TALES OF THE NORTH: Blame the Wing Walker

John Zentz

In northern Minnesota, there is a spirit named Wing Walker.

If anything goes wrong, Wing Walker did it. This fact you can bet on. A few of the things he has done is cause flat tires, leaving a car stopped in the middle of nowhere. Or broken a line with a big fish on it. Or your fishing license is not in your pocket when the game warden stops you.

One man found a deer shot in his backyard. He had to dress it out fast before someone came and blamed him – when Wing Walker had done it.

Every snowmobile that breaks down? Wing Walker caused it.

One day my neighbor went fishing with his friends, showing off his new boat. He backed it up to the lake, slid it proudly into the water. They soon discovered the plug was not in the boat. They all stood and watched it slowly sink. He soon figured out it was not his fault. The Wing Walker had taken the plug out. Once again he was off the hook. Wing Walker was the forgetful one.


One winter, I took my new Ice Castle fish house out to the frozen lake. Checking the ice carefully, finding it ok, I backed my new fishing house onto the lake. But unbeknownst to me, Wing Walker had melted the ice after I had checked it. We all went into the lake – me, the truck and my brand-new Ice Castle. Wing Walker had done it again.

I do not think Wing Walker is mean; he just likes to take the blame for everything.

My wife left the water running in the kitchen sink. I had to swim out and turn it off. I was mad until we figured it out – your right, Wing Walker had done it.

So, if anything goes wrong in your life don’t take instant blame. See if Wing Walker did it. He probably did.

If you’ve had anything done by Wing Walker, let us know. We’re tracking his mistakes. Remember don’t take the blame!

A storyteller, John Zentz, 87, will share a blend of fact and fiction in his bimonthly column. Some tales he’s lived through, some he’s been told. Zentz and his family are longtime Hubbard County residents. He has a picture of his grandmother and grandfather, seven times removed, sitting on a porch in Park Rapids.

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