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Hiawain's Curse

Written by Isla Burgess


The Peacemaker had passed away, and every tribe was showing remorse, except the Onondaga tribe because the banding of the tribes had was undone once the Peacemaker, Hiawatha, and Tadodaho had children. Now, the focus was all on the stone canoe. Belle, only 10 at the time, was hoping that she could forget about the canoe and remember her dad. But she couldn't forget everybody’s anticipation over who would get the canoe, who it would belong to. Belle stopped daydreaming and focused her attention on the Chief of the Seneca tribe, who would tell all about who the canoe was for.


“And the canoe is for Belle”, said the Chief.


“Me?”, asked Belle.


“Yes, you Belle”. He showed her to the spot where the canoe was. “You

will be the third person inside this canoe; treat it well”.


“Thank you”, said Belle, remembering her manners. She took the

paddle out of the canoe and pushed it into the water, getting in it and paddling away.

Hiawain walked deep into the green forest. His left arm brushed past a crisp leaf damp with the morning dew. He felt a soft, light wind whoosh past him as he entered a clearing. This was where the battle was to begin. Hiawain grabbed his freshly sharpened silver spear and planted it into the ground. As he plunged it, dirt flew out of the hard-packed ground.


Suddenly a booming voice echoed through the crisp morning trees.

“Hello Hiawain, welcome to the battlegrounds”.


Hiawain whirled around. It was the evil Toneadone. “You-you killed my

people!”, Hiawain yelled, his flaming anger visible. He stomped over to Toneadone, dirt flying from the ground. He lunged his shining silver spear at Toneadone, all cares forgotten.


In a flash, Toneadone whipped Hiawain across the face with a faded leather strap.


Hiawain backed away, stumbling as the mark burned bright.


Toneadone laughed. “Ha!”.


As a response, Hiawain whipped out his silver spear and struck

Toneadone across the back and cut him deep. Blood started pouring out of the cut.


Toneadone cried in pain. “I-I cannot be defeated! I am Toneadone!”. He

then slowly disappeared into the forest.


Hiawain ran back to his black charred camp and looked at the Chief’s

tent. It was his father’s.


“Oooooooohhhhhhh”, said a voice. It was soft and sweet.



Hiawain followed the sound to a girl sitting on a bare, scratchy rock.

She was wrapped in a white shawl.


“Hello?”, Hiawain called.


The girl turned around and hopped onto the ground. “Hello, I am Belle.

What’s your name?”, the girl said, wondering if he was a suitor.


“Hiawain. Wait... You're the peacemaker’s daughter!”.


“In fact”, she said in her sweet, calming voice, “I am.”


“Have you heard of my father?”, Hiawain asked, hoping to hear he escaped the fire caused by Toneadone and his subjects.


“Yes”, she said, but her voice had a sad note to it. “Your father died in the fire. He was praying right to the end, praying for you and your safety.”.


“I-”, Hiawain broke down into tears, sounding so sad that Belle wished

she hadn’t shared the news. Hiawain noticed that Belle was watching him and wiped the tears off his face. “Don't tell anyone you saw that”, Hiawain said, very embarrassed. Hiawain saw a shimmering white shape on the clear, slightly waving water. It was the ever famous white stone canoe. Hiawain, all sadness forgotten, ran out to the canoe and hit the water running.


“Hiawain, no-”, cried Belle. But she was too late.


Hiawain was stuck in the dense mud under the water, and he fell

forward into the water.

Belle ran, but suddenly stopped, thinking, if I go in there to save him, I will get stuck and die! Belle continued to approach the water, despite that thought. She tried to grab his waving hand but she could not reach it without getting stuck in the water.


Hawain's hand drooped.


Suddenly Belle realized it was over. He was going to die, and it was her

fault. Belle, taking a breath in,  jumped into the water. Bubbles floated around her. Her feet avoided the mud, gloopy and sticky. She looked through the dirty, barely see through water and saw his face. His lifeless face. She grabbed him and pulled as hard as she could on his body. His legs, half-submerged in mud, popped out like popcorn in a machine. She then swam to the surface. Pulling Hiawain’s body, she swam to her canoe and set his body inside, taking off her dripping wet shawl and wrapping his body in it. She got into the canoe and paddled back to her camp.


“Belle, Belle!”, said her people. “You came home! We thought you were never coming back!”


“Oh, hello”, said Belle, still grieving from the loss of Hiawain.


“Were you able to spread the message of peace with the boy”, the Chief



“Oh”, Belle broke down in tears. “He’s dead! He’s dead!”.


Her people stopped looking so excited. They left her to cry alone on the

dark, grey and cloudy beach. She wept with such agony that even the most ignorant squirrel would turn and feel a small twang of pain that hit it’s heart.

The saying, “Over my dead body!” was coming alive in this moment. But Belle had different ideas.


She got back into the canoe and paddled to one place so evil that even the most kind-hearted person would feel the need to do something bad. She walked up the steel walkway to the Onondaga Castle. She went to the gate and standing there were two guards.


“You may pass, Miss Belle”, said the guards.


