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      Hiawatha and the Peacemaker

By Robbie Robertson


Retold by Jason Wang

Long ago, there was a man. This man was in a village, that was burned down. His name was Hiawatha.

He was a warrior who had just been in a war. As his eyesight cleared, he saw that his home, and his family, had died. All that was left was...him.

He went up to the river, where he took shelter. As he stood there, he thought about the man who had killed his family. Tadodaho. He could only think of one thing: Revenge.









One day, he saw a boat crossing the river. Aboard it, there was the Peacemaker. 


As the Peacemaker climbed off the boat, Hiawatha asked, "Who are you?" The Peacemaker was quiet, and he stuttered. "I-I-I come to tell y-you about the G-Great Law."

"What law?" Hiawatha asked.

"C-Come with me. I'm n-n-not a gifted speaker a-and I need y-your help." the Peacemaker said. “W-we must spread the w-word.”

Hiawatha agreed, and soon, they paddled out to sea.

They paddled to the Cayuga tribe. Once they got there, they saw the land. It was burned, and there were a lot of people there. Hiawatha and the Peacemaker learned that the tribe had been destroyed from Tadodaho's rage. Suddenly, Hiawatha's mind floated to the battle, and his dead family. Turning to the Peacemaker, he yelled: TADODAHO IS TOO HARD! WE WILL NEVER BE FREE!




The Peacemaker told Hiawatha to sit down. He said, "I do not see d-defeat. I-I see a new way. A way of p-peace.” He put his hand on his heart, and suddenly, they felt strong and brave.


After a while, the Cayuga chief joined them in his canoe, and they all paddled off.





They got to the Seneca tribe, where some soldiers saw them. They raised their spears, but then a warrior said: “We have heard your message of the Great Law. Please tell us about it.” As Hiawatha spoke, the Seneca chief stated that he would be glad to join them. And so the two chiefs, plus Hiawatha and the Peacemaker, paddled off.


They got to the Oneida tribe, where it was dark and gloomy. Suddenly, they heard a snap, and they fell down a hole. The Oneida chief said, "What are you doing here?" The Peacemaker told Hiawatha to speak about the Great Law, and after, the Oneida chief agreed to travel with them.

They went to the Mohawk tribe, which was Hiawatha’s people. When they got there, the chief spoke. "Tadodaho has heard your message. It will be too hard!"

They still went, though, and soon, they were at Tadodaho's lair.


It was very eerie. The Chiefs, Hiawatha, and the Peacemaker walked until they saw Tadodaho.

It was a horrible sight. Tadodaho had snakes in his hair, scales for skin, he was hunched over, and he had a forked tongue. The Peacemaker told Hiawatha to make medicine for Tadodaho. How, though? Hiawatha thought. How could he make medicine for someone he hated?

Yet he gathered up roots, grass, water, and some herbs.


Tadodaho drank the medicine, and he started to look better. The snakes slithered off his hair. Then the Peacemaker started chanting. Tadodaho's forked tongue grew into one, and his hunched body turned straight.

The peacemaker told the people to uproot a tree and bury the weapons in there. "From now on, there shall be no fighting." The Peacemaker said. "We shall replant this tree, and call it the Tree Of Peace."




They replanted the tree, and then there was a noise. They looked up, and they saw that Tadodaho had transformed into something with a long beak, a lot of feathers, and bright eyes. An...Eagle.