The Weendigo, so terrifying that there is a mental disorder named the ''Weendigo Psychois''. Described as a person that intently craves human flesh.
So my friends, take a journey with me into the world of the Weendigo if you can. Remember if you meet one, there is no escape.
Of all the evil beings who dwelt on the periphery of the world of the Anishinaabe peoples, none was more terrifying than the Weendigo. It was a creature loathsome to behold and as loathsome in its habits, conduct and manners.
The Weendigo was a giant manitou in the form of a man or a woman, who towered five to eight times above the height of a tall man. But the Weendigo was a giant in height only; in girth and strength, it was not. Because it was afflicted with never-ending-hunger and could never get enough to eat, it was always on the verge of starvation. The Weendigo was gaunt to the point of emaciation, its desiccated skin pulled tautly over it bones. With its bones pushing out against its skin, it complexion the ash gray of death, and its eyes pushed back deep into their sockets, the Weendigo looked like a gaunt skeleton recently disinterred from the grave. What lips it had were tattered and bloody from the constant chewing with jagged teeth.
Unclean and suffering from suppurations of the flesh, the Weendigo gave off a strange and eerie odor of decay and decomposition, of death and corruption.
When the Weendigo set to attack a human being, a dark snow cloud would shroud its upper body from the waist up. The air would turn cold, so the trees crackled. Then a wind would rise, no more than a breath at first, but in moments whining and driving, transformed into a blizzard.
Behind the odor and chill of death and the killing blizzard came the Weendigo.
Even before the Weendigo laid hands on them, many people died in their tracks from fright: just to see the Weendigo's sepulchral face was enough to induce heart failure and death. For others, the monster's shriek was more than they could bear.
Those who died of fright were lucky; their death was merciful and painless. But for those who had the misfortune to live through their terror, death was slow and agonizing.
The Weendigo seized its victim and tore him or her limb from limb with its hands and teeth, eating the flesh and bones and drinking the blood while its victim screamed and struggled. The pain of other meant nothing to the Weendigo, all that mattered was its survival.
The Weendigo gorged itself and glutted its belly as if it would never eat again. But, a remarkable thing always occurred. As the Weendigo ate, it grew, and as it grew so did its hunger, so that no matter how much it ate, it hunger always remained in proportion to its size. The Weendigocould never requite either its unnatural lust for human flesh or its unnatural appetite. It could never stop as animals do when bloated, unable to ingest another morsel, or sense as humans sense that enough is enough for the present. For the unfortunate Weendigo, the more it ate, the bigger it grew, and the bigger it grew, the more it wanted and needed.
The Weendigo inspired fear. There was no human sanction or punishment to compare to death at the hands of the Weendigo, no threats more certain to bring about the exercise of moderation. The old people repeatedly warned, ''Not too much. Think of tomorrow, next winter. Kegoh zaum! Baenuk! (Think of others, Balance, moderation, self-control)''.
As long as men and women put the well-being of their families and communities ahead of their own self-interests by respecting the rights of animals who dwelt as their cotenants on Mother Earth.
If all men and women lived in moderation, the Weendigo and his brother and sisters would starve and die out.
But such is not the case. Human beings are just a little too inclined to self-indulgence, at times a shade too intemperate, for even the specter of the Weendigo to frighten them into deference. At root is selfishness, regarded by the Anishinaabe people as the worst human shortcoming.
In the meantime the Weendigo waited in the shadows, hungry to the point of collapse and tormented by an unrelenting ache that was worse than any ache known to humans.
Sooner or later a man or woman would have to leave his or her camp or village and come within reach. Of this the Weendigo was certain. Human nature what it is.
So my friends, that is the story of the Weendigo. It feeds on the selfishness of humans. Perhaps we should look deep into ourselves, live in moderation and the Weendigo will not destroy you.
This story was taken from the book ''The Manitous, The Spiritual World of the Ojibway'' by Basil Johnston.