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Hiawatha Story in English for Kids

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An Introduction - The Song of Hiawatha

Hiawatha was a true historical Native American character who rose to mythology, and 19th-century poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow describes this hero's journey in The Song of Hiawatha. 

The reader will discover about Hiawatha's marriage to Minnehaha, his wonderful upbringing, and his efforts to restore wealth and peace to his people in this epic poem. Keep reading to know more about the Hiawatha story.

Poet H.W Longfellow

Poet H.W Longfellow

The Song of Hiawatha - Poem’s Background

A genuine person named Chief Hiawatha lived between the years 1400 and 1600. He was a significant figure among the North American tribes and the chief of Hiawatha's Onondaga people, who promoted peace.

Hiawatha's tale developed into a legend that was passed down orally. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow contributed to the practice of memorialising significant cultural personalities via epic poetry with the publication of The Song of Hiawatha in 1855. Instead of recounting the events of the historical Hiawatha's life, the poem tells a tale based on Native American legend. 

Original Picture of Hiawatha Tribe

Original Picture of Hiawatha Tribe

The Hiawatha Story

Little Hiawatha went hunting one day and when he came upon a rabbit, he got out his bow and arrow. The rabbit, however, scurried away and hid in his burrow before he could fire. 

The avian inhabitants of the treetops teased poor Hiawatha. When Hiawatha noticed the weird footsteps on the ground, he was going to depart. So he made the decision to follow them. He snuck up on him while on all fours, then yelled and fled as fast as he could. with an enormous insect.

When the cunning rabbit observed everything, he burst out laughing and exclaimed, "Hiawatha is scared of a cricket! The rabbit made fun of the small cricket and Hiawatha became furious. He drove the small rabbit into a corner by chasing it. When Hiawatha saw the rabbit wail, he got out his bow to shoot, but he was unable to. He lowered his bow and let the rabbit As go. Departing, the rabbit was soon surrounded by his companions who were glad to see him as Hiawatha let the bunny free.

Hiawatha and the Rabbit

Hiawatha and the Rabbit

Hiawatha then made the decision that he no longer wanted to be a hunter. But it doesn't exclude me from exploring and looking for new species, he reasoned. He then wandered the island in search of pets to play with.

He soon came across a little bear cub that was hidden behind a rock. Hiawatha approached the cub, who fled in terror while pulling Hiawatha after it. He said, "I only want to play," but the bear was too afraid to listen.

Hiawatha followed the bear into the cave's shadows as it fled. Hiawatha replied, "I have you now," while holding the fuzzy face in his palms. Play now! Hiawatha was holding a cub, but the mother bear screamed in annoyance. 

She pursued Hiawatha. Hiawatha only fled, poor thing! When the beavers realised that Hiawatha was in danger, they sounded the alarm. The alarm was audible across the entire island, and the other animals flocked to aid Hiawatha.

Hiawatha with the Animals

Hiawatha with the Animals

The mother bear was then caught in a trap constructed by weasels, but the strong bear easily escaped. Little Hiawatha ran till she reached the riverbank without knowing what to do. He was assisted in boarding a trunk by the kind beavers, who then transported him to the opposite side. But wherever Hiawatha went, the bear followed. When Hiawatha climbed a tree, she did too.

Finally, Hiawatha sprang from the tree. As he grew weary, the squirrels created a harness. ancient tree branches, which. 

They shouted Hiawatha after latching onto a deer and said, "Here," in that order. "Get on this!" And he actually did that! Little Hiawatha was safely transported to the opposite side of the island by the kind deer, who was moving much too quickly for the bear to follow.

When they arrived at the shore, Hiawatha dismounted and boarded his boat. He was content since he had gained numerous friends. "Goodbye, pals. I'll see you again soon! "He made a vow as he rowed off, grinning.


Little Hiawatha, a Native American youngster, is seen paddling his canoe along a river as the narrative is playing in the background. He is on his way to hunt wildlife. Soon enough, Hiawatha discovers some bear tracks, which brings him to a close encounter with a bear cub. The other animals unite to protect Hiawatha from the bear as a sign of gratitude for saving their lives. The animals assemble to say goodbye to Hiawatha as he finally oars towards the setting sun. 

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FAQs on Hiawatha Story in English for Kids

1. Who is the poet of the song Hiawatha?

H.W. Longfellow wrote the poem Song of Hiawatha. In his day, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882), an American poet, was well-known. Although Longfellow has a position in the Romantic literary movement with his British colleagues, his notoriety and success are due to his talent at capturing the spirit and ideals of 19th-century American society. Although the poem stirred up some controversy when it was first published, as it still does now, it was warmly received. Some criticise Longfellow for attempting to describe the Native American experience from the perspective of an outsider. However, the poem's importance in popularising Native American folklore is still worth noting.

2. Is this tale based on a true story?

The Song of Hiawatha's main character was based on a genuine Native American chief who lived in the 15th (or 16th) century, but the epic poem portrays Hiawatha's story as a made-up piece of Native American tradition. The poem begins with a description of the ancestors of Hiawatha and ends with his departure into the Land of the Afterlife. Hiawatha acquires a variety of abilities, meets friends, and engages in conflict as he grows from a kid to an adult in his quest for knowledge and harmony.