Native American Tales

Big Eater’s Wife

Big Eater's WifeBig Eater’s Wife

Pequod

Big Eater saw a woman digging clams one day and wanted to sleep with her. She said yes, but also no, and yes some more, and no again, but finally, yes. He did not know she was a ghost-witch then. They lived together as man and wife for a while, but the woman got tired of Big Eater. She wanted someone young and thin, so she left one day in one of Big Eater’s canoes.

Big Eater saw she was gone and took off after her; he soon got very close to overtaking her.

She threw her mortar into the water and the water turned into mortars, which made it very difficult to paddle through. Big Eater got out of the mortar water and back into regular water and quickly got back on the woman’s trail.

She threw her pestle in to the water, and the water turned into pestles. Big Eater again had a hard time of it, but eventually got through.

She then threw her eggs into the water, which made the water turn into eggs. This was a little more difficult because they would crack. Big Eater had to pound them and break them before he could go forward, but eventually he got out of the egg water.

Big Eater thought he could catch up with her, but the woman took her hair and turned it into a spear, which she then used to stab Big Eater with. He died. This is what happens when a man marries a ghost-witch.

Observations

Where’s she going to get a new mortar and pestle now? It’s not as if they’re Williams Sonomas in the wilderness.

Themes

I don’t feel sorry for this guy. If he would have just let her go, he would still be alive. Sure, don’t marry a ghost-witch–good lesson, but also, if someone doesn’t want to be with you, holding them to it never turns out well.

I get the feeling that Big Eater’s wife was there more for sex and food rather than any actual emotional attachment. If that’s the case, why in the heck would she stay? Both of those needs can be taken care of, Big Eater can make his own food and he has a hand; he doesn’t need a woman around to do it for him, that’s just kind of lazy. You get into relationships because you want an emotional connection, not because you’re lazy.

If you’re opposed to marrying a ghost-witch, don’t do it. If you want a relationship because you want someone just for sex and to make you food, also don’t do it. End of story.

Overall

This guy could have found another woman.

Weigh In

If someone just wanted you around for food and sex, would you stay with them?

Do you think Big Eater deserved what he got, or did he unfortunately pick the wrong partner?

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