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The Red Indian Fairy Book by  Frances Jenkins Olcott

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The Red Indian Fairy Book
by Frances Jenkins Olcott
A choice collection of Native American myths and legends carefully selected from many sources. Most are nature stories telling about birds, beasts, flowers, and rocks of our American meadows, prairies, and forests. The tales are arranged according to the seasons with several stories offered for each month of the year. There are some for early spring, when the maple sap mounts, and the arbutus blooms under the snow; for later spring, when the birds nest, and the wild flowers blow; for summer, with its heat, storms, fishing, and canoeing; for autumn with its corn, nuts, and harvest feast; for winter, with its ice, snow, and adventures. A comprehensive subject index for use by teachers and storytellers is included.  Ages 8-12
304 pages $12.95   

 

 

THE WOODPECKER GIRLS

(Micmac)

[309] NOW, Master Rabbit, after he had been so foolish, was not discouraged at all. And one day, when he was wandering about the wilderness, he came to a wigwam filled with pretty girls. They wore red feathers on their heads, and had long bills; and no wonder, for they were Woodpecker Girls!

As Master Rabbit was hungry and tired, he hoped that he would be asked to dinner, so he walked into the wigwam and spoke nicely to the girls. They asked him to sit down and eat with them. And so he sat down and waited.

By and by one of the girls took a little wooden dish, and ran lightly up the trunk of a tree. She stopped here and there, and tapped with her bill and pulled from the bark a lot of little insects, white like grains of rice. She filled her dish with them, and then ran down the tree, and cooked the insects for dinner.

When they had all dined, Master Rabbit said to himself, "Hi! Ho! how easily some people get [310] their living! What is to hinder me from doing the same?" So he asked the Woodpecker Girls to dine with him in two days, and went home.

The day came, and the girls arrived, and, entering the wigwam, sat down. Then Master Rabbit said, "Wait while I go and get the dinner."

So he took a dish, and tied an Eel spear to his nose. He climbed up a tree as best he could, and tapped with the spear; but could not find a single insect. Instead, he tore his fur and cut his nose so that the blood ran out, and stained his head. And the only part of him that looked like a Woodpecker, was his red head!

Then all the pretty girls watched him, and laughed, and said, "What strange thing is he trying to do?"

"Ah," said his grandmother, "I suppose he has seen some one do that, and is trying to do the same thing."

"Is that all!" cried the prettiest Woodpecker Girl, and she called out to Master Rabbit, "Hi! Ho! Come down from there, and give me your dish!"

So Master Rabbit, ashamed and bleeding, came [311] falling out of the tree, and crept into the wigwam, where his grandmother healed his head with herbs.

As for the prettiest Woodpecker Girl, she ran up the tree, and soon came back with her dish full of insects. Then all the girls, laughing hard at Master Rabbit, went off without waiting for dinner.





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