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Title: Woodland Tales
Author: Seton, Ernest Thompson, 1860-1946
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Music transcribed by Linda Cantoni





        WITH 100 DRAWINGS


        THE AUTHOR



        COPYRIGHT, 1905, 1920, 1921, BY






_To the Guide_

These Mother Carey Tales were written for children of all ages, who have
not outgrown the delight of a fairy tale. It might almost be said that
they were written chiefly for myself, for I not only have had the
pleasure of telling them to the little ones, and enjoying their quick
response, but have also had the greater pleasure of thinking them and
setting them down.

As I write, I look from a loved window, across a landscape that I love,
and my eye rests on a tall beautiful pine planted with my own hands
years ago. It is a mass of green fringes, with gem-like tips of buds and
baby cones, beautiful, exquisitely beautiful, whether seen from afar as
a green spire, or viewed close at hand as jewellery. It is beautiful,
fragile and--unimportant, as the world sees it; yet through its
wind-waved mass one can get little glimpses of the thing that backs it
all, the storm-defying shaft, the enduring rigid living growing trunk of
massive timber that gives it the nobility of strength, and adds value to
the rest; sometimes it must be sought for, but it always surely is
there, ennobling the lesser pretty things.

I hope this tree is a fair image of my fairy tale. I know my child
friends will love the piney fringes and the jewel cones, and they can
find the unyielding timber in its underlying truth, if they seek for it.
If they do not, it is enough to have them love the cones.

All are not fairy tales. Other chapters set forth things to see, thing
to do, things to go to, things to know, things to remember. These,
sanctified in the blue outdoors, spell "Woodcraft," the one pursuit of
man that never dies or palls, the thing that in the bygone ages gifted
him and yet again will gift him with the seeing eye, the thinking hand,
the body that fails not, the winged soul that stores up precious

It is hoped that these chapters will show how easy and alluring, and how
good a thing it is.

While they are meant for the children six years of age and upward, it is
assumed that Mother (or Father) will be active as a leader; therefore it
is addressed, first of all, to the parent, whom throughout we shall call
the "Guide."

       *       *       *       *       *

Some of these stories date back to my school days, although the first
actually published was "Why the Chicadee Goes Crazy Twice a Year." This
in its original form appeared in "Our Animal Friends" in September,
1893. Others, as "The Fingerboard Goldenrod," "Brook-Brownie," "The
Bluebird," "Diablo and the Dogwood," "How the Violets Came," "How the
Indian Summer Came," "The Twin Stars," "The Fairy Lamps," "How the
Littlest Owl Came," "How the Shad Came," appeared in slightly different
form in the _Century Magazine_, 1903 and 1904.

       *       *       *       *       *

My thanks are due to the Authorities of the American Museum who have
helped me with specimens and criticism; to the published writings of Dr.
W. J. Holland and Clarence M. Weed for guidance in insect problems; to
Britton and Browne's "Illustrated Flora, U. S. and Canada"; and to the
Nature Library of Doubleday, Page & Co., for light in matters botanic;
to Mrs. Daphne Drake and Mrs. Mary S. Dominick for many valuable
suggestions, and to my wife, Grace Gallatin Seton, for help with the
purely literary work.

Also to Oliver P. Medsger, the naturalist of Lincoln High School, Jersey
City, N. J., for reading with critical care those parts of the
manuscript that deal with flowers and insects, as well as for the ballad
of the Ox-eye, the story of its coming to America, and the photograph of
the Mecha-meck.


