The story of Trickster and the Pointing Man

The story of Trickster and the Pointing Man

A man was pointing across a lake.

Trickster was walking along when he saw a lake. As he approached the edge of the lake, he saw a man standing there. The man was wearing a black shirt and pointing across the lake.

Trickster went up to him and asked him what he was pointing at. 

The man didn’t answer him. He kept on pointing. 

Trickster asking him repeatedly, but the man was silent.

Trickster said that the man was not the only one who could point. Trickster could point, too. He took out his own black shirt, stepped next to the man and also began pointing across the lake.

All day long, Trickster stood next to the man in the black shirt and pointed with him across the lake.

Eventually, Trickster’s arm got tired. He asked the man when they would stop.

No answer.

Trickster said he was hungry.

No answer.

Trickster said he would find food for both of them to eat. What food did he like?

No answer.

Trickster was tired and hungry. He asked himself: Why am I standing here pointing where this other man is pointing?

Trickster put down his arm and walked away.

When he looked back at the pointing man, Trickster saw him in a different light.

The pointing man was not a man at all, but the stump of a tree, with one dead branch extending towards the water.

"I should have looked more carefully before I stood here all day", said Trickster.

"I guess this is why people call me a fool."

The Pointing Man, The Encyclopedia of Hocak (Winnebago) Mythology>>

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