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

The Fire-Plume

Soon after, the old Sand-Spirit, who was a great speech-maker, arose and addressed the assembly.

"Brothers," he said, "I have invited you to partake with me of the offerings made by the mortals on earth, which have been brought by our relation," pointing to Wassamo. "Brothers, you see their wishes and desires plainly set forth here," laying his hand upon the figured moose-skins. "The offering is worthy of our consideration. Brothers, I see nothing on my part to hinder our granting their requests; they do not appear to be unreasonable. Brothers, the offer is gratifying. It is tobacco—an article which we have lacked until we scarcely knew how to use our pipes. Shall we grant their requests? One thing more I would say. Brothers, it is this: There is my son-in law; he is mortal. I wish to detain him with me, and it is with us jointly to make him one of us."

"Hoke! hoke!" ran through the whole company of Spirits, and "Hoke! hoke!" they cried again. And it was understood that the petitioners were to have all they asked, and that Wassamo was thenceforward fairly accepted as a member of the great family of Spirits.

As a wedding-gift, the Old Spirit asked his son-in-law to make one request, which should be promptly granted.

"Let there be no sand-squalls among my father's people for three months to come," said Wassamo.

"So shall it be," answered the old Sand-Spirit.

The tobacco was now divided in equal shares among the company. They filled their pipes—and huge pipes they were—and such clouds they blew, that they rushed forth out of the lodge and brought on night, in all the country round about, several hours before its time.

After a while passed in silence, the Spirits rose up, and bearing off their tobacco-sacks, they went smoking through the country, and losing themselves in their own fog, till a late hour in the morning, when all of their pipes being burned out, each departed on his own business.

The very next day the old Sand-Spirit, who was very much pleased with the turn affairs had taken at his entertainment, addressed Wassamo: "Son-in-law, I have made up my mind to allow you another holiday as an acknowledgment of the handsome manner in which you acquitted yourself of your embassy.

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