ago, the Buzzard was a pretty bird. It felt itself to be superior
to all other members of the feathered class, and Wiske was jealous
of it. The Buzzard, on its part, would not even look at Wiske, much
less talk to him. This made Wiske angrier than ever.
At length, Wiske found a dead deer, and collected some dead
moose and other animals, and piled them where he hoped the
buzzard would find them and eat so much that he could not fly. So
many crows, ravens and other birds flocked to the place that Wiske
could not drive them away, but still the Buzzard would not come.
This made Wiske angrier still. He found another moose and put
it out, but again only ravens came to feast on it. He found still
another moose that was drowned. This time the Buzzard came, but
the ravens drove it away.
Wiske transformed himself into a dead elk, and drove off the swarming
ravens with clubs. The ravens sat on the trees and warned everyone
that approached that the dead elk was really Wiske. The Buzzard
heard their warning, but did not believe their story, because the
elk smelled so badly.
At last, the Buzzard came up to the carcass and bit at its rump
and found it tender. It saw some delicious looking fat inside, and
finally thrust its head and neck in to reach it.
Wiske closed the opening and sprang up with the Buzzard trapped
There! he said. I knew that I would catch
this pretty bird some day.
Wiske went everywhere and showed all the people the helpless
Buzzard caught by the head.
The birds, having talked it over, told Wiske that they thought
it was not fair, and they offered to take Wiske away up above the
clouds if he would free their brother. Wiske then loosened the Buzzard,
who volunteered to carry him aloft on his back.
Wiske straddled his neck, and the Buzzard took him high up on
top of a mountain. He made Wiske dismount and told him that the
birds would return for him later. But they never did, and Wiske
was left in a place from which he could not escape.
Wiske asked a passing eagle to help by bringing him a very big
stick. When the eagle brought it, Wiske slew the bird with it.
Stretching its wings over the stick, he jumped down, holding
the middle of the pole and relying on the wings to act as a parachute
and let him down gently. He landed in a hollow tree which he fell
down, and was caught again.
Some Indians who were hunting saw their dogs barking at the
tree where Wiske was caught.
The Indians supposed that they had found a bear, but when they
chopped a hole in the tree, out stepped Wiske, who told them how
he had become trapped.
want to reward you for saving me, said Wiske to the Indians.
Here are some pretty feathers to put in your sacred bundle.
Just do not call them Buzzard feathers! From now on they are changed.
The hunters told their people that the plumes were called Chief
bird feathers, and the story how they had rescued
Wiske from the tree and received the feathers as a reward.
Wiske held the Buzzard inside his body for so long that the
feathers wore off the creatures head and it became foul smelling.
In this way, Wiske had his revenge on the bird. The buzzard has
ever since been obliged to live in the south to protect his bald
head from the cold. Wiske claimed that he had more power over birds
than the Great Spirit. The downfall of the bird was only due to
its own arrogance.