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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   





[181] IN old days Coyote was bright green, and how he came to be the colour of dust, was this way:—

One day he was walking along looking for something to eat, and he came to a lake. And there he saw a little bird with ugly grey feathers. It was bathing in the lake, and when it came out on the bank, all its feathers fell off and left its skin bare.

After that, the little bird jumped into the lake again, and came out covered with beautiful bright blue feathers! It hopped about and sang:—

"This water is blue!

And blue I am too!"

"Little Bird," cried Coyote, "you are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen! Tell me how you changed your ugly feathers for these bright blue ones."

"I went into the lake four times in four days, and sang a magic song," said the little bird, "and [182] the fourth time, my feathers all fell off. Then I jumped in a fifth time, and these beautiful ones grew all over me."

"Little Bird," said Coyote, "teach me your song, for I also wish to be blue."

So the bird taught Coyote its song, and he jumped into the lake and bathed four times in four days. The fourth time all his hair dropped off. Then he jumped in again, and his hair came back a beautiful bright blue.

Well! He was proud! And as he walked along he looked about on all sides to see if any one was admiring him. He even examined his shadow to see if it was blue. And of course he did not look where he was going, and suddenly he hit a stump, and rolled over into the dust.

He rolled and rolled, and when he got up he was all dust-coloured! And that is the reason why ever since that day all Coyotes have been the colour of dirt.

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 Table of Contents  |  Index  | Previous: Coyote the Hungry  |  Next: The Magic Windpipe
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