The Project Gutenberg EBook of Canadian Fairy Tales, by Cyrus Macmillan

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: Canadian Fairy Tales

Author: Cyrus Macmillan

Illustrator: Marcia Lane Foster

Release Date: May 28, 2011 [EBook #36241]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by David Edwards, Josephine Paolucci and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
(This file was produced from images generously made
available by The Internet Archive.)



With Illustrations in Colour by George Sheringham
and a Foreword by Sir William Peterson. Crown 4to.

Illustrated. Demy 8vo.





With Illustrations by MARCIA LANE FOSTER

And an Introduction by JOHN GRIER HIBBEN


First Published in 1922

Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner, Frome and London






[Pg vii]


Professor Macmillan has placed all lovers of fairy tales under a deep debt of obligation to him. The fairy tale makes a universal appeal both to old and young; to the young because it is the natural world in which their fancy delights to range, and to the old because they are conscious again of the spirit of youth as they read such tales to their children and grandchildren over and over again, and rejoice in the illusion that after all there is not a great difference of age which separates the generations.

The fairy tale makes this universal appeal because it deals with the elemental in our natures that is the same in every age and in every race. In the Canadian Tales which Professor Macmillan has so admirably gathered from Indian sources, we find the same types of character and scenes of adventure that we do in the tales of the German forests, of Scandinavia, England or France.

There is in us all an instinctive admiration for the adventurous spirit of the fairy tale which challenges the might that is cruel and devastating, and for the good offices of the fairies which help to vindicate the cause of the noble in its conflict with the ignoble, right with wrong.[Pg viii]

The origin of the fairy tale is to be traced always to the early stages of civilization, and it is very gratifying to be assured from time to time that man possesses certain natural impulses which spring from an inherent sense of honour, and the desire to redress the wrongs of the world.

Professor Macmillan has been successful in presenting the Indian folk-lore in a most engaging manner. The stories have all the delightful charm and mystery of the Canadian forests; they have penetrated into the heart of nature, but also into the heart of man.


[Pg ix]


The tales in this collection, like those in "Canadian Wonder Tales," were gathered in various parts of Canada—by river and lake and ocean where sailors and fishermen still watch the stars; in forest clearings where lumbermen yet retain some remnant of the old vanished voyageur life and where Indians still barter for their furs; in remote country places where women spin while they speak with reverence of their fathers' days. The skeleton of each story has been left for the most part unchanged, although the language naturally differs somewhat from that of the story-tellers from whose lips the writer heard them.

It is too often forgotten that long before the time of Arthur and his Round Table these tales were known and treasured by the early inhabitants of our land. However much they may have changed in the oral passing from generation to generation the germ of the story goes back to very early days beyond the dawn of Canadian history. Canada is rich in this ancient lore. The effort to save it from oblivion needs no apology. Fairy literature has an important place in the development of the child mind, and there is no[Pg x] better fairy lore than that of our own country. Through the eyes of the Indian story-teller and the Indian dreamer, inheriting his tales from a romantic past, we can still look through "magic casements opening on the foam of perilous seas in fairy lands forlorn"; we can still feel something of the atmosphere of that mysterious past in which our ancestors dwelt and laboured. The author's sincerest hope in publishing this volume is that to the children of to-day the traditions of our romantic Canadian past will not be lost in our practical Canadian present.

McGill University,
May, 1921.

[Pg xi]



How Glooskap Made the Birds 1

Rabbit and the Grain Buyers 10

Saint Nicholas and the Children 19

The Fall of the Spider Man 31

The Boy who was Called Thick-head 40

Rabbit and the Indian Chief 47

Great Heart and the Three Tests 58

The Boy of the Red Twilight Sky 67

How Raven Brought Fire to the Indians 73

The Girl who Always Cried 82

Ermine and the Hunter 89

How Rabbit Deceived Fox 96

The Boy and the Dragon 104

Owl with the Great Head and Eyes 112

The Tobacco Fairy from the Blue Hills 122

Rainbow and the Autumn Leaves 127

Rabbit and the Moon-Man 134

The Children with One Eye 140

[Pg xii]The Giant with the Grey Feathers 146

The Cruel Stepmother 153

The Boy who was Saved by Thoughts 160

The Song-Bird and the Healing Waters 167

The Boy who Overcame the Giants 172

The Youth and the Dog-Dance 180

Sparrow's Search for the Rain 187

The Boy in the Land of Shadows 195

[Pg xiii]


And many others came, but they met the same fate Frontispiece


And the children all came to him each asking for a boon 6

So Duck crawled under the over-turned basket and sat very still 14

They stood for a time in the shadow of the great trees before the door and made ready to blow together 24

He came one day upon a man clad in scarlet sitting on the side of a rocky hill tying stones to his feet 60

The coat of Ermine was replaced by a sleek and shining white coat as spotless as the new snow in winter 94

Then Fox untied the bag and let Rabbit out and got into the bag himself 100

The giant frowning angrily, the woman carrying the stick, and the boy leading the dog 148

For some days the boy lay in terror in the nest ... and far out on the ocean he could see great ships going by 162

"Strike hard," said the boy, "or it will do you no good" 178

And they sat down together on the edge of the lake 182

Then the old man gave the boy a large pipe and some tobacco 198



He said farewell to the sky-country and let himself down to earth by one of his own strands of yarn 32

[Pg xiv]That night an old Wolf came through the forest in search of food 44

He went to Beaver's house by the stream, hobbling along with a stick 56

And she makes to him an offering of tiny white feathers plucked from the breasts of birds 70

Then Raven asked Mole to try, but Mole said: "Oh no, I am better fitted for other work. My fur would all be singed" 78

And with his magic power he changed her into a Fish-Hawk, and sent her out to the ocean 86

The man gave him another pair of mocassins in exchange for those he was wearing 108

Wolf trotting along like a little horse, and Rabbit laughing to himself, sitting in the saddle 116

Suddenly a large flock of birds, looking like great black clouds, came flying from the blue hills 124

Throughout the long winter months Deer looked longingly for Rainbow 128

He sat very quiet, waiting for the man of the long foot to appear 136

The boy went into the forest with his bow and arrows.... He had not gone far when he saw
a fat young deer, which he killed 142

The bull rushed at the mountain with all his force 158

Then the young man lay down to sleep, and the Fox stood guard beside him 170

[Pg 1]



Once upon a time long before the white men came to Canada there lived a wicked giant who caused great trouble and sorrow wherever he went. Men called him Wolf-Wind. Where he was born no man knows, but his home was in the Cave of the Winds, far in the north country in the Night-Night Land, and there men knew he was hiding on calm days when the sun was hot and the sea was still, and on quiet nights when not a leaf or a flower or a blade of grass was stirring. But whenever he appeared, the great trees cracked in fear and the little trees trembled and the flowers bent their heads close to the earth, trying to hide from his presence. Often he came upon them without warning and with little sign of his coming. And then the corn fell flat never to rise again, and tall trees crashed in the forest, and the flowers dropped dead because of their terror; and often the great waters grew white and moaned or screamed loudly or dashed themselves against the rocks trying to escape from Wolf-Wind. And in the darkness of[Pg 2] the night when Wolf-Wind howled, there was great fear upon all the earth.

It happened once in those old times that Wolf-Wind was in a great rage, and he went forth to kill and devour all who dared to come in his path. It chanced in that time that many Indian families were living near the sea. The men and women were fishing far off the coast. They were catching fish to make food for the winter. They went very far away in small canoes, for the sea had long been still and they thought there was no danger. The little children were alone on shore. Suddenly as the sun went down, without a sign of his coming, out of the north came Wolf-Wind in his great rage looking for prey, and roaring loudly as he came. "I am Wolf-Wind, the giant," he howled, "cross not my path, for I will kill all the people I meet, and eat them all up." His anger only grew as he stalked along, and he splashed and tossed the waters aside in his fury as he came down upon the fishermen and fisher-women far out to sea. The fishers had no time to get out of his reach or to paddle to the shore, so quick was Wolf-Wind's coming, and the giant caught them in his path and broke up their boats and killed them all. All night long he raged over the ocean looking for more fishers.

In the morning Wolf-Wind's anger was not yet spent. Far away in front of him he saw the little children of the fishers playing on the shore. He knew they were alone, for[Pg 3] he had killed their fathers and mothers. He resolved to catch them and kill them too, and after them he went, still in a great rage. He went quickly towards the land, roaring as he went and dashing the waters against the rocks in his madness. As he came near the beach he howled in his anger, "I will catch you and kill you all and eat you and bleach your bones upon the sand." But the children heard him and they ran away as fast as they could, and they hid in a cave among the great rocks and placed a big stone at the mouth of the cave and Wolf-Wind could not get in. He howled loudly at the door all day and all night long, but the stone was strong and he could not break it down. Then he went on his way still very angry and still roaring, and he howled, "I will come back and catch you yet. You cannot escape from me."

The children were very frightened and they stayed long in the cave after Wolf-Wind had gone, for far away they could still hear him howling and crashing in the forest. Then they came out. They knew that Wolf-Wind had killed their fathers and mothers on the sea. They ran away into the forest, for they thought that there they would be safe. They went to the Willow-Willow Land where they found a pleasant place with grass and flowers and streams. And between them and the north country where Wolf-Wind lived were many great trees with thick leaves which they knew would protect them from the giant.[Pg 4]

But one day Wolf-Wind, true to his promise, came again in a rage to find them. He came into the land killing all he met in his path. But he could not catch the children, for the trees with their thick leaves kept him away. They heard him howling in the forest far distant. For many days in the late summer he tried to find them but their home was close to the trees, and the great branches spread over them and the thick leaves saved them, and only the sun from the south, coming from the Summer-Flower country, could look in upon them. Try as he could with all his might old Wolf-Wind could not harm them although he knew that they were there; and they were always safe while they lived in the Willow-Willow Land.

Wolf-Wind was more angry than ever because of his failure, for he liked to feed on his little children, and rage knew no bounds. He swore that he would have vengeance on the trees. So he came back again and he brought with him to aid him another giant from the north country who had with him a strange and powerful charm, the Charm of the Frost. And the two giants tried to kill the trees that had saved the little children. But over many of the trees they had no power, for when they came, the trees only laughed and merely swayed and creaked and said, "You cannot harm us; we are strong, for we came at first from the Night-Night Land in the far north country, and over us the Charm of the Frost has no power." These were the Spruce and the Fir, the[Pg 5] Hemlock and the Pine and the Cedar. But on the other trees Wolf-Wind had vengeance as he had vowed. One night when the harvest moon was shining in the sky he came without warning, and with the help of the giant bearing the Charm of the Frost he killed all the leaves that had kept him from the children, and threw them to the ground. One after one the leaves came off from the Beech and the Birch, the Oak and the Maple, the Alder and the Willow. Some fell quickly, some fluttered slowly down, and some took a long time in dying. But at last the trees stood bare and cold against the sky and there was stillness and sadness in the forest. And Wolf-Wind laughed and played in silence through the leafless branches with the giant from Night-Night Land. And he said, "Now I have overcome the leaves that kept me away, and now when I please I can kill the children." But the children only moved closer to the strong and sturdy trees that had come at first from the far north country and over which the Charm of the Frost had no power, and Wolf-Wind could not reach them and they were still for ever safe from the giants.

The children were very sad when they saw what Wolf-Wind had done to their friends and protectors, the trees. Summer had gone back to the Southland following as she always did the Rainbow Road to her home in the Wilderness of Flowers. It was lonely now in the forest and silent; there was not a whisper in the trees; there were no[Pg 6] leaves, for it was autumn and Wolf-Wind had killed them all.

At last it came to that time of year when Glooskap, who ruled upon the earth and was very great in those days, gave his yearly gifts to little children. And he came into the land on a sled drawn by his faithful dogs to find out for himself what the children wished for. And the children all came to him each asking for a boon. Now Glooskap had great power upon the earth in that old time. He could always do what he willed. And the little children whom Wolf-Wind had tried to harm in his rage came to Glooskap, the Magic Master of gifts, and they were all very sad because the leaves had gone.

"What do you wish?" said Glooskap. "We wish nothing for ourselves," said the children, "but we ask that the leaves that were killed by Wolf-Wind because they saved us from his rage be brought back to life and put back again in their old home in the trees." Glooskap was silent for a long time and he sat and thought as was his custom, and he smoked hard at his mighty pipe, for he was a great smoker. Now in that time there were no little forest birds upon the earth, for Glooskap had not yet brought them into being. There were only the birds that dwelt near the sea and over whom Wolf-Wind had no power—Sea-gull and Crane, Wild-duck and Loon, Kingfisher and Brant and Curlew. These only laughed at the giant in his rage and screamed in mockery as they flew from him and hid when he came, among the shallows or the rocks or the thick grass in the marshes. And there were also the sturdy birds that dwelt with men and worked for them, giving them eggs and food. These were Hen and Goose and Duck and Wild Turkey. They gave men food, but they were not fair to look upon; they waddled along and could not fly well and they made no sweet music upon the earth, for their song was a quack and a cackle.


[Pg 7]

Glooskap decided to bring other birds into the world, not to give food but to bring happiness to the children on the days when summer dwells in the land, with their pretty feathers and their pleasant songs. So after he had smoked long in silence he hit upon a plan. And he said to the children asking for their yearly gifts, "I cannot bring back to the trees the leaves that Wolf-Wind has killed and stripped off, for it is now too late. But I will take the fallen leaves and change them into little birds. And the birds shall never forget how they were born. When autumn comes they shall go with summer far away to the Summer-Flower Land, but in the spring-time they shall always come back and they shall live as close as they can to the leaves from which they have sprung. And they shall nest, most of them, in the trees under the leaves, and even those that nest in the grass shall love the trees and linger in them. And they shall all be beautiful in colour like the leaves that gave them birth; and they shall have power to rest at times upon the air like a leaf fluttering; and the voice of the air and the laughing[Pg 8] waters shall be in their throats and they shall sing sweet songs for little children. And I give the children charge over them to keep them from harm just as the leaves which gave them birth have saved the little children from the giants. And I will give the trees that Wolf-Wind has stripped power to bring forth new leaves every spring-time so that when Summer comes back from the Wilderness of Flowers the trees shall not be bare. And although Wolf-Wind may strip them off when the Giant of the Frost comes with him from the Night-Night Land they shall always be replaced in the spring-time. And I will take away much of Wolf-Wind's power so that he can no longer harm little children as wickedly as he has done before."

Glooskap waved his magic wand as was his custom, and at once great flocks of little birds sprang from the ground where the fallen leaves had lain. And they twittered and sang in a great chorus and flew back to the trees. They were of beautiful colours like the leaves that had given them birth. There were Robin Red-breasts and Thrushes all brown and red, from the red and brown leaves of the Oak. And there were Finches and Humming-birds all yellow and green and brown from the leaves of the Alder and the Willow, and they glowed like willows in the sunlight and fluttered like a leaf upon the air. There were Yellowbirds and Canadian Warblers from the golden Beech and Birch leaves. And there were Scarlet Tanagers and Orioles and Grosbeaks all[Pg 9] of changing colours, red and purple and brown, from the leaves of the Canadian Maple. And they all sang to the children and the children were all very happy again.

Then Glooskap sent the little birds all away to a warm country until the rule of the Giant of the Frost from the Night-Night Land was over, for it was winter in all the land and it was very cold. But in the spring-time the little birds always come back from the Summer-Flower Land. And they build their nests among the trees as close as they can to their kindred, the leaves from which they came. And all day long they sing among the leaves for little children. At day-break they wake the children with their choir of dawn, and at twilight they lisp and twitter to lull the children to sleep. And at night they hide among the leaves from Wolf-Wind and are very still with never a twitter or a song. For they do not forget that they are the children's gift from Glooskap and that they came from the leaves stripped from the trees by Wolf-Wind because the leaves saved the little children from the giant long ago.

[Pg 10]


Once long ago when the Indians lived in Canada before the white men came, Rabbit was very lazy. He had worked long for Glooskap, the great ruler of the people, as a forest guide, but his toil was not appreciated or rewarded. He saw all the other animals idling their time away, taking their ease all day long, and doing nothing but filling their bellies with food, and sleeping all the afternoon in the hot sunshine. And he said, "Why should I work for other people when nobody works for me? I will take mine ease like all the other animals." So he sulked in his little house for a long time and could not be coaxed or driven to do any work. But as he was a lonely fellow who always lived by himself with very few friends in the world except little children, he soon got tired of this lazy life. For by nature he was industrious and energetic and he always liked to be doing something or prowling alone in the forest. So he said, "I must find some work to do or I shall surely lose my wits. But it must be labour that brings profit to myself and not to other people."

For a long time Rabbit puzzled his brains thinking on[Pg 11] a business or a profession to follow. But nothing seemed to be to his liking. At last one day he saw some Indians trading skins and knives. One was selling and others were buying and they seemed to be making a great deal of money without doing very much work. Rabbit thought that here indeed was an easy way to make a living. Then he saw Duck coming along carrying a basket of eggs. He said to Duck, "How do you get along in the world? You seem to do nothing but eat and cackle and swim in the pond. You never seem to work." And Duck said, "I lay eggs and sell them in exchange for corn. Why don't you lay eggs? It is all very easy." But Rabbit knew that Duck was only laughing at him, and that he was not meant to make a living in that way.

Then he met Bee on the forest path and he said, "How do you make a living, you wandering bee? You do nothing but gad about all day long, going from flower to flower dressed in your good clothes of yellow and black and always singing your tuneless song?" And Bee said, "I make honey and wax and sell them. I have a great store for sale now. Why don't you do as I do? I am always happy. I always sing at my work, and what's more, my song is not tuneless. And just for your impudence, take that." And so saying he stung Rabbit on the nose and went on his way, singing his droning song. Rabbit rubbed his nose in the earth to ease his pain and he swore vengeance on Bee, for he knew that[Pg 12] Bee too was only laughing at him. But he could think of no way to make an easy living, for he had nothing to sell but his coat, and he could not very well barter that, for winter would soon be coming on. He was very angry and troubled and he envied Duck and Bee their good fortune because of their eggs and honey and wax.

At last he thought of the Indians he had watched buying and selling skins. "I have it," he cried, "I have it. I will become a great merchant. I will be a great trader. I will live on a farm where they grow corn and vegetables, and I will steal them and sell them to the other animals and thereby make a great store of money. I shall be very rich in a short time." So, very happy, he went to a field near which was a vegetable garden. And in it were growing Indian corn and all kinds of grain which he knew the other birds and animals would gladly buy. So he made a sign and put it up in front of his house, and it said, "Buy Rabbit's corn, the best in all the land; it will grow without rain; there is only a small quantity left. Orders taken here." Then he sat in his house and waited.

Soon many buyers began to arrive. They were curious, and they wanted to see what kind of a merchant Rabbit would make. Rabbit explained to them that he was only an agent, that they must pay him their money, and he would take it to the farmer, and deliver their grain at his house one week from that day. The buyers paid him the money[Pg 13] and went away, for they were afraid the farmer would kill them if they went themselves for the corn. They left a great store of money with Rabbit. That night when the moon rose over the hills Rabbit went to the field of corn near-by. But the farmer had spied him thieving that afternoon, and he had placed around his corn a fence of strong netting which poor Rabbit could not get through. And he had also placed around the field many watch-dogs which growled and snarled and frightened thieves away. Night after night Rabbit tried to slip into the field, but without success, and the week passed and still he had no corn for the customers who, he knew, would soon be arriving for their goods. And meanwhile he had spent all their money and he knew they would all fall upon him and kill him if he failed to keep his word and deliver their purchases.

At last when the day agreed on arrived, he saw his customers coming for their grain. And he hoped that his tricks would save him as they had saved him many times before. He sat in his yard playing his flute, when Earth-Worm, the first customer arrived. "Good day," said Rabbit. "Good day," said Earth-Worm, "I have come for my corn, for a week has gone by." "Very good," said Rabbit, "but first we shall have dinner. It will be ready in a few minutes. You must be hungry after your long journey." As they sat waiting for their dinner they saw Duck, another customer, waddling up the path with her basket on her neck. And[Pg 14] Rabbit said, "Will not old Duck who comes here want to eat you up?" And Earth-Worm said, "Yes, yes, where shall I hide?" and he was much excited. "Hide under this clam-shell," said Rabbit. So Earth-Worm crawled under the clam-shell and sat very still, trembling for his life.

When Duck arrived, Rabbit said, "Good morning." "Good morning, Mr. Merchant," said Duck, wishing to be polite. "I have come for my corn, for it is the appointed day of delivery." "True, true," said Rabbit, "but first we shall have dinner. It will be ready in a few minutes. It will be an honour for me to have you dine with me." As they sat waiting for their dinner, Rabbit said, "Would you care to eat an Earth-Worm before your dinner? It would be a good appetizer for you." And Duck said, "Thank you very much. I am very fond of Earth-Worms." Rabbit lifted the clam-shell and poor Earth-Worm was quickly gobbled up by Duck. And Rabbit, laughing to himself, thought, "Now I am getting rid of my customers."

As Rabbit and Duck sat talking, they saw Fox trotting up the path. He was another customer coming for his corn. And Rabbit said courteously, "Madam, I see your old enemy Fox approaching. He will probably wish to eat you up; you had better hide." And Duck with her feathers all ruffled with excitement said, "Yes, yes, where shall I hide?" And Rabbit said, "Hide under this basket." So Duck crawled under the over-turned basket and sat very still.


[Pg 15]

Fox soon came in and said, "Good day, Rabbit. I have come for my corn, for I am in sore need of it to catch chickens, and the seven days have passed." "You are very punctual," said Rabbit, "but first let us have dinner. It will be ready in a few minutes. It will make you stronger to carry your heavy load." As they sat waiting for their dinner, Rabbit said, "Listen, Fox. Would you care to eat a fat Duck now? It would be a tasty bit for you before you dine." And Fox said, "You are very kind. I always like to eat a Duck before my dinner." Rabbit knocked over the basket and Fox quickly devoured poor Duck until not a feather remained. And Rabbit laughed to himself and said, "Surely I am getting rid of my customers very easily."

As Rabbit and Fox sat talking over old times in the forest, they saw Bear coming lumbering up the path, tossing his head from side to side, and sniffing the air. And Rabbit said, "Bear is in a bad temper to-day. I wonder what can be the cause." And Fox said, "This morning I stole all his honey and he saw me running away." "He scents you here," said Rabbit, "will he not kill you if he finds you? Perhaps you ought to hide." "Yes, yes," said Fox, "but where shall I hide?" "Hide in this box," said Rabbit, and Fox sprang into the box, and Rabbit closed down the lid.

When Bear arrived he said gruffly, for he was in a bad temper, "Good day, Rabbit. I have come for my corn and I must have it quickly, for I must be on my way. It is the[Pg 16] appointed time." "It is indeed the appointed time," said Rabbit, "but first we shall have dinner. It will be ready in a few minutes and I never let a wayfarer leave my house without first taking nourishment. I have to-day a dish of fresh fish which you like very well, and we have never yet dined together." And Bear agreed to wait and his gruffness left him at the thought of his good meal, for he was a great fish-eater, and he talked pleasantly. Then Rabbit said, "I have a secret to tell you. Let me whisper it." He put his mouth close to Bear's ear and said, "Old Fox, the sly thief who stole all your honey this morning is hiding in the box by your side. He came here to boast about his theft and he laughed loudly to me as he told me how easily you were cheated. He called you Lack-Brains." Bear was very angry and at once he knocked the lid from the box and killed Fox with one blow of his powerful paw. And Rabbit said to himself, "What luck I am having; there is another of my customers gone." But he wondered how he was to get rid of Bear, and he scratched his head in thought.

While Bear and Rabbit sat talking, they saw Rabbit's last customer, the Hunter, coming along. Bear would have run away, but it was too late. "Will the Hunter not want to kill you?" said Rabbit, glad to think that here was the end of poor Bear. "Indeed he will," said Bear. "Oh dear, oh dear, where shall I hide?" "Hide under my bed in my house," said Rabbit. Poor Bear quickly dashed into the house and crawled under Rabbit's bed with great difficulty[Pg 17] for he was very fat and the bed was very low and he had to lay himself out flat on the floor, but he was comfortable in the thought that he would soon escape. When Hunter arrived he said, "Good day, Rabbit, I have come for my corn, for my children need bread." "You shall have it," said Rabbit. "But first we must have a bite to eat. I have not very much to offer you, but I can give you in a few minutes some hot pancakes and fresh maple syrup." The Hunter was well pleased with the thought of such a good meal and he said he would be glad to wait. Then Rabbit said, "Would you like some bear meat for your children, and a good warm bear skin for your hearth?" And the Hunter said, "Indeed I would. But in these days such luxuries are hard to find." And Rabbit said, "Oh no, they are not; under my bed in my house, a good fat bear is hiding. He is lying flat on his back, and you can easily kill him." The Hunter hurried to the house, and sure enough there he found Bear hiding under the bed, flat upon his back. He killed him with a blow and skinned him and cut him up into small pieces and put the meat and the skin into a bag to take home to his children. But while he was about it, Rabbit slipped away into the forest, saying to himself, "Now I have got rid of all my customers and I am safe. But the life of a merchant is not to my liking. I will not be a trader any more. I will gather corn for myself, but not to sell to others." And he ran quickly away and hid himself in a dense thicket.[Pg 18]

When the Hunter went to look for Rabbit, he could not find him, nor was he able to find his grain. And although he thought he had fared pretty well by getting so much bear meat, he swore vengeance on Rabbit for his deceit, and to this day he searches for him, and if he meets him, he will not let him escape. And Rabbit lives by himself and keeps away from the Hunter as far as he can, for he fears him because of the trick he played upon him in the olden days.

[Pg 19]


Two little children lived with their old grandmother in a remote place in the Canadian forest. They were twin children—a boy and a girl, Pierre and Estelle by name—and except for their dress it was not easy to tell them apart. Their father and mother had died in the spring-time, and in the summer they had left their old home because of its many sad memories and had gone to live with their old grandmother in a new home elsewhere. In this new home in the forest where they now lived they were very poor, but they were not unhappy. Times were hard, and there was very little food to be had no matter how well their old grandmother worked; but they caught fish in the streams and gathered berries and fruit and birds' eggs on the wooded hills, and somehow throughout the summer they kept themselves from want. But when late autumn came and the streams were frozen over and the berries were all gone and there were no eggs, for the birds had all flown south, they were often hungry because they had so little to eat.

