How Did Glooskap Meet His Match In Algonquin Mythology?

When the Indian warrior Glooskap walked through the world, all things bowed with respect.

He had spent months fighting and defeating both animals and men in combat.

Even the spirits dared not challenge his strength. When he had satisfied his quest for glory, Glooskap returned home.

But his wife hardly noticed him when he strode in. She was tending to something on the floor, something he had never seen before. Glooskap asked his wife what it was.

She answered that it was the Wasis, a fierce creature that held both the past and future in its power.

Glooskap could not believe it. After conquering the world, an enemy controlled his own home. Glooskap rushed over to the Wasis and challenged it to a contest of strength, but the Wasis ignored him.

Glooskap screamed at the Wasis, telling it that he was the most powerful thing in the world. This time, the Wasis did respond. It began wailing and howling, so loud that Glooskap clapped his hands over his ears.

The Wasis kept screaming. Desperate, Glooskap danced and sang songs until the Wasis stopped screaming.

When the Wasis suddenly smiled and said “goo,” Glooskap collapsed in exhaustion, defeated by the mighty Wasis.

The Wasis, of course, is a baby, and to this day, whenever a baby smiles and says “goo,” it is remembering its victory over Glooskap, ruler of man and beast.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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