[Notes by LKG]
This story is part of the Native American Marriage Tales unit. Story source: Tales of the North American Indians by Stith Thompson (1929).
The True Bride (end)
Now, Spióola rubbed the spittle on the mouths of the children, and at once they returned to life. It was the same as if their breath had come back.
When they became alive, each boy showed a luminous spot on the forehead: on the forehead of one shone a sun, and on that of the other a bright moon. Both were beautiful to behold.
Spióola told their mother the Goose that he was now going on another journey to see the wise Bird, and she must warn her children of approaching danger. He told the boys, "When you hear the Goose on the lake calling loudly, you must go home at once and hide, for the people may see you and kill you again."
Spióola ran with all swiftness to the house of the Bird who talked all languages, knew the future, and never told a lie. He dwelt on the top of a pinnacle of clear ice in a snowy region. Spióola rushed at the cliff, and just managed to climb to the top of the ice before his claws had worn off. He told the Bird what he had come for, and asked his help, for every one believed what he said.
The Bird answered, "I know your need is great, and I pity you." Spióola put the Bird under his robe and slid down the ice. He brought him to the children, and the Bird seemed to be very glad to see them.
The day after the Bird had arrived, the father of the boys heard talking underneath the house and resolved to investigate its cause. Some of the voices were like those of children. He found the entrance to their abode, but was unable to throw down the stone which blocked it.
Spióola removed the stone, and asked him to come in. He said, "The passage is too small. I cannot pass through."
Spióola replied, "If you try, you will manage it."
He squeezed through, and was surprised to find himself in a large room, well kept and clean, and full of many kinds of food. When he saw the Bird there, he knew something important was going to happen, for he never came excepting when required to settle a serious difficulty which the chief himself and people could not decide properly.
When Spióola told all that had happened, the chief's son became exceedingly sorry that he had killed his first wife and had believed her step-mother. He told his father what he had learned, and a meeting was called for a certain day to inquire into the truth of the matter. Meanwhile the chief gave orders that the toenail woman, or She-who-spits-Toe-Nails, should be kept a prisoner in her house with her mother. The doors and windows of the house were all battened and nailed up.
Now, Spióola went to the lake and called the Goose, whom he shook until her goose-skin fell off. She-who-spits-Gold was restored to her natural form.
She and her sons, the wise Bird, and Spióola all attended the meeting when the people were gathered. The Bird told the true story in all its details, and everyone believed him. He praised Spióola for his courage in running to the house of the Sun for the breath of the children.
The chief ordered the two women to be taken out and hanged publicly. This the people did. The chief's son took back his wife, and they lived thenceforth in a great house, which was richly ornamented with gold by his wife.
He became chief after his father, and his son became chief after him.