Their grandmother worked so hard to provide for herself[Pg 20] and the children that at last she fell very sick. For several days she could not leave her bed. And she said, "I want meat broth to make me well and I must have good meat to make it. If I do not get meat I can have no broth, and if I do not get broth I shall not get well, and if I do not get well I shall die, and if I die you two children will surely starve and die too. So meat and meat alone can save us all from starvation and death." So the two children, to keep themselves and their grandmother alive, set out one morning in search of meat to make the broth. They lived far from other people and they did not know where to go, but they followed the forest path. The snow lay deep on the ground and sparkled brightly in the sunlight. The children had never before been away from home alone and every sight was of great interest to them. Here and there a rabbit hopped over the snow, or a snowbird hovered and twittered overhead, all looking for food like the children. And there were holly-berries growing in many places, and there was mistletoe hanging from the trees. And Pierre when he saw the holly-berries and the mistletoe said, "Saint Nicholas will be soon here, for the trees are dressed and ready for his coming." And Estelle said, "Yes, Saint Nicholas will be soon here." And they were both very glad thinking of his coming.

As they went along in the afternoon, they came upon an old man sitting at the door of a small house of spruce-boughs under the trees close to the forest path. He was busy[Pg 21] making whistles, whittling willow wands with a knife and tapping gently on the bark until the bark loosened from the wood and slipped easily off. The children stood and watched him at his strange work, for he had merry twinkling eyes, and a kindly weather-beaten face, and thick white hair, and they were not afraid.

"Hello," said the old man.

"Hello," said Pierre, "why are you making willow whistles?"

"I am making them for Saint Nicholas," said the old man; "he is coming soon for his yearly visit; indeed he is already in the land; when he makes his rounds he always gives whistles, among other things, to good children, and I must have a great store of them ready for him when he comes, for there are many children to supply."

Then he went on whittling busily with his knife. The children watched him for a long time in silence, and they thought what a fine thing it must be to work like the old man for Saint Nicholas, in his little house of boughs under the forest trees. Then the old man said, "You are very small children; what are you seeking so far away from people?" And Estelle answered, "Our old grandmother is very sick, and we are looking for meat to make broth to make her well." The old man was sorry he had no meat, for he lived on other food. He told them that some distance farther along there was a butcher who always kept meat; but the butcher, he[Pg 22] said, was a very wicked fellow and sometimes little children who entered his shop never came out again. The children were very frightened when they heard what the old man said and they wondered if they had better go back home. But the old man thought for a long time in silence as he whittled his willow wands, and then he said, "I will give you each a whistle, and when you blow it, Saint Nicholas will always hear it; you must never blow it except when you are in great trouble or distress, and when Saint Nicholas hears it he will know that you are coming to grief or that harm is already upon you and he will come himself or send some one to your assistance. But you must blow only one blast. The whistle should be given only by Saint Nicholas himself when he comes at holly-time into the land. But you are good children and your old grandmother is sick, and you are trying to make her well, and I know that Saint Nicholas will not say that I have done wrong." So he gave the children each a whistle, and then fear left them, for they knew they could now come to no harm if they had the aid of Saint Nicholas.

It was growing late in the afternoon and the children set out on their way to find the wicked butcher. But they had many misgivings, and as they went on they grew faint of heart, for they wondered if the old man had told them the truth about the whistles or if he was in reality a secret agent of the wicked butcher trying to lure them to their death.[Pg 23] They resolved to search for meat elsewhere and to keep away from the butcher's shop.

For a long time they searched, but without success. There was no meat to be had in all the land at any of the places they stopped to ask. Soon they came in sight of the butcher's shop. They were very frightened. But the sun had already gone down behind the trees, and night was coming on, and they had still no meat. And they knew that if their old grandmother was to get well she must have meat to make broth. The shop, too, looked very pleasant and attractive in the cold winter evening. Warm light was shining from a fire through the door, and in the windows were sausages, and fat birds, and big yellow pumpkins and cakes with red berries on the top. The children were hungry and wished for something to eat by the warm shop fire. They decided to enter the shop notwithstanding their fear, to buy some food, and to get meat for their grandmother's broth as quickly as they could. But before they entered the shop they thought it would be well, in order to be safe, to blow a blast on their whistle as the old man had told them so that Saint Nicholas would know that they were in dread of harm. They stood for a time in the shadow of the great trees before the door and made ready to blow together. Pierre gave the signal and blew a long soft blast. But Estelle could not get her whistle from her pocket and Pierre had finished his blast, all out of breath, before she was ready to blow. "Don't[Pg 24] blow now," he said, "you are just like a girl, always too late." But blow she would, as the old man had told her, and before Pierre could stop her she blew a long soft blast on her whistle. Pierre was very cross, for he thought that now no good could come of it, as two blasts had sounded, but with his sister he entered the butcher's shop.

The wicked butcher was in his shop, but not another person was about the place. It was all very quiet. The man was very glad to see the children and he seated them by the warm fire, and gave them food, and although he shut the door tight behind them, their fear soon vanished. After they had eaten well and were warm again, they asked for meat to make broth for their old grandmother, and the butcher said he would give them plenty of good meat although it was very scarce in all the land. There was a barrel standing in one corner; in another corner was a large hogshead reaching almost to the ceiling, and the butcher said that both of these were full of meat.

Now the butcher was really the friend and partner of a wicked giant who lived in the forest. The giant's greatest delight was to eat little children. He liked no meal so well as a meal of little children, two at a time, pickled first in brine. He ate them always when he could get them, but he was not always successful in his search, for children were scarce in the land. He was a great hunter and he was able to kill many animals in the forest and to secure much meat, so great was his strength, and once a week regularly he brought a great load of meat to the butcher and traded it for any little children the butcher managed to entice into his shop. So the butcher got much meat at little cost. And the old man of the house of boughs was right when he said that many little children who entered the shop never came out again.


[Pg 25]

The butcher was very glad when he saw the two pretty little children. He was expecting the giant that evening on his weekly visit, and he thought gleefully of the great load of meat he would get from the giant in exchange for the children, for he would ask a big price, and he knew the giant would give all the meat he had for so good a meal. And he thought too of all the money he would get for the giant's load of meat. So he resolved to kill the children and pickle them in brine to await the giant's coming.

When the children had finished their meal and had warmed themselves by the fire they made ready to go home and they asked for their meat. The butcher said he would get it for them. They looked up at the shelves, laden with more food than they had ever seen before—hams and cabbages and strings of onions. And the little children said, "There are good onions up there; we will buy some and take them home to our grandmother to put in her broth." The butcher said, "There are many kinds of onions in the box on the high shelf. You must pick out the kind you want. I will lift you up to the shelf so that you can see for yourselves."[Pg 26] So he caught them each by the coat between the shoulders, and because of his great strength he lifted them high until they could look into the box and pick out the onions they wanted. As he took them down he thrust them straight out from his body at arm's length and held them there and they laughed because of his great strength. Then he brought them together with terrible force so that their heads struck one against the other and they were stunned by the cruel blow. Then he threw them head first into the barrel in the corner which was filled with brine, not with meat as he had said, and he left them there to pickle well. He was greatly pleased with the fine load of meat he would get in exchange from the giant, who, he knew, would appear before many minutes had passed.

Soon the giant arrived. He carried on his back a great load of meat and he also drew a sled heavily laden with many dressed carcasses of animals he had killed. "What cheer for me to-night and what fortune?" he said to the butcher as he entered the warm shop with his load. And the butcher said, "Good cheer and fine fortune. I have a good fat pair for you to-night already pickling in the brine." Then he uncovered the barrel in the corner and showed the giant the two little children sticking head first in the pickle. The giant smacked his fat lips and chuckled and rubbed his great hands, so pleased was he with the sight of so good a meal. And he said, "We will let them steep well in the brine until[Pg 27] to-morrow. I always like them very salt." They covered up the barrel, and then they bargained about the purchase of the meat.

The giant agreed to give the butcher all his meat in exchange for the children. Then they sat by the fire drinking and eating until far on into the night. And the giant said that before they went to bed he would take another look at the children to see how they were pickling. So they went and uncovered the barrel.

Now it chanced that Saint Nicholas was in the land at that time, as the old man of the House-of-boughs had said. He had come into the land to bring his yearly gifts to little children. In the evening he was many miles away from the butcher's shop. But he heard the long soft blast of a whistle, borne on the still evening wind. He knew it to be one of his own whistles, and it told him that little children were in danger. But it was followed by another soft blast—the late blast of Estelle's whistle—and the two blasts meant that the danger was not yet very near to the children, that indeed it was far off, so he thought that there was no need to hurry to the children's aid. Moreover, Saint Nicholas was just then leaving tiny dolls for little babies in many little houses in the forest and he decided to take his time and finish the giving of all these gifts before he set out to the place from which the whistle-blast had come.

At last he was able to go on his way. The snow lay deep[Pg 28] in the forest, and travelling was hard, but the white winter moon was shining, and the path was bright and Saint Nicholas moved along quickly on his snow-shoes. Far on in the night he reached the butcher's shop from which he knew the children's note of fear had come. As he entered the shop, the giant and the butcher were just taking their last look before going to bed at the children sticking in the barrel of brine. They did not know Saint Nicholas, but when they saw him they quickly placed the cover on the barrel and were very much confused. Saint Nicholas was suspicious that they were about some wickedness, and he knew well that in some way or other the barrel was connected with the dreaded harm of which the children's whistle had told him, and he thought that perhaps the children were hidden in it. So he said, "I have come for meat. I want meat that has been pickled in brine. I should like a piece from that barrel." But the butcher said, "It is not good meat. I have better meat in the inner room, and I will get it for you." So the butcher and Saint Nicholas entered the inner room and closed the door behind them while the giant sat on the barrel in the corner, trying to hide it with his great fat legs.

In the inner room was a barrel filled with brine, but with only a small piece of meat at the bottom. Saint Nicholas said he would take that piece. The butcher bent far into the barrel to reach down in search of the meat. But as he did so, Saint Nicholas picked him up by the legs and pushed him head first into the barrel of brine. He spluttered and kicked, but he stuck fast in the barrel, and could not get out. Saint Nicholas placed the cover on the barrel, with a great weight on top of it, and that was the end of the wicked butcher.

[Pg 29]

Then Saint Nicholas returned to the shop where the giant was waiting, still sitting on the barrel. He told the giant that he wanted a piece of meat that lay in the bottom of the large hogshead of pickle in the other corner. He asked the giant to get it for him, as the hogshead was so high that neither he nor the butcher could reach down into it.

The giant bent far into the hogshead and began groping for the meat at the bottom. Saint Nicholas took a large bone that lay on the floor, and standing on a box beside the hogshead he struck the giant a powerful blow on the head. The giant was only slightly stunned, but in his surprise he lost his balance, and fell head first into the brine. He yelled and kicked for a time, but his huge shoulders stuck fast. Saint Nicholas covered the hogshead, leaving the giant sticking fast in the pickle, and that was the end of the giant.

Then Saint Nicholas uncovered the barrel in the corner into which he had seen the butcher and the giant looking when he had first entered the shop. There were the two children standing on their heads in the pickle with their feet sticking out at the top. He caught them by the legs and pulled them out and by his magic power he soon brought[Pg 30] them back to life. He gave them food and warmed them by the fire and soon they were none the worse for their hour in the barrel of brine.

Then he gave them meat and brought them back to their grandmother. And they made broth for her and soon made her well, and they were all happy again. And the land was troubled no more by giants, for Saint Nicholas never again allowed great harm to come to little children if they always kept his whistle near them and blew softly upon it when they were in trouble or distress.

[Pg 31]


In olden times the Spider Man lived in the sky-country. He dwelt in a bright little house all by himself, where he weaved webs and long flimsy ladders by which people went back and forth from the sky to the earth. The Star-people often went at night to earth where they roamed about as fairies of light, doing good deeds for women and little children, and they always went back and forth on the ladder of the Spider Man. The Spider Man had to work very hard, weaving his webs, and spinning the yarn from which his ladders were made. One day when he had a short breathing-time from his toil he looked down at the earth-country and there he saw many of the earth-people playing at games, or taking sweet sap from the maple trees, or gathering berries on the rolling hills; but most of the men were lazily idling and doing nothing. The women were all working, after the fashion of Indians in those days; the men were working but little. And Spider Man said to himself, "I should like to go to the earth-country where men idle their time away. I would marry four wives who would work for me while I would take life easy, for I need a rest."[Pg 32]

He was very tired of his work for he was kept at it day and night always spinning and weaving his webs. But when he asked for a rest he was not allowed to stop; he was only kicked for his pains and called Sleepy Head, and Lazy-bones and other harsh names, and told to work harder. Then he grew angry and he resolved to punish the Star-people because they kept him so hard at work. He thought that if he punished them and made himself a nuisance, they would be glad to be rid of him. So he hit upon a crafty plan. Each night when a Star-fairy was climbing back to the sky-country, just as he came near the top of the ladder, the Spider Man would cut the strands and the fairy would fall to earth with a great crash. Night after night he did this, and he chuckled to himself as he saw the sky-fairies sprawling through the air and kicking their heels, while the earth-people looked up wonderingly at them and called them Shooting Stars. Many Star-people fell to earth in this way because of the Spider Man's tricks, and they could never get back to the sky-country because of their broken limbs or their disfigured faces, for in the sky-country the people all must have beautiful faces and forms. But Spider Man's tricks brought him no good; the people would not drive him away because they needed his webs and he was kept always at his tasks. At last he decided to run away of his own accord, and, one night when the Moon and the Stars had gone to work and the Sun was asleep, he said farewell to the sky-country and let himself down to earth by one of his own strands of yarn, spinning it as he dropped down.


[Pg 33]

In the earth-country he married four wives as he had planned, for he wanted them to work for him while he took his ease. He thought he had worked long enough. All went well for a time and the Spider Man was quite happy living his lazy and contented life. Not a strand did he spin, nor a web did he weave. No men on earth were working; only the women toiled. At last, Glooskap, who ruled upon the earth in that time, became very angry because the men in these parts were so lazy, and he sent Famine into their country to punish them for their sins. Famine came very stealthily into the land and gathered up all the corn and carried it off; then he called to him all the animals, and the birds, and the fish of the sea and river, and he took them away with him. In all the land there was nothing left to eat. Only water remained. The people were very hungry and they lived on water for many days. Sometimes they drank the water cold, sometimes hot, sometimes luke-warm, but at best it was but poor fare. The Spider Man soon grew tired of this strange diet, for it did not satisfy his hunger to live always on water. It filled his belly and swelled him to a great size, but it brought him little nourishment or strength. So he said, "There must be good food somewhere in the world; I will go in search of it."

That night when all the world was asleep he took a large[Pg 34] bag, and crept softly away from his four wives and set out on his quest for food. He did not want any one to know where he was going. For several days he travelled, living only on water; but he found no food, and the bag was still empty on his back. At last one day he saw birds in the trees and he knew that he was near the border of the Hunger-Land. That night in the forest when he stopped at a stream to drink, he saw a tiny gleam of light far ahead of him through the trees. He hurried towards the light and soon he came upon a man with a great hump on his shoulders and scars on his face, and a light hanging at his back, with a shade on it which he could close and open at his will. The Spider Man said, "I am looking for food; tell me where I can find it." And the humped man with the light said, "Do you want it for your people?" But the Spider Man said, "No, I want it for myself." Then the humped man laughed and said, "You are near to the border of the Land of Plenty; follow me and I will give you food." Then he flashed the light at his back, opening and closing the shade so that the light flickered, and he set off quickly through the trees. The Spider Man followed the light flashing in the darkness, but he had to go so fast that he was almost out of breath when he reached the house where the humped man had stopped. But the humped man only laughed when he saw the Spider Man coming puffing wearily along with his fat and swollen belly. He gave him a good fat meal and the Spider Man[Pg 35] soon felt better after his long fast. Then the humped man said, "You are the Spider Man who once weaved webs in the sky. I, too, once dwelt in the star-country, and one dark night as I was climbing back from the earth-country on your ladder, carrying my lamp on my back to light the way, when I was near the sky you cut the strands of the web and I fell to the earth with a great crash. That is why I have a great hump on my back and scars on my face, and because of this I have never been allowed to go back to the sky-country of the stars. I roam the earth at nights as a forest fairy just as I did in the olden days, for I have my former power still with me, and I still carry my lamp at my back; it is the starlight from the sky-country. I shall never get back to the star-country while I have life. But some day when my work on earth is done I shall go back. But although you were cruel to me I will give you food." The Spider Man remembered the nights he had cut the ladder strands, and he laughed to himself at the memory of the star-fairies falling to earth with a great crash. But the man with the light knew that now he had his chance to take vengeance on the Spider Man. The latter did not suspect evil. He was glad to get food at last.

Then the humped man said, "I will give you four pots. You must not open them until you get home. They will then be filled with food, and thereafter always when you open them they will be packed with good food. And the[Pg 36] food will never grow less." The Spider Man put the four pots in his bag and slinging it over his shoulder he set out for his home, well pleased with his success. After he had gone away, the humped man used his power to make him hungry. Yet for several days he travelled without opening the pots, for although he was almost starving he wished to do as the humped man had told him. At last he could wait no longer. He stopped near his home, took the pots out of the bag and opened them. They were filled with good food as he had been promised. In one was a fine meat stew; in another were many cooked vegetables; in another was bread made from Indian corn; and in another was luscious ripe fruit. He ate until he was full. He covered the pots, put them back in the bag, and hid the bag among the trees. Then he went home. He had meanwhile taken pity on his people and he decided to invite the Chief and all the tribe to a feast the next evening, for the pots would be full, and the food would never decrease, and there would be enough for all. He thought the people would regard him as a very wonderful man if he could supply them all with good food in their hunger.

When he reached his home his wives were very glad to see him back, and they at once brought him water, the only food they had. But he laughed them to scorn, and threw the water in their faces and said, "Oh, foolish women, I do not want water; it is not food for a great man like me. I[Pg 37] have had a good meal of meat stew and corn bread and cooked vegetables and luscious ripe fruit. I know where much food is to be found, but I alone know. I can find food when all others fail, for I am a great man. Go forth and invite the Chief and all the people to a feast which I shall provide for them to-morrow night—a feast for all the land, for my food never grows less." They were all amazed when they heard his story, and the thought of his good meal greatly added to their hunger. But they went out and summoned all the tribe to a feast as he had told them.

The next night all the people gathered for the feast, for the news of it had spread through all the land. They had taken no water that day, for they wished to eat well, and they were very hungry. They were as hungry as wild beasts in search of food. The Spider Man was very glad because the people praised him, and he proudly brought in his bag of pots. The people all waited hungrily and eagerly. But when he uncovered the first pot there was no food there; he uncovered the second pot, but there was no food there; he uncovered all the pots, but not a bit of food was in any of them. They were all empty, and in the bottom of each was a great gaping hole. Now it had happened in this way. When the humped man, the Star-fairy, had given the pots to the Spider Man, he knew well that the Spider Man would disobey his orders and that he would open the pots before he reached his home. He chuckled to himself, for he knew[Pg 38] that now he could take vengeance on the web-weaver who had injured him. So when the Spider Man had left the pots among the trees, the humped man used his magic power and made holes in the pots, and the charm of the food was broken and all the food disappeared. When the people saw the empty pots they thought they had been purposely deceived. The remains of the food and the smell of stew and of fruit still clung to the pots. They thought the Spider Man had eaten all the food himself. So in their great hunger and their rage and their disappointment they fell upon him and beat him and bore him to the ground, while the humped man with the lamp at his back hiding behind the trees looked on and laughed in his glee. Then the people split the Spider Man's arms to the shoulders, and his legs to the thighs, so that he had eight limbs instead of four. And the humped man—the star-fairy named Fire-fly—came forth from behind the trees and standing over the fallen Spider Man he said, "Henceforth because of your cruelty to the star-people you will always crawl on eight legs, and you will have a fat round belly because of the water you have drunk; and sometimes you will live on top of the water. But you shall always eat only flies and insects. And you will always spin downwards but never upwards, and you will often try to get back to the star-country, but you shall always slip down again on the strand of yarn you have spun." Then Fire-fly flashed his light and went quickly away, opening[Pg 39] and closing the shade of his lamp as he flitted among the trees. And to this day the Spider Man lives as the humped man of the lamp had spoken, because of the cruelty he practised on the star-fairies in the olden days.

[Pg 40]


Three brothers lived with their old Indian mother in the forest near the sea. Their father had long been dead. At his death he had little of the world's goods to his credit and his widow and her sons were very poor. In the place where they dwelt, game was not plentiful, and to get food enough to keep them from want they had often to go far into the forest. The youngest boy was smaller and weaker than the others, and when the two older sons went far away to hunt, they always left him behind, for although he always wished to accompany them they would never allow him to go. He had to do all the work about the house, and all day long he gathered wood in the forest and carried water from the stream. And even when his brothers went out in the spring-time to draw sap from the maple trees he was never permitted to go with them. He was always making mistakes and doing foolish things. His brothers called him Thick-head, and all the people round about said he was a simpleton because of his slow and queer ways. His mother alone was kind to him and she always said, "They may laugh at you and[Pg 41] call you fool, but you will prove to be wiser than all of them yet, for so it was told me by a forest fairy at your birth."

The Chief of the people had a beautiful daughter who had many suitors. But her father spurned them all from his door and said, "My daughter is not yet of age to marry; and when her time of marriage comes, she will only marry the man who can make great profit from hunting." The two older sons of the old woman decided that one of them must win the girl. So they prepared to set out on a great hunting expedition far away in the northern forest, for it was now autumn, and the hunter's moon had come. The youngest boy wanted to go with them, for he had never been away from home and he wished to see the world. And his mother said he might go. His brothers were very angry when they heard his request, and they said, "Much good Thick-head can do us in the chase. He will only bring us bad luck. He is not a hunter but a scullion and a drudge fit only for the fireside." But his mother commanded them to grant the boy's wish and they had to obey. So the three brothers set out for the north country, the two older brothers grumbling loudly because they were accompanied by the boy they thought a fool.

The two older brothers had good success in the chase and they killed many animals—deer and rabbits and otters and beavers. And they came home bearing a great quantity[Pg 42] of dried meat and skins. They each thought, "Now we have begun to prove our prowess to the Chief, and if we succeed as well next year when the hunter's moon comes again, one of us will surely win his daughter when she is old enough to marry." But all the youngest boy brought home as a result of his journey into the game country was a large Earth-Worm as thick as his finger and as long as his arm. It was the biggest Earth-Worm he had ever seen. He thought it a great curiosity as well as a great discovery, and he was so busy watching it each day that he had no time to hunt. When he brought it home in a box, his brothers said to their mother, "What did we tell you about Thick-head? He has now surely proved himself a fool. He has caught only a fat Earth-Worm in all these weeks." And they noised it abroad in the village and all the people laughed loudly at the simpleton, until "Thick-head's hunt" became a by-word in all the land. But the boy's mother only smiled and said, "He will surprise them all yet."

The boy kept the Earth-Worm in a tiny pen just outside the door of his home. One day a large Duck came waddling along, and sticking her bill over the little fence of the pen she quickly gobbled up the Worm. The boy was very angry and he went to the man who owned the Duck, and said, "Your Duck ate up my pet Worm. I want my Worm." The man offered to pay him whatever price he asked, but the boy said, "I do not want your price. I want my Worm."[Pg 43] But the man said, "How can I give you your Worm when my Duck has eaten it up? It is gone for ever." And the boy said, "It is not gone. It is in the Duck's belly. So I must have the Duck." Then to avoid further trouble the man gave Thick-head the Duck, for he thought to himself, "What is the use of arguing with a fool."

The boy took the Duck home and kept it in a little pen near his home with a low fence around it. And he tied a great weight to its foot so that it could not fly away. He was quite happy again, for he thought, "Now I have both my Worm and the Duck." But one day a Fox came prowling along looking for food. He saw the fat Duck tied by the foot in the little pen. And he said, "What good fortune! There is a choice meal for me," and in a twinkling he was over the fence. The Duck quacked and made a great noise, but she was soon silenced. The Fox had just finished eating up the Duck when the boy, who had heard the quacking, came running out of the house. The Fox was smacking his lips after his good meal, and he was too slow in getting away. The boy fell to beating him with a stout club and soon killed him and threw his body into the yard behind the house. And he thought, "That is not so bad. Now I have my Worm and the Duck and the Fox."

That night an old Wolf came through the forest in search of food. He was very hungry, and in the bright moonlight[Pg 44] he saw the dead Fox lying in the yard. He pounced upon it greedily and devoured it until not a trace of it was left. But the boy saw him before he could get away, and he came stealthily upon him and killed him with a blow of his axe. "I am surely in good luck," he thought, "for now I have the Worm and the Duck and the Fox and the Wolf." But the next day when he told his brothers of his good fortune and his great skill, they laughed at him loudly and said, "Much good a dead Wolf will do you. Before two days have passed it will be but an evil-smelling thing and we shall have to bury it deep. You are indeed a great fool." The boy pondered for a long time over what they had said, and he thought, "Perhaps they are right. The dead Wolf cannot last long. I will save the skin."

So he skinned the Wolf and dried the skin and made a drum from it. For the drum was one of the few musical instruments of the Indians in those old times, and they beat it loudly at all their dances and festivals. The boy beat the drum each evening, and made a great noise, and he was very proud because he had the only drum in the whole village. One day the Chief sent for him and said to him, "I want to borrow your drum for this evening. I am having a great gathering to announce to all the land that my daughter is now of age to marry and that suitors may now seek her hand in marriage. But we have no musical instruments and I want your drum, and I myself will beat it at the dance." So Thick-head brought his drum to the Chief's house, but he was not very well pleased, because he was not invited to the feast, while his brothers were among the favoured guests. And he said to the Chief, "Be very careful. Do not tear the skin of my drum, for I can never get another like it. My Worm and my Duck and my Fox and my Wolf have all helped to make it."


[Pg 45]

The next day he went for his drum. But the Chief had struck it too hard and had split it open so that it would now make no sound and it was ruined beyond repair. He offered to pay the boy a great price for it, but the boy said, "I do not want your price. I want my drum. Give me back my drum, for my Worm and the Duck and the Fox and the Wolf are all in it." The Chief said, "How can I give you back your drum when it is broken? It is gone for ever. I will give you anything you desire in exchange for it. Since you do not like the price I offer, you may name your own price and you shall have it." And the boy thought to himself, "Here is a chance for good fortune. Now I shall surprise my brothers." And he said, "Since you cannot give me my drum, I will take your daughter in marriage in exchange." The Chief was much perplexed, but he had to be true to his word. So he gave his daughter to Thick-head, and they were married, and the girl brought him much treasure and they lived very happily. And his brothers were much amazed[Pg 46] and angered because they had failed. But his mother said, "I told you he was wiser than you and that he would outwit you yet although you called him Thick-head and fool. For the forest fairy said it to me at his birth."

