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

The Fire-Plume

When the storm had passed by, they all reappeared in the lodge. This sudden vanishing and reappearance occurred at every tempest.

"You are surprised," said the Old Spirit, "to see us disappear when it thunders. The reason is this: that noise which you fancy is thunder, is our enemy the Island Spirit hallooing on his way home from the hunt. We get out of sight that we may escape the necessity of asking him to come in and share our evening meal. We are not afraid of him, not in the least."

Just then it chanced to thunder again, and Wassamo observed that his father-in-law made extraordinary dispatch to conceal himself, although no stranger, at all resembling in any way the Island Spirit, was in view.

Shortly after this the season of sleep began, and one by one they laid themselves down to the long slumber.

The Old Spirit was the last to drop away; and, before he yielded, he went forth and had his last sport with the sand-hills, and he so tossed and vexed the poor hills, and scattered them to and fro, and whirled them up in the air, and far over the land, that it was days and days before they got back to any thing like their natural shape.

While his relations were enjoying this long sleep, Wassamo amused himself as best he could. The cupboard never failed him once: for visit it when he would, he always found a fresh supply of game, and every other dainty which his heart desired.

But his chief pastime was to listen to the voices of the travelers who passed by the window at the side of the lodge where they made their requests for comfortable weather and an easy journey.

These were often mingled with loud complainings, such as "Ho! how the sand jumps about!" "Take away that hill!" "I am lost!" "Old Sand-Spirit, where are you? help this way!" and the like, which indicated that such as were journeying through the hills had their own troubles to encounter.

As the spring-light of the first day of spring shone into the lodge, the whole family arose and went about the affairs of the day as though they had been slumbering only for a single night.

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