  Things to See in Springtime

  _The Seeing Eye_

  TALE NO.                                                         PAGE

   1. Blue-eyes, the Snow-child, or the Story of Hepatica             3

   2. The Story of the Dawnsinger, or How the Bloodroot Came          5

   3. The Prairie-girl with Yellow Hair                               6

   4. The Cat's-eye Toad, a child of Maka Ina                        11

   5. How the Bluebird Came                                          14

   6. Robin, the Bird that Loves to Make Clay Pots                   17

   7. Brook Brownie, or How the Song Sparrow Got his Streaks         20

   8. Diablo and the Dogwood                                         20

   9. The Woolly-bear                                                23

   10. How the Violets Came                                          25

   11. Cocoons                                                       26

   12. Butterflies and Moths                                         28

   13. The Mourning-cloak Butterfly or the Camberwell Beauty         30

   14. The Wandering Monarch                                         32

   15. The Bells of the Solomon Seal                                 35

   16. The Silver Bells of the False Solomon Seal                    37

  Things to See in Summertime

   17. How the Mouse-bird made Fun of the Brownie                    43

   18. The Pot-herb that Sailed with the Pilgrims                    44

   19. How the Red Clover Got the White Mark on Its Leaves           47

   20. The Shamrock and Her Three Sisters                            51

   21. The Indian Basket-Maker                                       53

   22. Crinkleroot; or Who Hid the Salad?                            56

   23. The Mecha-meck                                                61

   24. Dutchman's Breeches                                           63

   25. The Seven Sour Sisters                                        65

   26. Self-heal or Blue-curls in the Grass                          65

   27. The Four Butterflies You See Every Summer                     67

   28. The Beautiful Poison Caterpillar                              72

   29. The Great Splendid Silk-moth or _Samia Cecropia_              77

   30. The Green Fairy with the Long Train                           79

   31. The Wicked Hoptoad and the Little Yellow Dragon               82

   32. The Fairy Bird or the Humming-bird Moth                       85

   33. Ribgrass or Whiteman's-Foot                                   88

   34. Jack-in-the-Pulpit                                            91

   35. How the Indian Pipe Came                                      91

   36. The Cucumber Under the Brownie's Umbrella                     93

   37. The Hickory Horn-Devil                                        95

  Things to See in Autumntime

   38. The Purple and Gold of Autumn                                103

   39. Why the Chicadee Goes Crazy Twice a Year                     104

   40. The Story of the Quaking Aspen or Poplar                     107

   41. The Witch-hazel                                              109

   42. How the Shad Came and How the Chestnut Got Its Burrs         112

   43. How the Littlest Owl Came                                    113

   44. The Wood-witch and the Bog-nuts                              114

   45. The Mud-dauber Wasp                                          117

   46. The Cicada and the Katydid                                   121

   47. The Digger Wasp That Killed the Cicada                       123

   48. How the Indian Summer Came                                   126

  Things to See in Wintertime

   49. The North Star, or the Home Star                             129

   50. The Pappoose on the Squaw's Back                             131

   51. Orion the Hunter, and his Fight with the Bull                133

   52. The Pleiades, that Orion Fired at the Bull                   134

   53. The Twin Stars                                               136

   54. Stoutheart and His Black Cravat                              137

   55. Tracks and the Stories They Tell                             138

   56. A Rabbit's Story of His Life                                 140

   57. The Singing Hawk                                             144

   58. The Fingerboard Goldenrod                                    145

   59. Woodchuck Day--February Second                               149

  Things to Know

  _The Story of The Trail_

   60. How the Pine Tree Tells its Own Story                       153

   61. Blazes                                                      155

   62. Totems                                                      155

   63. Symbols                                                     159

   64. Sign Language                                               161

   65. The Language of Hens                                        161

   66. Why the Squirrel Wears a Bushy Tail                         162

   67. Why the Dog Wags His Tail                                   163

   68. Why the Dog Turns Around Three Times Before Lying Down      164

   69. The Deathcup of Diablo                                      165

   70. The Poison Ivy, or the Three-fingered Demon of the Woods    169

   71. The Medicine in the Sky                                     170

   72. The Angel of the Night                                      172

  Things to Do

  _The Thinking Hand_

   73. Bird-nesting in Winter                                      177

   74. The Ox-eye Daisy or Marguerite                              179

   75. The Monkey-hunt                                             181

   76. The Horsetail and the Jungle                                185

   77. The Woods in Winter                                         186

   78. The Fish and the Pond                                       187

   79. Smoke Prints of Leaves                                      189

   80. Bird-boxes                                                  189

   81. A Hunter's Lamp                                             193

   82. The Coon Hunt                                               194

   83. The Indian Pot                                              195

   84. Snowflakes                                                  197

   85. Are you Alive? Farsight                                     199

   86. Are you Alive? Quicksight                                   200

   87. Are you Alive? Hearing                                      200

   88. Are you Alive? Feeling                                      201

   89. Are you Alive? Quickness                                    202

   90. Are you Alive? Guessing Length                              203

   91. Are you Alive? Aim or Limb-control                          204

   92. A Treasure Hunt                                             205

   93. Moving Pictures                                             205

   94. The Natural Autograph Album                                 207

   95. The Crooked Stick                                           208

   96. The Animal Dance of Nana-bo-jou                             209

   97. The Caribou Dance                                           212

   98. The Council Robe                                            216

  Things to Remember

  _The Winged Soul that Stores up Precious Memories._

   99. How the Wren Became King of the Birds                       221

  100. The Snowstorm                                               222

  101. The Fairy Lamps                                             223

  102. The Sweetest Sad Song in the Woods                          225

  103. Springtime, or the Wedding of Maka Ina and El Sol           227

  104. Running the Council                                         228

  105. The Sandpainting of the Fire                                229

  106. The Woodcraft Kalendar                                      231

  107. Climbing the Mountain                                       233

  108. The Omaha Prayer                                            235

  A List of Books by the Author                                    236


_Mother Carey_

All-mother! Mater Cara! I have never seen you, but I hungered so to know
you that I understood it when you came, unseen, and silently whispered
to me that first time in the long ago.

I cannot tell the children what you look like, Mother Carey, for mortal
eye hath never rested on your face; and yet I can offer them a portrait,
O strong Angel of the Wild Things, neither young nor old--Oh! loving One
that neither trembles nor relents!