[Pg 47]


Long ago an Indian Chief was living with his people far in the Canadian forest. Life was good and food was plentiful and the people were all very happy. But one day a wicked giant and his old witch wife came crashing into the land from a far country beyond the prairies. They devoured all the food they could lay their hands on and soon there was little left to eat in all the country; and often they carried off little children to their hiding-place and ate them up until not a trace of them remained. Somewhere far in the forest they dwelt in a hidden cave; they slept all day long, but at night they always stalked forth in search of plunder. The Chief was much troubled, and with his warriors he tried in every way to discover their hiding-place, but no one ever succeeded in finding it. For by the use of their magic power the giant and his old witch wife could make themselves invisible when they walked abroad among men and they could not be caught. The Chief called all his warriors to a council, and he said, "Who can rid me of this pest? Who can kill the giant?" But not a man replied. And when he saw his people's store of food[Pg 48] rapidly growing smaller and the little children of his tribe slowly disappearing, he was greatly puzzled as to what he should do.

One night of bright moonlight Rabbit was prowling through the woods, as was his custom, in search of some one on whom he could play a prank, for he was a great joker. Suddenly he came upon the giant and his old witch wife standing by an opening in the side of a low mountain. He watched them for a long time from the shadow of a great tree, and at last he saw them enter a large hole in the side of the hill. He knew now that he had hit by accident upon the giant's cave and he was well pleased by his discovery. But he kept his secret to himself, for he thought, "Here is a good chance for me to win fame. I will kill the giants by a crafty trick and I will then be looked upon as a great warrior, the foremost in all the land, for all the Chief's men have failed to find the giants."

So he went to the Chief and said, "Oh, Chief, I know where the giants live and I swear to you that I am going to kill them. It is I alone who can rid you of these pests." "You!" said the Chief in great surprise; "little harm the like of you can do to giants; they will eat you up in one mouthful," and he laughed loudly at Rabbit's boldness. And he called to his warriors saying, "See what a stout fighter we have here! Little Rabbit says he can do what we have failed to do; he swears that he will kill the giants;[Pg 49] he is better fitted to kill a mouse!" And they all laughed loud haw-haws at Rabbit's vanity.

Poor Rabbit's pride was deeply hurt by the Chief's scorn and the warriors' cruel laughter, but it all made him more determined than ever to slay the thieving giants. So he went to an old woman who lived near-by and said, "Give me an old faded dress and a ragged old shawl and your coloured spectacles and a hat with a feather in it." The old woman wondered what tricks he was up to now, but she gave him what he asked for. He put on the tattered old dress and the battered old hat with a red feather sticking from the top, and he wrapped the old shawl about his face, and he wore the woman's coloured spectacles and he carried a crooked stick. And dressed in this fashion he set out towards evening for the giants' home. When he reached the mouth of the cave, he stood still and waited, leaning on his crooked stick, for night was coming on and he knew that the giants would soon be going out on their plundering rounds.

After a time when it was quite dark except for the moonlight, the giant's old witch wife came out of the cave. When she saw Rabbit in the dim light she said gruffly, "Who are you, standing there in the shadows?" "Oh, my dear niece," said Rabbit, "I have found you at last. I am your poor old aunt. I thought I had lost my way. I have come to see you from your home in the far country. It was a long[Pg 50] journey and my poor old legs and back are stiff and sore, and I am very hungry and tired;" and he moved slowly towards the woman, hobbling along with his crooked stick. The giant woman was deceived, and she threw her arms around Rabbit and kissed him, and she did not feel his whiskers or his split lip because of the old shawl that was wrapped around his face. "I have a pain in my jaw from sleeping out of doors," said Rabbit, "and I must keep my face wrapped up."

"Come in and rest, and you will soon feel better," said the giant woman.

"You will have to lead me in," said Rabbit, not wishing to take off the shawl, "for my eyesight is very bad."

So she led Rabbit into the warm cave, which was so dark that they could scarcely see each other, and she called her husband and said, "Here is my dear old aunt who has come all the way from the far country beyond the prairies." And the giant, believing Rabbit to be his wife's kindred, for he could not see him very clearly, treated him very kindly. And they showed him the bed where he was to sleep.

The woman then gave Rabbit a large piece of dried meat to eat. But Rabbit said, "I cannot eat it, for I am old and I have lost all my teeth. Give me an axe to cut it up small." So the woman brought him a sharp axe and he chopped the meat into small pieces and ate it all up. And he said, "I will keep the axe by me, for I shall need it at all my meals,"[Pg 51] and he placed it beside his bed. The giant said, "We are going away to see some friends, but we shall be back before midnight." But before they went away Rabbit said to the woman, "I hope your husband sleeps soundly; I have a bad cough and I sometimes moan because of the pain in my face and head and I do not wish to disturb him."

And the old giant woman answered, "He slumbers too well. When we sleep we both snore loudly, and when you hear us snoring you may cough as much as you please, for then you will know that we are sound asleep." Then the man and his witch wife went away.

When the giants came home, Rabbit pretended to be fast asleep. They brought back with them much food which they hid in a secret place at the side of the cave. Rabbit watched them through the holes in the old shawl around his head. Soon they went to bed, drowsy after their fat meal. When Rabbit heard them snoring loudly like a great waterfall, "chr-r-r, chr-r-r," he arose very quietly and crept softly to their bedside. With two blows of his axe he killed the giant and his wife, one after the other. Then he ran away as fast as he could, carrying with him his old dress and hat and shawl, for he thought he might need them again.

In the morning he went to the Chief's house and told the Chief what he had done. The Chief laughed scornfully and he would not believe it until Rabbit brought him to the cave and showed him the slain giants cold and stiff in their[Pg 52] bed. The Chief's men then took back to the village the great store of food the giants had hidden in the secret place. But the Chief and his warriors, although they were glad to be rid of the thieves, were angry at heart because Rabbit whom they had laughed at had done what they had failed to do, for they were very jealous of Rabbit's power.

One day soon afterwards the Chief called all the birds and the animals to a council, and he said, "Now that the giants who robbed us of our food are dead and gone, and that we shall never again want for nourishment in my country, I am going to let each animal and bird choose the kind of food he would most like to live on if he could get it. And they shall never want for that kind of food if it can be provided." And he called on each to make the choice. And the birds said "Grain and seeds and worms," and the Squirrel said "Nuts," and the Fox said "Chickens," and the cat said "Milk," and the dog said "Meat and bones," and the weasel said "Eggs," and the wolf said "Lambs," and the bear said "Fish from the frozen sea," and so on until each animal was called upon and declared his liking. And the Chief said, "It shall be as you have chosen." But the Chief had purposely neglected to summon poor Rabbit to the council, and Rabbit was absent on a long journey. When he came home, he was very angry when he heard what had happened, for only the left-over in the world's food remained for him to choose. So he went to the Chief and said in great[Pg 53] wrath, "This is a fine return for ridding your land of giants. But that is a way you have; you always reward good deeds with evil."

The Chief was very angry because of Rabbit's insolence, and he said, "You are telling lies again." But Rabbit called as witnesses to the truth of what he said Sheep and Goat and Duck who chanced to be passing by and who stood listening to the quarrel. And old Sheep said, "Rabbit has spoken truly. When I was young I gave the Chief much wool to make clothes for his back and he used me well. But now that I am old he is going to kill me and eat me up. That is my reward." And old Goat said, "Rabbit has spoken wisely and justly. I served the Chief well in my time and gave him milk, but now that I am old and have no more milk he is fattening me and getting me ready for slaughter. That is my reward." And old Duck said, "That is a true saying of Rabbit. Once upon a time I gave the Chief many eggs and young ducklings, but now that I have stopped laying he is soon going to roast me in a pot. That is my reward." The Chief could make no answer to these charges, for he knew them to be true, and he offered to do what was in his power for Rabbit. But Rabbit refused to make choice of food, for he said the best was already gone. He sulked for many months and lived alone by his own efforts as best he could.

At last he decided to take vengeance on the Chief. And[Pg 54] he hit, as was his custom, on a crafty trick. The Chief had an old Bear which he prized very highly, for the Bear did for him many wondrous tricks and brought laughter to him and his warriors when he danced at their feasts. In those olden times Bear had a long bushy tail of which he was very proud. One day as Rabbit sat on the ice fishing—for it was now winter—Bear came along. There was to be a feast that night and he was going to dance for the Chief, and he was in very good spirits. "Where did you get all the fine fish?" he asked, for he was a great fish eater. "I caught them through the hole in the ice," said Rabbit. "It is very easy. Just drop your tail down through the hole and it will soon be covered with fine big fish."

Bear did as he was told, and he sat on the ice for a long time waiting for his prey. He sat so long that the hole froze up, for it was very cold, and in it was frozen poor Bear's long bushy tail. "Now," said Rabbit, "jump quick, for many fish are hanging to you." Bear jumped with all his might, but his tail was held fast in the ice and it broke off close to the root. Rabbit laughed in great glee and ran away. And poor Bear howled with pain and shame. He could not dance at the feast because his stub of a tail was sore, and the Chief and the warriors were very angry at Rabbit because he had harmed their dancing pet. And since that time Bear has had a short stubby tail which to this day he tries to wag feebly.[Pg 55]

Rabbit then hid for some days far from the Chief and his warriors. Then he decided to try another trick. The Chief's wood-cutter was old Beaver, who lived in a little house of reeds on the bank of a stream. He was very busy now cutting down trees for the Chief, for it was near to spring-time and the people were in need of logs for building roads over the rivers. One day Rabbit went to Beaver and said, "The Chief sent me to you to bring you to a great tree he wishes you to cut down at once." So Beaver went along with him. But when Beaver was busy at his task cutting down the tree, Rabbit hit him a savage blow on the head with a big stick hoping to kill him and thus again to anger the Chief. Poor Beaver fell to the ground and Rabbit ran away. But Beaver was only stunned. He got up after a time and went home muttering to himself and rubbing his sore head. Soon Rabbit came back to the tree and found Beaver gone. He knew that his blow had failed. Then he put on again his tattered old dress and his ragged shawl and his coloured spectacles and the hat with the red feather sticking to the top, and he went to Beaver's house by the stream, hobbling along with a stick. "The Chief sent me to you to bring you to a great tree he wishes you to cut down at once," he called. And Beaver said, "I have already tried to cut a great tree for him to-day and I should have finished it had I not been beaten with a stick until I was stunned by the blow." "Who struck you?" asked Rabbit, laughing[Pg 56] to himself. "Rabbit struck me," answered Beaver. "He is a great brigand and a liar and a thief," said Rabbit. "He is all that," said Beaver, rubbing the lump on his head. So Beaver went along with Rabbit. And Rabbit asked as they went along, "How is it that you are alive after that cruel blow?" And Beaver said, "Rabbit hit me on the head. If he had hit me on the back of my neck he would have killed me, for there I keep the secret of my life."

When Beaver was busy again at his task cutting down the tree, Rabbit hit him a powerful blow on the back of the neck and poor Beaver fell down dead. Then he cut off his tail that was made like a file, and went away happy, for he knew that the Chief would be very angry when he found what had happened to his wood-cutter.


[Pg 57]

When the Chief learned that Beaver had been killed, his wrath knew no bounds, for he could ill afford at this time to lose his best wood-chopper. He blamed Rabbit for the deed, but he could not be sure that his suspicions were well-founded. Rabbit kept out of the Chief's sight for some weeks. But one day in early summer he was very hungry. He saw all the other animals filling their bellies with their favourite food, and he decided to forget his sulks and to ask the Chief for help. So he went to the Chief and said haughtily, "I want you to give me food for my own special use as you have done with the other animals. You must do it at once or I will do you much harm." Then the Chief remembered what Rabbit had done to his dancing Bear, and he thought of the death of Beaver, for which he blamed Rabbit without proof, and he grew red with anger. He seized Rabbit by the heels and said, "Henceforth the dogs will always chase you, and you will never have peace when they are near. And you will live for the most part on whatever food I throw you into now." Then he whirled Rabbit around his head by the heels, and he threw him from him with great force, hoping to drop him in a great black swamp near-by. Poor Rabbit went flying through the air for a great distance, farther than the Chief had hoped, and he dropped with a thud into a field of clover on the edge of which cabbages and lettuce were growing. And since that time the dogs have always chased Rabbit and he has lived for the most part on cabbages and lettuce and clover which he steals on moonlight nights from farmers' fields.

[Pg 58]


Somewhere near the sea in olden times a boy was living with his father and mother. He had no brothers or sisters. His father was a great hunter and the boy inherited something of his power, for he was always very successful in the killing of game. And his mother said, "Some day he will be a great man, for before his birth a vision came to me in the night and told me that my son would win wide fame. And fairy gifts were laid by the fairies in his cradle." And his father, listening to her boasting, said, "Time will tell; time will tell; but if he is to be a great man it is his own deeds and not your boasting that must prove it." As the boy grew up he became strangely beautiful and he had great strength. And his father said, "It is time he set out to seek his fortune. I was in the forest doing for myself when I was no older than he." And his mother said, "Wait a little and be not so impatient. He is yet young and there is yet much time." So the boy remained at home a while longer.

Now it happened that far away in a distant village there lived a young girl of very great beauty and grace. Her[Pg 59] father had been a great Chief, but he was now dead. Her mother too was dead, and she was all alone in the world. But her parents had left her vast lands and a great store of goods and many servants, and because of her treasures and her great beauty she had many suitors. But she was not easily pleased by men and on all who came to seek her hand she imposed severe feats of skill to test their sincerity and their worth. She was carefully guarded by an old woman and many servants who kept troublesome and meddlesome people away.

Soon the fame of the girl's wealth and beauty spread through all the land. It reached the sea coast village where the young man dwelt. His father thought to himself, "Here is a good chance for my son to prove his worth." So he called his boy to him and said, "It is time you were setting out to seek your fortune in the world and to find a wife, for your spring-time is passing and your summer of life will soon be here, and before you know it your autumn will be upon you and your winter will be near. There is no time to lose. Seek out the beautiful girl of the rich treasures in the distant inland village and try to win her as your wife." And his mother gave him the fairy gifts which had been laid in his cradle at his birth, and he said good-bye to his parents and set out on his long journey. He had no misgivings, for he was very vain of his beauty and he was sure, too, of his strength.

As he travelled inland he came one day upon a man clad[Pg 60] in scarlet sitting on the side of a rocky hill tying stones to his feet. "Hello," he said to the man, "why are you tying these heavy rocks to your ankles?" "I am a hunter," replied the man, "but when I follow the deer I run so fast that I am soon far in front of them instead of behind them, and I am putting heavy weights on my feet so that I will not run so rapidly." "You are indeed a wonderful man," said the boy; "but I am alone and I need a companion. Let us go along together." "Who are you?" said the man. "I am Lad of the Great Heart," said the boy, "and I can do great deeds and I can win for you great treasure." So the Scarlet Runner went along with him.

Towards evening when they were now far inland, they came to a large lake. Among the trees on the fringe of the lake a large fat man was lying flat on his stomach with his mouth in the water drinking as hard as he could. For some time they watched him, but still he drank and the lake grew smaller and smaller and still his thirst was not quenched. They laughed at such a strange sight, and as they approached him the boy said, "Hello! Why do you lie there drinking so much water?" "Oh," answered the fat man, "there are times when I cannot get enough water to drink. When I have drunk this lake dry I shall still be thirsty." "Who are you?" asked the boy. "I am Man of the Great Thirst," said the fat man. "That is well," said Great Heart, "we two need a third companion. We can do great deeds and we can win for you great treasure." So the three went along together.


[Pg 61]

They had not gone far when they came to a wide open plain where they saw a man walking along with his face raised upwards, peering at the sky. He moved along rapidly and seemed to find his way without his eyes, for he gazed steadily at the heavens. "Hello," said Great Heart as the sky-gazer rushed past him and almost knocked him over, "what are you looking at so intently?" "Oh," said the man, "I have shot an arrow into the sky and I am waiting for it to fall. It has gone so far that it will be some time before it drops." "Who are you?" asked the boy. "I am the Far-Darter," said the sky-gazer. "We three need a fourth companion," said the boy. "We can do great deeds and win for you much treasure. Come along with us." So the four went along together.

They had gone but a short distance across the plain to the edge of a forest when they came upon a man lying down at full length with his head upon his hand. The edge of his hand was on the ground and it was half closed around his ear, which rested upon it. As he saw the four men approaching him he placed a finger of his other hand upon his lips and signalled to them to keep quiet. "Hello," said Great Heart in a whisper, "what are you doing there with your ear to the ground?" "I am listening to the plants growing far away in the forest," he answered. "There is a beautiful[Pg 62] flower I wish to find, and I am trying to hear it breathing so that I may go and get it. Aha! I hear it now." So saying he rose from the ground. The boy said, "Who are you?" "I am Keen Ears," said the listener. "We four need another companion," said Great Heart. "We can do great deeds and win for you much treasure. Come along with us." So the four men and the boy went along together, Keen Ears, and Scarlet Runner, and Far Darter, and Man of the Great Thirst, and Lad of the Great Heart. Then Great Heart unfolded to the others his plan to win the beautiful girl who lived with her treasures in the distant village. And they gladly agreed to help him in his dangerous undertaking.

When they reached the village, the people were all very curious when they saw the five strangers. They marvelled at Great Heart's beauty. But when they heard that he wished to marry the daughter of the former Chief they shook their heads gravely and said, "It will never be. She places hard conditions on all who seek her hand. He who fails in the tests is doomed to death. Many suitors have tried and failed and died." But Great Heart was not alarmed, and with his four companions he went to the girl's home. The old woman who guarded her met him at the door and he made known his wishes. She laughed scornfully when she saw his great beauty, and she said, "You look more like a girl than like a warrior. You cannot endure the tests." But the young man insisted on making the trials.[Pg 63]

The old woman said, "If you fail in the tests you will die," and Great Heart said, "It is so agreed." Then the woman said, "If you wish to win the maiden you must first push away this great rock from before her window. It keeps the sunlight from her in the mornings." Then Great Heart, calling to his aid the fairy gifts of his cradle, placed his shoulder against the huge stone which rose higher than the house, and he pushed with all his strength. With a mighty crash it rolled down the hill and broke into millions of pieces. The bits of rock flew all over the earth so great was the fall, and the little pebbles and stones that came from it are seen throughout the world to this day. The sunlight streamed in at the window, and the maiden knew that the first test had been successfully passed by a suitor.

Then came the second test. The old woman and her servants brought great quantities of food and drink and bade the strangers consume it all at one meal. They were very hungry, for they had eaten nothing all day and they easily ate up the food. But when Great Heart saw the great barrels of water, his spirits sank, and he said, "I fear I am beaten." But Man of the Great Thirst said, "Not so fast, my friend. The spell of great stomach-burning is again upon me. I am very dry as if there was a fire in my belly. Give me a chance to drink." He went from barrel to barrel and in a twinkling he had drained them all of every drop. And the people wondered greatly.[Pg 64]

But there was still another test. "You must have one of your party run a race," said the old woman to Great Heart. And she brought out a man who had never been beaten in running. "Who is your choice of runners?" she asked; "he must race with this man, and if he wins you may have the maiden for your wife and all the treasure with her, for this is the final test. But if he loses the race you shall die." Great Heart called Scarlet Runner to the mark and told the old woman that this was the man selected. Then he untied the rocks from the runner's feet, and when all was ready the race began. The course lay far across the plains for many miles until the runners should pass from sight, and back again to the starting point. The two runners kept together for some distance, talking together in a friendly way as they ran. When they had passed from sight of the village the maiden's runner said, "Now we are out of sight of the village. Let us rest here a while on this grassy bank, for the day is hot." The Scarlet Runner agreed to this and they both stretched out on the grass. Now this was an old trick of the maiden's runner, who always won by craft rather than by speed. They had not lain down long on the grass when Scarlet Runner fell asleep under the hot sun, just as his rival had hoped. When the latter was sure that his rival was sound asleep, he set out for the village, running as fast as he could. The people soon saw their runner approaching far off on the plains, but there was no sign of the stranger, and[Pg 65] they thought that the new suitor for the girl's hand had at last failed like all the others before him.

Great Heart was much puzzled when Scarlet Runner did not appear, and as he saw the maiden's runner coming nearer, he said, "What can have happened? I fear I am beaten." But Keen Ears threw himself flat on the ground and listened. "Scarlet Runner is asleep," he called; "I hear him snoring on the plains far away." And with his keen sense of sound he located the exact spot where the runner was lying. "I will soon wake him," said Far-Darter, as he fitted an arrow to his bow-string. The people all thought him mad, for they had never seen an arrow shot so great a distance beyond their sight. But Far-Darter was not dismayed. He quickly shot an arrow from his bow to the spot which Keen Ears had indicated. His aim was so true that the arrow hit Scarlet Runner on the nose and aroused him from his sleep. But when he rose to his feet he found that his rival was gone and he knew that he had been deceived. So in a great rage because of the trick and the pain in his nose, he set out for the village running like the wind. His rival had almost reached the end of the race, but by putting all his strength into his effort, Scarlet Runner quickly over-took him and passed him near the winning-post and won the race. And the people wondered greatly at these great deeds of the strangers.

Then the old woman said to Great Heart, "You have[Pg 66] won the maiden as your wife, for you alone have succeeded in these tests." So the two were married with great ceremony. Great Heart gave much treasure to his companions, and they promised to help him always in his need. Then with his wife and her servants and her great store of goods he went back to his native village by the sea. His father and mother were glad to see him again and to hear of his success, and his mother said, "I told you he would win great fame because of the fairy gifts that were laid in his cradle at his birth." And they all lived together and were henceforth very happy.

[Pg 67]


Long ago there dwelt on the shores of the Great Water in the west a young man and his younger wife. They had no children and they lived all by themselves far from other people on an island not far from the coast. The man spent his time in catching the deep-sea fish far out on the ocean, or in spearing salmon in the distant rivers. Often he was gone for many days and his wife was very lonely in his absence. She was not afraid, for she had a stout spirit, but it was very dismal in the evenings to look only at the grey leaden sky and to hear only the sound of the surf as it beat upon the beach. So day after day she said to herself, "I wish we had children. They would be good company for me when I am alone and my husband is far away."

One evening at twilight when she was solitary because of her husband's absence on the ocean catching the deep-sea fish, she sat on the sand beach looking out across the water. The sky in the west was pale grey; it was always dull and grey in that country, and when the sun had gone down there was no soft light. In her loneliness the woman[Pg 68] said to herself, "I wish we had children to keep me company." A Kingfisher, with his children, was diving for minnows not far away. And the woman said, "Oh, sea bird with the white collar, I wish we had children like you." And the Kingfisher said, "Look in the sea-shells; look in the sea-shells," and flew away. The next evening the woman sat again upon the beach looking westward at the dull grey sky. Not far away a white Sea-gull was riding on the waves in the midst of her brood of little ones. And the woman said, "Oh, white sea bird, I wish we had children like you to keep us company." And the Sea-gull said, "Look in the sea-shells; look in the sea-shells," and flew away.

The woman wondered greatly at the words of the Kingfisher and the Sea-Gull. As she sat there in thought she heard a strange cry coming from the sand dunes behind her. She went closer to the sound and found that the cry came from a large sea-shell lying on the sand. She picked up the shell, and inside of it was a tiny boy, crying as hard as he could. She was well pleased with her discovery, and she carried the baby to her home and cared for him. When her husband came home from the sea, he, too, was very happy to find the baby there, for he knew that they would be lonely no more.

The baby grew very rapidly, and soon he was able to walk and move about where he pleased. One day the woman was wearing a copper bracelet on her arm and the child said[Pg 69] to her, "I must have a bow made from the copper on your arm." So to please him she made him a tiny bow from the bracelet, and two tiny arrows. At once he set out to hunt game, and day after day he came home bearing the products of his chase. He brought home geese and ducks and brant and small sea birds, and gave them to his mother for food. As he grew older the man and his wife noticed that his face took on a golden hue brighter than the colour of his copper bow. Wherever he went there was a strange light. When he sat on the beach looking to the west the weather was always calm and there were strange bright gleams upon the water. And his foster-parents wondered greatly at this unusual power. But the boy would not talk about it; when they spoke of it he was always silent.

It happened once that the winds blew hard over the Great Water and the man could not go out to catch fish because of the turbulent sea. For many days he stayed on shore, for the ocean, which was usually at peace, was lashed into a great fury and the waves were dashing high on the beach. Soon the people were in need of fish for food. And the boy said, "I will go out with you, for I can overcome the Storm Spirit." The man did not want to go, but at last he listened to the boy's entreaties and together they set out for the fishing grounds far across the tossing sea. They had not gone far when they met the Spirit of the Storm coming madly from the south-west where the great winds dwelt. He tried[Pg 70] hard to upset their boat, but over them he had no power, for the boy guided the frail craft across the water and all around them the sea was calm and still. Then the Storm Spirit called his nephew Black Cloud to help him, and away in the south-east they saw him hurrying to his uncle's aid. But the boy said to the man, "Be not afraid, for I am more than a match for him." So the two met, but when Black Cloud saw the boy he quickly disappeared. Then the Spirit of the Storm called Mist of the Sea to come and cover the water, for he thought the boat would be lost if he hid the land from the man and the boy. When the man saw Mist of the Sea coming like a grey vapour across the water he was very frightened, for of all his enemies on the ocean he feared this one most. But the boy said, "He cannot harm you when I am with you." And sure enough, when Mist of the Sea saw the boy sitting smiling in the boat he disappeared as quickly as he had come. And the Storm Spirit in great anger hurried away to other parts, and that day there was no more danger on the sea near the fishing grounds.

The boy and the man soon reached the fishing grounds in safety. And the boy taught his foster-father a magic song with which he was able to lure fish to his nets. Before evening came the boat was filled with good fat fish and they set out for their home. The man said, "Tell me the secret of your power." But the boy said, "It is not yet time."


