Once there was a little duck, whose name was Shingebiss. He lived by himself in a small lodge, and was very contented and happy. This lodge was built on the shore of a lake. When the cold winter days came, and the lake was frozen over, all the other ducks flew away to a warmer land. But Shingebiss was not afraid of the cold. He gathered four large logs and took them into his lodge. Each log was big enough to burn for a month, and as there were only four cold months, there would be enough to last him through the winter.
Then each morning he would go to the lake, and hunt for places where the rushes came through the ice. He would pull these out with his strong beak, and catch fish through the openings.
Kabibonokka, the north wind, saw him, and said to himself, “What a strange creature this is. He sings and is out on the coldest days. But I shall stop his singing.”
So he blew a cold blast from the north-west, which froze the ice on the lake much deeper. Still Shingebiss came out in the morning, caught his fish, and went home singing.
“How strange,” said the north wind, “I cannot freeze him; I shall go and visit his lodge. Perhaps I can put out his fire.”
So he went and knocked at the door of the lodge. Shingebiss was inside. He had cooked and eaten his fish, and now was lying on one side in front of the fire, singing a song. He heard the north wind at the door, but he pretended that he did not. He went on singing in quite a loud voice.
The north wind heard him and was very angry. He blew his coldest blast under the doorway, Shingebiss felt it, but still went on singing. Then the north wind opened the door, and walked in. He took a seat beside the fire, and Shingebiss pretended not to see him. He just went on singing, and after a while took his poker and stirred the logs. This made them blaze brightly, and in a few minutes tears began to run down Kabibonokka’s cheeks. He pushed his chair away from the fire and tried to blow his icy breath on the blazing log. But the warm air pushed the cold breeze back and wrapped Kabibonokka around like a cloak. The tears were running in streams down his cheeks now, and the heavy frost on his long beard and hair had melted and made pools of water on the floor. He could stand it no longer. Rising, he hastily went out the door, saying to himself, “I cannot put out his fire, but I shall freeze the lake so deep that he will not be able to catch any more fish.”
So that night he blew his coldest breath. Next morning the ice on the lake was very thick. Brave little Shingebiss went from one place to another trying to find a thin spot. At last a bunch of rushes came out as he pulled, and, looking in the hole, he saw several fine fish. He sang merrily as he caught them, and the north wind heard the song. Looking out of his lodge, he saw what Shingebiss was doing. At first he was very angry, then he began to feel afraid.
“This duck must be helped by some Manitou,” he said. “I shall leave him in peace after this.”
Then Kabibonokka went in and closed his lodge door and Shingebiss never saw him again.