       *       *       *       *       *

A mink he was, a young mink and foolish. One of a happy brood, who were
seeing the world with their mother--a first glimpse of it. She was
anxious and leading, happy and proud, warning, sniffing, inviting,
loving, yet angersome at trivial disobedience, doling out her wisdom in
nips and examples and shrill warnings that all heeded; except this one,
the clever fool of the family, the self-satisfied smart one. He would
not be warned, the thing smelt so good. He plunged ahead. Mother was a
fool; he was wiser than Mother. Here was a merry feasting for him. Then
_clank_! The iron jaws of a trap sprang from the hiding grass, and
clutched on his soft young paws. Screams of pain, futile strainings,
writhings, ragings and moanings; bloody jaws on the trap; the mother
distraught with grief, eager to take all the punishment herself, but
helpless and stunned, unable to leave; the little brothers, aghast at
this first touch of passion, this glimpse of reality, skurrying, scared,
going and coming, mesmerized, with glowing eyes and bristling
shoulder-fur. And the mother, mad with sorrow, goaded by the screaming,
green-eyed, vacant-minded, despairing--till a new spirit entered into
her, the spirit of Cara the All-mother, Mother Carey the Beneficent,
Mother Carey the wise Straightwalker. Then the mother mink, inspired,
sprang on her suffering baby. With all the power of her limbs she sprang
and clutched; with all the power of her love she craunched. His screams
were ended; his days in the land were ended. He had not heeded her
wisdom; the family fool was finished. The race was better, better for
the suffering fool mink; better for the suffering mother mink.

The spirit left her; left her limp and broken-hearted. And away on the
wind went riding, grimly riding her empire.

Four swift steeds for riding, has she, the White Wind, the West Wind,
the Wet Wind and the Waking Wind. But mostly she rides the swift West

She is strong, is Mother Carey, strong, wise, inexorable, calm and
direct as an iceberg. And beneficent; but she loves the strong ones
best. She ever favours the wise ones. She is building, ceaselessly
building. The good brick she sets in a place of honour, and the poor one
she grinds into gravel for the workmen to walk on.

She loves you, but far less than she does your race. It may be that you
are not wise, and if it seem best, she will drop a tear and crush you
into the dust.

Three others there be of power, like Mother Carey: Maka Ina who is
Mother Earth; El Sol, the Sun in the Sky, and Diablo the Evil Spirit of
Disease and Dread. But over all is the One Great Spirit, the Beginning
and the Ruler with these and many messengers, who do His bidding. But
mostly you shall hear of Mother Carey.

It is long ago since first I heard her whisper, and though I hear better
now than then, I have no happier memory than that earliest message.

"Ho Wayseeker," she called, "I have watched your struggle to find the
pathway, and I know that you will love the things that belong to it.
Therefore, I will show you the trail, and this is what it will lead you
to: a thousand pleasant friendships that will offer honey in little
thorny cups, the twelve secrets of the underbrush, the health of
sunlight, suppleness of body, the unafraidness of the night, the delight
of deep water, the goodness of rain, the story of the trail, the
knowledge of the swamp, the aloofness of knowing,--yea, more, a crown
and a little kingdom measured to your power and all your own.

"But there is a condition attached. When you have found a trail you are
thereby ordained a guide. When you have won a kingdom you must give it
to the world or lose it. For those who have got power must with it bear
responsibility; evade the one, the other fades away."

This is the pledge I am trying to keep; I want to be your Guide. I am
offering you my little kingdom.


[Illustration: Blue-eyes the Snow Child]

Things to See in Springtime


Blue-eyes, the Snow Child, or The Story of Hepatica

Have you ever seen El Sol, the Chief of the Wonder-workers, brother to
Mother Carey? Yes, you have, though probably you did not know it; at
least you could not look him in the face. Well, I am going to tell you
about him, and tell of a sad thing that happened to him, and to some one
whom he loved more than words can tell.

Tall and of blazing beauty was El Sol, the King of the Wonder-workers;
his hair was like shining gold, and stood straight out a yard from his
head, as he marched over the hilltops.

Everyone loved him, except a very few, who once had dared to fight him,
and had been worsted. Everyone else loved him, and he liked everybody,
without really loving them. Until one day, as he walked in his garden,
he suddenly came on a beautiful white maiden, whom he had never seen
before. Her eyes were of the loveliest blue, her hair was so soft that
it floated on the air, and her robe was white, covered with ferns done
in white lace.

He fell deeply in love with her at once, but she waved a warning hand,
when he tried to come near.

"Who are you, oh radiant princess? I love you even before I hear you

"I am Snowroba, the daughter of the great King Jackfrost," she said.

"I love you as I never loved any one. Will you marry me? I am the King
of the Wonder-workers. I will make you the Queen."

"No," said she, "I cannot marry you, for it is written that if one of my
people marry one of your people, she will sink down and die in a day."

Then El Sol was very sad. But he said, "May I not see you again?"

"Yes," she answered, "I will meet you here in the morning, for it is
pleasant to look on your beauty," and her voice tinkled sweetly.

So she met him in the morning, and again on the third morning. He loved
her madly now, and though she held back, he seized her in his arms and
kissed her tenderly.

