As told by Abraham Mamianskum
There was once a man who didn’t have a wife. This man walked around hunting for game. He climbed a small hill and saw another man standing in the distance urinating. The bachelor thought, “I’ll tease him.” So, he took his bow and arrow and shot at the man who was urinating. He wasn’t directly aiming for him because he didn’t want to harm him.
The man who shot the arrow went over to where the man was to meet him. But the man lay dead on the ground. He had killed him. His arrow had hit the man’s penis. Of course, this man who wanted to play a joke on the urinating man was very sorry because he had accidentally killed him.
A short while later while he was standing there by the dead man’s body, he saw a giantess walking towards him. The giantess spoke to him, “You will live with me because I lived with your grandfather who you have killed. It will be your turn to live with me.” The man thought, “I cannot live with her because she’s a giant.” The man had no desire to live with her but the giantess followed him wherever he went.
The man reached his canoe where he had left it and paddled off. The giantess couldn’t board the canoe because of her size. She followed him along the shore. The man thought, “I’ll try to lose her.” He portaged into the thick bush thinking that he would lose the giantess. Later in the evening, he paddled ashore. The giantess was out of sight. He was alone. He left his belongings at the place where he decided to camp and went off to hunt for beaver. He hadn’t built his teepee because he thought that he would make it once he came back from hunting. He set off to hunt for beaver. Of course, he did kill beaver.
When he came back to where he had left his belongings, his teepee was already standing. He saw the giantess, who he had left behind, working around the camp. The lodge was skillfully made. The giantess invited the man to enter the teepee. But the man thought that she wouldn’t be able to go in the teepee herself because of how large she was. But she said, “I’ll go in too.” Right in front of the man’s eyes, the giantess changed into the size of an average woman and she entered the teepee.
She treated the man very well. She skinned the beaver and also stretched and dried the beaver skin. She was very quick and efficient in her work. She also made beautifully tailored clothing for him. The man began to like her because of how well she treated him and how well she made the things he used.
The giantess told the man not to tell anyone that she was living with him. She said, “If you tell, I will know and I won’t live with you again. We cannot live with other people when I live with you. But if you want to live with the people, you’ll go to them alone. You can stay with them for any length of time you wish. And when you leave them, I will come to you again.”
Once when the man stayed with a group of people, they asked him if he was living with anyone because his clothing was so beautifully made. He replied, “No, I’m not living with anybody.” He didn’t want to tell because the giantess had told him not to. But the people kept asking him if he was living with anyone. Finally, he gave in, thinking that the giantess wouldn’t know. He told the people that he was living with a woman. The giantess immediately sensed that he had told.
After a while, the man left the camp of the people he had lived with. He thought, “The woman will come back to me again.” But she didn’t. The man really missed her probably because he loved her so much. He wanted her back. He walked around searching for the giantess but he didn’t find her. He became miserable and exhausted looking for her. He started to cry. His clothing ripped as he walked through the bush looking for the giantess.
While the man searched for the giantess, he heard her voice. She said, “Now, do you see what you’ve gotten yourself into? I told you not to tell, but you did. I cannot not live with you anymore.” He looked around but he didn’t see her; he just heard her voice. It was said that the giantess never went back to that man again. This is where the legend ends.
Translated and transcribed by Brian Webb. Voices of the Elders: made possible with the assistance of the Canada Council.