their lodge. Then, he hit one of the old men with his hand. And the old men let go of each other.
Once again, he hit the other old man with his hand.
Then one old man said to the other old man, “Why are you hitting me, my friend?”
“You hit me first!”
And then they both jumped up. They started fighting.
After a while, one of them got tired. “Hold on, damn it, my friend. It seems as though our grandchild is staying here”.
Then one of the old men said “Let the door slam shut”.
And then the door slammed shut. Wiihsakacaakwa was locked in. The old men punched around for him. After a while Wiihsakacaakwa got tired. And then he was cornered.
“Hold it! My grandfathers, don’t kill me! I’ll wait on you and cook for you if you don’t kill me!”
Then the old men (said), “Why didn’t you say so? You made fun of us for no reason. We are poor and helpless, grandchild”, Wiihsakacaakwa was told.
“Yes, you must cook for us, grandchild”.
So there he stayed. He lived with the old men. He took care of them.
After a while, (Wiihsakacaakwa) got tired of the old men. And then he wanted to leave them.
The old men had stretched ropes towards the water, so that they wouldn’t get lost when they went to fetch water. So Wiihsakacaakwa stretched out the ropes in the other direction, to where there was a steep bank.
And then he went away. He left the old men. After a while, the old men became hungry.
And one said, “You, my friend, fetch some water! Let’s cook something. It looks like our grandchild has deserted us”.
So one of the old men went to get water. He followed the rope.
Sure enough, he fell down the cliff. And he was unable to climb back up. And he shouted and shouted to his friend. He called him.
And then he came. (He said) “Be careful, you’ll slip! Our grandchild has rearranged the ropes in another direction.”
Then after a while he started to feel around for the ropes. The old man grabbed onto one, down in the hollows. And then he crawled back out. They both went into their lodge.
And then (one said): “Let’s draw our grandchild Wiihsakacaakwa by smoke”.
So they filled up the pipe. One of them lit the pipe.
He said, “My friend, draw our grandchild near. Let’s throw him far away. It’s our turn to fool Wiihsakacaakwa”.
Sure enough, (Wiihsakacaakwa) circled back. And he returned.
And then, the old men said to him, “Why did you move the rope on us?”
And (Wiihsakacaakwa) said, “I forgot to put the rope back the same way when I left!”
(Wiihsakacaakwa) lived with the old men a short time. Then, after a while (the old men asked), “Grandson, can’t you go and catch us all kinds of birds out on the lake?”
Then Wiihsakacaakwa said to the old men, “How am I supposed to catch them?”
“Peel a bunch of basswood bark off the trees. Then you have to dive into the lake. Then tie the basswood bark to their feet. And after you have tied it to the feet of several of them, you must tie them to your belt. Then you must come to the surface in the middle of the lake. Then tell them, ‘you can’t all live here forever!’” the old men told Wiihsakacaakwa.
And so he did as he was told by the old men.
All kinds of ducks, brants, Canada geese, swans, he tied their feet all together. Every time he tied two of them together, for a short time he would come up with only his nose out of the water. He floated behind their tails. And then he would take another breath.
And after he tied them all, he emerged in the middle of the lake. He did what the old men had told him.
“You can’t all live here!”(he said).
And then they all flew up. He meant to catch them. Instead, they carried him up. And he was carried far away.
After a while he got tired. “I wish the pieces of bark would break”, said (Wiihsakacaakwa).
Then they broke. Sure enough, (Wiihsakacaakwa) fell. While he fell (he said) “I hope I land in deep water”. And there he fell on a catfish. He killed it when he landed on it. And he took it out from the river. And then he cut it open. But he cut into a bear sitting inside.
So (Wiihsakacaakwa) lived there several months. Eventually, he ate up the bear and the catfish.