Then her arms fell weakly to her sides, and her eyes half closed as she
said: "I know now that the old writing spake truth. I love you, I love
you, my love; but you have killed me."

And she sank down, a limp white form, on the leafy ground.

El Sol was wild with grief. He tried to revive her, to bring her back.

She only whispered, "Good-bye, my love. I am going fast. You will see me
no more, but come to this place a year from now. It may be Maka Ina will
be kind, and will send you a little one that is yours and mine."

Her white body melted away, as he bent over it and wept.

He came back every morning, but saw Snowroba no more. One year from that
day, as he lingered sadly over the sacred spot, he saw a new and
wonderful flower come forth. Its bloom was of the tenderest violet blue,
and it was full of expression. As he gazed, he saw those eyes again; the
scalding tears dropped from his eyes, and burned its leaves into a
blotched and brownish colour. He remembered, and understood her promise
now. He knew that this was their blue-eyed little one.

In the early springtime we can see it. Three sunny days on the edge of
the snowdrift will bring it forth. The hunterfolk who find it, say that
it is just one of the spring flowers, out earlier than any other, and is
called Liverleaf, but we Woodcrafters know better. We know it is
Hepatica, the child of El Sol and Snowroba.


The Story of the White Dawnsinger


How the Bloodroot Came

Have you noticed that there are no snow-white birds in our woods during
summer? Mother Carey long ago made it a rule that all snow-white
landbirds should go north, when the snow was gone in the springtime. And
they were quite obedient; they flew, keeping just on the south edge of
the melting snow.

But it so happened that one of the sweetest singers of all--the
snow-white Dawnsinger with the golden bill and the ruby legs--was flying
northward with his bride, when she sprained her wing so she could not
fly at all.

There was no other help for it; they must stay in that thicket till her
wing grew strong again.

The other white birds flew on, but the Dawnsinger waited. He sang his
merriest songs to cheer her. He brought her food: and he warned her when
enemies were near.

A moon had come and gone. Now she was well again, and strong on the
wing. He was anxious to go on to their northern home. A second warning
came from Mother Carey, "White birds go north."

But the sunny woodside had become very pleasant, food was abundant, and
the little white lady said, "Why should we go north when it is so much
nicer right here?"

The Dawnsinger felt the same way, and the next time the warning came,
"White birds go north," he would not listen at all, and they settled
down to a joyful life in the woods.

They did not know anything about the Yellow-eyed Whizz. They never would
have known, had they gone north at their right time. But the Yellow-eyed
Whizz was coming. It came, and It always goes straight after white
things in the woods, for brown things It cannot see.

Dawnsinger was high on a tree, praising the light in a glorious song,
that he had just made up, when It singled him out by his whiteness, and
pierced him through.

He fell fluttering and dying; and as she flew to him, with a cry of
distress, the Yellow-eyed wicked Whizz struck her down by his side.

The Chewinks scratched leaves over the two white bodies, and--I
think--that Mother Carey dropped a tear on the place.

That was the end of the White Dawnsinger and his bride. Yet every year,
at that same place, as the snow goes, the brown leaves move and part,
and up from beneath there comes a beautiful white flower.

[Illustration: The Story of the White Dawnsinger]

Its bloom threads are yellow like the Dawnsinger's beak, and its stem is
ruby like his legs; all the rest is snow-white like his plumes. It
rises, looks about, faces the sun, and sings a little odour-song, a
little aroma-lay. If you look deep down into the open soul of the
Dawnsinger you will see the little golden thoughts he sings about. Then
up from the same grave comes another, just the same, but a little
smaller, and for a while they stand up side by side, and praise the
light. But the Wither-bloom that haunts the flowers as the Yellow-eyed
Whizz does the birds, soon finds them out; their song is ended, their
white plumes are scattered, and they shrink back into their grave, to be
side by side again.

You can find their little bodies, but deal gently with them, for they
are wounded; you may make them bleed again.

And when you hear the Chewinks scratching in the underbrush, remember
they are putting leaves on the grave of the White Dawnsinger.

       *       *       *       *       *

Surely you have guessed the secret; the flower is the Bloodroot, and the
Whizz is the Sharp-shinned Hawk.


The Prairie-girl with Yellow Hair

[Illustration: The Prairie-girl]

Tall and fair was the Prairie-girl. She was not very pretty, but her
form was slender and graceful, and her head was covered with a mass of
golden hair that made you see her from afar off. It has been whispered
that she was deeply in love with El Sol, for wherever he went, she
turned her head to look at him; and when she could not see him, she
drooped and languished. But he never seemed to notice her. As she grew
older her golden head turned white, and at last the swish of Mother
Carey's horses carried away all her white hair, and left her old, bald,
and ugly. So she pined and died, and Maka Ina buried her poor little
body under the grass. But some say it was Father Time that blew her hair
away, and that El Sol had the body cremated.

       *       *       *       *       *

If you look on the lawns or the fields in springtime, you are sure to
find the Prairie-girl. The Guide can show her to you, if you do not
know her. But he will call her "Common Dandelion," and I do not know of
any flower that has so many things for us children to remember.

