"They lived upon teepsinna (wild turnips) and berries for many days. They were almost famished for meat. The old man was too feeble to hunt successfully. One day in this desolate camp a young Cree maiden--for such they were--declared that she could no longer sit still and see her peo- ple suffer. She took down her dead father's second bow and quiver full of arrows, and begged her old grandmother to accompany her to Lake Wana- giska, where she knew that moose had oftentimes been found. I forgot to tell you that her name was Manitoshaw.
This Manitoshaw and her old grandmother, Nawakewee, took each a pony and went far up into the woods on the side of the mountain. They pitched their wigwam just out of sight of the lake, and hobbled their ponies. Then the old woman said to Manitoshaw:
"'Go, my granddaughter, to the outlet of the Wanagiska, and see if there are any moose tracks there. When I was a young woman, I came here with your father's father, and we pitched our tent near this spot. In the night there came three dif- ferent moose. Bring me leaves of the birch and cedar twigs; I will make medicine for moose,' she added.
Manitoshaw obediently disappeared in the woods. It was a grove of birch and willow, with two good springs. Down below was a marshy place. Nawakewee had bidden the maiden look for nib- bled birch and willow twigs, for the moose loves to eat them, and to have her arrow ready upon the bow-string. I have seen this very place many a time," added my uncle, and this simple remark gave to the story an air of real- ity.
"The Cree maiden went first to the spring, and there found fresh tracks of the animal she sought. She gathered some cedar berries and chewed them, and rubbed some of them on her garments so that the moose might not scent her. The sun was al- ready set, and she felt she must return to Na- wakewee.
"Just then Hinhankaga, the hooting owl, gave his doleful night call. The girl stopped and lis- tened attentively.
"'I thought it was a lover's call,' she whispered to herself. A singular challenge pealed across the lake. She recognized the alarm call of the loon, and fancied that the bird might have caught a glimpse of her game.
"Soon she was within a few paces of the tem- porary lodge of pine boughs and ferns which the grandmother had constructed. The old woman met her on the trail.