The Legend Of The Berkshires Magical Animals At Onota Lake
ThecBerkshires so many years ago Mahican or Mohican Native Americans lived here in the Berkshires. Beside Onota Lake, lived a band of Indians, and while they lived here a white deer often came to drink.
So rare was the appearance of an animal like this that its visits were held as good omens, and no hunter of the tribe ever tried to slay it.
A prophet of the race had said,
"So long as the white doe drinks at Onota, famine shall not blight the Indian's harvest, nor pestilence comes nigh his lodge, nor foeman lay waste his country."
And for so many years that was very true for the Native Americans.
That summer when the deer came with a fawn as white and graceful as herself, the Native Americans had a very prosperous year with their crops being bountiful, fishing, everything came easy for them that year.
Then came the French and Indian War and a young officer who was named Montalbert he had come to the Berkshire country to persuade the Housatonic Indians to have them fight the English, while the officer was a guest in the village of Onota that he heard of the white deer.
In the past, even Indians had been abducted as gifts for royalty, and this young ambassador decided that when he returned to his own country the skin of the white deer should be one of the trophies that would win him a smile from the King. That was a major mistake of even thinking that way.
He offered a price for it, a price that would have bought all their possessions and miles of the country two times over, but their deer was sacred, and their refusal to sacrifice it was couched in such indignant terms that he wisely said no more about it in the general hearing.
In the village, there was a drunken fellow, named Wondo, who had come to that pass when he would almost have sold his soul for liquor, and the officer led away and plied with rum until he promised to bring the white doe to him.
The pretty deer was so familiar with men that she let Wondo catch her and lead her to Montalbert. Making sure that none was near, the officer plunged his sword into her side and the innocent white deer fell.
The beautiful white fur, now splashed with red, wand Montalbert quickly stripped off the pelt, he then concealed the pelt of the white deer among the effects in Montalbert's outfit, and he set out for Canada; but he had not been many days on his road before Wondo, in access of misery and repentance, confessed to his share of the crime that had been done and was slain on the moment.
After the death of the white deer, all that was good was now bad for the Native Americans Wars, blights, all was not well anymore, and in a few years everything was gone, you would never have known a tribe had lived there at Onota Lake..