[Pg 71]

The next day the boy killed many birds. He skinned them all and dried their skins. Then he dressed himself in the skin of a plover and rose into the air and flew above the sea. And the sea under him was grey like his wings. Then he came down and dressed himself in the skin of a blue-jay and soared away again. And the sea over which he was flying was at once changed to blue like the blue of his wings. When he came back to the beach, he put on the skin of a robin with the breast of a golden hue like his face. Then he flew high and at once the waves under him reflected a colour as of fire and bright gleams of light appeared upon the ocean, and the sky in the west was golden red. The boy flew back to the beach and he said to his foster-parents, "Now it is time for me to leave you. I am the offspring of the sun. Yesterday my power was tested and it was not found wanting, so now I must go away and I shall see you no more. But at evening I shall appear to you often in the twilight sky in the west. And when the sky and the sea look at evening like the colour of my face, you will know that there will be no wind nor storm and that on the morrow the weather will be fair. But although I go away, I shall leave you a strange power. And always when you need me, let me know your desires by making white offerings to me, so that I may see them from my home far in the west."

Then he gave to his foster-mother a wonderful robe. He bade his parents good-bye, and soared away to the west, leaving them in sadness. But the woman still keeps a part[Pg 72] of the power he gave her, and when she sits on the island in a crevice in the dunes and loosens her wonderful robe, the wind hurries down from the land, and the sea is ruffled with storm; and the more she loosens the garment the greater is the tempest. But in the late autumn when the cold mists come in from the sea, and the evenings are chill, and the sky is dull and grey, she remembers the promise of the boy. And she makes to him an offering of tiny white feathers plucked from the breasts of birds. She throws them into the air, and they appear as flakes of snow and rise thickly into the winds. And they hurry westward to tell the boy that the world is grey and dreary as it yearns for the sight of his golden face. Then he appears to the people of earth. He comes at evening and lingers after the sun has gone, until the twilight sky is red, and the ocean in the west has gleams of golden light. And the people then know that there will be no wind and that on the morrow the weather will be fair, as he promised them long ago.

[Pg 73]


Many ages ago when the world was still young, Raven and White Sea-gull lived near together in Canada, far in the north country on the shores of the Great Water in the west. They were very good friends and they always worked in harmony and they had much food and many servants in common. White Sea-gull knew no guile; he was always very open and frank and honest in his dealings with others. But Raven was a sly fellow, and at times he was not lacking in treachery and deceit. But Sea-gull did not suspect him, and the two lived always on very friendly terms. In these far-back times in the north country all the world was dark and there was no light but that of the stars. Sea-gull owned all the daylight, but he was very stingy and he kept it always locked up in a box. He would give none of it to anyone else, and he never let it out of the box except when he needed a little of it to help himself when he went far away on his journeys.

After a time Raven grew envious of Sea-gull's possession. And he said, "It is not fair that Sea-gull should keep the daylight all to himself locked up in a box. It was meant[Pg 74] for all the world and not for him alone, and it would be of great value to all of us if he would sometimes let a little of it out." So he went to Sea-gull and said, "Give me some of your daylight. You do not need it all and I can use some of it with advantage." But Sea-gull said, "No. I want it all for myself. What could you do with daylight, you with your coat as black as night?" and he would not give him any of it. So Raven made up his mind that he would have to get some daylight from Sea-gull by stealth.

Soon afterwards Raven gathered some prickly thorns and burdocks and scattered them on the ground between Sea-gull's house and the beach where the canoes were lying. Then he went to Sea-gull's window and cried loudly, "Our canoes are going adrift in the surf. Come quickly and help me to save them." Sea-gull sprang out of bed and ran half-asleep on his bare feet. But as he ran to the beach the thorns stuck in his bare flesh, and he howled with pain. He crawled back to his house, saying, "My canoe may go adrift if it pleases; I cannot walk because of the splinters in my feet." Raven chuckled to himself, and he moved away, pretending to go to the beach to draw up the canoes. Then he went into Sea-gull's house. Sea-gull was still howling with pain; he was sitting crying on the side of his bed and he was trying to pull the thorns from his feet as best he could. "I will help you," said Raven, "for I have often done this before. I am a very good doctor." So he took an awl made from[Pg 75] whale-bone and he caught hold of Sea-gull's foot, with the pretence of removing the thorns. But instead of taking them out he only pushed them in farther until poor Sea-gull howled louder than ever. And Raven said, "It is so dark I cannot see to pull these thorns from your feet. Give me some daylight and I will soon cure you. A doctor must always have a little light." So Sea-gull unlocked the box and lifted the cover just a little bit so that a faint gleam of light came out. "That is better," said Raven. But instead of picking out the thorns he pushed them in as he had done before, until Sea-gull howled and kicked in pain. "Why are you so stingy with your light?" snapped Raven. "Do you think I am an owl and that I can see well enough in the darkness to heal your feet? Open the box wide and I will soon make you well." So saying he purposely fell heavily against Sea-gull and knocked the box on the floor. The cover flew open and daylight escaped and spread quickly over all the world. Poor Sea-gull tried his best to lure it back again into the box, but his efforts proved fruitless, for it had gone for ever. Raven said he was very sorry for the accident, but after he had taken all the thorns from Sea-gull's feet he went home laughing to himself and well pleased because of the success of his trick.

Soon there was light in all the world. But Raven could not see very well, for the light was too bright and his eyes were not accustomed to it. He sat for a time looking towards[Pg 76] the east, but he saw there nothing of interest. The next day he saw a bit farther, for he was now getting used to the new conditions. The third day he could see distinctly a line of hills far in the east, rising against the sky, and covered with a blue mist. He looked long at the strange sight. Then he saw far away towards the hill a thin column of smoke lifting heavenwards. He had never seen smoke before, but he had often heard of it from travellers in strange places. "That must be the country of which I have been told," he said. "In that land dwell the people who alone possess Fire. We have searched for it for many ages and now I think we have found it." Then he thought, "We now have the daylight, and what a fine thing it would be if we could also have Fire," and he determined to set out to find it.

On the following day he called his servants together and told them of his plans. He said, "We shall set out at once, for the distance is far." And he asked three of his best servants, Robin, Mole and Flea, to go with him. Flea brought out his little wagon and they all tried to get into it, but it was much too small to hold them. Then they tried Mole's carriage, but it was much too frail, and it had scarcely started to move when it broke down and they all fell out in a heap. Then they tried Robin's carriage, but it was much too high and it toppled over under its heavy load and threw them all to the ground. Then Raven stole Sea-gull's large strong carriage, for Sea-gull was asleep, and it did very[Pg 77] well, and they started on their journey, taking turns pushing the carriage along with a pole over the flat plain.

After a strange journey in queer places they reached the land of the people who owned Fire, guided along by the thin column of smoke. The people were not people of earth. Some say they were the Fish people, but that, no man knows. They sat around in a large circle with Fire in their midst, for it was autumn and the days and nights were chill. And Fire was in many places. Raven looked on for a while from afar thinking of the best plan to obtain Fire. Then he said to Robin, "You can move faster than any of us. You must steal Fire. You can fly in quickly, pick it up in your bill and take it back to us and the people will not see nor hear you." So Robin picked out a spot where there were few people, and he darted in quickly and picked up fire in a twinkling and flew back unharmed towards his companions. But he had only taken a very little bit of it. When he got half-way back to his friends, Fire was so hot in his bill that it gave him a strange pain and he had to drop it on the ground. It fell to the earth with a crash and it was so small that it flickered faintly. Robin called to his companions to bring the carriage. Then he stood over Fire and fanned it with his wings to keep it alive. It was very hot, but he stood bravely to his task until his breast was badly scorched and he had to move away. His efforts to save Fire were of no avail, and before his companions reached him Fire had died,[Pg 78] and only a black coal remained. And poor Robin's breast was singed, and to this day the breasts of his descendants are a reddish-brown colour because he was scorched while trying to steal Fire ages ago.

Then Raven asked Flea to make the attempt to steal Fire. But Flea said, "I am too little. The heat would roast me to death; and, further, I might miscalculate the distance and hop into the flame." Then Raven asked Mole to try, but Mole said, "Oh no, I am better fitted for other work. My fur would all be singed like Robin's breast." Raven took good care that he would not go himself, for he was a great coward. So he said, "There is a better and easier way. We will steal the baby of the Chief and hold him for ransom. Perhaps they will give us Fire in exchange for him," and they all thought this was a very good idea. Raven asked, "Who will volunteer to steal the baby?" for he always made the others do all the work. Flea said, "I will go. In one jump I will be into the house, and in another jump I will be out again, for I can hop a great distance." But the others laughed and said, "You could not carry the baby; you are too small." The Mole said, "I will go. I can tunnel a passage very quietly under the house and right up to the baby's cradle. I can then steal the baby and no one will hear me or see me." So it was agreed that Mole should go. In a few minutes Mole made his tunnel, and he was soon back with the baby. Then they got into their carriage and hurried home with their prize.


[Pg 79]

When the Chief of the Fire people discovered the loss of his child he was very angry. And in all the land there was great sorrow because the Chief's heir, the hope of the tribe, had gone. And the child's mother and her women wept so bitterly that their tears fell like rain on all the land. The Chief said he would give anything he possessed to find his child. But although his people searched far and near, they could not find the baby. After many days a wayfarer who had come far from the Great Water in the west brought them news that a strange child was living far to the westward in the village by the sea. He said, "He is not of their tribe. He looks like the children of your village," and he advised them to go to see him for themselves. So the Chief sent his men to search for them guided by the wayfarer. When they reached Raven's village they were told that a strange baby was indeed there; the child was described to them, but he was kept out of sight, and Raven would not tell how he had happened to come there. And Raven said, "How do I know he is your Chief's child? People tell strange lies these days. If you want him you can pay for him, for he has caused us much trouble and expense." So the messengers went back and reported to the Chief what they had heard. From the description, the Chief knew that the child was his, so he gave the messengers very valuable presents of pearls and rich robes and sent them back again to ransom his boy.[Pg 80] But Raven, when he saw the presents, said, "No, I do not want these gifts; they do not pay me for my trouble," and he would not part with the baby. The messengers again reported to the Chief what had happened. Then the Chief gave them still richer gifts, the best he had in all his land, and sent them back. But again Raven said, "No, your gifts are valueless, compared with my trouble and expense. Say this to your Chief."

When the Chief heard this from his messengers he was sore perplexed, for he had offered the best he had, and he thought that he had reached the end of his resources. So he said, "Go back and ask the people to demand what they wish in exchange for my boy and they will receive it if it can be provided." So the messengers went back to Raven and spoke as they had been commanded. And Raven said, "Only one thing can pay for the child, and that is Fire. Give me Fire and you can take the baby." The messenger laughed and said, "Why did you not say so at first and save us all this trouble and anxiety? Fire is the most plentiful thing in our kingdom, and we hold it in no value." So they returned happy to the Chief. And he sent back much Fire and received his child unharmed from Raven in exchange. And he sent Raven two small stones which the messengers taught Raven how to use. And they said, "If you ever lose Fire or if it dies for lack of food you can always call it back to life with these two little stones." Then they showed him how to[Pg 81] make Fire with the two little stones and withered grass, and birch-bark and dry pine, and Raven thought it was very easy. And he felt very proud because he had brought Fire and Light to the earth. He kept Fire for himself for a long time, and although the people clamoured loudly for it, he would not give any of it away. Soon, however, he decided to sell a quantity of it, for he now had the power of making it. So he said to himself, "This is a good way to get many wives," and he announced that he would only sell some of his fire in return for a wife. And many families bought his fire and in exchange he received many wives. And to this day he still has many wives and he still moves about from place to place with a flock of them always around him. But the Indians when they arrived took Fire away from him. Thus Fire came to the Indians in the olden days. And when it has died, as it often does, they still sometimes use Raven's flint stones to bring it back to life.

[Pg 82]


On the bank of a stream far in the West, Owl-man lived long ago in a little house under the ground. He had very strange habits. He always kept away from the Great Water and he dwelt for the most part in the forest. He had very few friends, and he usually went hunting by himself. He lived on toads and frogs and flies. He would say but little, and when other people sat around him talking pleasantly, he was always silent, gazing into space with wide-open eyes, and trying to look wiser than he really was. Because of this, people thought he was very queer, and strange stories about him soon spread far and wide. It was said that he was very cruel, and that he was silent because he was always brooding over his past wickedness or thinking about some evil deed he was soon going to do. And when children were troublesome or disobedient, their mothers always frightened them into goodness by saying, "The Owl-man from the stream will come and take you if you do not mend your ways." And although the Owl-man was a solitary fellow he thus had great influence in all the land.[Pg 83]

Not far away lived a man and a woman who had one adopted daughter. Because she was the only child in the house she was much petted, and she was never satisfied, and she cried and fretted all the time, and kept always asking for things she could not get. She disturbed all the neighbours round about so that they could not sleep because of her constant wailing and complaining. At last her foster-parents grew tired of her weeping and they said, "The Owl-man will carry you off if you do not stop crying." But still she pouted and fretted. And the old man of the house said, "I wish the Owl-man would come and take her away." Now the old man was a great magician, and as he wished, so it came to pass.

That evening it happened that the people were gathered at a feast of shell-fish on the beach by the bright moonlight, as was their weekly custom. But the sorrowful girl would not go with the others. She stayed at home and sulked. As she sat alone in the house, old Owl-man came along carrying his basket full of toads and frogs. The girl was still crying when he came in. "I have come for you," he said, "as the old man wished." And he put her in his basket with the toads and frogs and carried her off. She yelled and kicked and scratched, but the lid of the basket was tightly closed and Owl-man laughed to himself and said, "Now I have a wife at last. I shall be alone no more, and the people will not now think I am so queer." So he took her to his[Pg 84] underground house by the stream. That night the people noticed that the girl's cries were no longer heard and they said, "What can have cured Sour-face; what can have pleased Cry-Baby into silence?" And the girl's foster-mother wondered where she had gone. But only the old man knew that it had happened as he had wished, because of his magic power, and that Owl-man had taken her away.

The girl was not happy in her new home, for she would not be happy in any place. She still kept up her caterwauling and there was no peace in the house. Owl-man was a great hunter. Every day he went out hunting with his big basket on his arm, but he always locked his wife in the house before he went away. He was always very successful in the chase, and each night he came back with his basket full of toads and frogs and field-mice and flies. But his wife would eat none of them and she threw them in his face when he offered them to her, and said in a bad temper, "I will not eat your filthy food. It is not fit food for gentle-folk." And Owl-man said, "Gentle-folk indeed! You should find a more suitable name; you are not gentle; you are a wild evil thing, but I am going to tame you." And the girl wept again and sulked and stamped her feet in her temper.

At last the girl became very hungry, for there was little to eat except the food that Owl-man brought home for himself. He gathered a few berries for her, but even these did not satisfy her hunger. So she thought out a plan of[Pg 85] escape. One day when Owl-man was away, she took some oil she found in the house and rubbed it all over her face and hair. When Owl-man came home in the evening, he said, "You are very pretty to-night. What have you done to make yourself look so sleek and shiny?" And she answered, "I have put on my face and hair gum which I picked from the trees last night when I went walking with you." And he said, "I should like to put some on too, for perhaps it would make me beautiful." The girl told him that if he would go out and gather some gum she would put it on his face and hair for him. So he went out and gathered a great store of gum from the trees and brought it back to her. She melted it on a hot stove until it was balsam again and would pour easily out. Then she said, "Shut your eyes so that it will not harm your sight, and I will make your face and hair beautiful and shining like mine." Owl-man shut his eyes, and the girl soon covered his face and head with the soft gum. She put it on very thick, and she said, "Keep your eyes shut until it dries or it may blind you." Owl-man did as he was told, but when the gum dried he could not open his eyes, and while he was trying to rub it off, the girl slipped out the door and ran back to her parents, far away by the Great Water.

Owl-man scraped the gum from his face and head as best he could, and when he could open his eyes again and could see pretty well, he went out into the night in search of his wife.[Pg 86] And as he went along he cried, "Oh, oh, oh, where is my wife? Where is my girl? I have lost my wife. I have lost my girl. Oh, oh, oh." And when the people heard him calling they thought they would play a trick on him. So they said, "She is here, she is here." But when he entered their houses, the woman they showed him was not his wife, and he went away sorrowful. And the people all laughed at his confusion, and said, "Owl-man is getting queerer each day. He is far gone in his head." Owl-man went from house to house, but he could not find his wife. Then he went to the trees and searched among the branches. He pulled the trees up by the roots, thinking she might be hiding underneath. And he looked into the salmon-traps in the rivers, and kicked them to pieces in his frenzy. But nowhere was his wife to be found.

Then he went to the girl's house, where she was hiding, and he yelled, "Oh, oh, oh, give me my wife. Give me my girl. I know she is here. Oh, oh, oh." But the girl's foster-mother would not give her up. Then he began to tear down the house over their heads, for the old man of the house was away and there was no one else strong enough to stop Owl-man in his rage. When the woman saw her house in danger of falling about her ears, she cried, "Stop; your wife is here." And she brought forth the girl from her hiding-place. When Owl-man saw her, his rage left him and he was happy again.


[Pg 87]

But just then the old man of magic power came home. He had heard the hub-bub from a distance. When he came in and saw the great holes in the roof and the side of his house where Owl-man had torn away the logs, he was very angry and he said to himself, "I will punish both Owl-man and the girl for this night's work." And he hit upon a plan. He said to Owl-man, "We must give you a hot bath to melt the gum and take it from your hair, for it will do you no good, and it will take all the hair off your head." And Owl-man gladly agreed. So they filled a great bark tub with water and heated it by placing at the bottom of it many red-hot stones, after the fashion of Indians in those old days. But the old man put so many hot stones in the water that it was soon almost boiling with the heat, and when they put Owl-man into the tub he was almost scalded to death and he yelled loudly in pain. Then the old man said, "Now I will take vengeance. You will trouble me no more. You have broken my house. Henceforth you will be not a man but an Owl, and you will dwell alone in the forest with few friends, and you will live always on frogs and toads and field-mice, and people will hear you at night crying for your wife all over the land, but you shall never find her." Then with his magic power he changed him to an Owl and sent him on his way.

He said to the girl, "You have done me much harm too, and you have brought all this trouble upon me. Henceforth you will be not a girl but a Fish-Hawk, and you will always[Pg 88] cry and fret and scream as you have done before, and you will never be satisfied." And with his magic power he changed her into a Fish-Hawk, and sent her out to the ocean. And there she screams always, and she is a great glutton, for she can never get enough to eat. And since that time, Owl and Fish-Hawk have not dwelt together and have not been on friendly terms. They live far apart, and Owl keeps to the forest and the mountains, while the other keeps to the sea. Thus was the old man avenged, and thus was the weeping maiden punished for her tears. And the cries of Owl and Fish-Hawk are still heard in many places, one calling for his wife, the other screaming unsatisfied for something she cannot get.

[Pg 89]


Far away in the Canadian North Country an old man lived with his wife and children. They lived far from other people, but they were never lonely, for they had much work to do. The old man was a great hunter, and in summer he and his wife and children lived on the fish and game he captured in the winter. In the spring-time he gathered sap from the maple trees, from which he made maple syrup and maple sugar with which to sweeten their food. One day in summer he found three small bears eating his stock of sugar. When he came upon them, his sugar was all gone, and he was very cross. With a stout club he killed the little bears and skinned them and dried their meat. But his wife said, "No good can come of it. You should not have killed the three little bears, for they were too young for slaughter."

The next day the old Bear came along, looking for his lost children. When he saw their skins hanging up to dry he knew that they had been killed by the hunter. He was very sad and angry, and he called to the hunter, "You have killed my little motherless cubs, and in return for that[Pg 90] wickedness, some night when you are off your guard I will kill your children, and then I will kill you and your wife, and I will devour all your food." The old man shot at him with his arrows, but the arrows did not harm him, for he was Brown Bear of the Stony Heart, and he could not be killed by man. For many nights and days the old man tried to trap him, but he met with no success. And each day he saw his store of food growing smaller, for Bear of the Stony Heart stole it always in the night. And he thought, "We shall all surely starve before the winter comes, and game is plentiful again."

One day in despair he resolved to look about him for some one who would tell him how to kill the Bear. He went to the bank of the river and sat there in thought and smoked long at his pipe. And he called to the God of the River and said, "Oh, River-God, help me to drown Bear when he comes to fish." The river came from the Lime Stone country far back among the rocks, and it was flowing rapidly to the sea. And the River-God said, "My water cannot tarry. There are millions of oysters down on the ocean shore waiting for shells, and I am hurrying down there with the lime to make them," and he rushed quickly past.

Then the old man called to the Spirit of the Wind, and he said, "Oh, Spirit of the Wind, stay here with me to-night and help me to kill Bear of the Stony Heart. You can knock down great trees upon his back and crush him to the earth."[Pg 91] But the Wind Spirit said, "I cannot linger. Many ships with rich cargoes lie silent on the ocean waiting to sail, and I must hurry along with the force to drive them." And like the River-God he hastened on his way.

Then the old man called to Storm Cloud, which was just then passing over his head, and he said, "Oh, Spirit of the Storm Cloud, stay here with me to-night and help me to kill Bear of the Stony Heart, for he seeks to destroy my children. You can send lightning and thunder to strike him dead." But the Storm Cloud said, "I cannot loiter on the way. Far from here there are millions of blades of corn and grass dying from thirst in the summer heat, for I see the heat waves rising on the earth, and I am hurrying there with rain to save them." And like the River-God and the Wind Spirit he hurried along on his business. The poor old man was in great sorrow, for it seemed that no one would help him to rid the land of Bear of the Stony Heart.

As he sat wondering what he should do, an old woman came along. She said, "I am very hungry and tired, for I have come far. Will you give me food and let me rest here a while?" And he said, "We have very little food, for Bear of the Stony Heart steals it from us nightly, but you may share with us what little we have." So he went away and brought back to her a good fat meal. While she was eating her dinner he told her of his troubles with Bear, and he said that no one would help him to get rid of the pest, and that[Pg 92] Bear could not be killed by man. And the old woman said, "There is a little animal who can kill Bear of the Stony Heart. He alone can save you. You have done well to me. Here is a wand which I will give you. Go to sleep here, soon, on the bank of the river. Wave this wand before you sleep and say what I shall teach you, and when you awake call to you the first animal you see when you open your eyes. He will be the animal of which I speak, and he will rid you of the Bear." She taught him a little rhyme and gave him a wand which she took from the basket on her arm; then she hobbled away, and the old man knew that she was the weird woman of the Fairy Blue Mountain, of whom he had often heard. He marvelled greatly, but he resolved to do as she had told him.

After the old woman had gone, the man waved the little wand three times, and cried:

"Animal, animal, come from your lair,
Help me to slaughter the old Brown Bear!
Make with my magic a little white dart,
To pierce in the centre old Bear's Stony Heart!"

He repeated the rhyme three times. Then he felt himself getting drowsy and sleep soon came upon him. He slept but a short time when the heat woke him up, for the hot sun beat down upon him. He rubbed his eyes and looked about him. Watching him from behind a tree was a little animal with a shaggy brown coat. The old man thought to himself, "Surely the weird fairy woman of the Blue Mountain has[Pg 93] played a trick on me. That scraggy little animal with the dirty coat cannot kill the Bear." But he resolved to test her word. He repeated his rhyme again, and the little animal came quickly towards him. "Who are you?" said the man. "I am Ermine," said the little animal. "Are you the animal of which the fairy woman of the Blue Hills has told me?" asked the man. "I am indeed the same," said Ermine. "I have been sent to you to kill the Bear, and here I have the little darts made powerful because of your magic wand." He pointed to his mouth and showed the old man his sharp white teeth. "So now to your task," said the old man in high spirits. "Oh, not so fast," said Ermine, "you must first pay me for my work." "What can I do for you?" asked the man. "I am ashamed of my dirty brown coat, which I have worn for a long time," said the animal; "you have great magic from the wand you received from the fairy woman of the Blue Hills. I want a sleek and shining white coat that I can wear always, for I want to be clean." The man waved his wand again and wished for what the animal had asked him, and at once the shaggy brown coat of Ermine was replaced by a sleek and shining white coat as spotless as the new snow in winter. Then the animal said, "I have one more condition to impose on you. You must promise never to kill a bear's young cubs when they are still following their mother in the summer time. You must give them a chance to grow strong, so that they may[Pg 94] be able to fight for their own lives." And the man promised, placing his hand upon the wand to bind his oath. Then, when he looked again, the wand had vanished from his hand. It had gone back through the air to the fairy woman of the Blue Hills.


[Pg 95]

Then Ermine set out on his search for Bear. The afternoon was very hot, and the forest was still, and not a leaf or a blade of grass was stirring, and there was not a ripple on the stream. The whole world was drowsy in the dry summer heat. But Ermine did not feel the heat, he was in such high spirits because of his new white coat. Soon he came upon Bear, stretched out at full length on the bank of the river, taking his afternoon nap, as was his custom after his fat midday meal. He was lying on his back, and his mouth was open wide, and he was snoring loudly like a waterfall. "This is your last sleep," said Ermine, creeping softly to his side, "for you are a dangerous thief; you shall snore no more." And with a bound he jumped down Bear's throat, and in an instant had pierced with his teeth his strong stony heart, which the arrows of the Indians could never reach. Then as quickly as he had entered the Bear's mouth Ermine jumped out again and ran from the place. Bear snored no more; he was quite dead, and the land was rid of his thefts and terrors. Then Ermine went back to the old man and told him that the deed was done; and that night was a great feast night in the old man's home. And since that time Ermine in the North Country has worn a sleek white coat as spotless as the new snow in winter. And to this day the hunters in the far north will not kill, if they can avoid it, the young Bear cubs while they are still following their mothers through the forest. They give them a chance to grow up and grow strong, so that they may be able to fight for their own lives, as the fairy woman of the Blue Hills had asked.

[Pg 96]


Long ago in Indian days in Canada, when Rabbit worked for Glooskap as his forest guide, he was a great thief. He liked most of all to steal by moonlight, and he crept quietly into gardens and fields where Indian vegetables were growing, for he was very fond of cabbage and lettuce and beans. Not far from his home there lived alone an old widow woman who had no children. She could not hunt game because she was a woman, and she had never been trained to the chase, so she kept a little garden from which she made a good living. All day long from dawn until sunset she toiled hard, tilling her little garden, watering her vegetables and keeping them free from weeds. And she grew green cabbages and red carrots and yellow beans and big fat pumpkins and Indian corn, which she traded with Indian hunters in return for fish and meat. In this way she always had plenty of food, and she lived very well on good fare. But Rabbit, going his rounds one day, discovered her garden, although it was deep in the forest, and every night by moonlight or starlight he robbed it, and grew sleek and fat from the results of his thefts. And morning[Pg 97] after morning the old widow woman found that many cabbages and carrots were missing and that much harm had been done to her plants. She had an idea that Rabbit was the pilferer, for she had heard that he was a great thief, but she was not very sure. She watched many nights, but she was never able to catch the robber, so stealthily did he come, and it was not easy to see him in the shadows. So she said to herself, "I will set up a scarecrow, a figure in the shape of a little man, and I will place it at my garden gate, and it will frighten away the robber, whoever he may be, for I must save my vegetables or I shall starve when the cold winter comes."

