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Waha and the Wasis
This is a story (adapted from an Algonquin myth) that Eiritha
worshippers like to tell when their husbands get too full of themselves.
All know that Waha is the mightiest of all warriors. Over both Men
and Beasts is he Lord. He has mastered the ghosts of the night and the spirits of the day.
Ages ago after achieving many great feats during his epic wanderings he decided to return
home. His mother, Eiritha looked after his lodge and he expected her to greet him in the
accepted manner. Instead she stood looking at a strange creature on the floor. Waha had
done battle with ghosts and devils and all manner of Chaos but he had never seen the like
of this creature before.
"What manner of beast is this?" he asked.
"This is the mighty Wasis," she replied. "And be warned that if you meddle
with him, you will be in trouble. I must serve him night and day."
"I would not put up with such a tyrant," said Waha.
"You would have no choice," said Eiritha. "Mighty Wasis holds in one hand
the past and in the other he holds the future. Of all the world is he the master."
"Not of Waha," cried Waha. "I am Lord of Men and of Beasts. I am
He walked right up to mighty Wasis.
"I, Waha, am not afraid of you," he said.
The Wasis gurgled.
Waha took up his warrior's stance. "I am the strongest of the strong," he said.
The Wasis sat and sucked on a marrow bone.
"I am Lord of Men and Beasts," thundered Waha. "Come here!"
But the Wasis howled back. He screamed and screamed and screamed until Waha thought his
head would split.
"Stop that!" he shouted.
But the mighty Wasis just kept on screaming.
Desperate to quiet him, Waha danced his ghost dance and sang the songs to raise the dead.
Then Waha danced his spirit dance and sang the songs to scare away devils.
And, finally, the Wasis stopped screaming, looked at Waha, and smiled, a big smile as wide
as the world. "Goo!" he said.
Totally exhausted by his heroic efforts to stop the Wasis's screaming and howling, Waha
collapsed in a dead faint.
So whenever you see a baby sitting on the floor with a big smile all over its face,
chuckling "Goo! Goo!" for no reason at all, you may be sure it is remembering
the day it defeated the great Waha, Lord of Men and Beasts, defeater of Chaos.
Of all the beings that have ever been created since the beginning, a baby is the only one
that nobody has ever got the better of - nor ever will until the end of time.
This myth adapted from "Glooskap and
the Wasis" from The Illustrated Book of Myths published by Fenn Publishing,
Last modified January 07, 1998
Last updated October 07, 2016
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