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Chaske was tired of living in the village, where the young men, finding plenty of small game to support life, and yielding to the languor and indolence produced by a summer’s sun, played at checker’s, or drank, or slept, from morn till night, and seemed to forget that they were the greatest warriors and hunters in the world. This did very well for a time; but, as I said, Chaske got tired of it. So he determined to go on a long journey, where he might meet with some adventures.
Early one morning he shouldered his quiver of arrows, and drawing out one arrow from the quiver, he shot it in the direction he intended to go.
“Now,” said he, “I will follow my arrow.” But it seemed as if he were destined never to find it, for morning and noon had passed away, and the setting sun warned him, not only of the approach of night, but of musquitoes too. He thought he would build a fire to drive the musquitoes away; besides, he was both hungry and tired, though he had not yet found his arrow, and had nothing to eat.
When he was hesitating as to what he should do, he saw in the bushes a dead elk, and behold! his arrow was sticking in its side. He drew the arrow out, then cut out the tongue, and after making a fire, he put the tongue upon a stick to roast. But while the tongue was roasting, Chaske fell asleep and slept many hours.
At day-break a woman came up to him and shook him, as if to awake him. Chaske started and rubbed his eyes, and the woman pointed to the path which led across the prairies. Was he dreaming? No, he felt sure he was awake. So he got up and followed the woman.
He thought it very strange that the woman did not speak to him. “I will ask her who she is,” said he; but as he turned to address her she raised her arms in the air, and changing her form to that of a beautiful bird, blue as the sky that hangs over the morning’s mist, she flew away. Chaske was surprised and delighted too. He loved adventures; had he not left home to seek them? so he pursued his journey, quite forgetting his supper, which was cooking when he fell asleep.
He shot his arrow off again and followed it. It was late in the evening when he found it, and then it was in the heart of a moose. “I will not be cheated out of my supper to-night,” said he; so he cut the tongue out of the moose and placed it before the fire to roast. Hardly had he seated himself to smoke, when sleep overcame him, and he knew nothing until morning, when a woman approached and shook him as before, pointing to the path.
He arose quickly and followed her; and as he touched her arm, determined to find out who she was, she, turning upon him a brow black as night, was suddenly changed into a crow.