She picked from the spruce and the fir trees close by a great store of gum and balsam. This she formed into a figure in the shape of a little man. She made two eyes from glass beads that would shine like fire in the starlight, and a nose from a pine cone, and hair from the corn tassels and yellow moss. Then she placed the figure at the entrance to the garden where she knew the robber would come. "Now," she thought, "I will scare away the thief."

When night fell and the moon rose above the trees, Rabbit came along, as was his custom, to steal his nightly meal. As he came near the garden very softly, he saw in the moonlight what he thought was a man standing in the path by the garden gate. The moon hung low over the forest, and[Pg 98] there was a thin grey mist on the earth, for it was near to autumn and the nights were already cool; and the figure of the little man looked larger than human in the misty light, and it cast a long black shadow like that of a giant on the grass. Rabbit was much afraid and he trembled like an aspen leaf, but he stood quiet behind a tree and watched the strange figure. For a long time he stood still and watched and listened. But the strange figure did not move, and not a sound did Rabbit hear but the chirp of a cricket. Then with great caution he came closer. But still the figure did not move. Then his fear left him and he grew bolder, for he was very hungry, and he could smell the vegetables and the wild honeysuckle in the still night air. So he walked bravely up to the little dummy man and said, "Get out of my way and let me pass." But the man did not move. Then Rabbit struck the man a sharp blow with his fist. But still the figure did not move. Rabbit's fist stuck fast in the gum and he could not pull it away. Then he struck out with his other fist, and it too, like the other, was held firm. "I shall kick you," said Rabbit in a rage. "Take that," and he struck out wildly with his foot. But his foot, like his fists, stuck fast. Then he kicked with the other foot, but that too was held in the gum. Rabbit was now very cross, and in his anger he said, "Now I shall bite you," but when he bit the little man, his teeth, like his feet and hands, stuck fast. Then he pushed with his body with all his might, hoping to[Pg 99] knock the little man down, but his whole body stuck to the dummy figure.

He cried out loudly, for he was now beside himself with fear, and the old woman, when she heard his yells, came running out of her house. "Aha!" she said, "so you are the robber who has been stealing from my garden. I will rid the world of a pilfering pest, for I will kill you this very night." Then she pulled him away from the gum figure and put him in a strong bag and tied the mouth of the bag with a stout string. She left the bag on the path by the garden gate and went to look for her axe to kill Rabbit. While Rabbit lay there wondering how he was going to escape, Fox came prowling along. He stumbled over the bag, for he did not see it in the shadows, and he plunged forward headlong to the ground with a great thud. He got up and rained kicks upon the bag. He was mad because he had been tripped. He kicked poor Rabbit's back until Rabbit cried in pain. "Who are you in the bag?" asked Fox when he heard the cries. "I am your friend Rabbit," was the answer. "What are you doing, hiding in the bag?" asked Fox. Then Rabbit suddenly thought of a way of escape. He knew that Fox had long been looking for a wife, but that no one would have him as no one trusted him because his fame for treachery and slyness was so great. "I am not hiding," he said. "The old woman who owns this garden wants me to marry her grand-daughter, and when I refused to do it she caught me[Pg 100] and shut me up in this bag; she has just gone to bring the girl from her house, for she is determined to make me marry her here in the moonlight this very night. I don't want to marry her, for she is very big and fat, and I am very small and lean." Then he cried "Boo-hoo-hoo" again, and Fox said, "I have been looking for a wife for a long time, and I like fat people. Let me get into the bag in your place, and I will marry the grand-daughter instead, for the old woman will not know me in the shadows." And Rabbit gladly agreed. Then Fox untied the bag and let Rabbit out and got into the bag himself, and Rabbit tied up the mouth of the bag and hurried away as quickly as he could.

Soon the old woman came back, carrying her axe. She sharpened it on a stone and said, "Now I will kill you, and you will thieve no more in my garden. A poor woman must live untroubled by such pilfering rogues." When Fox heard these words and the sound of the stone upon the axe, he knew that he had been deceived by Rabbit, and when the old woman opened the bag he sprang nimbly out with a sudden bound and was away before she could catch him. He swore by the Starlight that he would have vengeance on Rabbit. All night long he searched for him and all the next day, but he could not find him. At last in the gathering twilight he came upon him in an open space in the forest, on the other side of a stream, eating his fill of wild vegetables. Fox tried to coax him across the stream to his side, for he himself was afraid of the water, but Rabbit would not go. "Why don't you eat some cheese?" said Rabbit; "there is a big round cheese in the stream." Fox looked into the stream where Rabbit pointed, and there he saw the reflection of the big round yellow moon. He thought it was a round cheese, and he plunged in after it, for he was very fond of cheese. Rabbit hoped he would be drowned, but the stream was shallow and Fox climbed out with no cheese and with only a bad fright and a wet coat for his pains. He was very cross, for he knew that Rabbit wished to do him harm, but he kept his anger to himself. Rabbit was still eating contentedly.


[Pg 101]

"What are you eating?" said Fox, trying to hold him in talk until he could think of a plan to catch him. "I am eating good ripe fruit," said Rabbit. "I am eating Indian melons." "Throw me one," said Fox, for he was hungry. Rabbit threw him a large round wild cucumber all covered with green prickles. "Swallow it whole at a mouthful," said Rabbit; "it is very good that way." It was night and the moon shone dimly through the trees, and Fox could not see what he was eating. He swallowed the cucumber at one gulp, as Rabbit had told him, but the prickles stuck in his throat and he almost choked to death. And while he was choking and spluttering and trying to cough up the cucumber, Rabbit ran away as fast as he could, laughing heartily to himself. Fox knew that he had been tricked again, and this time he swore he would kill Rabbit as soon[Pg 102] as he could find him; he resolved that when next he saw him he would not give him a moment to live.

Rabbit hid among the dry underbrush all the next day. But when the day went down and the sky was red in the west and the wind was very still, he sat on a log, as was his custom, and played softly on his flute, for he was a great player on the Indian pipe. While he was playing, Fox suddenly came upon him unawares. Rabbit saw him watching him through the trees close at hand, but although taken by surprise, he was not to be outdone. Fox was just about to spring upon him when Rabbit said, "The Chief's daughter has just been married to a great warrior, and the wedding party will soon be along this way. They asked me to sit here and make music for them with my flute as they pass by. They have promised to pay me well, and they have invited me to the wedding feast. Come and join me and play too, and you will be well paid, and we will go to the wedding feast together and get good things to eat." Fox thought he would let Rabbit get the pay he had been promised, for he was a very greedy fellow; then he would rob him and kill him, and he would take his flute and go to the wedding feast alone, and his vengeance would then be complete. So he decided to let his anger cool for a little time. And he said, "I have no flute, and I cannot therefore make music; but I will sit with you to see the wedding guests go by." But Rabbit said, "Take my flute. I have[Pg 103] another at home. I will go and get it, for there is yet time."

So Fox took the flute and began to play loudly, and Rabbit slipped hurriedly out of sight, pretending to go for his Indian pipe. But he resolved to make an end of Fox, for he feared for his own life, and instead of going home, he set the underbrush on fire. He kindled the fire at many places all around the log on which Fox sat. Fox could not hear the fire crackling because of the loud music of his flute, and he thought the light was but the bright light of the moon. And the fire was almost upon him before he knew that he was in danger. Then he tried to get away, but on all sides his escape was stopped by the flames and he could not find an opening. At last, in despair, to save his life, he jumped through the ring of fire. He escaped with his life, but his eyelids were singed, and his sleek black coat with its silver spots was scorched to a red-brown colour. He was in great pain. He concluded that Rabbit was too clever for him to cope with, and he resolved to leave him alone and to forego his revenge, for he was glad to get away with his life. But he decided never again to live on friendly terms with Rabbit. And since that night Rabbit and Fox have never hunted together. And to the present day the descendants of this Fox have red eyes and a red-brown coat, because Rabbit scorched their ancestor in the olden times.

[Pg 104]


Once, long ago, before the white man came to Canada, a boy was living with his parents in a village near the ocean. As he had no brothers or sisters, he was often lonely, and he longed for adventure and companionship. At last he decided to set out to seek his fortune elsewhere. He was just on the point of leaving his home when it was noised abroad one day that there had come into the land a great dragon, who was doing great havoc and damage wherever he went. The country was in great terror, for the dragon carried off women and children and devoured them one by one. And what was still more mystifying, he had power to take on human form, and often he changed himself into a man of pleasing shape and manner and came among the people to carry out his cruel designs before they knew that he was near. The Chief of the tribe called for volunteers to meet the dragon-man, but none of his warriors responded. They were strong and mighty in combat with men, but it was a different matter to encounter a dragon.

When the youth heard this dreadful story and saw the[Pg 105] terror of his people, he said, "Here is my chance to do a great deed," for somehow he felt that he had more than human power. So he said good-bye to his parents and set out on his adventure. He travelled all day inland through the forest, until at evening he came to a high hill in the centre of an open space. He said, "I will climb this hill, and perhaps I can see all the country round about me." So he went slowly to the top. As he stood there, looking over the country which he could see for many miles around, a man suddenly appeared beside him. He was a very pleasant fellow, and they talked together for some time. The boy was on his guard, but he thought, "Surely this man with the good looks cannot be the dragon," and he laughed at his suspicions and put them from his mind.

The stranger said, "Where are you going?" And the boy answered, "I am going far away. I am seeking adventure in the forest for it is very lonely down by the sea." But he did not tell him of his real errand. "You may stay with me to-night," said the new-comer. "I have a very comfortable lodge not far from here, and I will give you food." The boy was very hungry and tired, and he went along with the man to his lodge. When they reached the house the boy was surprised to see a great heap of bleached bones lying before the door. But he showed no fear nor did he comment on the horrible sight. Inside the lodge sat[Pg 106] a very old and bent woman, tending a pot. She was stirring it with a big stick, and the boy saw that it contained meat stew. When she placed the stew before them, the boy said he would rather have corn, for he feared to taste the meat. The old woman fried some corn for him, and he had a good meal.

After they had eaten, the man went out to gather wood for the fire, and the boy sat talking to the old woman. And she said to him, "You are very young and beautiful and innocent—the most handsome I have yet seen in this place. And because of that, I will take pity on you and warn you of your danger. The man whom you met in the forest and whom you supped with to-night is none other than the dragon-man of whom you have often heard. He cannot be killed in ordinary combat, and it would be folly for you to try. To-morrow he will kill you if you are still here. Take these moccasins that I will give you, and in the morning when you get up put them on your feet. With one step you will reach by their power the hill you see in the distance. Give this piece of birch bark with the picture on it to a man you will meet there, and he will tell you what next to do. But remember that no matter how far you go, the dragon-man will overtake you in the evening." The youth took the moccasins and the birch bark bearing the mystic sign and hid them under his coat, and said, "I will do as you advise." But the woman said,[Pg 107] "There is one more condition. You must kill me in the morning before you go, and put this robe over my body. Then the dragon-man's spell over me will be broken, and when he leaves me, I will rouse myself with my power back to life."

The youth went to sleep, and the dragon-man slept all night beside him so as not to let him escape. The next morning, when the dragon-man was out to get water from the stream some distance away, the boy at once carried out the old woman's orders of the night before. First of all he killed the old woman with a blow and covered her body with a bright cloak, for he knew that when the dragon-man would leave the place she would soon rise again. Then he put the magic moccasins on his feet and with one great step he reached the distant hill. Here, sure enough, he met an old man. He gave him the piece of birch bark bearing the mystic sign. The man looked at it closely and smiled and said, "So it is you I was told to wait for. That is well, for you are indeed a comely youth." The man gave him another pair of moccasins in exchange for those he was wearing, and another piece of birch bark bearing another inscription. He pointed to a hill that rose blue in the distance and said, "With one step you will reach that hill. Give this bark to a man you will meet there, and all will be well."

The boy put the moccasins on his feet, and with one step[Pg 108] he reached the distant hill. There he met another old man, to whom he gave the birch bark. This man gave him another pair of moccasins and a large maple leaf bearing a strange symbol, and told him to go to another spot, where he would receive final instructions. He did as he was told, and here he met a very old man, who said, "Down yonder there is a stream. Go towards it and walk straight into it, as if you were on dry ground. But do not look at the water. Take this piece of birch bark bearing these magic figures, and it will change you into whatever you wish, and it will keep you from harm." The boy took the bark and did as he was told, and soon found himself on the opposite bank of the stream. He followed the stream for some distance, and at evening he came to a lake. As he was looking about for a warm place to pass the night, he suddenly came upon the dragon-man, now in the form of a monster dragon, hiding behind the trees. The old woman's words had come true, for his enemy had overtaken him before nightfall, as she had said. There was no time to lose, so the boy waved his magic bark, and at once he became a little fish with red fins, moving slowly in the lake.

When the dragon-man saw the little fish, he cried, "Little fish of the red fins, have you seen the youth I am looking for?" "No, sir," said the little fish, "I have seen no one; I have been asleep. But if he passes this way I will tell you," and he moved rapidly out into the lake.


[Pg 109]

The dragon-man moved down along the bank of the lake, while the youth watched him from the water. He met a Toad in the path, and said, "Little Toad, have you seen the youth I am looking for? If he passed this way you would surely have seen him." "I am minding my own business," answered the Toad, and he hopped away into the moss. Then the dragon-man saw a very large fish with his head above water, looking for flies, and he said, "Have you seen the boy I am looking for?" "Yes," said the fish, "you have just been talking to him," and he laughed to himself and disappeared. The dragon-man went back and searched everywhere for Toad, but he could not find him. As he looked he came upon a musk-rat running along by the stream, and he said angrily, "Have you seen the person I am looking for?" "No," said the rat. "I think you are he," said the dragon-man. Then the musk-rat began to cry bitterly and said, "No, no; the boy you are looking for passed by just now, and he stepped on the roof of my house and broke it in." The dragon-man was deceived again. He went on and soon came upon old Turtle splashing around in the mud. "You are very old and wise," he said, hoping to flatter him, "you have surely seen the person I am looking for." "Yes," said Turtle, "he is farther down the stream. Go across the river and you will find him. But beware, for[Pg 110] if you do not know him when you see him, he will surely kill you." Turtle knew well that the dragon-man would now meet his fate.

The dragon-man followed the lake till he came to the river. For greater caution, so that he might be less easily seen, he changed himself to a Snake. Then he attempted to cross the stream. But the youth, still in the form of a fish and still using the power of his magic bark with the mystic sign, was swimming round and round in a circle in the middle of the river. A rapid whirlpool arose where he swam, but it was not visible on the surface. As the Snake approached it, he saw nothing but clear water. He failed to recognize his enemy, and as Turtle had told him, he swam into the whirlpool before he was aware of it, and was quickly drawn to the bottom, where he was drowned.

The youth fished him up and cut off his head. Then he changed back to his own form. He went to the dragon-man's lodge to see how the old woman had fared, but she had gone with her bright robe, and the lodge was empty. Then the youth went back to his home and reported what he had done. And he received many rich gifts from the Chief for his brave deed, and the land was never troubled again by dragons. But from that time the snake family was hated because its shape had concealed the dragon-man, and to this day an Indian will not let a snake escape with his life if he[Pg 111] meets one of them in his path. For they still are mindful of the adventure of their ancestor in the old days, and they are suspicious of the evil power the snake family secretly possess.

[Pg 112]


Long ago, when Glooskap was the ruler of the Indians in Eastern Canada, and when the animals all worked for him and talked like men, Wolf was one of Rabbit's enemies. On the surface they seemed to be friends, but each was afraid of the other and each suspected the other of treachery. Rabbit was very faithful to his work as the forest guide who showed people the way to far places. But he was also a great trickster, and he delighted to play pranks on every one he met. He liked more than all to pester Wolf, for he had a hatred for his cruel ways, and he was always able to outwit him.

It happened that Rabbit and Wolf lived close together, deep in the Canadian forest. Some distance from them, in a little house, lived a poor widow woman who had only one daughter. She was a very beautiful girl, with hair as black as the raven's wing, and with eyes like the dark of the underwater. Rabbit and Wolf each fell in love with her, and each in his own way sought her as his wife. Rabbit tried hard to win her love. When he went to her[Pg 113] house he always dressed himself in a soft brown coat, and he put a bangle around his neck and bells upon his feet. And often he played sweetly on his flute, hoping to charm her with his music, for he was a great player upon the Indian pipe. And he tried to grow a moustache to hide his split lip; but he had little success, for his whiskers would not grow thick, and he has the thin scraggy moustache of a few hairs to this day. But no matter what Rabbit did to adorn himself, the girl gave him cold looks, and old Wolf seemed to be deeper in her favour, for she liked his willowy form and his sleek and bashful ways. And poor Rabbit was sore distressed.

One fine day in the spring-time, Rabbit came upon the girl and her mother gathering May-flowers among the moss. He crept close to listen to their talk. He heard the mother say, "I have no stomach for little Rabbit, but Wolf pleases me well. You must marry Wolf. They tell me he is a great hunter, and if you marry him we shall never want for food."

When Rabbit heard this he was very sad; he determined that on no account should Wolf marry the widow's daughter, and that he must use all his power to prevent it. That night he went alone to the girl's house. He spoke sneeringly of Wolf, saying with a bitter frown, "Wolf is no hunter; he never catches any game because he is lazy and has no brains; I always have to feed him to keep him[Pg 114] from starving; he is but a beast of burden; I always ride upon his back when I go to a far country, for he is good for nothing else." The girl's mother wondered greatly, and she was very startled by this news, for she did not want her daughter to marry a good-for-nothing; but she was not sure that Rabbit spoke the truth, for she had heard that sometimes he told great lies. So she said, "If you will ride Wolf over here I will believe you, and he shall not marry my daughter, and you shall marry her yourself." And Rabbit went home well pleased and sure of a happy ending to his trick.

The next day Rabbit purposely met Wolf in the forest, and he said, "Let us go together to see the widow's daughter." And Wolf was glad to go. They had not gone far when Rabbit began to cry. Then he lay down on the ground, and rolled and moaned and rubbed his belly as if in great distress. "I have a sharp pain in my belly," he sobbed, "I cannot walk any farther. If I walk I shall surely die, and I cannot go on unless you carry me on your back." Wolf willingly agreed, for he wanted to see the beautiful girl, and he was very sorry for poor Rabbit in his pain; and Rabbit, laughing to himself, climbed on Wolf's back. Wolf ran along, not feeling the load, for Rabbit was very light. They had not gone far when Rabbit cried again and said, "I cannot ride without a saddle, for your bare back hurts me and gives me blisters." So they borrowed[Pg 115] a little saddle from a field by the way and put it on Wolf's back. Soon Rabbit said, "This is fine fun; let us play that you are a horse and that I am a great rider. I should like to put a little bridle on you, and to wear spurs on my feet and to carry a whip." And Wolf, wishing to please Rabbit to make him forget his pain, gladly agreed. So they borrowed a little bridle and spurs and a whip from another field near by, and did as Rabbit asked, and together they went to the girl's home, Wolf trotting along like a little horse, and Rabbit laughing to himself, sitting in the saddle, with his spurs and his whip, holding the bridle reins. When they drew near the house, Rabbit made a great noise so that the mother and her daughter might look out to see where the shouting came from. He called loudly, "Whoa, Whoa." And the girl and her mother opened the door and looked out at them in wonder. Then as they were looking on, Rabbit, chuckling to himself, struck Wolf a stinging blow with his whip, and stuck his spurs deep into Wolf's sides and called him loudly a lazy beast. Wolf jumped and plunged and kicked because of the prick of the spurs and the sting of the whip; he was very cross, but he said nothing.

Some distance away, Rabbit tied Wolf to a tree, saying, "Stay here and I will send the girl to you." Then he went to the house, and he said to the woman, "Now you will believe that Wolf is a beast of burden, for I have ridden[Pg 116] here on his back." And the woman believed him. She told him to give Wolf some corn or grass. But Rabbit said, "He doesn't eat corn or grass; he eats only fresh meat," for he knew well that Wolf would be quite contented if he got a good meal of meat. Then she gave him some fresh meat, which he brought to Wolf. And Wolf was happy, and his anger disappeared, and he forgot the pain of the spurs and the whip, and he thought it was fine fun to get a good meal so easily. The woman promised that Rabbit should marry her daughter, and when night fell Rabbit went home well pleased, leaving Wolf still tied to the tree. It was so dark that Wolf did not see him leaving the house, and for a long time he thought he was still inside, and he waited long in the starlight. At last he grew tired waiting, for he was hungry and he was cold standing still in the chill night air of early spring. He cut with his teeth the bridle rein that tied him to the tree, and then he went to the woman's house. But the woman would not let him in. She told him to go away, that she never wished to see him again, and she called him a lazy beast of burden. He went home in great anger, for he knew now that he had been tricked, and he swore that he would have vengeance on Rabbit.


[Pg 117]

The next day Rabbit learned from the woman that she had spurned Wolf from her door, and he knew that Wolf realized he had been deceived. He was somewhat frightened, for he dreaded Wolf's vengeance, and for several days he hid among the trees. Then hunger drove him out and he went forth to look for food. One evening he entered a garden in search of cabbage, and he was busy robbing it, when the people who owned the garden spied him. And they said, "Here is the thief who has been stealing our vegetables. We will catch him and teach him a lesson." Before Rabbit knew it, they were upon him, for he was eating heartily, he was so hungry, and they caught him and bound him fast to a tree and went to get scalding water to pour upon his back to teach him not to rob their garden again. But while they were away Wolf came along. He, too, was very hungry, for he had eaten no meal for many days, but he was glad when he saw Rabbit, for now he thought he would have his revenge. Rabbit saw him at a distance, and he resolved to try another trick on him, and to hail him as if he thought he was still his friend. And he cried out to him, "Help me, Wolf! Help me! The people here asked me to eat up a nice little lamb, and when I refused to do it, they tied me up to this tree, and they have gone to bring the lamb to me."

Wolf was too hungry to be cautious, and he forgot all about Rabbit's tricks, for spring lamb was his favourite food. And he said, "I will eat up the little lamb," and he smacked his lips as he spoke, and thought of the nice tender meal he would have. Then Rabbit said, "Untie[Pg 118] me and take my place, for the people will soon be here with the lamb." So Wolf untied him, and Rabbit in turn bound Wolf fast to the tree, and laughing to himself because he had again outwitted stupid Wolf, he ran rapidly away. Far off he hid behind the trees to see what would happen. Soon the people came back, carrying the pots of scalding water. Wolf saw them coming, and he was in high spirits, for he thought the lamb he was to eat was in one of the pots. It was moonlight, and in the shadow of the great tree the people could not see very clearly, and they thought Wolf was Rabbit, still bound fast where they had left him. So they poured the scalding water on his back and kicked him and knocked him on the head with a big stick, and they said, "Now, thief, we have taught you how dangerous it is to rob gardens in the spring moonlight." Wolf howled with pain, for his back was blistered and his head was sore, and Rabbit heard him, and he sat on a log and shook with laughter because of the success of his prank.

Then the people untied Wolf and let him go. He went away wearily among the trees. And he again swore vengeance on Rabbit, and he resolved to kill him as soon as he set eyes upon him, for he knew he had been tricked a second time. For several days he searched for his enemy. At last, one night of bright moonlight, he came upon Rabbit sitting in a patch of Indian tobacco plants, eating his fill and contentedly chewing the tobacco leaves.[Pg 119] Rabbit's mouth was full of tobacco, but he laughed loudly when he saw Wolf's back bound in bandages because of the blisters, and his sore head tied up in a cloth. But when he saw Wolf's angry eyes he was frightened, and he ran away into the woods. The moon was shining in the forest, and Wolf could catch a glimpse now and then of his brown coat among the trees, and he chased him for a long time. Rabbit tried all his tricks to shake him from his tracks, but without avail. At last, when Rabbit was almost worn out, he took refuge in a hollow tree, into which he slipped through a small hole, where Wolf could not follow him. And Wolf said, "Now I have him in my power. I will kill him; but first I must go home to get my axe to cut down the tree and to chop off his head." Then he looked around for some one to keep watch over the tree while he was gone, so that Rabbit could not escape. At last he saw Owl sitting quietly on a branch near. He called to him and said, "Watch by this hole until I get back, and do not let Rabbit get away." So Owl came down and sat by the hole and promised to keep guard over the prisoner, and Wolf went away to look for his axe.

But Rabbit was not caught yet; he had another trick left. After Wolf had gone away, he called to Owl sitting by the hole, and said, "Owl, come and see what a nice little room I have here in the tree." But Owl replied, "It is too dark, I cannot see." Then Rabbit said, "Open[Pg 120] your eyes wide and put your face close to the hole, for I have a light here and you can see easily." Owl did as he was told, for he was a curious fellow. Rabbit had a great mouthful of tobacco juice from the Indian tobacco leaves he had been chewing, and when Owl put his face close to the hole he squirted the juice into Owl's eyes. Owl screamed loudly, for his eyes were smarting and he was blinded by the juice; he ran around the tree and stamped and shrieked and rubbed his eyes, trying to relieve them of their pain. And while he was about it, Rabbit slipped out of the hole and ran away, and Owl did not know he was gone.

Soon Wolf came back, carrying his big sharp axe. And he said, "Now I shall kill him at last." And Owl was afraid to tell him about his sore eyes; they were still open wide, and he could not close them. At once Wolf chopped down the hollow tree. Then he split it open from end to end. But there was no sign of Rabbit. Wolf then thought Owl had tricked him, and that he had helped Rabbit to escape. But Owl said he had not. He sat with his eyes wide open, staring stupidly and moaning and making strange noises because of his pain. Wolf thought he was laughing at him and taunting him, for he did not know the meaning of Owl's strange cries, and in his rage he fell to beating him over the head with his axe-handle until poor Owl's head was swollen to a great size. And Owl cried,[Pg 121] "Hoot, Hoot, Hoot," and his eyes stared from his swollen head even larger than before. Then Wolf went on his way, resolved to keep away from Rabbit. And since that time Owl has cried "Hoot, Hoot, Hoot" at night, for he still remembers his pain; and his head is still swollen and bigger than that of other birds because of the beating Wolf gave him with his axe-handle; and his eyes are still large and they stare stupidly, and he cannot look at light, and he is blind in the daylight because of the tobacco juice Rabbit squirted into his eyes. And since that night Rabbit and Wolf have avoided each other, and they have not lived in the same place, and they have never since been friends.

