Gateway to the Classics: Canadian Wonder Tales by Cyrus MacMillan
Canadian Wonder Tales by  Cyrus MacMillan

Glooskap and the Fairy

O NE day Glooskap was in his tent with his old Grandmother. They heard a great noise. "A very big man is coming," said Glooskap, "I hear his footsteps." Time passed but no one came. Soon they heard a great noise again. "He must be a very  big man," said Glooskap; "the earth is trembling under his tread, for the calves of my legs are shaking; he is coming nearer." Soon there was a knock at the door. "Come in," said Glooskap. In came a little fellow no bigger than a man's thumb. "You walk very heavily and make a great noise for so small a man," said Glooskap. "Yes," said the little fellow; but not another word would he say.

They sat silent for a long time. Then Glooskap tried to put his strange little caller to the test. "Take something to eat," he said, and he passed him a plateful of food. With his magic power he made the plate very heavy, and he thought that the little man could not hold it but would let it fall on his toes. But the little fellow took it easily, and held it while he ate all it contained. When he had finished eating, he passed it back. But it had grown so heavy because of the little man's power that Glooskap could hardly hold it up.

Then they went outside. It was blowing very hard. "It is a windy day," said Glooskap. "Oh no," said the little fellow, "it is very calm and pleasant; I should like to have a sail on the sea." Glooskap had a very large heavy canoe. He thought it would be fun to send the little fellow sailing in it, for he thought he could not paddle it. He told him there was a canoe on the beach and that he might take it for a sail. The little man thanked him and went to the beach. Glooskap went back to his tent on the high cliff to watch what would happen. Soon he saw the little man out on the sea in the big heavy canoe. Then he untied the wings of the great Wind Bird, and the winds blew harder than ever and the waves rolled high. But the little man weathered the storm all right; he seemed to be enjoying his sail, and after a time he came ashore safely.


the little man weathers the storm in glooscap's heavy canoe.

When he came in, Glooskap said, "Did you have a good sail?" "Very good," replied the little man, "but I like stronger winds and a rougher sea." And Glooskap wondered much. Then they went outside again. It was still blowing hard. The little man blew through his nostrils, and the wind from them blew so hard that the grass fell down before it, and Glooskap was knocked head over heels and had to put his arms around a big tree and hold on tight to keep from blowing over the cliff. Then the little man stopped blowing, and they agreed to end their contest and to rest together. Glooskap knew that the little man was the strong Fairy of the forest of whom he had long heard. The Fairy gave him new power to overcome evil, and then went back to the land-of-little-people from which he had come.

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