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Gluscabi and the Wind Eagle
(Abenaki Northeast Woodlands)

Long ago, Gluscabi lived with his grandmother, woodchuck,
in a small lodge beside the big water.

One day Gluscabi was walking around when he looked out and saw some
ducks in the bay.

“I think it is time to go hunt some ducks,” he said. So he took his bow and
arrows and got into his canoe. He began to paddle out into the bay and as he
paddled he sang:

Ki yo wah ji neh
Yo ho hey ho
Ki yo wah ji neh
Ki yo wah ji neh
But a wind came up and it turned his canoe and blew him back to shore.
Once again Gluscabi began to paddle out and this time he sang his song a little louder

But again the wind came and blew him back to shore.
Four times he tried to paddle out into the bay and four times he failed.
He was not happy. He went back to the lodge of his grandmother and walked right in,
even though there was a stick leaning across the door, which meant
that the person inside was doing some work and did not want to be disturbed.

“Grandmother,” Gluscabi said, “What makes the wind blow?”

Grandmother Woodchuck looked up from her work. “Gluscabi,” she said,
“Why do you want to know?”

Then Gluscabi answered her just as every child in the world
does when they are asked such a question.

“Because,” he said.

Grandmother Woodchuck looked at him. “Ah, Gluscabi,” she said.
“Whatever you ask such a questions I feel there is going to be trouble.
And perhaps I should not tell you. Bit I know that you are so stubborn you
will never stop asking until I answer you. So I shall tell you. Far from here,
on top of the tallest mountain, a great bird stands. This bird is named Wuchowsen,
and when he flaps his wings he makes the wind blow.”

“Eh-hey, Grandmother,” said Gluscabi, “I see. Now how would one find
that place where the Wind Eagle stands?”

Again Grandmother Woodchuck lookes at Gluscabi. “Ah, Gluscabi,” she said,
“Once again I feel that perhaps I should not tell you. But I know that you are very
stubborn and would never stop asking. So, I will come to the
place where Wuchowsen stands.”

“Thank you, Grandmother,” said Gluscabi. He stepped out of the lodge
and faced into the wind and began to walk.

He walked across the fields and through the woods and the wind blew hard.
He walked through the valleys and into the hills and the wind blew harder still.
He came to the foothills and began to climb and the wind still blew harder.
Now the foothills were becoming mountains and the wind was very strong.
Soon there were no longer any trees and the wind was very, very strong.
The wind was so strong that it bl;ew off Gluscabi moccasins. But he was
stubborn and he kept walking, leaning into the wind. Now the wind was so
strong that it blew off his shirt, but he kept on walking. Now the wind was so
strong that it blew off all his clothes and he was naked, but he kept walking.
Now the wind was so strong that it blew off all his hair, but Gluscabi still kept walking,
facing the wind. The wind was so strong that it blew off his eyebrows, but still,
he continued to walk. Now the wind was so strong that he could hardly stand.
He had to pull himself along by grabbing hold of boulders. But there, on the peck
ahead of him, he could see a great bird slowly flapping its wings.
It was Wuchowsen, the Wind Eagle.

Gluscabi took a deep breath. “Grandfather!” he shouted.

The Wind Eagle stopped flapping his wings and looked around.
“Who calls me Grandfather?” he said.

Gluscabi stood up. “It’s me, Grandfather. I just came up here to tell
you that you do a very good job making the wind blow.”

The Wind Eagle puffed out his chest with pride. “You mean like this?”
he said and flapped his wings even harder. The wind which he made was
so strong that it lifted Gluscabi right off his feet, and he would have been
blown right off the mountain had he not reached out and grabbed a boulder again.

“Grandfather!!!” Gluscabi shouted again.

The Wind Eagle stopped flapping his wings.” Yesss?” he said.

Gluscabi stood up and came closer to Wuchowsen. “You do a very good
job of making the wind blow, Grandfather. This is so. But it seems to me that
you could do even better job if you were on that peak over there.”

The Wind Eagle looked toward the other peak. “That may be so,” he said,
“ but how would I get from here to there?”

