The student may also get very great help in ascertaining details about the likely marriage of the person whose hands he is examining by the following: Fine Influence Lines seen joining the Line of Fate, relate to persons who come into and... Read more of Influence Lines To The Fate Line On The Mount Of Venus Connection With Marriage at Palm Readings.orgInformational Site Network Informational
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The Cruel Stepmother

from Canadian Fairy Tales





Once long ago, when the Blackfeet Indians dwelt on the Canadian
prairies, a poor Indian and his two children, a boy and a girl, were
living near the bank of a great river. The children's mother had long
been dead and they had long been left to the care of their father.
Their father did not think it was right that they should grow up
without a woman's kindness, and he decided at last to take another
wife. So he went far away to a distant village and there he married a
queer woman of another tribe. Soon times grew hard in the North
Country, and it was very difficult to get food. The family lived for
many days on roots and berries, and often they were very hungry
because there was no meat. Now it happened that the woman the man had
married was a very wicked witch-woman, who was capable of doing many
evil deeds. She had no love for her stepchildren, and she treated them
very cruelly. She blamed them for the lack of food in the house, and
beating them soundly, she said, "You gluttonous brats; you always eat
too much. It is little wonder that we cannot keep the house supplied
with food." The man saw his wife's cruelty to the children, but
although it made him sad, and at times angry, he did not interfere,
for he thought the woman should rule her home.

One night in the early spring, as the man slept, his first wife
appeared to him in a dream, and said, "Hang a large spider web across
the trail in the forest where the animals pass and you will get plenty
of food. But be good to my children. Their cruel stepmother is
planning to kill them." And she told him where to look for the magical
spider web. The next day the man found the large spider web, and he
went far away into the forest and hung it from the trees over the
trail where the animals passed. That evening when he went back to the
web he found many animals entangled in its meshes, for it had magical
power. He killed the animals and brought them home, and that night
they had a good fat supper of roast deer meat. Day after day the
magical spider web gave him great numbers of rabbits and deer, as the
vision of his dead wife had told him in the night, and from that time
on the family did not want for food.

But the man's success in hunting only angered his witch-wife. She had
now no cause for complaint against the little children, and she could
no longer scold them and say that because of them there was no food in
the house. Her hatred for them grew stronger each day, and at last
she decided to kill them and to kill their father as soon as she
could. Their father was going away on the morrow in search of wood to
make arrows for his bows, and she thought she would have a good chance
to kill them while he was gone. Then she would kill their father when
he returned. So she laid her plans. But that night the vision of his
first wife came again to the man as he slept, and it said, "Your
present wife is a witch-woman. She plans to kill the children
to-morrow when you are away, and when you come home she will kill you,
too. You must kill her while there is yet time. Remember my little
children."

When the man awoke in the morning he was much alarmed because of the
story told him by the vision of the night. He no longer trusted his
witch-wife and he decided to get rid of her. But he feared she would
attack the children before he could prevent it. So when the witch-wife
went out to get water from the stream to make breakfast, he gave each
of the children a stick, a white stone, and a bunch of soft moss, and
he said, "You must run away from here and stay away until I can find
you, for you are in great danger. You will find these three things I
give you of great use. Throw them behind you if any evil thing pursues
you, and they will keep you from harm." The children in great fear at
once ran away into the forest. Then the man hung his magical spider
web over the door of the house, and sat quietly inside waiting for
his wife to come back. In a little while she came home, carrying a
pail of water, but she did not see the web with its fine strands
hanging across the door, and when she walked into it she was at once
entangled in its meshes. She struggled hard to get free, but her head
was inside the door while her body was outside, and the web held her
fast around the neck. Then the man said, "I know now that you are a
cruel witch-woman. You will beat my children no more." With his
stone-axe he struck her a mighty blow which completely severed her
head from her body. Then he ran from the house as fast as he could and
went towards his children, who were watching him not far away.

But the man was not yet done with the cruel witch-woman. As he ran
from the house her headless body, freed from the spider web, ran after
him, while her severed head, with eyes staring and hair flying,
followed the children, sometimes bumping along the ground and
sometimes rising through the air. The father thought it would be well
to go in a different direction from the children, and he went west,
while they went east. The children were very frightened when they saw
the horrible head behind them, slowly gaining upon them. Then they
remembered their father's magic gifts. When the head was close upon
them, they threw their sticks on the ground at their backs and at once
a dense forest sprang up between them and their pursuer. The children
said, "Now we will rest here for a while, for we are nearly out of
breath. The wicked head cannot get through that dense forest." And
they sat on the grass and rested.

Soon, however, the pursuing head emerged from the thick trees. The
children got up and ran as hard as they could, but close behind them
came the severed head, rolling its eyes and gnashing its teeth in a
great frenzy, and uttering terrible yells. It was very near to them,
when the children again remembered their father's gifts. They threw
the white stones behind them, and at once a high mountain of white
rock rose between them and their enemy. They sat on the ground and
rested, and said, "Oh dear, oh dear, what shall we do? We have only
one means of safety left, these little bits of moss." The wicked head
hurled itself against the mountain, but it could not get through. A
big buffalo bull was feeding on the grass near it, and the head called
to him to break a road through the mountain. The bull rushed at the
mountain with all his force, but the mountain was so hard that it
broke his head and he fell down dead. Some moles were playing in the
soft earth near by, and the head called to them to make a passage
through the hill. So the moles searched and found a soft earthy place
in the midst of the rock and soon they tunnelled a hole to the other
side of the mountain, through which the head was able to pass. When
the children saw their pursuer coming out of the moles' tunnel they
cried loudly and ran away as fast as they could. At last, after a very
long chase, the head was almost upon them, and they decided to use
their last means of protection. They threw the wet moss behind them,
and at once a long black swamp appeared where the moss had fallen,
between them and their wicked follower. The head was going at such a
great speed, bumping over the ground, that it could not stop. It
rolled into the swamp and disappeared into the soft mud and was never
seen again.



The children then went home to wait for their father. It was a long
journey, for they had run far. But their father never came. Months and
months they waited, but he did not come, and they grew up to be great
magicians and very powerful among their tribe. At last, by their magic
power, they learned what had happened to their father. Their
stepmother's body continued to follow him as he ran towards the west.
It followed him for many days. Then by his magic power, which the
vision of his dead wife had brought to him, he changed himself into
the Sun, and went to live with his wife in the sky-country. But the
old witch-woman also had magic power, and she changed herself into the
Moon and followed him to the land of the stars. And there she still
pursues him. And while he keeps ahead of her and she cannot catch him,
night follows day in all the world. But if she overtakes him she will
kill him, and day will disappear and night shall reign for evermore
upon the earth. And the Blackfeet of the plains pray that he will
always keep in front in the race with his former witch-wife, so that
there may be always Night and Day in succession in all the land.





Next: The Boy Who Was Saved By Thoughts

Previous: The Giant With The Grey Feathers



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