If you are learning French, you will see how it got the name
"Dandelion"; it used to be written _dent de lion_; that is, "tooth of a
lion"; because its leaves are edged with sharp teeth, like a lion's jaw.

Its golden-yellow flower is said to open when the Swallows arrive from
the south, that is, in April; and though it blooms chiefly in springtime
it keeps on blooming till long after the Swallows fly away. It certainly
thrives as long as the sun shines on it, and fades when the cold dark
season comes. But I have seen it out in November; that is, the Dandelion
blooms for fully nine months. I do not know of any other flower that
does; most of them are done in one month.

When the yellow flower is over, its place is taken by a beautiful globe
of soft, white plumes; this is why the story says its golden hair turns
white with age. The children believe that this woolly head will tell you
the time of day. You hold it up, then pretend you are Father Time
blowing her hair away, blow a sharp puff with your breath, then another
and another, till the plumes are blown away. If it takes four blows,
they say it means four o'clock; but it is not a very true clock.

Some children make a wish, then blow once and say, "this year"; the
second time, "next year"; the third time, "some time"; the fourth time,
"never." Then begin all over, and keep on as long as any plumes are
left, to tell when the wish is coming true.

Now pull the head off the stalk. You will find it leaves a long, open
tube that sounds like a trumpet when you blow through it from the small
end. If you force your finger into the big end, and keep pushing, you
split the tube into two or three pieces; put these in your mouth and
they will curl up like ringlets. Some children hang these on their ears
for ornaments. Take a stalk for each year of your age; pull its head
off. Then you will find that the top end will go into the bottom and
make a ring. Use all the stalks you have gathered, to make a chain; now
throw this chain into a low tree. If it sticks the first time, your wish
will come true this year. Each time it falls puts your wish a year
farther away.

This may not be true; but it is a game to play. Some big girls use it,
to find out when they are going to be married.

Now dig up the whole plant, root and all--the gardener will be much
obliged to you for doing so--take it home, and ask the Guide to make the
leaves into a salad; you will find it good to eat; most Europeans eat it
regularly, either raw, or boiled as greens.

Last of all, ask the Guide to roast the root, till it is brown and
crisp, then grind it in a coffee-mill, and use it to make coffee. Some
people think it better than real coffee; at any rate, the doctors say it
is much healthier, for it is nourishing food, and does not do one any
harm at all. But perhaps you will not like it. You may think all the
time you are eating the body of the poor little Prairie-girl, who died
of love.


The Cat's-eye Toad, a Child of Maka Ina

When you were little, O Guide! didn't you delight in the tales of gnomes
or _nibelungen_, those strange underground creatures that lived hidden
from the light, and busied themselves with precious stones and metals?
How unwillingly we gave up those glad beliefs, as we inevitably grew old
and lost our fairyland eyes!

[Illustration: The Cat's eye Toad (life size)]

But you must not give up all your joyful creeds; you must keep on
believing in the weird underground dwarfs; for I am going to tell you of
one that the cold calculating Professor Science has at last accepted,
and that lives in your own back-yard. That is, the Cat's-eye Toad or
Spadefoot. It is much like a common Toad, but a little smoother, the
digging spade on its hind foot is bigger and its eye, its beautiful
gold-stone eye, has the pupil up and down like that of a Cat, instead of
level as in its cousin, the warty Hoptoad.

But the wonderful thing about the Cat's-eye is that it spends most of
its life underground, coming out in the early springtime for a few days
of the most riotous honeymoon in some small pond, where it sings a loud
chorus till mated, lays a few hundred eggs, to be hatched into tadpoles,
then backs itself into its underground world by means of the boring
machine on its hind feet, to be heard no more that season, and seen no
more, unless some one chance to dig it out, just as Hans in the story
dug out the mole-gnome.

In the fairy tale the Shepherd-boy was rewarded by the gnome for digging
him out; for he received both gold and precious stones. But our gnome
does not wish us to dig him out; nevertheless, if you do, you will be
rewarded with a golden fact, and a glimpse of two wonderful jewel eyes.

According to one who knows him well, the Cat's-eye buries itself far
underground, and sleeps days, or weeks, _perhaps years_ at a time. Once
a grave-digger found a Cat's-eye three feet two inches down in the earth
with no way out.

How and when are we then to find this strange creature? Only during his
noisy honeymoon in April.

