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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   






[271] ONCE on a time, Coyote dressed himself in his best beaded clothes, and went for a walk. By and by he met Fox. So they went on together. Coyote had a fine new blanket, but Fox had none. Soon they came to a big smooth Rock. Coyote thought it a very nice Rock.

"Indeed," said he, "you are the nicest Rock [272] I have ever seen. I'll give you my blanket to keep you warm."

So Coyote gave his blanket to the Rock. Then he and, Fox went on their way.

Pretty soon it began to thunder and lighten, and the rain poured down in streams. Coyote and Fox crept under the branches of a tree, but the rain came pouring through the leaves. As Coyote had no blanket, he was afraid that his beaded clothes would be spoiled. So he said to Fox:—

"Go and ask the Rock for my blanket."

Fox ran back, and asked the Rock, and it said, "No!" Then Fox hurried to Coyote, and told him what the Rock had said.

"Go," said Coyote, "and ask it to let me have the blanket for a little while."

Fox ran back, and asked Rock, and it said, "No!" Then Fox hurried back and told Coyote what the Rock had said.

"The Rock is very mean," said Coyote; "it might let me have the blanket for a little while! But why should I be wet, because of this greedy Rock? I'll get my blanket!"

[273] So off rushed Coyote, and jerked his blanket from the Rock.

Well, Coyote and Fox went on again, and soon it cleared, and the Sun shone. The two sat down on the top of a hill to smoke, when suddenly they heard a crushing, and a crashing, and an awful rumbling noise. They looked up, and there was the Rock coming toward them, rolling along as fast as it could, and breaking everything in its path.

Up jumped Coyote and Fox, frightened almost to death, and away they ran down the hill, and the Rock came rolling after them. It came so fast that Fox had just time to leap into a hole, and the Rock touched the tip of his tail as it passed him. And ever since then, the tip of Fox's tail has been white.

As for Coyote, he ran down the hill with all speed, and sprang into the river, and swam across to the other bank. The Rock plunged into the water after him and Coyote thought, "Now it will be drowned!" But it was not drowned, and swam straight across, and rolled swiftly after Coyote.

Then Coyote ran into the thick timber, for he [274] thought, "It cannot get through all these trees and bushes." But the Rock rolled right into the timber, and Coyote could hear the trees and bushes crackling and breaking, and he knew that the Rock was coming.

Coyote ran out on to the wide prairie, for he thought, "There is no path on the prairie, and I can run wherever I wish. The Rock cannot catch me there." But the Rock came swiftly rolling after.

Then Coyote ran and ran, until he met a huge Bear. And the Bear said, "I will save you!" So he stood in the way, and tried to stop the Rock, but it rolled right over him and went on after Coyote.

Well, Coyote ran and ran, until he met a great Buffalo. And the Buffalo said, "I will save you!" So he stood in the way to stop the Rock, but it rolled right over him, and went on after Coyote.

So Coyote ran and ran, until he came to a camp, where he met two old women with stone hatchets in their hands. The old women said, "We will save you!" Coyote ran between them, and the Rock rolled right after him. Then the old [275] women struck the Rock with their hatchets, and broke it all to pieces.

Coyote sat down to rest, and lick his fur, when he heard one of the old women say: "He is fat and delicious! Let us have him for dinner!" So up he jumped, and ran out of the camp and across the prairie, and the old women went without their dinner that night.

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