|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 |
LEELINAU THE FAIRY GIRL
 ONCE on the shore of Lake Superior, there lived
a lovely Indian girl, named Leelinau. She was slender and tiny,
with soft dark eyes, and little feet.
And whenever the Moon rose faint and white
while the Sun was setting, she danced in a Pine grove by the shore.
And when she danced thus, her mother called:
"Come into the lodge, Leelinau, for the silver Moon is rising.
Soon the Little People, the Fairies, will come out to play
among the trees. And they carry away dancing maidens."
And Leelinau returned sorrowfully to the lodge,
for she longed to see the Fairies.
Summer after Summer, on moonlit nights, the Little People
joined hands and danced in the Pine grove,
and their sweet voices were heard by Leelinau sitting in
the lodge. And when the Indians slept,
the mischievous Fairies came creeping in, and Leelinau,
waking, heard their low laughter in the dark.
They rustled about, and hid the
 fisher-boy's paddle, plucked the feather
from the headdress of the hunter, and carried away nuts and fruit.
And in the morning Leelinau saw their tiny footprints
in the sand dunes by the lake. And so it happened Summer after Summer.
When the long cold Winter nights came, the mother
sat by the fire, and told tales of Fairyland.
How deep in the Earth, all was warm and the flowers bloomed
and the birds sang, and the Little People feasted
and were happy. And Leelinau's heart was filled
with longing to visit Fairyland. And so it happened
Winter after Winter.
Now, on a Summer day, a handsome brave came to woo Leelinau.
Her mother dressed her for the marriage.
She braided her hair with sweet grasses,
and put her best garments upon her,
and led her out to the marriage-feast.
And the braves and squaws and youths and maidens
of the Chippewas, for miles around, came to the feast.
But Leelinau sighed and wept, and begged that she might
go alone once more to the Pine grove before she became a bride.
Her mother said, "Yes." So at evening time Leelinau
wound wild flowers in her hair, and filled her arms with
 tassels of the Pine. Then she hastened to the grove.
Darkness fell, and Leelinau did not return.
The Moon rose and shed its white beams on the lake,
but the maiden did not come. The bridegroom
and guests went to search for the bride.
They wandered through the grove, and sought up
and down the shore, but Leelinau was gone.
And no one saw her go, except one poor fisher-lad,
who was paddling his canoe near the land.
He watched her wandering through the grove,
and dancing with a bright Fairy Chief,
whose green plumes nodded high above his head.
And Leelinau was never seen again on the shore of Lake Superior.
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