Nanabushu and the Dancing Bullrushes
Ningoding igo babimosed awiya onoondawaa zaasaakwenid.
Goniginiin, zaaga’igaans zaagidawaanig i’iw ziibiins, mii imaa ayaanid i’iwe ininiwa’, bizhishig i’iw ininiwa’.
Gakina bingwaashaagidiwa, Gaye dash ezhi’onid gakina waabigoniin obadakibine’oni.
“E! e, e, Nenaboozhoo, niwii-niimi’idimin, nishwaasogon niwii-niimi’idimin.
Gegeti go niwii-gichi-niimi’idimin.”
“Nijiimijaa,(1) mii sa go i’iw bebaa-inanookiiyaan, babaa-nanda-niimi’idiiyaan.
“Nenaboozhoo, gego, ganabaj giga-ayekos.
Nishwaasogon wii-niimidiyaang, mii go gaye, [ge-]gabe-dibik wii-niimi’idiyaang.”
“Nijiimijaa, maanoo, gaye niin ninga-niimi’idi.”
“Nenaboozhoo, aaniish maanoo gaye giin gidaa-niim, gwayak igo giga-ayekos.”
Aaniish, mii sa go zhigwa maajitaanid; aataa, zhigwa bazigwiiwa’.
Aaniish, Nenaboozhoo gaye wiin gii-badakibine’oonaa iniw misaabigoniin.
Aataa, e-izhiinid naami’idinid!
Nenaboozhoo geji-e-ii-zhid naaniimid, mii sa gaye wiin dibishkoo e-iindoodang.
Iskwaach niiyogon naami’idimind mii zhigwa gikendang ayekozid.
Abaapish niizhwaasogon naami’idimind anishaa go namadabi; aapiji ayekozi, gaye wii-wiisini.
Abaapish eni-dibikadinig, aapiji naanoondayagendam jibwaa-waabaninig.
Mii zhigwa Nenaboozhoo zhingishing aano-niimi’idid.
Minjimigo ji-biidaabaninig ezhi-mawid Nenaboozhoo.
E-bi-baapi’ind. Zhigwa sa bi-waabanini, zhigwa imaa dibishkoojaya’ii bimi-akwaabanini.
Etawaa, Nenaboozhoo megwaa zhaashaaganashkokaang, mii nangwana iniw gaa-izhinang, anishinaabeng ogii-izhinaanan.
Geget maamakaadendam Nenaboozhoo, mii iw gii-inendang anishinaabe gechi-noodingin, gii-izhinang; mii nangwana iw gaa-izhi-niimi’idiwaad zhaashaaganashkoon.
Mii sa imaa zheshingishing Nenaboozhoo, gaawiin ogashki’osii ji-bimooded waawiishinawiin ji-bazigwiid.
Apii niizhogon gaa-nibaad mii dash i’iw bijiinag gashkitood bimooded, ezhi-naadagaameyooded.
And once, while travelling about, he heard the sound of some one whooping.
Like a dunce he went to where he heard the sound.
Lo, where out into a pond flowed a brook was the place where those men were, a vast throng of men.
They were all nude, and they all had flowers sticking upon (their heads).
Presently he was seen.
“Halloo, Nanabushu! We expect to dance, for eight days we intend to dance.
To be sure, we hope for a big dance.”
“My little brothers, this is precisely what I am travelling about for, round about am I seeking for a place to dance.
With all (my) might will I help you.”
“Nanabushu, don’t you do it, perhaps you might grow tired.
For eight days we intend to dance, and also throughout the whole of every night do we expect to dance.”
“My little brothers, never you mind, I too will dance.”
Nanabushu, naturally unconcerned about care, you too should dance, but certainly you will be tired.”
Well, so presently they began; ah, then they rose to their feet.
Now, Nanabushu also wore large blossoms standing upon his head (for feathers).
Oh how they who danced did carry on!
Nanabushu was quite beside himself when he danced, for he did the same (as the others).
At the end of four days’ dancing, he then began to realize that he was tired.
By the time they (had) danced seven days, then it was all he could do to sit down; exceedingly tired was he, and he wanted to eat.
By the time that night was coming on, he grew deeply worried (that he would not survive) before it was day.
So then Nanabushu lay down, trying in vain to dance.
Just as the dawn was breaking, then began Nanabushu to cry.
Then he was laughed at. Presently came the morning, soon straight overhead was ow far the light of the morning had come.
Lo, the wind died down.
Why, Nanabushu was in among the bulrushes, that was what he really had seen, like people they had seemed to him.
Truly surprised was Nanabushu, for he thought that they were people when the wind was blowing hard, so it had seemed to him; as a matter of fact, he had been dancing with the bulrushes.
And so there lay Nanabushu for a long while, he was neither able to crawl nor even to get up on his feet.
Accordingly he went to sleep.
After he had slept for two days, he then was able to crawl, he then crawled out to the edge of the (swamp).