[Pg 122]


A man and his wife and two little children were living long ago on the shores of a lake surrounded by large trees, deep in the Canadian forest. They lived very happily together, and as game was plentiful, they wanted for nothing. As the children grew up they became each day more beautiful and gentle, until the old women of the tribe said, "They are too good and lovely for this world; their home is surely elsewhere in the West." Before they grew to maturity a cruel plague spread over the land and carried them off with its ravages. Their mother was the next to go, slowly growing weaker, and wasting away before the eyes of her husband, who was powerless to save her.

The man was now left all alone upon the earth. The joy of his life had gone with his wife and children, and he went about in great loneliness and sorrow. Life was long to him and dreary, and often he wished that he too was dead. But at last he roused himself and said, "I will go about doing good. I will spend my life helping others, and perhaps in that way I can find peace." So he worked hard[Pg 123] and did all the good he could for the weaker and the poorer people of his tribe. He was held in high esteem by all the people of the village, and in their affection for him they all called him "Grandfather." He grew to be very old, and because of his good deeds he found great happiness. But he was still very solitary, and the days and evenings were long and lonely, and as he grew older and his work grew less, he found it hard to pass away the time, for he could only sit alone and dream of his vanished youth and of his absent friends.

One day he sat thinking by the lake. Many people of the village were around him, but as usual he sat alone. Suddenly a large flock of birds, looking like great black clouds, came flying from the blue hills in the distance toward the shore of the lake. They wheeled and circled about, and hovered long over the trees, uttering strange cries. The people had never before seen such large birds, and they were much afraid and said, "They are not ordinary creatures. They foreshadow some strange happening." Suddenly one of the birds fluttered for an instant and fell slowly to the earth with an arrow in its breast. No one in the village had shot at the flock, and where the arrow had come from no man knew. The mystery frightened the people still more, and they looked to the old man for counsel, for they knew that he was very wise.

The fallen bird lay fluttering on the ground, seemingly[Pg 124] in pain. The other birds circled about it for a short time, uttering loud cries. Then they screamed and called to each other and flew back to the distant blue hills, leaving the fallen bird behind them with the arrow sticking in its breast. The old man was not frightened by the sight. He said, "I will go to the stricken bird; perhaps I can heal its wound." But the people, in great fear, said, "Do not go, Grandfather, the bird will do you harm." But the old man answered, "It can do no harm to me. My work is ended and my life is almost done. My sky is dark, for I am full of sorrow, and with me it is already the twilight of time. I am alone in the world, for my kindred have gone. I am not afraid of death, for to me it would be very welcome. What matters it if I should die?" And he went to the stricken bird to see if he could help it.

As he went along, his path suddenly grew dark, but as he drew nearer, a bright flame suddenly swept down from the sky to the place where the bird was lying. There was a flash of fire, and when the old man looked he saw that the bird had been completely burned up. When he came to where it had lain, nothing but black ashes remained. He stirred up the ashes with his stick, and lying in the centre he found a large living coal of fire. As he looked at it, in a twinkling it disappeared, and in its place was a strange little figure like a little man, no bigger than his thumb. "Hello, Grandfather," it called, "do not strike me, for I have been sent to help you."


[Pg 125]

"Who are you?" asked the old man.

"I am one of the Little People from the distant blue hills," said the tiny boy. Then the old man knew that the little fellow was one of the strange fairy people of the mountains, of whom he had often heard. "What do you want?" he asked.

"I have been sent to you with a precious gift," answered the little man. The old man wondered greatly, but he said nothing.

Then the fairy from the blue hills said, "You are old and lonely. You have done many noble deeds, and you have always gone about bringing good to others. In that way you have found peace. And because of your good life, I have been sent to bring you more contentment. Your work is done, but your life is not yet ended, and you have still a long time to dwell upon the earth. You must live out your mortal course. You are longing always for your dead wife and children, and you are often thinking of your youth, and with you the days are long and time hangs heavy. But I have been sent to you with a gift that will help you to pass the time more pleasantly."

Then the little man gave him a number of small seeds and said, "Plant these at once, here, in the ashes from which I have just risen." The old man did as he was told. At[Pg 126] once the seeds sprouted and great leaves grew from them, and soon the place where the bird had been burned up became a large field of Tobacco.

The fairy then gave him a large pipe and said, "Dry these leaves and place them in this pipe and smoke them. You will have great contentment, and when you have nothing to do it will help you to pass the time away, and when no one is with you it will be a companion. And it will bring you many dreams of the future and of the past. And when the smoke curls upwards it will have for you many visions of those you loved, and you will see their faces in the smoke as you sit alone in the twilight."

The old man was very thankful for the fairy's gift. But the little man said, "Teach other old men how to use it, so that they, too, may possess it and enjoy it."

Then the fairy quickly disappeared, going towards the distant blue hills, and he was never seen in the village again. And with his pipe and his tobacco the old man went back to his dreaming, with more contentment than before. In this way Tobacco was brought to the Indians in the old days.

[Pg 127]


In olden days, long before the Indians came to Canada, all the animals talked and worked like men. Every year after midsummer they held a great council at which they were all present. But it happened once in the summer before the council met, that they all wanted to go to the sky to see what the country up there was like. None of them could find a way to go. The oldest and wisest creature on all the earth was Turtle. One day he prayed to the Thunder God to take him to the sky, and his prayer was soon answered. There was a great noise, as if the earth had been split asunder, and when the people next looked for Turtle he was nowhere to be found. They searched everywhere without success. But that evening, when they looked upwards, they saw him in the sky, moving about like a black cloud. Turtle liked the sky so well that he decided to live there always and to send his descendants, later, to the earth. And the sky-people agreed to keep him. They asked him, "Where do you want to dwell?" And he answered, "I should like to dwell in the Black Cloud, in which are the ponds and[Pg 128] streams and lakes and springs of water, for I always dwelt near these places when I was young." So he was allowed to have his wish. But when the Great Council of the animals met on earth in the time of the harvest-moon, he was always present. He came in the Black Cloud, but he always went back to the sky after the Council was ended. And the other animals envied him his good fortune, and they wished that they could go with him.

After a time the animals were greatly distressed and angered by the rumour that a new race of creatures was coming from far over the ocean to inhabit their land. They talked it over very carefully, and they all thought how fortunate it would be if they could all go to the sky with old Turtle, and live like him, free from fear and trouble and care. But they were puzzled to know how to get there, for Turtle had never told any of them the way.

One day Deer, wandering about alone in the forest, as was his custom, came across Rainbow, who often built a path of many colours to the sky. And he said to Rainbow, "Carry me up to the sky, for I want to see Turtle." But Rainbow was afraid to do it, for he wished first to ask the Thunder God for permission, and he put Deer off, and to gain time he said, "Come to me in winter, when I stay for a time on the mountain near the lake. Then I will gladly carry you to the place where Turtle dwells."


[Pg 129]

Throughout the long winter months Deer looked longingly for Rainbow, but Rainbow did not come. Life was growing harder on the earth, and the animals were in terror of the new race that was soon to come to their land, and Deer was very timid and impatient. At last, one day in the early summer, Rainbow came again, and Deer hastened to meet him. "Why were you false to me?" he asked; "I waited for you all winter long on the mountain by the lake, but you did not come as you promised. I want to go to the sky now, for I must see Turtle." Rainbow answered, "I cannot take you now. But some day, when there is a Fog over the lake, I shall come back to drive it away. Come to me then, and I shall take you to the sky and to the place where Turtle dwells. This time I will not deceive you."

Rainbow consulted the Thunder God, and received permission to do as Deer wished. Soon afterwards the Fog one day rolled in a thick bank across the lake, and Deer hurried out to wait for Rainbow. Sure enough, Rainbow came down, as he had promised, to drive the Fog away. He threw his arch of many colours from the lake to the blue hills far away, and the Fog at once disappeared from the place. And he said to Deer, who stood watching him, "Now I will keep my promise. Follow my many-coloured path over the hills and the forests and the streams, and be not afraid, and you will soon reach Turtle's home in the sky." Deer did as he was told, and soon he reached the[Pg 130] sky. Turtle was glad to see him, and Deer liked the country so well that he decided to stay for ever. And he roamed over the sky everywhere, moving like the wind from place to place.

When midsummer had passed and the harvest-moon had come and the Great Council again met together, Deer was absent for the first time in his life. The animals waited long for him to appear, for they needed his advice, but he did not come. They sent the Birds out to find him. Black Hawk and Woodpecker and Bluejay all sought him in the forest, but they could not find a trace of him. Then Wolf and Fox scoured the woods far and near, but they came back and reported that he could not be found anywhere. At last Turtle arrived at the meeting of the Great Council, as was his custom, coming in his Black Cloud, in which were the ponds and lakes and streams and springs of water. And Bear said, "Deer is absent from the Council meeting. Where is Deer? We cannot meet without him, for we need his advice." And Turtle replied, "Deer is in the sky. Have you not heard? Rainbow made a wonderful pathway for him of many varied colours, and by that he came to the sky. There he is now," and he pointed to a golden cloud scurrying across the sky overhead.

Turtle advised that the animals should all go to the sky to live until they could be sure that the new race of creatures would bring them no harm. And he showed them the[Pg 131] pathway that Rainbow had made, stretching from the earth in wonderful colours. The animals all agreed at the Great Council to take Turtle's advice. But they were all very angry at Deer for leaving them without warning, for they thought that all the animals should either stay together faithfully on the earth or go all together to the sky. Bear showed the greatest anger and annoyance. Because of his great strength, he had no fear of the new race that was said soon to be coming, and he had always been inclined to look with scorn on Deer's timid and impatient ways. "Deer has forsaken us," he said; "he deserted us in the hour of our danger, and that is contrary to forest laws and to our code of defence." And he thought to himself, "I shall punish him for this when the time comes."

In the late autumn, the time agreed upon came for the animals to leave the earth, and Rainbow again made his bright path for them to the sky. Bear was the first to go up because he was the leader, and because with his great weight he wanted to test the strength of the bridge of burning colours over which they had to pass. When he had almost reached the sky, he met Deer on the path waiting to welcome the animals to their new home. And he said to him in anger, "Why did you leave us behind, without warning, for the land of the Turtle? Why did you desert the Great Council? Why did you not wait until[Pg 132] all could come together? You are a traitor to your comrades, and you have been false to our faith." And Deer answered, also in anger, "Who are you to doubt me or my faith? None but the Wolf may ask me why I came or question my fidelity. I will kill you for your insolence." Deer had grown very proud since he had gone to live in the sky, and he was no longer timid as he had been on earth. His eyes flashed in his fury, and he arched his neck and lowered his antlered head, and rushed madly at Bear to push him from the path.

But Bear was not afraid, for he had often tested his strength with Deer upon the earth. His low, hoarse growls sounded all over the sky, and he prepared to fight. They came together with a shock. For a long time they battled, until the bridge of burning colours trembled and the heavens shook from the force of the conflict. The animals waiting by the lake at the end of the path looked up and saw the battle above them. They feared the results, for they wanted neither Bear nor Deer to die. So they sent Wolf up to the sky to put a stop to the contest. When Wolf reached the combatants, Bear was bleeding freely, for Deer with his antlers had pierced his neck and side. Deer, too, was bleeding where Bear's strong claws had torn a great wound in his head. Wolf soon stopped the battle, and Bear and Deer went away to dress their wounds. Then the other animals went up to the sky over Rainbow's flaming[Pg 133] path. And they decided to live in the sky and to send their descendants back to earth when the new race of creatures should come. And they can still sometimes be seen, like clouds hurrying across the sky, in the shape they had on earth.

But the blood of Bear and of Deer dropped from them as they moved to the sky from the scene of their battle along the Rainbow road. It fell freely upon the leaves of the trees beneath them, and changed them into varied colours. And every year when autumn comes in the north country, the leaves take on again the bright and wondrous colours given to them by the blood of Bear and Deer when they fought on the Rainbow path ages and ages ago. And Bear and Deer have never since been friends, and their descendants no longer dwell together in peace, as they did in the olden days.

[Pg 134]


Once, long ago, Rabbit lived with his old grandmother deep in the Canadian forest, far from all other people. He was a great hunter, and all around, far and near, he laid snares and set traps to catch game for food. It was winter, and he caught many little animals and birds. He brought them home daily to feed himself and his old grandmother, and he was well pleased with his success. But after some weeks had passed he was unable to catch any game. He always found his traps and snares empty, although many tracks were always around them, and there were many signs that animals were prowling about. He knew then that he was being robbed nightly, and that a thief was pilfering his traps. It was very cold and the snow lay deep in the forest, and Rabbit and his old grandmother were in dire need of food. Every morning Rabbit rose very early and hurried off to his traps, but always he found them empty, for the thief had been ahead of him. He was greatly puzzled, for he could not think who the thief was.[Pg 135]

At last one morning, after a new fall of snow, he found the mark of a long foot near his traps, and he knew it was the foot of the game-robber. It was the longest foot-print he had ever seen, long and narrow and very light, like a moonbeam. And Rabbit said, "Now I shall rise earlier in the morning, and I shall go to my traps ahead of the thief and take my game, so that they will all be empty when he comes." Each morning he rose earlier to catch the thief, but the man of the long foot was always there before him, and his game was always gone. No matter how early Rabbit got up, the thief was always ahead of him and his traps were always empty.

So Rabbit said to his old grandmother, "The man of the long foot, who robs my traps, is always up ahead of me, no matter how early I rise. I will make a snare from a bow-string, and I will watch all this night, and I will surely catch him." He made a trap from a stout bow-string and set it beside his snares, and took the end of the bow-string some distance away to a clump of trees, behind which he hid. He hoped that the thief would step into the trap; then he would pull the bow-string and tie him fast to a tree. He sat very quiet, waiting for the man of the long foot to appear. It was moonlight when he set out, but soon it grew very dark in the forest. The Moon suddenly disappeared. But the stars were all shining on the[Pg 136] white snow and there were no clouds in the sky, and Rabbit wondered what had happened to the Moon. He waited very still and a little frightened in the starlight.

Soon he heard some one coming, sneaking stealthily through the trees. Then he saw a white light which dazzled his eyes. The light went towards the snares, until it stopped just at the trap Rabbit had set. Then Rabbit pulled the bow-string, closed the trap as he had hoped, and tied the string fast to a tree. He heard sounds of a struggle, and he saw the white light move from side to side, but he knew that he had his prisoner fast and that the man of the long foot was caught at last. He was much afraid of the white light, and he ran home as fast as he could and told his old grandmother that he had caught the game-robber in the trap, and that he did not know who he was, for he was too frightened to look. And his grandmother said, "You must go back and see who it is, and tell him he must stop robbing your snares." But Rabbit said, "I do not want to go until daylight, for the Moon has gone down and the forest is very dark." But his grandmother said, "You must go." So poor Rabbit, although he was very frightened by what he had seen, set out again for his traps.


[Pg 137]

When he drew near to his snares he saw that the white light was still shining. It was so bright that his eyes were dazzled and he had to stop far from it. Then he approached nearer, but his eyes soon became very sore. There was a stream flowing beside him, and he bathed his eyes in the cold water, but it brought him no relief, and his eyes felt hot and red, and tears fell from them because of the dazzling light. Then he took great handfuls of snow and threw snowballs at the light, hoping thereby to put it out. But when the snowballs came near to the light they melted and fell down like rain. Then, with his eyes still smarting, Rabbit in his rage scooped up great handfuls of soft black mud from the bottom of the stream, and forming it into balls, he threw them with all his force at the white light. He heard them strike something with a dull thud, and he heard loud yells from the prisoner—the man of the long foot—behind the shining light. Then a voice came from the light, saying, "Why did you snare me? Come and untie me at once. I am the Man in the Moon. It is near to the morning, and before dawn I must be on my way home. You have already spotted my face with mud, and if you do not loose me at once I shall kill all your tribe."

Poor Rabbit was more frightened than before, and he ran home and told his old grandmother what had happened. And his grandmother was also very frightened, for she thought that no good could come of it. And she told Rabbit[Pg 138] to go back at once and untie the Man in the Moon, for the night was almost spent, and the dawn would soon be breaking. So poor Rabbit, trembling in his fear, went back to his traps. From a great distance he cried, "I will untie you if you will never again rob my snares, and if you will never come back to earth." And the prisoner in the trap promised, and said, "I swear it by my white light." Then Rabbit approached very carefully. He had to shut his eyes and grope his way because of the bright light, and his lip quivered because of the great heat. At last he rushed in and cut the bow-string snare with his teeth, and the Man in the Moon hurried on his way, for he could already see the dawn in the East. But Rabbit was almost blinded while he was about it, and his shoulders were badly scorched. And ever since that time Rabbit blinks and his eyelids are pink, and water runs from his eyes when he looks at a bright light; and his lip always quivers; and his shoulders are yellow, even when he wears his white winter coat, because of the great light and heat on the winter night long ago when he loosed the Man in the Moon from the snare. And since that night the Man in the Moon has never come back to earth. He stays at his task in the sky, lighting the forest by night; but he still bears on his face the marks of the black mud which Rabbit threw at him. And sometimes for several nights he goes away to a quiet place, where he tries to wash[Pg 139] off the mud; and then the land is dark. But he never succeeds in cleaning himself, and when he comes back to his work the marks of Rabbit's mud-balls are still upon his shining face.

[Pg 140]


Two little children, a boy and a girl, lived long ago with their widowed mother in the Canadian forest. The woman was very poor, for her husband had long been dead and she had to work very hard to provide food for herself and her children. Often she had to go far from home in search of fish and game, and at times she was absent for many days. When she went on these long journeys she left her children behind her, and thus they were allowed to grow up with very little oversight or discipline or care. They soon became very unruly because they were so often left to have their own way, and when their mother returned from her hunting trips she frequently found that they would not obey her, and that they did pretty much as they pleased. As they grew older they became more headstrong and disobedient, and their mother could do very little to control them. And she said, "Some day they will suffer for their waywardness."

One day the woman went to visit a neighbour not far[Pg 141] away. She left a large pot of bear-fat boiling on the fire. And she said to the children, "Do not meddle with the pot while I am gone, for the fat may harm you if it catches fire." But she was not gone long when the boy said to the girl as they played around the pot, "Let us see if the fat will burn." So they took a burning stick of wood and dropped it into the fat, and stood looking into the large pot to see what would happen. The fat sputtered for an instant; then there was a sudden flash, and a tongue of flame shot upwards from the pot into the faces of the children. Their hair was burned to a crisp and their faces were scorched, and they ran from the house crying with pain. But when they reached the outer air, they found that they could not see, for the fire had blinded their eyes. So they stumbled around in darkness, crying loudly for help. But no help came.

When their mother came home she tried every remedy she thought might restore their sight. But all her medicine was unavailing, and she said, "You will always be blind. That is the punishment for your disobedience."

So the children lived in darkness for a long time. But they were no longer headstrong and unruly, and although they could no longer see, they were less trouble to their mother than they were when they had[Pg 142] their sight, for they did not now refuse to do her bidding.

One day, when their mother was far away hunting in the forest, an old woman came along and asked the children for food. And they brought good food to her as she sat before the door. After she had eaten, she said, "You are blind, but I can help you, for I am from the Land of the Little People. I cannot give you four eyes, but I will give you one eye between you. You can each use it at different times, and it will be better than no sight at all. But handle it with great care and do not leave it lying on the ground." Then she gave them an eye which she took from her pocket, and disappeared. So they used the one eye between them, and when the boy had the eye and the girl wished to see anything, she would say, "Give me the eye," and her brother would carefully pass it to her. When their mother came home she was very glad when she found that they had now some means of sight.


[Pg 143]

One day when their mother was away again, the boy went into the forest with his bow and arrows. He carried the eye with him. He had not gone far when he saw a fat young deer, which he killed. The deer was too heavy for him to carry home alone. So he said, "I will go and get my sister, and we shall cut it up and put it in a basket and carry it home together." He went home and told his sister of his good fortune, and he led her to where the deer lay, and they began to cut up the body. But they had forgotten to bring a basket or a bag. He called to his sister saying, "You must weave a basket into which we can put the meat to carry it home." And his sister said, "How can I make a basket when I cannot see? If I am to weave a basket, I must have the eye." The boy brought the eye to her and she made a large basket from green twigs.

When she had finished making the basket the boy said, "I must finish cutting up the meat. Give me the eye." So she brought him the eye, and he proceeded to chop up the meat and to put it in the basket. Then he said, "Why can we not have a meal here? I am very hungry." His sister agreed that this was a good idea, and he said, "You cook the meal while I pack the meat." The girl made a fire, but she was afraid she would burn the meat, so she said, "I cannot see to cook. I must have the eye." By this time her brother had finished packing the meat into the basket, and he brought her the eye and she went on with her cooking. The fire was low and she said, "I must have some dry wood. Bring me some dry pine." The boy wandered off into the forest in search of wood, but he had not gone far when he stumbled over a log and fell to the ground. He called to his sister in anger, saying, "You always want the eye for yourself. How can I[Pg 144] gather dry pine when I cannot see? Give me the eye at once."

His sister ran to him and helped him up and gave him the eye. She found her way back to the fire, but as she reached it she smelled the meat burning on the spit. She shouted, "The meat is burning and our dinner will be spoiled. Give me the eye at once, so that I may see if the meat is cooked." The boy was some distance away, and in his anger he threw the eye to her, saying, "Find it. I am not going to walk to you with it if you are too lazy to come and get it." The eye fell to the ground between them, and neither of them knew where it lay. They groped for it among the dead leaves, but as they searched for it, a wood-pecker, watching from a branch of a tree near by, swooped suddenly down and gobbled it up and flew away.

As they were still searching for it, the old woman who had given it to them came along. She had been hiding among the trees, and she had seen the wood-pecker flying away with her gift. She said, "Where is the eye I gave you?" "It dropped from my head," answered the boy, "and I cannot find it in the grass." "Yes," said the girl, "it dropped from his head, and we cannot find it." "You have lied to me," said the old woman, "and you have disobeyed, and for that I shall punish you." And with her magic power she changed the boy into a mole and[Pg 145] the girl into a bat, and said, "Now live blind upon the earth, with only your sense of sound to guide you." At once the boy and the girl were changed. And so the Mole and the Bat appeared upon the earth.

[Pg 146]


Once long ago, when the Blackfeet Indians dwelt on the Canadian plains, there was a great famine in all the land. For many months no buffaloes were killed, and there was no meat to be had at any price. One by one the old people dropped off because of a lack of food, and the young children died early because there was no nourishment, and there was great sorrow everywhere. Only the strong women and the stronger warriors remained alive, but even they gradually grew weaker because of the pinch of the hunger sent into the land by famine. At last the Chief of the tribe prayed that the Great Chieftain of the Indians might come into his territory to tell the people what to do to save themselves.

[Pg 147]

The Great Chief was at that time far away in the south country where the warm winds were blowing and the flowers were blooming. But one night he heard the Chief's prayer borne to him on the winds, and he hastened northward, for he knew that his people on the plains were somehow in dire distress. Soon he arrived at the village of the hungry tribe. "Who has called me here?" he asked. "It was I," answered the Chief. "My people are all starving because there are no buffaloes in the country, and if you had not come we should soon have all perished." Then the Great Chief looked upon his people and he noticed that the old folks and the little children had disappeared; only a few children were left and they had pinched cheeks and sunken eyes. And he took pity on them and said, "There is a great thief not far distant. He is probably a wicked giant, and he has driven all the buffaloes away. But I will find him and soon you shall have food." And the people were all comforted, for they knew that the Great Chief would keep his word.

Then the Chief took with him the young Chief's son and set out on his quest. The people wanted to go with him, but he said, "No! We shall go alone. It is a dangerous duty, and it is better that, if need be, two should die in the attempt, than that all should perish." They journeyed westwards across the prairies towards the Great Water in the West, and as they went, the youth prayed to the Sun and the Moon and the Morning Star to send them success. Soon they came to the rolling foot-hills covered with sweet-grass and scrubby pine. But still they saw no signs of buffalo. At last they reached a narrow stream, on the bank of which they saw a house with smoke coming from the chimney. "There is the cause of all our[Pg 148] troubles," said the Chief. "In that house dwells the giant Buffalo-thief and his wife. They have driven all the animals from the prairies until not one is left. My magic power tells me it is so!" Then by his magic power he changed his companion into a sharp-pointed straight stick, while he himself took the shape of a dog, and they lay on the ground and waited.

Soon the giant and his wife and their little son came along. The boy patted the dog on the head, and said, "See what a nice dog I have found. He must be lost. May I take him home?" His father said, "No, I do not like his looks. Do not touch him." The boy cried bitterly, for he had long hoped for a dog of his own, and his mother pleaded for him so hard that at last the giant father said, "Oh, very well. Have your own way, but no good can come of it." The woman picked up the stick and said, "I will take this nice straight stick along with me. I can dig roots with it to make medicine." So they all went to the giant's house, the giant frowning angrily, the woman carrying the stick, and the boy leading the dog.


[Pg 149]

The next morning the giant went out and soon came back with a fat young buffalo, all skinned and ready for cooking. They roasted it on a spit over the fire and had a good meal. The boy fed some meat to the dog, but his father, when he saw what the boy was doing, beat him soundly, and said, "Have I not told you the dog is an evil thing? You must not disobey me." But again the woman pleaded for her boy, and the dog was fed. That night when all the world was asleep, the dog and the stick changed back to their human form and had a good supper of what was left of the buffalo-meat. And the Chief said to the youth, "The giant is the Buffalo-thief who keeps the herds from coming to the prairies. It is useless to kill him until we have found where he has hidden them." So they changed back to the shapes of dog and stick and went to sleep.

The next morning the woman and her boy set off to the forest near the mountain, to gather berries and to dig up medicine roots. They took the dog and the stick with them. At noon, after they had worked for some time, they sat down to have their luncheon. The woman threw the stick down on the ground, and the boy let the dog run away among the shrubs. The dog wandered to the side of the mountain. There he found an opening like the mouth of a cave. Peering into the place he saw many buffaloes within, and he knew that at last he had found the hiding place of the giant's plunder. He went back to the woman and the boy and began to bark. This was the signal agreed on with his companion. The woman and her son thought he was barking at a bird, and they laughed at his capers as he jumped about. But he was in reality calling to his comrade. The stick understood the call and wiggled like a snake through the underbrush to the dog's side, unseen[Pg 150] by the boy and his mother. They then entered the large cave in the side of the mountain, and there they found a great herd of buffaloes—all the buffaloes that had been driven from the prairies. The dog barked at them and snapped at their heels, and the stick beat them, and they began to drive them quickly out of the cavern and eastward toward the plains. But they still kept the shape of dog and stick. When evening came, and it was time for the boy and his mother to go home, the boy searched for the dog and the woman looked for her stick, but they could not find them, and they had to go home without them.

