|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 |
THE SUMMER FAIRIES
 IN the long ago, when people lived in the Early Red Morning,
the little Fairies of Light played in the forest and meadows.
Their Queen was Summer, and wherever they danced
the most beautiful flowers sprang up, the reddest berries
ripened in the green grass, and the sweetest birds sang in the trees.
Once Glooskap, the mighty Indian, left the Land of Summer
and Fairies, and journeyed to the Northland,
where all was ice and snow. And there where the coldest winds
blew hard he found an ancient wigwam. He entered the wigwam
and saw a great Giant sitting.
"Welcome! O Glooskap!" said the Giant.
"Welcome to my land of cold. My name is Winter.
Sit here beside me, and I will tell you many tales of the old time."
So Glooskap seated himself, and Winter gave him a pipe,
and while they both smoked the great
 Giant told stories of the old time. As he did so,
he wove a magic spell of Frost, and froze Glooskap's tongue
so that he could not speak, and bound his limbs
so that he could not move.
Winter talked on and froze, and Glooskap fell into a magic slumber.
For six months he slept like a toad. Then the charm fled,
and he awoke and arose, and, leaving the Land of Winter,
began to travel Southward.
At every step the air grew warmer, and the little flowers
sprang up in his path, and talked to him. And so he travelled on
until at last he came to the Forest where the Fairies of Light
were dancing with Summer, their Queen,—Summer,
the most beautiful of all the Fairies.
When Glooskap saw her, he caught her up and hid her in his bosom,
and then hastened away. All the little Fairies of Light
hurried after, but Glooskap cut a moose-hide into a long cord
and let it trail behind him. The Fairies of Light pulled at the cord,
but as he went Glooskap let it run out, and though
the Fairies pulled hard, soon he left them far behind.
Northward he hurried until he came once more
 to the land of ice and snow, and to the wigwam of Winter, the Giant.
Winter welcomed him as before, for he hoped to freeze Glooskap
again into a magic sleep. But this time Glooskap
had Summer hidden in his bosom. This time Glooskap
told all the tales of the old time. He told stories
of the hot Southland, and wove a magic spell of sunshine.
He took Summer, the Queen, from his bosom.
Soon Winter began to thaw, and the water ran down his face.
He melted more and more until he melted quite away.
The wigwam, too, dissolved into little streams of water.
Then everything awoke. Warm breezes began to blow.
The snow vanished and the snow-water ran away to the sea.
The little Fairies, guided by the moose-cord,
came trooping from the South to find Summer, their Queen.
The birds flocked to the North, and everywhere the flowers sprang up.
Then Glooskap, rejoicing, left Summer the Queen
and the Fairies of Light to make the North beautiful
for the people, and returned once more to his home.
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