Do you know the soft trilling whistle of the common Hoptoad in May? The
call of the Cat's-eye is of the same style but very loud and harsh, and
heard early in April. If on some warm night in springtime, you hear a
song which sounds like a cross between a Toad's whistle and a Chicken's
squawk, get a searchlight and go quietly to the place. The light will
help you to come close, and in the water up to his chin, you will see
him, his gold-stone eyes blazing like jewels and his throat blown out
like a mammoth pearl, each time he utters the "squawk" which he intends
for a song. And it is a song, and a very successful one, for a visit to
the same pond a week or two later, will show you--not the Cat's-eye or
his mate, they have gone a-tunnelling--but a swarm of little black
pin-like tadpole Cat's-eyes, born and bred in the glorious sunlight but
doomed and ready, if they live, to follow in their parents' tracks far
underground. Sure proof that the song did win a mate, and was crowned
with the success for which all woodland, and marshland song first was


How the Bluebird Came

Nana-bo-jou, that some think is the Indian name for El Sol and some say
is Mother Carey, was sleeping his winter's sleep in the big island just
above the thunder-dam that men call Niagara. Four moons had waned, but
still he slept. The frost draperies of his couch were gone; his white
blanket was burnt into holes. He turned over a little; then the ice on
the river cracked like near-by thunder. When he turned again, it began
to slip over the big beaver-dam of Niagara, but still he did not awake.

[Illustration: How the Bluebird Came]

The great Er-Beaver in his pond, that men call Lake Erie, flapped his
tail, and the waves rolled away to the shore, and set the ice heaving,
cracking, and groaning; but Nana-bo-jou slept on.

Then the Ice-demons pounded the shore of the island with their clubs.
They pushed back the whole river-flood till the channel was dry, then
let it rush down like the end of all things, and they shouted together:

"Nana-bo-jou! Nana-bo-jou! Nana-bo-jou! Wake up!"

But still he slept calmly on.

Then came a soft, sweet voice, more gentle than the mating turtle of
Miami. It was in the air, but it was nowhere, and yet it was in the
trees, in the water, and it was in Nana-bo-jou too. He felt it, and it
awoke him. He sat up and looked about. His white blanket was gone; only
a few tatters of it were to be seen in the shady places. In the sunny
spots the shreds of the fringe with its beads had taken root and were
growing into little flowers with beady eyes, Spring Beauties as they are
called now. The small voice kept crying: "Awake! the spring is coming!"

Nana-bo-jou said: "Little voice, where are you? Come here."

But the little voice, being everywhere, was nowhere, and could not come
at the hero's call.

So he said: "Little voice, you are nowhere because you have no place to
live in; I will make you a home."

So Nana-bo-jou took a curl of birch bark and made a little wigwam, and
because the voice came from the skies he painted the wigwam with blue
mud, and to show that it came from the Sunland he painted a red sun on
it. On the floor he spread a scrap of his own white blanket, then for a
fire he breathed into it a spark of life, and said: "Here, little voice,
is your wigwam." The little voice entered and took possession, but
Nana-bo-jou had breathed the spark of life into it. The smoke-vent wings
began to move and to flap, and the little wigwam turned into a beautiful
Bluebird with a red sun on its breast and a shirt of white. Away it
flew, but every year it comes as winter wanes, the Bluebird of the
spring. The voice still dwells in it, and we feel that it has lost
nothing of its earliest power when we hear it cry: "Awake! the spring is


Robin, the Bird that Loves to Make Clay Pots

Everyone knows the Robin; his reddish-brown breast, gray back, white
throat, and dark wings and tail are easily remembered. If you colour the
drawing, you will always remember it afterward. The Robin comes about
our houses and lawns; it lets us get close enough to see it. It has a
loud, sweet song. All birds have a song[A]; and all sing when they are
happy. As they sing most of the time, except when they are asleep, or
when moulting, they must have a lot of happiness in their lives.

Here are some things to remember about the Robin. It is one of the
earliest of all our birds to get up in the morning, and it begins to
sing long before there is daylight.

Birds that live in the trees, _hop_; birds that live on the ground,
_walk_ or _run_; but the Robin lives partly in the trees and partly on
the ground, so sometimes he hops and sometimes he runs.

[Illustration: The Robin Making Clay Pots]

When he alights on a fence or tree, he looks at you and flashes the
white spots on the outer corners of his tail. Again and again he does
this. Why? That is his way of letting you know that he is a Robin. He is
saying in signal code--flash and wig-wag--"I'm a Robin, I'm a Robin, I'm
a Robin." So you will not mistake him for some bird that is less loved.

The Robin invented pottery before men did; his nest is always a clay pot
set in a little pile of straws. Sometime, get a Robin's nest after the
bird is done with it; dry it well, put it on the fire very gently; leave
it till all the straws are burned away, and then if it does not go to
pieces, you will find you have a pretty good earthen pot.

The Robin loves to make these pots. I have known a cock Robin make
several which he did not need, just for the fun of making them.

A friend of mine said to me once, "Come, and I will show you the nest of
a crazy Robin." We went to the woodshed and there on a beam were six
perfectly good Robin nests all in a row; all of them empty.

"There," said my friend. "All of these six were built by a cock Robin in
about ten days or two weeks. He seemed to do nothing but sing and build
nests. Then after finishing the last one, he disappeared. Wasn't he

"No," I said, "not at all. He was not crazy; he was industrious. Let me
finish the chapter. The hen Robin was sitting on the eggs, the cock bird
had nothing else to do, so he put in the time at the two things he did
the best and loved the most: singing and nest-building. Then after the
young were hatched in the home nest, he had plenty to do caring for
them, so he ceased both building and singing, for that season."

