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The Red Indian Fairy Book by  Frances Jenkins Olcott


 

 

[Illustration]

LEGEND OF NIAGARA AND THE GREAT LAKES

(Chippewa)

[95] IN old, old times, on the highest peak of a great mountain dwelt a hunter and his five sparkling daughters. Their lodge was of bright birch bark, and on clear days they could see the distant sea flashing like a silver band.

"Come out! Come out!" cried the youngest [96] daughter, the little Er. "Come, Su! Come Mi! Come, Hu! Come, Cla! Let us away to the sea where the foaming breakers roar!"

So they left their lodge, and leaped, and sang with happy hearts. Their robes were of blue and chrysolite green, and floated on the breeze. Their moccasins were of frozen water-drops, and their wings of painted wind.

And they scampered and romped across the plain, or floated beneath the sky. They rushed past valley and hill and field, singing and shouting with glee. At last they came to a precipice of jagged rocks and moss.

"Alas!" cried Er, "what a fearful leap! But we have come so far, we must go on; or our father will laugh at us! So come, Su! Come, Hu! Come, Mi! Come, Cla! and follow me."

Over the steep they sprang, and floated down on their painted wings. They leaped and they skipped and they sang, like happy-hearted birds. Then little Er cried, "Let us up and down the steep again!"

So up and down, the five maids skipped and [97] laughed at the sport and foam, and called it Niagara Falls!

And to-day, through the rainbow mist, you may see their robes of blue and chrysolite green, and their painted wings, and their twinkling feet, as the five play in the waterfall.


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