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Al-wus-ki-ni-gess

This version of the legend comes from Abby Langdon Alger's 1897 collection In Indian Tents.

Seeing a smoke come from the top of a mountain, the children asked the elders what it was, or who could live there, and the fathers told them: "That is the home of' Al-wus-ki-ni-gess,' a tree-cutter, whose hatchet is made of stone. He throws it from him; it cuts the tree and returns to its master's hand at each blow. One stroke of his hatchet will fell the largest tree. No one ever saw him save Glus-kabe, who often goes to the cave to visit him. He is a harmless creature, and only fights when ordered to do so by Glus-kabe. He lives in that mountain, on deer, moose, or any meat he can kill. Sometimes he goes out to sea with Glus-kabe, to catch 'K'chi butep,' the Great Whale.

"Al-wus-ki-ni-gess and Kiawahq' once had a big fight, which lasted for two days. Kiawahq' put forth all his power to conquer, but failed. He uprooted huge trees, expecting them to fall and crush his rival in strength; but Alwus-ki-ni-gess would hurl his hatchet and split the tree asunder. Kiawahq' strove to drag him into the sea, but the wood spirit is as strong in the water as on land, to say nothing of the fact that when he is in the water, K'chiquinocktsh, the Turtle, comes to his aid. Once Kiawahq' got his foe between two great trees and felt sure he could slay him as they fell. Al-wus-ki-ni-gess seized his axe and struck the trees which fell. The wind caused by their fall was so mighty that it left Kiawahq' faint and exhausted. He was forced to beg for quarter, and promised his enemy that if he would spare his life, he would give him a stone wigwam and be his good friend forever. So the wood spirit had mercy and accepted his offer. That is how he got that cave where he still lives."

This was the answer of the elders to their children's question.

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More stories to read:

 Native American forest legends
 Glooscap legends
 Legends about giants

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 Wabanaki stories
 Passamaquoddy language
 The Passamaquoddy tribe



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