PART 5 – WITCHES WITH HIDDEN HEARTS – Hodadeion the god of magic continued traveling northeast on his quest. Presently Hodadeion spied three hideously old witch-women pounding corn outside their longhouse lodge. The demigod’s sharp eyes noticed that the three women were using human bones as cooking implements and remained hidden in the forest so he could observe the obviously dangerous ladies and devise a strategy for dealing with them.
As with so many heroes in Iroquois myths Hodadeion suddenly found the breeze blowing through his ears to be the whisperings of the wind god Geha. Hodadeion was Geha’s grandson, after all, and he did not abandon his descendant in his time of need. Geha whispered to the god of magic that the witches were cannibals like the sorcerors who had depopulated so many Iroquois villages. Though very old each member of the trio was far stronger than any mortal man and used human thigh bones from their previous meals to club new victims to death.
Rashly Hodadeion let his anger get the better of him and emerged from hiding. The cannibal witch-women caught sight of him and began shambling toward him. The demigod fired three arrows at the approaching crones in rapid succession, as usual whispering a spell ordering the arrows to hit only what he wanted them to hit. Each struck the hearts of their target but left the women unfazed as they continued forcing their old and twisted bodies toward Hodadeion.
Over and over again the god of magic fired arrows at the monstrous witches, riddling their bodies but having no effect. Hodadeion turned to flee but would have been overtaken by the maneaters if not for Geha using the winds he commanded to propel his grandson along faster than his pursuers could travel.
Once at a safe distance Geha reproached Hodadeion for prematurely attacking before he had finished giving him advice. Chastened, the god of magic listened as Geha now whispered to him that the sorceresses had magically removed their hearts from their bodies and had planted them under their longhouse lodge for safekeeping. The three witches were invincible unless their hearts could be unearthed and then destroyed.
Now fully armed with the knowledge he needed Hodadeion transformed himself into an ant and made his way into the longhouse lodge of the evil trio. Digging under the lodge he located the three beating hearts of the witches then returned to his normal size and form, digging the hearts out of the soil with his hands.
The maneaters sensed the moment alien hands had touched their disembodied hearts and raced inside their lodge, circling Hodadeion like cats and hissing threats at him. Paying them no mind the demigod squeezed one of the hearts until it burst in his hand and one of the witches fell down dead. The other two women began screeching and screaming but Hodadeion quickly silenced them by squeezing the other two hearts until they too had burst and their original owners lay dead on the floor of the lodge.
FOR PART SIX CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2013/06/12/iroquois-epic-myth-hodadeion-part-six/
FOR PART ONE CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2013/03/17/iroquois-epic-myth-hodadeion/
For my original list of Iroquois deities click here: https://glitternight.com/2013/01/28/the-top-fifteen-deities-in-iroquois-mythology/
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