Published on December 27, 2012 by Casey
There was once a certain man among the Delware indians, who was a great gambler; he was young and handsome and had most beautiful eyes, so beautiful and bright that everyone who saw them could not help admire them.
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His beauty and alluring eyes he put to bad use by influencing many of the young men to lead a life of gambling and indolence, instead of taking part in the chase and war. So great and influence he was exercising over the young men and so expert he was becoming at gambling, that the great chief of the gamblers, Che-py- yah-poo-thwah, became jealous of him and left his home in the moon to come and play with him.
When Che-py-yah-poo-thwah came he looked just like any other man and no one knew who he was. He asked to see the best gamblers and said he had plenty of wampum and had come to play with men.
Very soon all the friends of the young man came, and they played Che-py-yah-poo-thwah and bet quite heavily, but all lost and soon only the young man and Che-py-yah- poo-thwah were playing alone. The young man soon lost all he had and then Che-py-yah-poo-thwah said to him: “See what a pile of riches I have. Look at the robes, the feathers and the wampum. See, here is more wampum than any man in your tribe possesses. I will stake everything there against your eyes, on just one more game.” The young man could not resist the temptation and played the game and lost. Then Che-py-yah-poo-thwah told him who he was and took his eyes and departed for the moon, but before leaving he said: “My young friend if you had made better use of your eyes, you would have them still.”
After this the young man dwelt in a little bark house, alone, and was deserted by all his friends.
Finally one day a little boy came to him, and asked him if he had no friends. He answered: “No; one time I had many, but all have deserted me now that I am blind. I used to be great gambler, and Che-py-yah-poo-thwah came from the moon and won everything I had and finally won my eyes.” The little boy asked him, if he had his eyes back, would he make better use of them than before. He said: “Yes, I would try and serve my people better, but who are you my little man that you would ask me such strange questions?”
The little boy replied: “I am Way-mah-tah-kun-eese; I will go and get your eyes and put them back, and you can see as well as you did before, but you must never gamble again.”
The trip to the moon was soon made. The people there were holding a big dance, and an old lady was leading the dance with the eyes tied to a string around her neck, for jewels. Way-mah-tah-kun-eese saw them from afar for they were very bright and beautiful indeed. He finally persuaded the old lady to let him see them and as soon as he got them he told who he was and none of them dared to try to take the eyes from him.
The eyes were soon restored to the young man, and after that he followed the chase and went with the war parties, but never gambled again. So you should never become vain if you chance to be beautiful, for it is the use one makes of beauty that brings happiness or distress.