|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 |
LEGEND OF THE VIOLET
 MANY Moons before the white man came to the land of the Red Indian,
there lived a young warrior who was the pride of his tribe;
for dangerous deeds had he accomplished for the good of his people.
He had slain the Great Heron that destroyed their children,
and he had brought back from the Mountain of the Witches
the healing roots that cured the plague.
Once when he led a band of warriors against another tribe,
he saw in the lodge of one of his enemies a maiden so gentle
and lovely that he longed to have her for his wigwam.
But because of the strife between the two tribes,
he could not buy her with quills of the Wampum Bird.
So after he had returned victorious with his warriors
to his own village, he often thought of the maiden,
and how, unless he could light his wigwam with the brightness
of her eyes, he would no longer lead out his young men to battle.
At last he went forth alone, and hid in the
 woods near the village of his enemies.
There he watched patiently for the maiden
whose eyes had softened his heart.
He sang her praises so often that the little birds
took up his song and carried it in their flight,
over valley and meadow. The Bear, the Fox, and the Beaver
heard him murmur her name in his sleep, and thought
that a bright new flower had been born in the woodland.
With the calls of the song-birds,
he wooed the maiden from her lodge,
and lifting her, bore her away toward
the hunting-grounds of his people.
But, alas! a suitor of the maiden saw her carried
swiftly off upon the shoulder of the dreaded warrior.
He dared not follow, but fled to the village and gave the alarm.
The braves left him—a coward—in the hands of the women,
and hastened in pursuit of the maiden and her lover.
They followed them over mountains and plains all through
the dark night. And as the morning dawned, they found them
in the forest. And when the braves saw the maiden,
they were filled with anger, for she had plaited her hair
about the neck
 of the young man, to show that she was a willing
captive and had given him her heart.
Then her people, enraged at their foe for his daring,
and at the maiden because she had deserted her tribe,
killed them both, and left their bodies lying where they fell.
And from this spot in the forest sprang up the first Blue Violets.
And the winds and the birds carried the seeds of the flowers
and scattered them over all the Earth. So they did,
that in the Springtime youths and maidens might pluck
the little blue flower that breathes of constant love.
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