In the seventeenth century a strange legend concerning a huge serpent was found among the Hurons, who probably got it from the neighbouring Algonquins. This monster had on its head a horn which would pierce anything, even the hardest rock. Any one possessing a piece of it was supposed to have very good fortune. The Hurons did not know where the creature was to be found, but said that the Algonquins were in the habit of selling them small pieces of the magic horn.
It is possible that the mercenary Shawnees had borrowed this myth from the Cherokees for their own purposes. At all events a similar legend existed among both tribes which told of a monster snake, the King of Rattlesnakes, who dwelt up among the mountain-passes, attended by a retinue of his kind. Instead of a crown, he wore on his head a beautiful jewel which possessed magic properties. Many a brave tried to obtain possession of this desirable gem, but all fell victims to the venomous reptiles. At length a more ingenious warrior clothed himself entirely in leather, and so rendered himself impervious to their attack. Making his way to the haunt of the serpents, he slew their monster chief. Then, triumphantly taking possession of the wonderful jewel, he bore it to his tribe, by whom it was regarded with profound veneration and jealously preserved.