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Who Is the Mightier?

Chapter 33 of the Book of Stories for the Storyteller
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The Book of Stories for the Storyteller, by Fanny Coe

Who Is The Mightier?

by Fanny E. Coe Glooskap, the Indian chief, had returned from the warpath. His foes were slain or scattered. No other tribe of red men dared to stand before him. Glooskap was very proud of what he had done. "My work is over," he often said to himself. "Whom else is there for me to conquer? No one."

The great Earth Mother had two sons, Glooskap and Malsum. Glooskap was good, wise, and creative; Malsum was evil, selfish, and destructive

One day he walked through the village. He was a tall fierce figure with brightly painted body and brilliant headdress of feathers. He stopped to speak to an old squaw. He said aloud what he had often thought, "My work is over, my enemies are dead. Whom is there for me to conquer?" The old squaw raised her hand and pointed toward the wigwam. "There sits one whom no man will ever conquer!" she said. Glooskap took one stride to the wigwam and raised the canvas door. Within, seated on the floor, was a fat, happy baby. He was happy because he was sucking a bit of maple sugar. He opened his bright black eyes, and stared hard at the gay feathers of the chief. "Who is he?" asked Glooskap. "It is the mighty Wasis. But leave him in peace. Otherwise you will be in sore trouble." Now the Indian chief had never married. He knew nothing of children and their ways. But he thought, as is the manner of such, that he knew everything. So he knelt on one knee, held out a hand, and smiling sweetly, said, "Baby, come to me!" Wasis smiled, but did not stir. Again the chief smiled kindly and said in a coaxing tone, "Baby, come to me." Wasis looked again at the chief. Then he took a bite of the maple sugar. Glooskap then arose, frowning; he stamped his foot angrily, and he spoke savagely. "Baby, come to me." Wasis dropped his maple sugar. "Goo, goo!" he said; "Goo, goo! Goo, goo, goo!" "These must be his war-cries!" thought the chief. "I'll teach him who is master and must be obeyed." So he sang his terrible war-songs; he drew his knife and leaped into the air; he roared his orders to Wasis again and again. "Come to me: come to me!" This was too much for the baby. His little face puckered and grew red. Then he opened his mouth and uttered shrieks so ear-piercing that their like had never been heard before. At least so the chief thought. He rushed from the wigwam and fled a mile before he stopped to breathe deeply. Meanwhile Wasis had found his maple sugar and was calm again. "Goo, goo!" he said; "Goo, goo! Goo, goo, goo!" And to this day when you see a baby crowing and saying "Goo, goo!" remember he is thinking of the time when he overcame the Indian chief who had conquered all the world. For of all created things the Baby alone is master.
End of Chapter 6, recording by Alan Johns, Dayton Ohio, USA.