Just as the woman and her son reached their house on the bank of the river, the giant-thief was coming home too. He chanced to look to the east, and there he saw, far away, many buffaloes running towards the foot-hills where the sweet-grass grew. He was very angry, and he cried loudly to his son, "Where is the dog? Where is the dog?" "I lost him in the underbrush," said the boy; "he chased a bird and did not come back." "It was not a bird he chased," said the giant; "it was one of my buffaloes. I told you he was an evil thing and not to touch him, but you and your mother would have your way. Now my buffaloes are all gone." He gnashed his teeth in a great rage, and rushed off to the hidden cave to see if any buffaloes were left, crying as he went, "I will kill the dog if I find him." When he reached the cave the Chief and[Pg 151] the youth, still in the form of a dog and a stick, were just rounding up the last of the buffaloes. The giant rushed at them to kill the dog and to break the stick, but they sprang upon an old buffalo and hid in his long hair and, clinging on tightly, the dog bit the buffalo until the old animal plunged and roared and rushed from the cave, bearing the Chief and the youth concealed on his back. He galloped eastward until he reached the herd far away on the prairie, leaving the giant far behind to make the best of his anger. Then the Chief and the brave youth took their old form of men, and in high spirits they drove the herd of buffaloes back to their hungry people waiting patiently on the plains.

The people were very pleased to see the Great Chief and the youth returning to the village with the great herd of fat buffaloes, for they knew now that the famine was ended. But as they drove the animals into a great fenced enclosure, a large grey bird flew over their heads and swooped down upon them and pecked at them with its bill, and tried to frighten them and drive them away. The Great Chief knew by his magic power that the grey bird was none other than the giant-thief who had stolen the buffaloes, and who had changed himself into a bird to fly across the prairies in pursuit of them. Then the Chief changed himself into an otter and lay down on the bank of the stream, pretending to be dead. The grey bird[Pg 152] flew down upon him, for he thought he would have a good meal of fat otter. But the Chief seized him by the leg, and changing back to his own form, he bore him in triumph to his camp. He tied him up fast to the smoke-hole of his tent and made a great fire inside. The giant cried, "Spare me, spare me, and I shall never do you more harm." But the Chief left him on the tent pole all night long while the black smoke from the fire poured out around him. In the morning his feathers were all black. Then the Chief let him down. And he said, "You may go now, but you will never be able to resume your former shape. You will henceforth be a raven, a bird of ill-omen upon the earth, an outlaw and a brigand among the birds, despised among men because of your thefts. And you will always have to steal and to hunt hard for your food." And to this day the feathers of the raven are black, and he is a bird of ill-omen upon the earth because of his encounter with the Great Chieftain long ago.

[Pg 153]


Once long ago, when the Blackfeet Indians dwelt on the Canadian prairies, a poor Indian and his two children, a boy and a girl, were living near the bank of a great river. The children's mother had long been dead and they had long been left to the care of their father. Their father did not think it was right that they should grow up without a woman's kindness, and he decided at last to take another wife. So he went far away to a distant village and there he married a queer woman of another tribe. Soon times grew hard in the North Country, and it was very difficult to get food. The family lived for many days on roots and berries, and often they were very hungry because there was no meat. Now it happened that the woman the man had married was a very wicked witch-woman, who was capable of doing many evil deeds. She had no love for her stepchildren, and she treated them very cruelly. She blamed them for the lack of food in the house, and beating them soundly, she said, "You gluttonous brats; you always eat too much. It is little wonder that we cannot keep the house supplied[Pg 154] with food." The man saw his wife's cruelty to the children, but although it made him sad, and at times angry, he did not interfere, for he thought the woman should rule her home.

One night in the early spring, as the man slept, his first wife appeared to him in a dream, and said, "Hang a large spider web across the trail in the forest where the animals pass and you will get plenty of food. But be good to my children. Their cruel stepmother is planning to kill them." And she told him where to look for the magical spider web. The next day the man found the large spider web, and he went far away into the forest and hung it from the trees over the trail where the animals passed. That evening when he went back to the web he found many animals entangled in its meshes, for it had magical power. He killed the animals and brought them home, and that night they had a good fat supper of roast deer meat. Day after day the magical spider web gave him great numbers of rabbits and deer, as the vision of his dead wife had told him in the night, and from that time on the family did not want for food.

But the man's success in hunting only angered his witch-wife. She had now no cause for complaint against the little children, and she could no longer scold them and say that because of them there was no food in the house. Her hatred for them grew stronger each day, and at last[Pg 155] she decided to kill them and to kill their father as soon as she could. Their father was going away on the morrow in search of wood to make arrows for his bows, and she thought she would have a good chance to kill them while he was gone. Then she would kill their father when he returned. So she laid her plans. But that night the vision of his first wife came again to the man as he slept, and it said, "Your present wife is a witch-woman. She plans to kill the children to-morrow when you are away, and when you come home she will kill you, too. You must kill her while there is yet time. Remember my little children."

When the man awoke in the morning he was much alarmed because of the story told him by the vision of the night. He no longer trusted his witch-wife and he decided to get rid of her. But he feared she would attack the children before he could prevent it. So when the witch-wife went out to get water from the stream to make breakfast, he gave each of the children a stick, a white stone, and a bunch of soft moss, and he said, "You must run away from here and stay away until I can find you, for you are in great danger. You will find these three things I give you of great use. Throw them behind you if any evil thing pursues you, and they will keep you from harm." The children in great fear at once ran away into the forest. Then the man hung his magical spider web over the door[Pg 156] of the house, and sat quietly inside waiting for his wife to come back. In a little while she came home, carrying a pail of water, but she did not see the web with its fine strands hanging across the door, and when she walked into it she was at once entangled in its meshes. She struggled hard to get free, but her head was inside the door while her body was outside, and the web held her fast around the neck. Then the man said, "I know now that you are a cruel witch-woman. You will beat my children no more." With his stone-axe he struck her a mighty blow which completely severed her head from her body. Then he ran from the house as fast as he could and went towards his children, who were watching him not far away.

But the man was not yet done with the cruel witch-woman. As he ran from the house her headless body, freed from the spider web, ran after him, while her severed head, with eyes staring and hair flying, followed the children, sometimes bumping along the ground and sometimes rising through the air. The father thought it would be well to go in a different direction from the children, and he went west, while they went east. The children were very frightened when they saw the horrible head behind them, slowly gaining upon them. Then they remembered their father's magic gifts. When the head was close upon them, they threw their sticks on the ground at their backs and at once a dense forest sprang up[Pg 157] between them and their pursuer. The children said, "Now we will rest here for a while, for we are nearly out of breath. The wicked head cannot get through that dense forest." And they sat on the grass and rested.

Soon, however, the pursuing head emerged from the thick trees. The children got up and ran as hard as they could, but close behind them came the severed head, rolling its eyes and gnashing its teeth in a great frenzy, and uttering terrible yells. It was very near to them, when the children again remembered their father's gifts. They threw the white stones behind them, and at once a high mountain of white rock rose between them and their enemy. They sat on the ground and rested, and said, "Oh dear, oh dear, what shall we do? We have only one means of safety left, these little bits of moss." The wicked head hurled itself against the mountain, but it could not get through. A big buffalo bull was feeding on the grass near it, and the head called to him to break a road through the mountain. The bull rushed at the mountain with all his force, but the mountain was so hard that it broke his head and he fell down dead. Some moles were playing in the soft earth near by, and the head called to them to make a passage through the hill. So the moles searched and found a soft earthy place in the midst of the rock and soon they tunnelled a hole to the other side of the mountain, through which the head was able to pass. When the[Pg 158] children saw their pursuer coming out of the moles' tunnel they cried loudly and ran away as fast as they could. At last, after a very long chase, the head was almost upon them, and they decided to use their last means of protection. They threw the wet moss behind them, and at once a long black swamp appeared where the moss had fallen, between them and their wicked follower. The head was going at such a great speed, bumping over the ground, that it could not stop. It rolled into the swamp and disappeared into the soft mud and was never seen again.


[Pg 159]

The children then went home to wait for their father. It was a long journey, for they had run far. But their father never came. Months and months they waited, but he did not come, and they grew up to be great magicians and very powerful among their tribe. At last, by their magic power, they learned what had happened to their father. Their stepmother's body continued to follow him as he ran towards the west. It followed him for many days. Then by his magic power, which the vision of his dead wife had brought to him, he changed himself into the Sun, and went to live with his wife in the sky-country. But the old witch-woman also had magic power, and she changed herself into the Moon and followed him to the land of the stars. And there she still pursues him. And while he keeps ahead of her and she cannot catch him, night follows day in all the world. But if she overtakes him she will kill him, and day will disappear and night shall reign for evermore upon the earth. And the Blackfeet of the plains pray that he will always keep in front in the race with his former witch-wife, so that there may be always Night and Day in succession in all the land.

[Pg 160]


A poor widow woman once lived near the sea in Eastern Canada. Her husband had been drowned catching fish one stormy day far off the coast, and her little boy was now her only means of support. He had no brothers or sisters, and he and his mother, because they lived alone, were always good comrades. Although he was very young and small, he was very strong, and he could catch fish and game like a man. Every day he brought home food to his mother, and they were never in want.

Now it happened that the Great Eagle who made the Winds in these parts became very angry because he was not given enough to eat. He went screaming through the land in search of food, but no food could he find. And he said, "If the people will not give me food, I will take care that they get no food for themselves, and when I grow very hungry I shall eat up all the little children in the land. For my young ones must have nourishment too." So he tossed the waters about with the wind of his great wings, and he bent the trees and flattened the corn, and for days[Pg 161] he made such a hurly-burly on the earth that the people stayed indoors, and they were afraid to come out in search of food.

At last the boy and his mother became very hungry. And the boy said, "I must go and find food, for there is not a crumb left in the house. We cannot wait longer." And he said to his mother, "I know where a fat young beaver lives in his house of reeds on the bank of the stream near the sea. I shall go and kill him, and his flesh will feed us for many days." His mother did not want him to make this hazardous journey, for the Great Eagle was still in the land. But he said to her, "You must think of me always when I am gone, and I will think of you, and while we keep each other in our memories I shall come to no harm." So, taking his long hunting knife, he set out for the beaver's home in his house of reeds on the bank of the stream near the sea. He reached the place without mishap and there he found Beaver fast asleep. He soon killed him and slung him over his shoulder and started back to his mother's house. "A good fat load I have here," he said to himself, "and we shall now have many a good dinner of roast beaver-meat."

But as he went along with his load on his back the Great Eagle spied him from a distance and swooped down upon him without warning. Before he could strike with his knife, the Eagle caught him by the shoulders and soared[Pg 162] away, holding him in a mighty grip with the beaver still on his back. The boy tried to plunge his knife into the Eagle's breast, but the feathers were too thick and tough, and he was not strong enough to drive the knife through them. He could do nothing but make the best of his sorry plight. "Surely I can think of a way of escape," he said to himself, "and my mother's thoughts will be with me to help me." Soon the Eagle arrived at his home. It was built on a high cliff overlooking the sea, hundreds of feet above the beach, where even the sound of the surf rolling in from afar could not reach it. There were many young birds in the nest, all clamouring for food. Great Eagle threw the boy to the side of the nest and told him to stay there. And he said, "I shall first eat the beaver, and after he is all eaten up we shall have a good fat meal from you." Then he picked the beaver to pieces and fed part of it to his young ones.


For some days the boy lay in terror in the nest, trying to think of a way of escape. Birds flew high over his head, and far out on the ocean he could see great ships going by. But no help came to him, and he thought that death would soon be upon him. And his mother sat at home waiting for him to return, but day after day passed and still he did not come. She thought he must surely be in great danger, or that perhaps he was already dead. One day, as she was weeping, thinking of her lost boy, an old woman came along.[Pg 163] "Why do you cry?" she asked. And the weeping woman said, "My boy has been away for many days. I know that harm has come upon him. The men of my tribe have gone in search of him, and they will kill whatever holds him a prisoner, but I fear he will never come back alive." And the old woman said, "Little good the men of your tribe can do you! You must aid him with your thoughts, for material things are vain. I will help you, for I have been given great power by the Little People of the Hills." So the woman used her thoughts and her wishes to bring back her boy.

That night the boy noticed that the beaver had all been eaten up and that not a morsel remained. He knew that unless he could save himself at once he would surely die on the morrow. The Great Eagle, he knew, would swoop down upon him and kill him with a blow of his powerful beak and claws. But when the boy slept, he saw his mother in his slumber. And she said to him, "To-morrow when Great Eagle goes from the nest, brace your knife, point upwards, against the rock. When he swoops down to kill you his breast will strike the knife, and he will be pierced to death. You are not strong enough to cut through his feathers with your knife, but he is powerful enough to destroy himself." The next morning when Great Eagle went out, the boy did as the vision of the night had told him. He braced his sharp hunting-knife, point upwards,[Pg 164] against the rock and sat still and waited. Then he heard the young eagles making a great noise and crying loudly for their breakfast. He knew that his hour had come. Soon the Great Eagle, hearing the screams of his young ones, came flying back to the nest to kill the boy. He circled around above him with loud cries and then with great force swooped down upon him, hoping to kill him with his beak and claws. But instead, he struck the blade braced upwards against the rock. The knife pierced far into his breast, and with a loud scream he rolled over dead into the nest. The boy then killed the young eagles, and he knew that now for a time he was safe.

But he did not know how to get down from the Eagle's nest, for it jutted out like a shelf far over the beach, and behind it was a wall of rock around which he could not climb. He had no means of making a ladder, and his cries would not be heard upon the beach because of the constant roaring of the surf. He thought he would surely starve to death, and that night he cried himself to sleep. But in the night he again saw his mother in his slumbers. And she said, "You are a foolish boy. Why do you not use the thoughts I send you? To-morrow skin the eagle and crawl inside the skin. If the wide wings can hold the Eagle in the air they can likewise hold you. Drop off from the cliff and you will land safely on the beach." The next day the boy did as the vision of the night had told him. He[Pg 165] carefully skinned the Great Eagle. Then he crawled inside the skin and thrust his arms through the skin just above the wings, so that his extended arms would hold the wings straight out beneath them. Then he prepared to drop down. But when he looked over the cliff, he was very frightened, for the sight made him dizzy. On the beach, men looked like flies, they were so far away. But he remembered the promise made to him in his slumbers. So he pushed himself from the cliff and dropped down. The wings of Great Eagle let him fall gently through the air and he landed safely and unhurt upon the beach. He crawled out of the skin and set out for his home. It was a long journey, for Great Eagle had carried him far away, but towards evening he reached his home safely, and his mother received him with great gladness.

The boy began to boast of his adventure, and he told how he had killed Great Eagle and how he had dropped down unscathed from the cliff. He spoke of himself with great pride and of his strength and his shrewdness. But the old woman from the Land of the Little People, the fairies of the hills, who was still present with his mother, said, "Oh, vain boy, do not think so highly of yourself. Your strength is nothing; your shrewdness is nothing. It was not these things that saved you, but it was the strength of our thoughts. These alone endure and succeed when all else fails. I have taught you the uselessness of[Pg 166] all material things, which in the end are but as ashes or as dust. Our thoughts alone can help us in the end, for they alone are eternal." And the boy listened and wondered at what the old woman from the Land of Little People had said, but he boasted of his strength no more.

[Pg 167]


Once when the snow lay very deep on the ground and the days were grey with frost, there was great sorrow in an Indian village. A dreadful plague had come upon the place and had carried away many of the people. Neither old nor young were proof against its ravages, and the weak and the strong fell helpless before its power. The people tried every means to get rid of the plague, but they had no success. And they prayed to all their good spirits to help them, but no help came. In the tribe was a young warrior who had lost his parents and all his brothers and sisters because of the dreaded disease. Now his young wife fell sick, and he was in great sorrow, for he thought that she would soon follow his parents into the Land of the Shadows. And so he went about in great fear, not knowing when the end would come.

One day he met an old woman in the forest. "Why do you look so sorrowful?" she asked him. "I am sad because my young wife is going to die," he answered; "the plague will carry her off like the others." But the old woman said, "There is something that will save your[Pg 168] wife from death. Far away in the East is a bird of sweet song which dwells close to the Healing Waters. Go until you find it. It will point you to the spring, the waters of which alone can heal." And the young man said, "I must find the Healing Waters. Wherever they may be upon the earth, I must find them." So he went home and said good-bye to his friends, and set out eastward on his quest.

All the next day he searched eagerly for the Waters, listening always for the bird of the sweet song. But he found nothing. The snow lay deep in the forest and he moved along with difficulty. He met a rabbit in his path and he said, "Tell me where I shall find the Healing Spring?" But the rabbit scurried away over the snow and made no answer. Then he asked a bear, but he met with the same rebuff. Thus for many days and nights he wandered on, crossing rivers and climbing steep hills, but always without success.

Then one day he emerged from the snow country and came to a land where the airs were warmer and where little streams were flowing. Suddenly he came upon the body of a dead man lying across his path. He stopped and buried the body, for he thought that it was not right to leave it lying bare upon the ground for the birds to peck at. That night as he went along in the moonlight he met a Fox in his path. "Hello," said the Fox. "What are you looking[Pg 169] for so late at night in the forest?" And he answered, "I am looking for the bird of the sweet song, who will show me the way to the Healing Waters." And the Fox said, "I am the spirit of the man you buried yesterday by the forest path, and in return for your kindness to me I shall do a kindness to you. You have always been good to the animals and the birds, and you have never killed them needlessly, nor when you did not require them for clothing or for food. And you have always been careful of the flowers and the trees, and you have often protected them from harm. So now they want to be good to you, and I am going to guide you. But first you must rest, for you are tired from your long journey."

Then the young man lay down to sleep and the Fox stood guard beside him. As he slept he dreamed. And in his dream he saw his wife pale and thin and worn, and as he looked he heard her singing a song of wonderful melody. Then he heard a waterfall rippling near him and it said, "Seek me, O warrior, and when you find me your wife shall live, for I am the Healing Waters." In the morning the Fox led him but a short distance through the forest and on the branch of a tree he heard a bird singing a song of wonderful melody, just as he had heard in his dream of the night before. He knew now that this was the bird of the sweet song of which the old woman in the forest had spoken. Then, as he listened, he heard the sound of a[Pg 170] waterfall rippling not far away. He searched for it, but he could not find it. And Fox said, "You must seek it; you must not despair; it will not come to you unless you search." So he searched again, and soon he thought he heard a voice speaking beneath his feet. "Release us," it called, "set us free and your wife and your people shall be saved." He seized a sharp stick and dug rapidly into the earth where he had heard the voice. He worked eagerly and quickly, and he had not dug far when the spring gushed forth and boiled upwards carrying to the world its healing power. And the young man knew that at last he had found the cure for his ills. He plunged into the spring and bathed himself in the water, and all his weariness left him and he was strong again.

Then the young man moulded from the soft earth a large pot. He baked it in the fire until it was quite hard. "Now," said the Fox spirit, "I will leave you. Your kindness has been rewarded. You will need me no more, for you have found the Healing Waters." And he disappeared as mysteriously as he had come. The young man filled his clay pot with the sparkling water and hastened back to his home, running through the forest with the speed of the wind, because of his renewed strength.


[Pg 171]

When he reached his native village, the people met him with sad faces, for the plague was still raging and they told him that his young wife was about to pass to the Land of the Shadows. But he hurried to his home, and he forced some of the Healing Waters between his wife's parched lips, and bathed her hands and her brow until she fell into a deep slumber. He watched by her side until she awoke, and when sleep left her she was well again. Then with his Healing Waters he cured all the people in the village, and the cruel plague left them and there was no more sickness in the land. And since that time no plague has spread among his tribe. In this way the Mineral Springs, the places of Healing Waters, came upon the earth, bearing health and happiness wherever they rise, and accompanied always by the songs of birds.

[Pg 172]


Once long ago, before the white man came to Canada, an orphan boy was living alone with his uncle. He was not very happy, for he had to work very hard, and tasks more fitted for a man's shoulders than for a boy's were often placed upon him. When his parents died and left him without brother or sister, his uncle took him to his own home because there was no one else to take care of him. But he treated him very cruelly and often he wished to get rid of him. It mattered not how well the boy did his work or how many fish and animals he caught, his uncle was never satisfied, and often he beat the boy harshly and with little cause. The boy would have run away but he did not know where to go, and he feared to wander alone in the dark forest. So he decided to endure his hardships as best he could.

Now it happened that in a distant village near the sea there lived a Chief who was noted far and wide for his cruelty. He had a wicked temper, and he was known to have put many people to death for no reason whatsoever. More than all else, he hated boastfulness and he had[Pg 173] scanty patience with anyone who was vain of his own strength. He pledged himself always to humble the proud and to debase the haughty. The boy's uncle had heard of this wicked ruler, and he said, "Here is a chance for me to get rid of the boy. I will tell lies about him to the Chief."

It chanced just at this time that three giants came into the Chief's territory. Where they came from, no man knew, but they dwelt in a large cave near the sea, and they caused great havoc and destruction in all the land. They ate up great stores of food, and all the little children they could lay their hands on. The Chief used every means to get rid of the giants, but without success. Night after night his best warriors went to the cave by the ocean to seek out the giants, but not a man returned. A piece of birch bark bearing a picture of a warrior with an arrow in his heart, found the next day at the Chief's door, always told him of the warrior's fate. And the giants continued their cruel work, for no one could stop them.

Soon all the country was in great terror. The Chief wondered greatly what was to be done. At last he thought, "I will give my daughter to the man who can rid me of these pests." His daughter was his only child and she was very beautiful, and he knew that many suitors would now appear to seek her hand, for although the task was dangerous, the prize was worth while. When the wicked[Pg 174] uncle in the distant village heard of it, he thought, "Now I can get rid of the boy, for I will tell the Chief that the boy says he can kill the giants." So taking his nephew with him he went to the Chief's house and begged to see him. "Oh, Chief," he said, "I have a boy who boasts that before many days have passed he can free your land from the giants." And the Chief said, "Bring him to me." The man said, "Here he is." The Chief was surprised when he saw the small boy, and he said, "You have promised that you can rid my land of giants. Now we shall see if you can do it. If you succeed you may have my daughter. If you fail, you will die. If you escape from the giants, I will kill you myself. I hate vain boasters, and they shall not live in my land."

The boy went and sat by the ocean, and cried as hard as he could. He thought that he would surely die, for he was very small and he had no means of killing the giants. But as he sat there an old woman came along. She came quietly and quickly out of the grey mist of the sea. And she said, "Why are you crying?" And the boy said, "I am crying because I am forced to attack the giants in the cave, and if I cannot kill them I shall surely die," and he cried louder than before. But the old woman, who was the good fairy of the sea, said, "Take this bag and this knife and these three little stones that I will give you, and when you go to-night to the giants' cave, use them as I tell you[Pg 175] and all will be well." She gave him three small white stones and a small knife, and a bag like the bladder of a bear, and she taught him their use. Then she disappeared into the grey mist that hung low on the ocean and the boy never saw her again.

The boy lay down on the sand and went to sleep. When he awoke, the moon was shining, and far along the coast in the bright light he could see an opening in the rocks which he knew was the entrance to the giants' cave. Taking his bag and his knife and the three little stones, he approached it cautiously with a trembling heart. When he reached the mouth of the cave he could hear the giants snoring inside, all making different noises, louder than the roar of the sea. Then he remembered the old woman's instructions. He tied the bag inside his coat so that the mouth of it was close to his chin. Then he took one of the stones from his pocket. At once it grew to immense size, so heavy that the boy could scarcely hold it. He threw it at the biggest giant with great force, and it hit him squarely on the head. The giant sat up staring wildly and rubbing his brow. He kicked his younger brother, who was lying beside him, and said in great anger, "Why did you strike me?" "I did not strike you," said his brother. "You struck me on the head while I slept," said the giant, "and if you do it again I will kill you." Then they went to sleep again.[Pg 176]

When the boy heard them snoring loudly again, he took a second stone from his pocket. At once it grew great in size and the boy hurled it with great force at the biggest giant. Again the giant sat up staring wildly and rubbing his head. But this time he did not speak. He grasped his axe, which was lying beside him, and killed his brother with a blow. Then he went to sleep again. When the boy heard him snoring, he took the third stone from his pocket. At once it grew to great size and weight, and he hurled it with all his force at the giant. Again the giant sat up with great staring eyes, rubbing the lump on his head. He was now in a great rage. "My brothers have plotted to kill me," he yelled, and seizing his axe he killed his remaining brother with a blow. Then he went to sleep, and the boy slipped from the cave, first gathering up the three stones, which were now of their usual small size.

The next morning when the giant went to get water from the stream, the boy hid in the trees and began to cry loudly. The giant soon discovered him and asked, "Why are you crying?" "I have lost my way," said the boy, "my parents have gone and left me. Please take me into your service, for I would like to work for such a kind handsome man, and I can do many things." The giant was flattered by what the boy said, and although he liked to eat little children, he thought, "Now that I am alone, I ought to have a companion, so I will spare the boy's life[Pg 177] and make him my servant." And he took the boy back to his cave, and said, "Cook my dinner before I come home. Make some good stew, for I shall be very hungry."

When the giant went into the forest the boy prepared the evening meal. He cut up a great store of deer meat and put it in a large pot bigger than a hogshead, and made a good meat stew. When the giant came home in the evening he was very hungry, and he was well pleased to see the big pot filled with his favourite food. He seated himself on one side of the pot, and the boy seated himself on the other side, and they dipped their spoons into the big dish. And the boy said, "We must eat it all up so that I can clean the pot well and ready for the corn mush we will have for breakfast." The stew was very hot, and to cool it before he ate it the giant blew his breath on what he dipped out. But the boy poured his own share into the bag under his coat, and said, "Why can't you eat hot food—a big man like you? In my country men never stop to cool their stew with their breath." Now the giant could not see very well, for his eyesight was not very good, and the cave was dark, and he did not notice the boy putting the stew in the bag so quickly. He thought the boy was eating it. And he was shamed by the boy's taunts because he was so much larger than the boy, so he ate up the hot stew at once in great gulps and burned his throat badly. But he was too proud to stop or to complain.


