Passamaquoddy - Man Whose Life Was In A Weasel
I will tell you a story I heard from my father. In a tribe of Indians was an old man who had long whiskers, and every time they had a ceremony they have a great big pot, and the people all were in the power of this old man and they couldn't eat until the old fellow take his whiskers and put them down into the pot. He wash his whiskers in the pot and then he tells the people to eat. The pot was in the kwun du un, a kind of hall. He did that several times when there was a ceremony.
And there was an old woman lived near the village and she had a grandson, a little fellow, and this young fellow was arranging to have a ceremony. "I am going over there tonight," he said to his grandmother.
"You had better not go," she said to him.
"I got to go. I want to see long whiskers fellow do that again tonight."
The old woman was frightened; she was afraid of the old fellow like all the other people. She [was] afraid what the young fellow going to do; she know he going to do something. She afraid.
Coming on night the young fellow goes over to the kwun du un. There is a big crowd getting ready to eat, but [they] had to wait for the long whiskered fellow. The old fellow come in and he walk up and next moment he put in his whiskers. The young fellow called out, "Hey! What you doing stop! You been doing that every time. You not going to [do] it now."
The old fellow look at little fellow as little fellow steps up to the pot. He give the command, "Everybody eat!"
After all eat, the young fellow take a bit of the stuff home to his grandmother. "This is what I brought," he said. "Long whiskered fellow didn't do that tonight! I stop him." The little fellow walks to the fire in center of wigwam and picks up a little piece of cloth and a little stick and he stood alongside the fire, watching it.
By and by he said to his grandmother, "He is coming, he is coming. Do you want to see him?"
"No! No! I don't want to see him," she said.
Just that moment he entered. The old woman didn't see him; [she saw] just a little thing like Sogwes, Weasel. The little fellow grabs him and wraps him in handkerchief and squeeze him hard.
They report around that old fellow very sick, and hollerin awful sick. Big crowd of people went around there. Old fellow awful sick every time young fellow squeeze the weasel. "You better get that young fellow," old fellow say.
By and by [a] young man tell little fellow, "Old man very sick, wants to see you."
"What does he want to see me for? I don't want to see him."
The young man run back and told the old fellow, "He won't come."
The old fellow is easing up a little and young fellow squeeze weasel again, and old man begin roarin and yellin again. And he sent another fellow out to get that young fellow. [This one] he told the little fellow, "You better go see what he wants. He wants you awful bad."
The old woman say, "You better go see what he wants. You better go."
"All right, Gramma!" With that he walks along slow. Every little bit he squeeze the weasel. When he get in the door he squeeze him this time hard and he heard the old fellow holler, and look at him. "What do you want?" young fellow ask.
"I want to speak to you." "Let you go?" young fellow say. "If I let you go would you do that thing again? You been washin your whiskers every time [we] have ceremony. All right, I let you go!" And with that he threw the weasel under the bed, and walked out and went home.
The second night everybody was happy. Had big supper. They called young fellow and tell him, "You going to be the leader after this."
"No, I won't be leader. I'm just doing this to help the people."
Next day old fellow call him again and he say to young fellow, "You and I will work together. We will be leaders."
"No," young fellow said, "I don't want to do that. I don't want hurt people." Everybody been free after that.