Mashenomak, The Fish Monster
A fish water-monster frequently caught Indian fishermen. He dragged them
down into the lake and there devoured them. The people were in great fear
and distress. They appealed to Manabush to help them. This he promised to
do. He asked his grandmother to hand him his singing sticks. He told her he
was going to allow himself to be swallowed by the giant fish. He was going
to destroy him. He built a raft and floated out into the lake. As he
floated he sang, "Mashenmok, come and eat me; you will feel good." The
monster saw Manabush and told his children to swallow hime. One of the
young Mashenomak darted to swallow the demi'god who said, "I want Mashenomk
to swallow me." This made Mashenomak angry, and he swallowed Manabush. He
became unconscious. When he recovered he found that his brothers, Bear,
Dear, Porcupine, Raven, Pine Squirrrel and others were also prisoners in
the water monster's belly.
Manabush then sang his war song. He asked them to sing and dance with him.
As the danceres passed around the belly of the Mashenomak it made him reel.
As Manabush passed he thrust his knife into his heart. This caused the
monster to have convulsions. Manabush thrust his knife three times into his
heart. After this he said, "Mashenomak, swim toward my wigwam." The
monster's body quaked and rolled so violently that all again became
unconscious. When Manabush returned to consciousness all was motionless and
quiet. The monster was dead. He was lying on shore. Manabush cut a hole in
the body and saw daylight. Then he took his singing sticks and began to
sing. As he contunued to sing his brothers recovered. He cut a larger hole
and all emerged from the body. All thanked Manabush and went to their
wigwams. Thus the fish monster Mashenok was destroyed.
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