Huddled underneath the cover of a fallen log, a small creature took refuge from the downpour. His gray skin shivered in the cold but it was not the only thing that made his shoulders shake. Enlarged hands cradled his bruised shoulder as he rocked from the pain of betrayal.
They’d promised him a chance. All he needed was the time to prove that not all of his kind wished them harm, that he could be helpful and deserving of as much love as they gave to their gods. It was his enlarged features that had made such a thing difficult though.
His feet would get in the way when he tried to farm with the children and his hands could not perform the same delicate work of the women. Cooking was impossible, no wanted his nose getting into the food, and hunting was difficult when he was so small and unable to hold a bow or a spear. But he had been trying. He’d be working within the village to find his own niche.
The mistrust was always there. It wasn’t hard to see. He’d hoped that if he could prove himself, it would fade away with time. He hadn’t realized that the village was just waiting for him to make a mistake, to give them a reason to expel him back to his forest home.
All he’d done was have a clumsy moment. He tripped, knocking over some spears and the dinner for some of the men. That was all it took. Their anger was quick to rise and painful to bear. The darkened spots on his skin spoke of the abuse he took as he ran away.
Children were constantly making such mistakes and none of them had ever been treated as such. They weren’t expelled from the village for knocking over a dinner accidentally. It hadn’t been on purpose and he had tried to apologize.
But he found no mercy. The history of his kind, the tricks that his brother and sister pukwudgies played were too prominent. There was no chance of proving himself when they continued to play tricks in surrounding villages.
A clap of thunder startled him. He jumped, hitting his head on the log above his head, and glanced around. No one had snuck up on him. Not even the animals had taken an interest in the miserable creature. Animals used to come up to him all the time before he tried to be helpful.
Maybe that was it.
Maybe he was trying too hard to be something he wasn’t for humans that would never accept him. It wouldn’t matter if he did manage to do good, they would always doubt him because of what he was. His eyes glowed with a mixture of hurt and anger as he looked up in the direction of the village.
They didn’t want to give him the chance, fine. He’d become the very thing that they had thought he was. His tricks would be the most vicious, the most annoying. They would know no peace until everyone that had tormented him, and their offspring, had died. Then, maybe then, he’d ease up.
An angry pukwudgie was not something to trifle with.
Midterms have rolled around again, making it hard to find time to write. Again, I am not super familiar or confident in my stories about the Native American mythical creatures. I appreciate any feedback or corrections for these mythical creatures.
Next Creature: Wendigo