One year, Lelawala, daughter of Chief Eagle Eye was chosen. On the appointed day, Lelawala appeared on the river bank above the Falls, wearing a white doeskin robe with a wreath of wild flowers in her hair. She stepped into a white birch bark canoe and plunged over the Falls to her death. Her father, heartbroken, leaped into his canoe and followed her. Hinum's two sons caught Lelawala in their arms, and each desired her. She promised to accept the one who told her what evil was killing her people. The younger brother told her of a giant water snake that lay at the bottom of the river. Once a year, the monster snake grew hungry, and at night entered the village and poisoned the water. The snake then devoured the dead. On spirit, Lelawala told her people to destroy the serpent. Indian braves mortally wounded the snake on his next yearly visit to the village. Returning to his lair on the river, the snake caught his head on one side of the river and his tail on the other, forming a semi-circle and the brink of the Horseshoe Falls. Lelawala returned to the cave of the God Hinum, where she reigns as the Maid of the Mist. I know...this was a great story....right? I loved it. I especially loved it....when in the 1960's a family on a boating excursion had engine trouble and was pulled into the current of the falls. They were all tossed overboard....the sister was saved by some men at the observation point of the American side of the falls, the father drowned, and the young boy, Roger Woodward, was swept over the falls.....the sister was heartbroken to see her brother die such a tragic death. Unbeknowst to the people watching this scenario unfold, many feet below, the Maid of the Mist tour boat was headed towards the fall on one of their many daily runs...when a passenger saw the boy and yelled for the crew to something. They threw out a life ring and pulled the very much alive young man in the boat. At the end of the re-enactment...standing on the rocks above the falls....was the beautiful Maid of the Mist....Lelawala. Ok...I know I am a sap...but it was a great story.....and who knows...was it a myth, legend, legend, fact, or fiction.
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
9 months ago