The Man with his Leg Tied Up

The Man with his Leg Tied Up

The Algic (also Algonquian–Wiyot–Yurok or Algonquian–Ritwan) languages are an indigenous language family of North America. This fable is identified as coming from the Algic language, which belong to the Algonquian family, dispersed over a broad area from the Rocky Mountains to Atlantic Canada.

In this group, the Ojibwe, Ojibwa, or Chippewa are the most numerous. Formally an Anishinaabeg group of indigenous peoples in North America, they live in Canada and the United States and are one of the largest Indigenous ethnic groups north of the Rio Grande. In Canada, they are the second-largest First Nations population, surpassed only by the Cree. In the United States, they have the fourth-largest population among Native American tribes, surpassed only by the Navajo, Cherokee, and Lakota-Dakota-Nakota peoples.

The Ojibwe people traditionally have spoken the Ojibwe language, a branch of the Algonquian language family. They are part of the Council of Three Fires and the Anishinaabeg, which include the Algonquin, Nipissing, Oji-Cree, Odawa and the Potawatomi.

This fable is cited in Algic Researches, Comprising of Inquiries Respecting the Mental Characteristics of the North American Indians, First Series In Two Volumes, Vol. II, Indian Tales and Legends, edited by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft.
— Orly

AGGO DAH GAUDA
 

Aggo Dah Gauda had one leg looped up to his thigh, so that he was obliged to get along by hopping. He had a beautiful daughter, and his chief care was to secure her from being carried off by the king of the buffaloes. It was a peculiarity in which he differed from other Indians, that he lived in a log house, and he advised his daughter to keep in doors and never go out into the neighbourhood for fear of being stolen away.

One sunshiny morning Aggo Dah Gauda prepared to go out a fishing, but before he left the lodge reminded his daughter of her strange and persecuting lover. "My daughter," said he, "I am going out to fish, and as the day will be a pleasant one, you must recollect that we have an enemy near, who is constantly going about, and do not expose yourself out of the lodge." When he had reached his fishing ground, he heard a voice singing at a distance the following strains, in derision of him.

 

Aggo Dah Gauda
Aggo Dah Gauda
Ke anne po—po—
Ko no gun a.

Aggo Dah Gauda
Aggo Dah Gauda
Ke anne po—po—
Ko gau da.

Man with the leg tied up,
Man with the leg tied up,
Broken hip—hip—
Hipped.

Man with the leg tied up,
Man with the leg tied up,
Broken leg—leg—
Legged.

He saw no one, but suspecting it to come from his enemies the buffaloes, he hastened his return.

Let us now see what happened to the daughter. Her father had not been long absent from the lodge, when she thought in her mind, [ke in ain dum] it is hard to be thus for ever kept in doors. The spring is now coming on, and the days are so sunny and warm, that it would be very pleasant to sit outdoors. But my father says it would be dangerous. I know what I will do. I will get on the top of the house, and there I can comb and dress my hair. She accordingly got up on the roof of the small house, and busied herself in untying and combing her beautiful hair. For her hair was not only of a fine glossy quality, but was so long that it reached down on the ground, and hung over the eaves of the house, as she sat dressing it. She was so intent upon this, that she forgot all ideas of danger, till it was too late to escape. For, all of a sudden, the king of the buffaloes came dashing on, with his herd of followers, and taking her between his horns, away he cantered over the plains, plunged into a river that bounded his land, and carried her safely to his lodge, on the other side. Here he paid every attention to gain her affections, but all to no purpose, for she sat pensively and disconsolate in the lodge among the other females, and scarcely ever spoke, and took no part in the domestic cares of her lover the king. He, on the contrary did everything he could think of to please her and win her affections. He told the others in his lodge to give her every thing she wanted, and to be careful not to displease her. They set before her the choicest food. They gave her the seat of honour in the lodge. The king himself went out hunting to obtain the most dainty bits of meat, both of animals and wild fowl. And not content with these proofs of his attachment he fasted himself, and would often take his pib be gwun,[9] and sit near the lodge indulging his mind in repeating a few pensive notes.

Ne ne moo sha
Ne ne moo sha
We ya.

Ma kow
We au nin
We yea.

Azhe—azhe
Sau gee naun ih
We yea.

Ka-go ka-go
Dush ween e
Shing gain—
E me she kain
We yea.

My sweetheart,
My sweetheart,
Ah me!

When I think of you,
When I think of you,
Ah me!

How I love you,
How I love you,
Ah me!

Do not hate me,
Do not hate me,
Ah me!

In the meantime Aggo Dah Gauda came home, and finding his daughter had been stolen, determined to get her back. For this purpose he immediately set out. He could easily track the king, until he came to the banks of the river, and saw that he had plunged in and swam over. But there had been a frosty night or two since, and the water was so covered with thin ice, so that he could not walk on it. He determined to encamp till it became solid, and then crossed over and pursued the trail. As he went along he saw branches broken off and strewed behind, for these had been purposely cast along by the daughter, that the way might be found. And the manner in which she had accomplished it, was this. Her hair was all untied when she was caught up, and being very long, it caught on the branches as they darted along, and it was these twigs that she broke off for signs to her father. When he came to the king's lodge it was evening. Carefully approaching it, he peeped through the sides and saw his daughter sitting disconsolately. She immediately caught his eye, and knowing that it was her father come for her; she all at once appeared to relent in her heart, and asking for the dipper, said to the king, "I will go and get you a drink of water." This token of submission delighted him, and he waited with impatience for her return. At last he went out with his followers, but nothing could be seen or heard of the captive daughter. They sallied out in the plains, but had not gone far, by the light of the moon, when a party of hunters, headed by the father-in-law of Aggo Dah Gauda, set up their yells in their rear, and a shower of arrows was poured in upon them. Many of their numbers fell, but the king being stronger and swifter than the rest, fled toward the west, and never again appeared in that part of the country.

While all this was passing Aggo Dah Gauda, who had met his daughter the moment she came out of the lodge, and being helped by his guardian spirit, took her on his shoulders and hopped off, a hundred steps in one, till he reached the stream, crossed it, and brought back his daughter in triumph to his lodge.

FINIS

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The Red Swan

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Flower in my Heart