I have often heard of such things. Indeed, they are rather common, but
not often noticed, because the Robin does not often build all the extra
nests in one place.

Do you know the lovely shade called Robin's-egg blue? The next time you
see a Robin's nest with eggs in it you will understand why it was so
named and feel for a moment, when first you see it, that you have found
a casket full of most exquisite jewels.

Next to nest-building, singing is the Robin's gift, and the songs that
he sings are full of joy. He says, "_cheerup, cheer up, cheerily
cheer-up_"; and he means it too.


Brook Brownie, or How the Song Sparrow Got His Streaks

[Illustration: Brook Brownie]

  His Mother was the Brook and his sisters were the Reeds,
  They, every one, applauded when he sang about his deeds.
  His vest was white, his mantle brown, as clear as they could be,
  And his songs were fairly bubbling o'er with melody and glee.
  But an envious Neighbour splashed with mud our Brownie's coat and vest,
  And then a final handful threw that stuck upon his breast.
  The Brook-bird's mother did her best to wash the stains away;
  But there they stuck, and, as it seems, are very like to stay.
  And so he wears the splashes and the mud blotch, as you see;
  But his songs are bubbling over still with melody and glee.


Diablo and the Dogwood

[Illustration: The Dogwood Bloom]

What a glorious thing is the Maytime Dogwood in our woods! How it does
sing out its song! More loudly and clearly it sings than any other
spring flower! For it is not one, but a great chorus; and I know it is
singing that "The spring, the very spring is in the land!"

I suppose if one had King Solomon's fayland ears, one might hear the
Dogwood music like a lot of church bells pealing, like the chorus of the
cathedral where Woodthrush is the preacher-priest and the Veeries make

It was Adam's favourite tree, they say, in the Garden of Eden. And it
grew so high, flowered so wonderfully, and gave so much pleasure that
Diablo, who is also called the Devil, wanted to kill it. He made up his
mind that he would blight and scatter every shining leaf of its snowy
bloom. So one dark night he climbed a Honey Locust tree near the gate,
and swung by his tail over the wall, intending to tear off all the
lovely blossoms. But he got a shock when he found that every flower was
in the _shape of a cross_, which put them beyond his power to blight. He
was furious at not being able to destroy its beauty, so did the worst he
could. Keeping away from the cross he bit a piece out of the edge of
every snowy flower leaf, and then jumped back to the Honey Locust tree.

The Locust was ashamed when she found that she had helped Diablo to do
such a mean bit of mischief, so she grew a bristling necklace of strong
spikes to wear; they were so long and sharp that no one since, not even
Diablo himself, has ever been able to climb that Honey Locust tree.

But it was too late to save the Dogwood bloom. The bites were out, and
they never healed up again, as you can see to this very day.


The Woolly-bear

[Illustration: The Woolly-bear (the moth is 1-1/4 life size)]

Do you know the Woolly-bear Caterpillar? It is divided into three parts;
the middle one brown, the two ends black. Everyone notices the
Woolly-bear, because it comes out in early spring, as soon as the frost
is over, and crawls on the fences and sidewalks as though they belonged
to it. It does not seem to be afraid of any one or anything. It will
march across the road in front of a motor car, or crawl up the leg of
your boot. Sometimes when you brush it off with your hand, little
hairs are left sticking in your fingers, because it is really like a
small porcupine, protected by short spears sticking out of its skin in
all directions. Here at the side of the picture, is one of these hairs
seen under a microscope.

Where did the Woolly-bear come from? It was hatched from an egg last

And now what is going to happen? It will stuff itself with rib-grass or
other low plants, till it has grown bigger; then it will get a warning
from the All-mother to prepare for the great change. In some low dry
place under a log, stone or fence-rail, it will spin a cocoon with its
own spikey hairs outside for a protector. In this rough hairy coffin it
will roll itself up, for its "little death," as the Indians call it, and
Mother Carey will come along with her sleeping wand, and touch it, so it
will go into sound sleep, but for only a few days. One bright sunny
morning old Mother Carey comes around again, touches the Woolly-bear
bundle-baby, and out of it comes the Woolly-bear, only now it is changed
like the Prince in the story into a beautiful Moth called the
Tiger-Moth! Out he comes, and if you look up at one end of the coffin he
is leaving, you may see the graveclothes he wore when first he went to
sleep. Away he flies now to seek his beautiful mate, and soon she lays a
lot of eggs, from each of which will come another little Woolly-bear to
grow into a big Woolly-bear, and do it all over again.


How the Violets Came

        The Meadow she was sorry
        For her sister Sky, you see,
        'Cause, though her robe of blue was bright,
        'Twas plain as it could be.

        And so she sent a skylark up
        To trim the Sky robe right
        With daisies from the Meadow
        (You can see them best at night).

        And every scrap of blue cut out
        To make those daisies set
        Came tumbling down upon the grass
        And grew a violet.