Gluscabi smiled. “Grandfather,” he said, “I will carry you. Wait here.”
Then Gluscabi ran back down the mountain until he came to a big basswood tree.
He stripped off the outer bark and from the inner bark he braided a strong carrying
strap which he took back up the mountain to the Wind Eagle. “Here, Grandfather,”
he said. “Let me wrap this around you so I can lift you more easily.”
Then he wrapped the carrying strap so tightly around Wuchoswsen that his
wings were pulled in to his sides and he could hardly breathe. “Now Grandfather,”
Gluscabi said, picking the Wind Eagle up, “I will take you to a better place.”
He began to walk toward the other peak, but as he walked he came to a place where
there was a large crevice, and as he steppes over it he let go of the carrying strap
and the Wind Eagle slid down into the crevice, upside down, and was stuck.

“Now,” Gluscabi said, “It is time to hunt some ducks.”

He walked back down the mountain and there was no wind at all. He walked till he
came to the tree line and still no wind blew. He walked down to the foothills and
down to the hills and valleys and still there was no wind. He walked through the
forest and through the fields, and the wind did not blow at all. He walked and walked
until he came back to the lodge by the water, and by now his hair had grown back.
He put on some fine new clothing and a new pair of moccasins and took his bow and
arrows and went down to the bay and climbed into his boat to hunt ducks.
He paddles out into the water and sang his canoeing song:

Ki yo wah ji neh
Yo ho hey ho
Ki yo wah ji neh
Ki yo wah ji neh
But the air was very hot and still and he began to sweat.
The air was so still and hot that it wad hard to breathe.
Soon the water began to grow dirty and smell bad and there was so
much foam on the water he could hardly paddle. He was not pleased at all
and returned to the shore and went straight to his grandmother’s lodge and walked in.

“Grandmother,” he said, “What is wrong? The air is hot and still and it
making me sweat and it is hard to breathe. The water is dirty and covered
with foam. I cannot hunt ducks at all like this.”

“Gluscabi,” she said, “What have you done now?”

And Gluscabi answered just as every child in the world answers
when asked that question, “Oh, nothing,” he said.

“Gluscabi,” said Grandmother Woodchuck again,
“Tell me what you have done.”

Then Gluscabi told her about going to visit the Wind Eagle and
what he had done to stop the wind.

“Oh Gluscabi,” said Grandmother Woodchuck, “will you never learn?
Tabaldak, The Owner, set the Wind Eagle on that mountain to make the
wind because we need wind. The wind keeps the air cool and clean. The wind brings
the clouds which gives up rain to wash the Earth. The wind moves the waters
and keeps them fresh and sweet. Without the wind, life will not be good for us,
for our children or our children’s children.”

Gluscabi nodded his head. “Kaamoji, Grandmother,” he said. “I understand.”

Then he went outside. He faced in the direction from which the wind had once
came and began to walk. He walked through the fields and through the forest the
valleys and up the hills and there was no wind and it was hard for him to breathe.
He came to the foothills and began to climb and he was very hot and sweaty indeed.
At last he came to the mountain where the Wind Eagle once stood and he went and
looked down into the crevice. There was Wuchowsen, The Wind Eagle, wedged
upside down.

“Uncle?” Gluscabi called.

The Wind Eagle looked up as best he could.
“Who calls me uncle? He said.

“It is Gluscabi, Uncle. I’m up here. But what are you doing down there?”

“Oh, Gluscabi,” said the Wind Eagle, “a very ugly naked man with no hair told me that
he would take me to the other peak so that I could do a better job of making the
wind blow. He tied my wings and picked me up, but as he stepped over this crevice
he dropped me in and I am stuck. And I am not comfortable here at all.”

“Ah, Grandfath…er, Uncle, I will get you out.”

Then Gluscabi climbed down into the crevice. He pulled the Wind Eagle
free and placed him back on his mountain and untied his wings.

“Uncle,” Gluscabi said, “It is good that the wind should blow sometimes and
other times it is good that it should be still.”

The Wind Eagle looked at Gluscabi and then nodded his head. “Grandson,”
he said, “I hear what you say.”

So it is that sometimes there is wind and sometimes it is still to this very day.
And so the story goes.