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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "The Fire-Plume"

The Fire-Plume

These the old Sand-Spirit could read at his leisure, and do what he thought best for each of his various petitioners.

When the time for his return arrived, Wassamo warned his people that they should not follow him nor attempt to take note how he disappeared. He then took the moose-skin sacks filled with tobacco, and bade farewell to all but Netawis. He insisted on the privilege of attending Wassamo and his wife for a distance, and when they reached the sand-banks he expressed the strongest wish to proceed with them on their journey. Wassamo told him that it could not be; that only spirits could exert the necessary power, and that there were no such spirits at hand.

They then took an affectionate leave of each other, Wassamo enjoining it upon his cousin, at risk of his life, to not look back when he had once started to return.

The cousin, sore at heart, but constrained to obey, parted from them, and as he walked sadly away, he heard a gliding noise as of the sound of waters that were cleaved.

He returned home, and told his friends that Wassamo and his wife had disappeared, but that he knew not how. No one doubted his word in any thing now.

Wassamo with his wife soon reached their home at the hills. The old Sand-Spirit was in excellent health, and delighted to see them. He hailed their return with open arms; and he opened his arms so very wide, that when he closed them he not only embraced Wassamo and his wife, but all of the tobacco-sacks which they had brought with them.

The requests of the Indian people were made known to him; he replied that he would attend to all, but that he must first invite his friends to smoke with him. Accordingly he at once dispatched his pipe-bearer and confidential aid to summon various Spirits of his acquaintance, and set the time for them to come.

Meanwhile he had a word of advice for his son-in-law Wassamo. "My son," said he, "some of these Manitoes that I have asked to come here are of a very wicked temper, and I warn you especially of that Island Spirit who wished to marry my daughter.

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