[Pg 178]When they had eaten half the potful, the giant said, "I am full. I think I have had enough." "No, indeed," said the boy, "you must show that you like my cooking. In my country men eat much more than that," and he kept on eating. The giant was not to be outdone by a boy, so he fell to eating again, and they did not stop until they had consumed the whole potful of stew. But the boy had poured his share into the bag and when they had finished he was swelled out to an immense size. The giant could scarcely move, he had eaten so much, and he said, "I have eaten too much; I feel very full, and I have a great pain in my belly." And the boy said, "I do not feel very comfortable myself, but I have a way to cure pains." So saying he took his little knife and thrust it gently into the side of the bag and the stew oozed out and he was soon back to his normal size. The giant wondered greatly at the sight, but the boy said, "It is a way they have in my country after they have had a great feast." "Does the knife not hurt?" asked the giant. "No, indeed," said the boy, "it brings great relief." "My throat is very sore," said the giant, for the hot stew had burned him. "You will soon feel better," said the boy, "if you will do as I have done." The giant hesitated to do this, but soon he felt so uncomfortable that he could bear it no longer. He saw that the boy was feeling quite well. So he took his long knife and plunged it into his stomach. "Strike hard," said the boy, "or it will do[Pg 179] you no good." The giant plunged the knife into the hilt, and in an instant he fell dead.

Then the boy took the stones and the bag and the knife which the Woman of the Mist had given him and went and told the Chief what he had done. The Chief sent his messengers to the cave to make sure that the boy spoke the truth. Sure enough, they found the three giants lying dead. When they told the Chief what they had seen, he said to the boy, "You may have my daughter as your wife." But the boy said, "I do not want your daughter. She is too old and fat. I want only traps to catch fish and game." So the Chief gave the boy many good traps, and he went into a far country to hunt game, and there he lived happily by himself. And his wicked uncle never saw him again. But the land was troubled no more by giants, because of the boy's great deeds.

[Pg 180]


Once long ago, when the Indians dwelt in the country in the north-west, a youth went far away from his native village to catch birds. His people lived near a lake where only small birds nested, and as he wanted large and bright-coloured feathers for his arrows and his bonnet he had to go far into the forest, where larger birds of brilliant plumage lived. When he reached the Land of Many Feathers far in the north country, he dug a pit on the top of a high hill. Then he covered the pit with poles and over the poles he spread grass and leaves so that the place looked like the earth around it. He put meat and corn on the grass, and tied the food to the poles so that the birds could not carry it away. Then he climbed down into the pit and waited for the birds to come, when he could reach up and catch them by the feet and kill them.

All day long and far into the night the youth waited for birds, but no birds came. Towards morning he heard a distant sound like that of a partridge drumming. But the sound did not come nearer. The next night, as the youth watched and waited in the pit, he heard the same sound,[Pg 181] and he said, "I will see where the noise comes from and I will discover the cause, for it is not a partridge, and it is very strange." So he climbed out of the pit and went in the direction of the sound. He walked along rapidly through the forest until he came at dawn to the shore of a large lake. The drumming came from somewhere in the lake, but as he stood listening to it, the sound suddenly stopped. The next night the youth heard the drumming louder than before. Again he went to the lake. The sound was again distinct as it rose from the water, and when he looked he saw great numbers of birds and animals swimming in the lake in the moonlight. But there was no explanation of the strange sound. As he sat watching the animals and birds, he prayed to his guardian spirit to tell him the cause of the drumming. Soon an old man came along. He was old and bent and wrinkled, but his eyes were kind. The youth gave him some tobacco and they sat down together on the edge of the lake and watched the swimmers in the dim light, and smoked their pipes.

"What are you doing here?" asked the old man. "I am trying to learn the cause of the strange drumming," said the youth. "You do well indeed to seek it," said the old man, "and to seek to know the cause of all things. Only in that way will you be great and wise. But remember there are some things the cause of which you can never find." "Where have you come from?" said the boy.[Pg 182] "Oh," said the man, "I lived once upon a time like you in the Country of Fancy where great Dreams dwell, and indeed I live there still, but your dreams are all of the future while mine are of the past. But some day you too will change and your thoughts will be like mine." "Tell me the cause of the drumming," said the boy. And the old man said, "Take this wand that I will give you and wave it before you go to sleep, and maybe you will see strange things." Then he gave the boy a wand and disappeared into the forest and the boy never saw him again. The boy waved the wand and fell asleep on the sand as the old man had told him. When he awoke he found himself in a large room in the midst of many people. Some of them were dancing gracefully, and some sat around and talked. They wore wonderful robes of skins and feathers, of many different colours. The boy wished he could get such feathers for his own clothes and his bonnet. But as he looked at the people he was suddenly aware that they were none other than the animals and birds he had seen for two nights swimming in the lake in the moonlight. They were now changed into human form, through some strange and miraculous power. They were very kind to the youth and treated him with great courtesy.


At last the dancing ceased and the talking stopped, and one who seemed to be the Chief stood up at the end of the room and said, "Oh, young stranger, the Great Spirit has[Pg 183] heard your prayers, and because of your magic wand we have been sent to you in these shapes. The creatures you see here are the animals and birds of the world. I am the Dog, whom the Great Spirit loves well. I have much power, and my power I shall give to you, and I shall always protect you and guard you. And even if you should treat me with cruelty I shall never be unfaithful to you, nor shall I ever be unkind. But you must take this Dance home with you and teach it to your people and they must celebrate the Dance once a year." Then he taught the youth the secrets of their Dance.

When the youth had learned the Dance, the Chief turned to his companions and said, "My comrades and brothers, I have taught the young stranger the secrets of the Dance. I have given him my own power. Will you not have pity on a creature from earth and give him some of the power of which you too are possessed?"

For a long time no one spoke, but at last Owl arose and said, "I too will help him. I have power to see far in the darkness, and to hunt by night. When he goes out at night I will be near him and he shall see a great distance. I give him these feathers to fasten in his hair." And the Owl gave him a bunch of feathers, which the youth tied to his head.

Then Buffalo came forward and said, "I too will help him. I will give him my endurance and my strength, and[Pg 184] my power to trample my enemies underfoot. And I give him this belt of tanned buffalo-hide to wear when he goes to war." And he gave the youth a very wondrous belt to fasten around his waist.

The animals and birds, one after the other, gave him gladly of their power. Porcupine gave him quills with which to decorate his leather belt and his bonnet, and he said, "I too will aid you, and when you make war I will be near you. I can make my enemies as weak as children, and they always flee when I approach, for they fear the shooting of my quills. When you meet your foes you will always overcome them, for I give you power as it was given to me."

And Bear said, "I will give you my toughness and my strength, and a strip of fur for your leather belt and your coat. And when you are in danger, I will not be far away."

Then Deer said, "I give you my swiftness so that you may be fleet of foot. And when you pursue your enemies you will always overtake them, and should you flee from them, you will always out-run them in the race."

Then the birds spoke again, and Crane said, "I give you a bone from my wing to make a war-whistle to frighten your enemies away or to summon your people to your assistance when you need them. And I give you my wings for your head-dress."

The giant Eagle then spoke and said, "Oh, youth, I will[Pg 185] be with you wherever you go, and I will give you my strength and my power in war. And even as I do, you will always see your enemies from afar, and you can always escape them if you so desire." And he gave him a large bunch of wonderful eagle feathers to tie in his hair as a token of his fidelity.

And finally, Wild-Cat said, "I give you my power to crawl stealthily through the grass and the underbrush and to spring unexpectedly on your foes and take them unawares. And I give you too my power of hiding from my enemies." And he gave him strips of his fur to decorate his clothing in token of his friendship.

From all the animals and the birds the youth received power and gifts. Then he waved his magic wand and lay down to sleep. When he awoke, he found himself on the shore of the lake, and far in the east the dawn was breaking. But he could see farther than he had ever seen before, and away in the distance he could make out blue hills and smoke rising from far-off villages. And he knew that strange power was upon him. But not a sound came from the lake, and the drumming had for ever ended.

The youth took his magic wand and his gifts and set out for his home. And he told his people what had happened and he taught them the secrets of the Dance which was to make them strong and victorious in war. And among his[Pg 186] people it became a great ceremony and was practised for long ages, and was known as the Dog-Dance. And since that time, the animals and birds have been friends to the Indians, and the Indians have acquired much of their cunning and skill and power. And ever after the night of moonlight by the lake when the youth with the magic wand received the strange gifts, the Indians have decorated their war clothes with fur and quills and feathers from the animals and the birds. And in the far north country, the Dog-Dance is still held at intervals out of gratitude for the gifts, for the Indians do not forget the promise of long ago.

[Pg 187]


Long ago, in a village near the sea, many Indian people were living. Among them was a very nice old warrior who had been given great power at his birth, and who, therefore, could do many wonderful deeds. There was nothing that was beyond his understanding, for he knew all things. His wife had long been dead, but he had one daughter. She was very beautiful and gentle, and she was as nearly perfect as any woman could be. She took no interest in frivolous things and she lived a very quiet life, but all the people liked her well, and she was always welcome wherever she went. Her old father was very proud of her, and he said boastfully, "She has inherited much of my wisdom, and some day she will marry a great man." But the girl on her part had little thought of marriage or of men, for she said they had small minds, and she would rather live alone than listen always to their boastfulness and their foolish chatter.

Soon the daughter's fame spread far and wide through the sea-coast villages, and many suitors came seeking for[Pg 188] her hand. But her father said, "I have nothing to say. She will make her own choice. She must please herself. For to-day children please themselves and not their parents." And she said, "I will marry only some one who can amuse me and interest me and keep me company. I have scant liking for dull people." One day Loon came to see her. He was very good looking although he was somewhat tall and skinny, and his neck was a bit longer and more scrawny than ordinary, but he wore good clothes and he had great skill as a fisherman. He came because he thought he was very handsome, and he believed that his good looks would win the maiden. But she had no love for Loon, for he had not a word to say. When she talked to him he only stared, and at last he burst out into loud and foolish laughter. Then the maiden said, "You have a small mind like the others," and in disgust she withdrew from his presence.

Then Fox came in an effort to win the maiden as his wife. And for a whole day he cut capers, and chased his tail round and round in a circle, trying to amuse the serious girl. But he did not succeed very well, and like Loon he departed in despair. And many others came, but they met the same fate, and at last the girl decided to see no more of them, but to live alone with her father. The young men of the village were all very angry because the girl had spoken of them all so scornfully, and often they talked among themselves of her proud and haughty air. "She calls us[Pg 189] Scattered-Brains," said one. "She says we have small minds," said another. "She must pay for these insults," said a third. So they vowed that they would somehow break her proud spirit and bring her sorrow because of her ideas and her decision to stay single all her life. One of the great men of the village was Whirlwind. He could make himself invisible, and he was often guilty of many wicked pranks. So the young men went to him and asked his aid in humbling the pride of the haughty maiden. As they were talking to him, they saw the girl approaching not far off. And quite unawares, Whirlwind rushed towards her and knocked her down in the mud and tore her hat from her head and swept it into the sea. The young men looked on at her plight and they all laughed loudly, and the girl was very much ashamed. She went back home and told her father what had happened, and showed him her soiled clothes and her blown hair falling about her face. Her father was very angry, and he said, "Whirlwind must pay for this. He shall be banished at once."

Then her father went to the Chief and made complaint against Whirlwind, and the Chief decreed that Whirlwind must leave the village forthwith. He did not consider very carefully what the result of this decree might be, and he acted hastily and without thought, for he feared to differ from the wise man. So Whirlwind prepared to leave the place. Now his best friend was Rain. Rain had been[Pg 190] born without eyes. He was black blind, and Whirlwind always had to lead him along wherever he wished to go. So Rain said, "If you are leaving the village, I want to leave it too, for I cannot live here without you. I will be helpless if I have no one to lead me." So the two set out together, Whirlwind leading old Rain along by his side. Where they went no man knew, for they had told nobody of their destination. They were gone for many months before the people missed them very much. Then their absence began to be felt in all the land, for there was no wind and there was no rain.

At last the Chief summoned a council, and the decree of banishment against Whirlwind was revoked. The people decided to send messengers to the two wandering ones to tell them what had happened and to bring them back. So they first sent Fox out on the quest. Fox went through the land for many weeks, running as fast as he could over many roads, in and out among marshy lake shores and over high wooded mountains. He searched every cave and crevice, but he had no success. Not a leaf or a blade of grass was stirring, and the country was all parched and the grass was withered brown and the streams were all getting dry. At last, after a fruitless search, he came home and shamefully confessed that his quest had failed.

Then the people called on Bear to continue the search. And Bear went lumbering over the earth, sniffing the air,[Pg 191] and turning over logs and great rocks with his powerful shoulders, and venturing into deep caverns. And he made many inquiries, and he asked the Mountain Ash, "Where is Whirlwind?" But Mountain Ash said, "I do not know. I have not seen him for many months." And he asked the Red Fir, and the Pine, and the Aspen, which always sees Whirlwind first, but they were all ignorant of his whereabouts. So Bear came home and said, "Not a trace of either of them have I found."

The Chief was very angry because of the failure of Fox and Bear, but the wise man said, "The animals are useless in a quest like this. Let us try the birds. They often succeed where the animals fail." And the Chief agreed, for the land was in great distress. Many fishing-boats lay silent on the sea near the coast unable to move because Whirlwind was away, and the wells and streams were all dry because Rain was absent, and the grass and the flowers were withering to decay. So they called the birds to their aid. The great Crane searched in the shallows and among the reeds, thrusting his long neck into deep places, and Crow looked among the hills, and Kingfisher flew far out to sea, but they all came back and said, "We, too, have failed. The wandering ones are nowhere on the land or upon the sea." Then little Sparrow took up the search. Before he set out, he plucked from his breast a small down-feather and fastened it to a stick no bigger than a wisp of[Pg 192] hay. He held the stick in his bill and flew off. For many days he went towards the south-land, all the time watching the feather hanging to the stick in his bill. But it hung there motionless. One day, after he had travelled a great distance, he saw the down-feather moving very gently, and he knew that Whirlwind must be not far away. He went in the direction from which the feather was blowing. Soon he saw beneath him soft green grass and wonderful flowers of varied colours, and trees with green leaves and many rippling streams of running water. And he said to himself, "At last I have found the wanderers." He followed a little stream for some distance until it ended in a cave in the hills. In front of the cave many flowers were blooming and the grass was soft and green, and the tall grasses were nodding their heads very gently. He knew that those he was seeking were inside, and he entered the cave very quietly. Just beyond the door a fire was smouldering and near it lay Rain and Whirlwind both fast asleep. Sparrow tried to wake them with his bill and his cries, but they were sleeping too soundly. Then he took a coal from the fire and put it on Rain's back, but it spluttered and fizzled and soon went out. He tried another, but the same thing happened. Then he took a third coal, and this time Rain woke up. He was much surprised to hear a stranger in the cave, but he could not see him because he was blind. So he woke up Whirlwind to protect him.[Pg 193]

Then Sparrow told them of the great trouble in the north country and of the great hardship and sorrow their absence had brought to the people, and of how sadly they had been missed and of the decision of the council to call them back. And Whirlwind said, "We shall return to-morrow if we are so badly needed. You may go back and tell your people that we are coming. We shall be there the day after you arrive." So Sparrow, feeling very proud of his success, flew back home. But when he arrived after many days, he went first to his own people to tell them the good news. And the Sparrow-people all gathered together and held a feast of celebration, and they twittered and danced and made a great hub-bub in their excitement because Rain was coming back on the morrow. Then Sparrow went to the Chief and said, "Oh, Chief, I have found Rain and Whirlwind and to-morrow they will be here," and he told the story of his flight to the south and of his discovery. And the Chief said, "Because of your success, you will never be hunted for game or killed for food."

The next morning the two travellers who had been so long away came back to the land. Whirlwind came first and great clouds of dust foretold his coming, and the sea dashed high against the rocks, and the trees shrieked and tossed their heads, all dancing gaily because of his return. When Whirlwind had passed by, Rain came along following close, because of his blindness. For several days Rain stayed[Pg 194] with the people and the flowers bloomed and the grass was green again and the wells and streams were no longer dry. And since that time Wind and Rain have never long been absent from the Atlantic Coast. And to this day the Sparrow-people know when Rain is coming, and to signal his approach they gather together and twitter and hop along and make a great hub-bub, just as they did when their ancestor found him by means of his down-feather in the olden days. But the Indians have been true to the Chief's promise, and they will not hunt Sparrows for game nor kill them for food or for their feathers. For they remember that of all the birds it was old Sparrow who long ago searched successfully for the Rain.

[Pg 195]


Two orphan children, a boy and a girl, lived alone near the mountains. Their parents had long been dead and the children were left to look after themselves without any kindred upon the earth. The boy hunted all day long and provided much food, and the girl kept the house in order and did the cooking. They had a very deep love for each other and as they grew up they said, "We shall never leave each other. We shall always stay here together." But one year it happened that in the early spring-time it was very cold. The snow lingered on the plains and the ice moved slowly from the rivers and chill winds were always blowing and grey vapours hovered over all the land. And there was very little food to be had, for the animals hid in their warm winter dens and the wild-geese and ducks were still far south. And in this cruel period of bad weather the little girl sickened and died. Her brother worked hard to provide her with nourishing food and he gathered all the medicine roots he thought could bring her relief, but it was all to no purpose. And despite all his efforts, one evening in the twilight his sister went[Pg 196] away to the West, leaving him alone behind upon the earth.

The boy was heart-broken because of his sister's death. And when the late spring came and the days grew warm and food was plentiful again, he said, "She must be somewhere in the West, for they say that our people do not really die. I will go and search for her, and perhaps I can find her and bring her back." So one morning he set out on his strange quest. He journeyed many days westward towards the Great Water, killing game for food as he went, and sleeping at night under the stars. He met many strange people, but he did not tell them the purpose of his travels. At last he came to the shore of the Great Water, and he sat looking towards the sunset wondering what next to do. In the evening an old man came along. "What are you doing here?" asked the man. "I am looking for my sister," said the boy; "some time ago she sickened and died and I am lonely without her, and I want to find her and bring her back." And the man said, "Some time ago she whom you seek passed this way. If you wish to find her you must undertake a dangerous journey." The boy answered that he would gladly risk any dangers to find his sister, and the old man said, "I will help you. Your sister has gone to the Land of Shadows far away in the Country of Silence which lies out yonder in the Island of the Blest. To reach the Island you must sail far into the West, but I warn you[Pg 197] that it is a perilous journey, for the crossing is always rough and your boat will be tossed by tempests. But you will be well repaid for your trouble, for in that land nobody is ever hungry or tired; there is no death and no sorrow; there are no tears, and no one ever grows old."

Then the old man gave the boy a large pipe and some tobacco and said, "This will help you in your need." And he brought him to where a small canoe lay dry upon the beach. It was a wonderful canoe, the most beautiful the boy had ever seen. It was cut from a single white stone and it sparkled in the red twilight like a polished jewel. And the old man said, "This canoe will weather all storms. But see that you handle it carefully, and when you come back see that you leave it in the cove where you found it."

Soon afterwards, the boy set out on his journey. The moon was full and the night was cold with stars. He sailed into the West over a rough and angry sea, but he was in no danger, for his canoe rode easily on the waters. All around him he saw in the moonlight many other canoes going in the same direction and all white and shining like his own. But no one seemed to be guiding them, and although he looked long at them not a person could he make out. He wondered if the canoes were drifting unoccupied, for when he called to them there was no answer. Sometimes a canoe[Pg 198] upset in the tossing sea and the waves rose over it and it was seen no more, and the boy often thought he heard an anguished cry. For several days he sailed on to the West, and all the time other canoes were not far away, and all the time some of them were dropping from sight beneath the surging waters, but he saw no people in them.

At last, after a long journey, the sea grew calm and the air was sweet and warm. There was no trace of the storm, for the waves were quiet and the sky was as clear as crystal. He saw that he was near the Island of the Blest of which the old man had spoken, for it was now plain to his view, as it rose above the ocean, topped with green grass and trees, and a snow-white beach. Soon he reached the shore and drew up his canoe. As he turned away he came upon a skeleton lying flat upon the sand. He stopped to look at it, and as he did so, the skeleton sat up and said in great surprise, "You should not be here. Why have you come?" And the boy said, "I seek my sister. In the early spring-time she sickened and died, and I am going to the Land of Shadows in the Country of Silence in search of her." "You must go far inland," said the skeleton, "and the way is hard to find for such as you." The boy asked for guidance and the skeleton said, "Let me smoke and I will help you." The boy gave him the pipe and the tobacco he had received from the old man, and he laughed when he saw his strange companion with the pipe between his teeth. The skeleton smoked for some time and at last, as the smoke rose from his pipe, it changed to a flock of little white birds, which flew about like doves. The boy looked on in wonder, and the skeleton said, "These birds will guide you. Follow them." Then he gave back the pipe and stretched out again flat upon the sand, and the boy could not rouse him from his sleep.


[Pg 199]

The boy followed the little white birds as he had been told. He went along through a land of great beauty where flowers were blooming and countless birds were singing. Not a person did he meet on the way. The place was deserted except for the song-birds and the flowers. He passed through the Country of Silence, and came to a mysterious land where no one dwelt. But although he saw no one he heard many voices and he could not tell whence they came. They seemed to be all around him. At last the birds stopped at the entrance to a great garden, and flew around his head in a circle. They would go no further and they alighted on a tree close by, all except one, which perched on the boy's shoulder. The lad knew that here at last was the Land of Shadows.

When he entered the garden he heard again many low voices. But he saw no one. He saw only many shadows of people on the grass, but he could not see from what the shadows came. He wondered greatly at the strange and[Pg 200] unusual sight, for back in his homeland in that time the sunlight made no shadows. He listened again to the voices and he knew now that the shadows were speaking. He wandered about for some time marvelling greatly at the strange place with its weird unearthly beauty. At last he heard a voice which he knew to be his sister's. It was soft and sweet, just as he had known it when they were together on the earth, and it had not changed since she left him. He went to the shadow from which the voice came, and throwing himself on the grass beside it, he said, "I have long sought you, my sister. I have come to take you home. Let me see you as you were when we dwelt together." But his sister said, "You have done wisely to keep me in your memory, and to seek to find me. But here we cannot appear to the people of earth except as shadows. I cannot go back with you, for it is now too late. I have eaten of the food of this land; if you had come before I had eaten, perhaps you could have taken me away. Who knows? But my heart and my voice are unchanged, and I still remember my dear ones, and with unaltered love I still watch my old home. And although I cannot go to you, you can some day come to me. First you must finish your work on earth. Go back to your home in the Earth Country. You will become a great Chief among your people. Rule wisely and justly and well, and give freely of your food to the poor among the Indians who have not as much as you have. And when[Pg 201] your work on earth is done you shall come to me in this Land of Shadows beyond the Country of Silence, and we shall be together again and our youth and strength and beauty will never leave us."

And the boy, wondering greatly and in deep sorrow, said, "Let me stay with you now." But his sister said, "That cannot be." Then she said, "I will give you a Shadow, which you must keep with you as your guardian spirit. And while you have it with you, no harm can come to you, for it will be present only in the Light, and where there is Light there can be no wickedness. But when it disappears you must be on your guard against doing evil, for then there will be darkness, and darkness may lead you to wrong."

So the boy took the Shadow, and said good-bye for a season and set out on his homeward journey. The little white birds, which had waited for him in the trees, guided him back to the beach. His canoe was still there, but the skeleton-man had gone and there was not a trace of him to be found upon the sand. And the Island of the Blest was silent except for the songs of the birds and the ripple of the little streams. The boy embarked in his canoe and sailed towards the east, and as he pushed off from the beach the little white birds left him and disappeared in the air. The sea was now calm and there was no storm, as there had been on his outward journey. Soon he reached the shore[Pg 202] on the other side. He left his canoe in the cove as the old man had told him, and in a few days he arrived at his home, still bearing the Shadow from the Country of Silence.

He worked hard for many years but he did no evil, and in the end he became a great Chief and did much good for his people. He ruled wisely and justly and well, as his sister had commanded him. Then one day, when he was old and his work was done, he disappeared, and his people knew that he had gone to join his sister in the Land of Shadows in the Country of Silence far away somewhere in the West. But he left behind him the Shadow his sister had given him; and while there is Light the Indians still have their Shadow and no harm can come to them, for where there is Light there can be no evil.

But always in the late autumn the Shadows of the Indian brother and sister in the Country of Silence are lonely for their former life. And they think of their living friends and of the places of their youth, and they wish once more to follow the hunt, for they know that the hunter's moon is shining. And when their memory dwells with longing on their earlier days, their spirits are allowed to come back to earth for a brief season from the Land of Shadows. Then the winds are silent and the days are very still, and the smoke of their camp fires appears like haze upon the air. And men call this season Indian Summer, but it is really but a[Pg 203] Shadow of the golden summer that has gone. And it always is a reminder to the Indians that in the Land of Shadows, far away in the Country of Silence in the West, there are no dead.


End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Canadian Fairy Tales, by Cyrus Macmillan


***** This file should be named 36241-h.htm or *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Produced by David Edwards, Josephine Paolucci and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
(This file was produced from images generously made
available by The Internet Archive.)

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties.  Special rules,
set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.  Project
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission.  If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy.  You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research.  They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks.  Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial



To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at

Section 1.  General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works

1.A.  By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement.  If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B.  "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark.  It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement.  There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement.  See
paragraph 1.C below.  There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.  See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C.  The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works.  Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States.  If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed.  Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work.  You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D.  The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work.  Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change.  If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work.  The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United

1.E.  Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1.  The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

1.E.2.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges.  If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or

1.E.3.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder.  Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4.  Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5.  Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6.  You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form.  However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (,
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form.  Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7.  Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8.  You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
     the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
     you already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  The fee is
     owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
     has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
     Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.  Royalty payments
     must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
     prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
     returns.  Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
     sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
     address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
     the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
     you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
     does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
     License.  You must require such a user to return or
     destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
     and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
     Project Gutenberg-tm works.

- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
     money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
     electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
     of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
     distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9.  If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.  Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1.  Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection.  Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from.  If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation.  The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund.  If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund.  If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4.  Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS' WITH NO OTHER

1.F.5.  Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law.  The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6.  INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.

Section  2.  Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers.  It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come.  In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at

Section 3.  Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service.  The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541.  Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at  Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations.  Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email  Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at

For additional contact information:
     Dr. Gregory B. Newby
     Chief Executive and Director

Section 4.  Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment.  Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States.  Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements.  We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance.  To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States.  U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses.  Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including including checks, online payments and credit card
donations.  To donate, please visit:

Section 5.  General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic

Professor Michael S. Hart was the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone.  For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.