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

The Fire-Plume

One of them, whom he heard addressed as the Old Spirit-man, spoke to Wassamo. "My son," said he, "know it was those foolish girls who brought you hither. They saw you at the fishing-ground. When you attempted to approach them you fell senseless, and at the same moment they transported you to this place. We are under the earth. But be at ease. We will make your stay with us pleasant. I am the guardian Spirit of the Sand Mountains. They are my charge. I pile them up, and blow them about, and do whatever I will with them. It keeps me very busy, but I am hale for my age, and I love to be employed. I have often wished to get one of your race to marry among us. If you can make up your mind to remain, I will give you one of my daughters—the one who smiled on you first, the night you were brought away from your parents and friends."

Wassamo dropped his head and made no answer. The thought that he should behold his kindred no more, made him sad.

He was silent, and the Old Spirit continued: "Your wants will all be supplied; but you must be careful not to stray far from the lodge. I am afraid of that Spirit who rules all islands lying in the lakes. He is my bitter enemy, for I have refused him my daughter in marriage; and when he learns that you are a member of my family, he will seek to harm you. There is my daughter," added the Old Spirit, pointing toward her. "Take her. She shall be your wife."

Forthwith Wassamo and the Old Spirit's daughter sat near each other in the lodge, and they were man and wife.

One evening the Old Spirit came in after a busy day's work out among the sand-hills, in the course of which he had blown them all out of shape with great gusts of wind, and strewn them about in a thousand directions, and brought them back and piled them up in all sorts of misshapen heaps.

At the close of this busy day, when the Old Spirit came in very much out of breath, he said to Wassamo, "Son-in-law, I am in want of tobacco. None grows about this dry place of mine. You shall return to your people and procure me a supply.

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