She entered the castle and went down the hall to the throne room.

There, sitting on his black velvet throne, was Toneadone.


“You evil monster, you killed Hiawain!”, Belle lashed in anger.


“My dear, I could not do such a thing.”, Toneadone replied. “I was not



“W-well, then you killed him with y-your hate for him!”Belle yelled,

stammering. Her anger at Toneadone was uncontrollable. “You kind of killed him without a thought to his family and people!”.


“They are gone, so nobody will care”, said Toneadone in a sing-song

voice. “Banish her!”.


Two large guards came running and sized Belle. “Where should we take

her?”, the guard said.


“To the jail, you fool!”, Toneadone exploded.


“Right”, said the dumb-founded guard. They took Belle down to the jail.


Belle kicked the guards, but it did nothing but get her locked in a cell.


Belle screamed. “I hate you, you Toneadone!”, Belle pulled at her hair

and kicked the cell. The metal bars suddenly snapped. She punched her way out of the cell and quietly ran out the door to outside. She jumped in the canoe and paddled until she was back at her camp. There were no people around. She took Hiawain’s body and pulled it out of her shall. She laid it on a blanket special to her and wrapped his body up in it. Digging a  hole in the ground, she gently placed his body inside. She covered the body with dirt and laid flowers on top. She had a moment of silence for Hiawain. “Oh Hiawain, may you rest in peace. May you be happy up there with the spirits. I pray for you, oh Hiawai-” She couldn’t hold it in anymore. She cried, cried hard. “Hiawain, Hiawain!”. Belle laid down to rest, rest at his gravesite. Later, she got into the canoe. I will spread the message of peace by myself, Belle thought. She got back in the white stone canoe and paddled with a heavy heart to the Onondaga camp, right next to the castle. Belle wiped the tears from her eyes and remembered Hiawain. This is for Hiawain, she thought. “Peace is the answer”, Belle sang.


“Go away!”, said the field worker there.


“Peace is the answer”, Belle sang again. More workers came, and more insults were fired. Belle sang louder and louder yet. The men stopped. The women entered.


“That song-”, Belle braced for a mean comment, “Is wonderful!”. They turned to the men. “Listen to the poor girl’s song!”. “Has she ever done anything to you?”.


“Well”, said the men. “We-”.


“Quit it!”, yelled the women. “We will join you in your spreading of


“We will”, said the men.

A puff of smoke exploded in the air. 



Well, I will not!”, said a mad voice. It was Toneadone. He had emerged from the smoke. 

The men gulped. 
“What are you doing, you silly, silly fools! Get back to work!”, Toneadone yelled. They obeyed, fearful of their master. “YOU ESCAPED!”, screamed Toneadone.


Before he could do anything, Belle escaped again and paddled far away

from the island, with Toneadone screaming after her. She ran to her camp and yelled a warning: “Toneadone will come; band for peace”.


The Oneida people came out.


“We shall go to the Mohawk!”, chanted the people. They all got into

their canoes, with Belle paddling in the front. They reached the Mohawk camp. It was burnt. The people gone.


“Well”, Belle sighed, holding back tears. “We shall go”. A single tear

rolled down Belle’s cheek. A crisp, clear tear. Belle wiped it away. We shall not let the past overcome us, Belle thought.


She paddled with the Oneida people behind her, to the Cayuga camp.

The Oneida people shouted their message of peace loud and clear:

“Toneadone will come; band for peace!”. The Cayuga people joined them in their canoes. They paddled to the Seneca camp, and the message was even louder: “Toneadone is coming; band for peace!”.


They finally reached once again, the Onondaga island. Belle listened and heard a faint cry. It sounded like... “The Mohawk! They’re trapped!”, Belle shouted. The Seneca, Cayuga and Oneida people followed Belle to where the Mohawk were being held.

Help us!”, they yelled. Belle rummaged in the ashes and hay to look for the key and found a shiny, silver spear. It had blood on it and a name carved in the side. It said Hiawain, the Mohawk tribe. Belle gasped and dropped the spear. She then grabbed a key, laying on the ground. She fit it into the lock and turned it. The lock released and the Mohawk practically flew out of the captivity space.


They marched toward the castle and stormed the hallway. They

marched into the throne room and yelled, screamed, and cried the message of peace. Toneadone was powerless against the sound of agony.


“Stop, stop!”, he cried. It ceased instantly. “I will join you, ok!”. He

called his subjects up. “We will join them, whether you like it or not!”.


A chorus of agreement rang out. They walked outside, all five tribes



Belle took an axe and chopped down a big birch tree. This will make

great canoes, thought Belle.


“Bury your weapons of war here!”, Belle yelled. They put their weapons

underneath and she planted a fresh tree on top. It was forever known as the peace tree.

The End 


Belle married one of the warriors sons’s from the Cayuga tribe. They had a child together and they named him Hiawain, after Belle’s long-lost good friend. When Belle and her husband past away, the famous white stone canoe was passed down to her son. Maybe,  just maybe, an adventure will await Hiawain...