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Location: Marinette County, Wisconsin
Source: Wisconsin Lore
by Robert E. Gard and L.G. Sorden (published in 1962) pages 186-187.
Now regarding the Thunder Mountain in the western part of Marinette
County: Thunder is a large bird like an Eagle, only much larger. And
when this bird was created it was made to have power in order to defend
us from the great serpents, who wanted to kill and eat the human race.
It was also to moisten the earth for vegetation. Thunderers, we call
these great birds. One of them is called Chequah. And the mountain we
call Bikwaki, so Thunder Mountain is Chequah Bikwaki.
Many, many years have gone by since the Hill received its name. In the beginning of its Indian history the
Thunderbirds used to make their nests here and sit on their two
eggs until their young were hatched. Some Indians many years ago in the
summer time visited the Hill and were surprised to find several pairs
of young Thunders. It was always the custom with Indians to offer
tobacco for friendship and safety.
And later on in another visit by the Indians a pond was discovered on
the top of the Hill. And it was dangerous. The Serpent who lives under
the Hill had caused this to be so that he could sun himself when the
sky was clear. And on a sunny clear day he was sunning, probably
asleep, when a lone Thunder discovered him and decided to catch him
alive and carry him off. So the Thunder came down from the sky and
caught the Serpent. The Thunder would carry him high. The Serpent,
struggling, would carry the Thunder back down on the pond.
At that time an Indian hunter who was passing happened to look to the
top of the Hill and to his surprise saw the two struggling, and went up
to witness the great fight. He was noticed by them, and the Thunderbird
spoke and said, "My friend, help me, and shoot the Serpent with your
arrow, and I will make you a great man!" The Serpent also spoke and
said, "Help me, and shoot the Thunder, and I'll promise you my
friendship to the end of all time!" The Indian did not know which one
to help, so he shut his eyes and shot an arrow toward the fighters and
shot the Thunder. That shot weakened the Thunder and he fell down and
was taken under the Hill as a prisoner. The Thunderbird is still there,
and the Hill is called Chequah Bikwaki. Whenever there is going to be a
thunderstorm lightning is seen flashing from the Thunder Mountain.
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