How The Woman Overcame The Bear
A Tale from the Iroquois
An Indian woman built a wigwam in the deep wood. She was a brave woman. She had no fear.
One night, she heard something coming along the trail. Thump, thump, thump, it came, to the very door of her wigwam.
There was a rap.
"Come in," said the woman, but no one entered.
Again there came a rap.
Again the woman called, "Come in." Again the latch was not lifted.
A third time the rap came. A third time the woman called, "Come in," but no one entered.
Then the strange thump, thump, thump, was heard going down the trail.
The next night, the same thing occurred. Soon after dark, the woman heard the thump, thump, thump, coming along the trail. Up to the very door of the wigwam it came.
Three times, a rap, rap, rap, was heard as before. Three times the woman answered, "Come in," but no one entered.
Then the same strange thump, thump, thump, was heard going down the trail again.
The third night, the woman thought she would make sure who was calling. She stood for a long time, with her hand on the latch.
At last she heard the visitor coming. Thump, thump, thump, it came along the trail. There were three raps.
"Come in," called the woman, but the latch did not move in her hand. She waited. Again came the raps.
This time she threw wide open the door, and there stood a great black bear. He showed his sharp teeth and growled, "Are you at home?"
The woman looked him straight in the eye and replied, "I am at home."
At once the bear turned on his heel and went down the trail, as fast as he could go.
Never again did the woman hear that strange thump, thump, thump; and never again did the bear call to see if she were at home.
Sources And Further Reading
Project Gutenberg Stories the Iroquois Tell Their Children by Mabel Powers