Algon and the Sky-Maiden



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Algon and the Sky-Maiden



This is a story of Native American folklore. It is a tale told by the Algonquins. The legend is about Algon and the Sky-Maiden.

Algon was a skillfull hunter. One day he was out hunting and discovered a peculiar circle cut in the grass. He hid in the bushes and watched, hoping to find out what made the circle.

A huge willow basket came down from the sky. Twelve beautiful maidens were riding in it. They climbed out of the basket and started singing celestial songs. The maidens also did circle dances. They were all lovely, but the youngest was the most beautiful. Algon knew he was in love with her. He rushed toward the circle, but the young women jumped into the basket and it flew back into the sky.
It soon came back and once again, Agon ran toward the maidens. They retreated back into the basket and it flew upward. This occurred two more times. Algon did not intend to give up. He conceived a plan.

This is a story of Native American folklore. It is a tale told by the Algonquins. The legend is about Algon and the Sky-Maiden.

Algon was a skillfull hunter. One day he was out hunting and discovered a peculiar circle cut in the grass. He hid in the bushes and watched, hoping to find out what made the circle.

A huge willow basket came down from the sky. Twelve beautiful maidens were riding in it. They climbed out of the basket and started singing celestial songs. The maidens also did circle dances. They were all lovely, but the youngest was the most beautiful. Algon knew he was in love with her. He rushed toward the circle, but the young women jumped into the basket and it flew back into the sky.

It soon came back and once again, Agon ran toward the maidens. They retreated back into the basket and it flew upward. This occurred two more times. Algon did not intend to give up. He conceived a plan.

Algon put a hollow tree trunk near the circle. A family of mice lived inside the trunk. Algon used some charms from his medicine bag to change himself into a mouse.

The maidens in the basket returned. Algon and the other mice ran among the young women. They stamped and killed all the mice, except for Algon. Algon turned back into his human form and carried off the maiden that he wanted.

Algon took her to his village. She eventually fell in love with him and gave birth to a son. Their marriage was happy. But after several years had gone by, the sky-woman became very homesick. She would spend a whole day staring at the sky. The woman thought about her sisters and parents. Her homesickness finally became unbearable. She constructed a magic willow basket and put her son in it. After also placing gifts for her people in the basket, she climbed into it and flew high into the sky.

Algon longed to see his wife and son again. He went to sit in the magic circle each day. Algon grew old and hoped that they would return.

In the distant sky-country, Algon's son was growing up to maturity. He asked his mother questions about his father. She started to miss Algon and spoke to her father, who was the chief of the sky-people.

He told them that they could go back to the earth. However, they had to return to the sky with Algon. In addition, they had to bring a major feature of each earth animal.

So the sky-woman and her son descended to the earth. Algon was very happy to see them. He was also glad to obtain the gifts that the sky-chief wanted. Algon took these items from the following list of animals:

eagle, hawk, and falcon - a feather

deer - hide and horns
raccoon - teeth
bear - claw

Algon put these things in a magic medicine bag. Then he went with his wife and son in their willow basket up to the sky-country.



Algon's father-in-law distributed the gifts to his people. He asked Algon and his wife which ones they wanted. They picked the falcon feather. The chief said that they would always be able to fly between the sky-country and the earth. Algon and his wife turned into falcons. Their descendents fly high above the earth to this very day.

Neal Robbins

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