The wife and mother is an awesome archetype, as she controls the produce of the land and ocean and will shrivel them up if she is kept from her loved ones. She is Isis and Demeter, land incarnate. And she is, as ancient man once saw her, the entire world. The Mother quests to find her child and protect him or her from the forces of darkness, as in this Algonquin tale:

Oshkikwe and her twin sister Matchikwewis lived together with Oshkikwe's baby son, following their adventure in the sky.  one morning,  Matchikwewis told Oshkikwe she had dreamed a sorceress was coming to steal the baby. "Don't leave him alone for a moment," she warned. Oshkikwe was very careful. But when Matchikwewis went out to bathe, Oshkikwe needed a little firewood. So she slipped out for a minute, thinking their puppy would bark if anyone approached. but when she returned home, she found the puppy vanished and the cradle swinging empty. only a few tattered pieces of the cradleboard lay in the corner. Taking those pieces, Oshkikwe walked deep into the wilderness, into the other place, where the rules of earth have no effect. there she found a small house, with her puppy in front, now grown into a dog. And she knew that her son would have grown as well. Oshkikwe knocked on the door and greeted the angry sorceress who opened it. She asked for some bark--by the laws of hospitality, the sorceress had to give it and threw some nasty rotting pieces at Oshkikwe. though Oshkikwe's son considered the sorceress his mother, he took pity on the ragged beggar woman (as he thought) and brought Oshkikwe some better bark. In secret, she told him the secret of his identity and showed him the cradleboard pieces and a strip of deerhide the puppy had torn from the sorceress. "See how your dog knows me," Oshkikwe said, indicating the fawning dog at her feet. "I am your mother."

The son knew he had to be certain. So that night, he lay in bed and started moaning and groaning. "Please, mother, fetch me my childhood cradleboard!" When the sorceress did, he saw that the missing pieces fit exactly and that there was a barely-healed scar on her hindquarters corresponding to the missing piece. the next day, the boy told the sorceress he was going hunting. He found Oshkikwe in the forest and greeted her as his mother. Oshkikwe showed her a tunnel she ahd dug back to Earth. "As we climb down, you'll get smaller and I'll have to carry you," she warned. The sorceress gave chase, but Oshkikwe told her son to take his arrowhead and cleave the worlds apart so the sorceress was trapped in her own world.  

So they all climbed down together, and by the time they reached earth again, Oshkikwe was carrying a baby and a puppy.

 Retold from Grandmothers of the Light 149-152