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Original author- Robbie Robertson, retold by Ryan Li

Hiawatha And The Peacemaker 

Retold by Ryan Li

A long time ago, a terrible scream of grief and anger echoed through the trees that were charred black because of the recent battle of the Onondaga tribe against their own war chief Atotarho who turned evil. It was rumored that he had control over dark magic and had snakes in his hair.


    Hiawatha had returned to find his Onondaga village in ashes and his wife and three children dead.

Later, he travelled to a river by his village holding his spear which was bent and stained red with blood from months of fighting. When he arrived, the river was roaring like thunder and the current was really strong . It was almost like the river was angry too.He saw that that it would be impossible to collect water from the river.He walked for miles upon miles looking for a water source he could collect water from. He passed a few more thundering rivers until he finally reached a clear blue lake that was so calm, you couldn’t even see a single wave, not even a tiny one. His throat was now so dry that he even forgot that he was angry at Atotarho. When he finished drinking water, he remembered why he had just walked miles upon miles away from his village to collect water. It was because Atotarho destroyed his village and killed everyone else in it. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of bows being raised and swords being taken out of their scabbards. He quickly looked around and saw Atotarho’s men. There were five of them, each was tall, bulky, and armed with a bow and a sword.

 

They were already notching an arrow into their bows. Hiawatha started running but it was too late. One of the men yelled, “fire” ! Four of the arrows missed but one of the arrows hit him right in the shin. His shin instantly turned glistening red. He drove his spear into a nearby pine tree. The tree wobbled, then fell on Atotarho’s men. Than he went to the lake and cleaned out his wound and went and bandaged his leg with grass. That was when he heard the sound of sloshing water. He was terrified, thinking that Atotarho sent more men after him by water, but it was just a man in a white stone canoe. When he got off, Hiawatha said, “who are you, are you allied with Atotarho?” The Peacemaker stammered, “no, I am not on Atotarho’s side”. Than the Peacemaker said, “ M-my n-n-name is th-the P-P-P-Peacemaker. I h-h-have c-c-come to b-bring a message o-of peace. J-join me. I k-know w-w-what happened t-to you. I-It h-happened t-to me too.


      Hiawatha hesitated, then agreed to join the Peacemaker.

 

Together they travelled to the land of the Cayuga tribe in the Peacemakers canoe. They told the the chief about bringing peace to the once united Iroquois. The Cayuga chief said, “ We respect your message but  we need proof  that you can bring peace. Atotarho is too strong, too violent. He will never agree.”

        So they set off towards the Seneca tribe. They sailed through rough waves that roared like thunder. When they reached shore near the Seneca village, it was already night. So the Peacemaker and Hiawatha slept in the canoe for the night. When they woke up, they saw smoke rising from the Seneca village. They quickly ran in and saw the Seneca people rebuilding their almost completely destroyed village. The lookout tower was snapped, a huge hole in the wall, the longhouse on fire and some houses torn apart.

They told the Seneca tribe about bringing peace to the once united Iroquois tribes. The chief joined them in his own wooden canoe. Together they paddled toward the Oneida tribe. When they were close to arriving , they saw more canoes coming towards them. Soon they were dragged into the village tied up with rope. The chief said, “what are two travellers and a chief doing in the land of the Oneida tribe?”

         The Oneida chief told the guards to untie Hiawatha, the Peacemaker, and the Seneca chief.

They told the Oneida chief about their journey to bring peace to the once united Iroquois tribes. The Oneida chief agreed and told them to stay at the Oneida village for the night, then continue their journey tomorrow.


        The next morning, they set off towards the Mohawk tribe. It turned out that the Mohawk tribe had been attacked as well, but they still joined the Peacemaker, Hiawatha, the Seneca chief, and the Oneida chief.

Then they travelled to the Oneida tribe to get 40 men in case Atotarho started a fight. Then they travelled back to the Cayuga tribe. The chief said that they had to bring back Atotarho too. So Hiawatha, the Peacemaker, and the three chiefs travelled to the Onondaga village of Atotarho.

When they arrived, they were met by 50 armed soldiers. The soldiers chained them up and brought them to Atotarho. Atotarho was horrifying to look at. He had snakes in his hair, a tongue that looked like the tongue of a snake, a crooked back and scaly skin. Atotarho hissed, “What do you want?”


                They told him about bringing peace to the once united Iroquois tribes. When they were speaking, it was clear that it was a sickness that gave Atotarho the hunched back, the scaly skin, the forked tongue, and the snakes in his hair.

When they finished talking, Atotarho said, “I shall never agree, you are so foolish to ask for peace.”

         Then Atotarho sent his men at their men. Hiawatha heard the sound of swords clash, spears being thrown, and bows being drawn, but then Hiawatha heard the most beautiful thing he ever heard in his life and then the moon disappear.

Atotarho’s men cowered back in fear. Hiawatha looked and saw the Peacemaker playing his flute. When he stopped, the moon  appeared. The Peacemaker said, “ We will come back in three days. We hope you reconsider your opinion.”

             Then they left. 3 days had past and now Hiawatha, the Peacemaker, and the two chiefs were travelling back to Atotarho’s village. When they arrived, Atotarho hissed, “ what do you have that will make me join you?”

                The Peacemaker said, “we shall cure the disease that has taken over you body.”

       Atotarho told them to give it to him in one hour.

The Peacemaker told Hiawatha and the two chiefs the recipe for the antidote. When they finished, they gave it to Atotarho. When Atotarho drank it, the snakes slithered out of hair, the scales fell off his skin, and when he stood up, his forked tongue turned into a normal tongue, and his back was no longer crooked. Atotarho said, “ Thank you so much. I will now join you.”

             Atotarho, the Seneca chief, the Mohawk chief, the Oneida chief, Hiawatha, and the Peacemaker went back to the Cayuga tribe. When the Cayuga tribe saw that Atotarho was with Hiawatha, the Peacemaker, and the three chiefs. The chief joined them. They walked over to an enormous white pine just beyond the border of the Cayuga village. The Peacemaker said, “ We will uproot this tree, bury our weapons of war in the hole, replant the tree, and then the pine will be called the Tree Of Peace. But first you will have to get everyone in your tribe to come.”

When he finished speaking, Hiawatha noticed that he was no longer stammering. Then Hiawatha watched as the Cayuga people uprooted the tree, everyone throw their weapons of war in the hole, and then the tree being replanted. After all of this, there was a scream. Everyone looked around to see who screamed, they saw Atotarho replaced by an eagle. Then the Peacemaker said, “ Atotarho will be the Guardian of Peace. This is the Great Law.”

             Everyone repeated, “This is the Great Law.

 

The End