Everyone loves to go a-hunting. Our forebears were hunters for so many
ages that the hunting spirit is strong in all of us, even though held in
check by the horror of giving pain to a fellow being. But the pleasure
of being outdoors, of seeking for hidden treasures, of finding something
that looks at first like old rubbish, and then turns out to be a
precious and beautiful thing, that is ours by right of the old
law--finders, keepers. That is a kind of hunting that every healthy
being loves, and there are many ways and chances for you to enjoy it.

Go out any time between October and April, and look in all the low trees
and high bushes for the little natural rag-bundles called "cocoons."
Some are bundle-shaped and fast to a twig their whole length. Some hang
like a Santa Claus bag on a Christmas tree; but all may be known by
their hairiness or the strong, close cover of fine gray or brown fibre
or silk, without seams and woven to keep out the wet.

[Illustration: Cocoons]

They are so strongly fastened on, that you will have to break the twig
to get the bundle down. If it seems very light, and rattled when you
shake it, you will likely see one or more small, sharp, round holes in
it. This means that an insect enemy has destroyed the little creature
sleeping within. If the Cocoon is perfect and seems solid and heavy,
take it home, and put it in a cardboard, or wooden box, which has a wire
screen, or gauze cover. Keep it in a light place, not too dry, till the
springtime comes; then one day a miracle will take place. The case will
be cut open from within, and out will come a gorgeous Moth. It is like
the dull, dark grave opening up at the resurrection to let forth a
new-born, different being with wings to fly in the heavens above.

In the drawing I have shown five different kinds of bundle-baby, then at
the bottom have added the jug-handled bundle-baby of the Tomato worm; it
does not make a Cocoon but buries itself in the ground when the time
comes for the Great Sleep. Kind Mother Earth protects it as she does the
Hickory Horn-Devil, so it does not need to make a Cocoon at all.

There is a wonderful story about each of these bundle-babies. You will
never get weary if you follow and learn them, for each one differs from
the last. Some of them I hope to tell you in this book, and before we
begin I want you to know some of the things that men of science have
learned, and why a Butterfly is not a Moth.


Butterflies and Moths

Do you remember the dear old fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast? How
Beauty had to marry the Beast to save her father's life? But as soon as
she had bravely agreed to sacrifice herself--as soon as she gave the
fateful "Yes" the Beast stood up on his hind legs, his horns, hoofs and
hide rolled off, and he was turned back into his true shape, a splendid
young Prince whom she could not help loving; and they lived happy ever

Do you know that just such transformations and happy weddings are going
on about us all the time? The Beast is an ugly Caterpillar, the Princess
Beauty is the Butterfly or the Moth. And when the Beast is changed into
the Prince Charming and meets with Princess Beauty, they are just as
madly happy as they tell it in the fairy books. I know it, for I have
seen the transformation, and I have seen the pair go off on their
wedding flight.

Men of science have been trying to explain these strange
transformations, and to discover why the Prince and Princess do not need
to eat or drink, once they have won their highest form, their life of
wings and joy. But they have not got much farther than giving names to
the things we have long loved and seen as children, dividing the winged
wonders into two big families called Butterflies and Moths.

Do you know the difference between a Butterfly and a Moth?

Taken together they make a large group that are called Scale-wings,
because they alone among insects, have scales or tiny feathers like dust
on the wings. Butterflies are Scale-wings that fly by day, and have
club-shaped feelers; they mostly fold one wing against the other when
they alight, and in the chrysalis, or bundle-baby stage, they are naked
and look like an African ear-drop.

Moths are Scale-wings that fly by night, and have switch or
feather-shaped feelers; they keep their wings spread open when they
alight, and in the bundle-baby stage, they are wrapped in a cocoon.
There are some that do not keep to these rules, but they are rare, and
the shape of the feelers will tell whether it is a Moth or a Butterfly.

All of these Scale-wings are hatched from eggs, and come first, as a
worm, grub, or caterpillar; next as a chrysalis pupa or bundle-baby;
last as the winged creature. That is, first a Beast and last a Beauty.
Each of them must at one time be the ugly one, before the great change
comes. But I must tell you a truth that the Fairy Books left out, and
which maybe you have guessed--Princess Beauty too was at one time forced
to live and look like a Beast, till she had fought her own fight, had
worked out her own high destiny, and won her way to wings.


The Mourning-cloak Butterfly, or the Camberwell Beauty

There was once a lady who dwelt in Camberwell. She was so good to see
that people called her "The Camberwell Beauty." She dressed so
magnificently that her robe was covered with gold, and spangled with
precious stones of most amazing colours. Especially proud was she, of
the row of big blue diamonds that formed the border; and she loved to go
forth into the world to see and be seen; although she knew that the
country was full of robbers who would be sure to steal her jewels if
they could. Then she made a clever plan, she kept on the beautiful
things that she loved to dress in, but over all she hung a black velvet
mourning cloak which nobody could possibly want to steal. Then she went
up and down the roads as much as she pleased.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Mourning-cloak Butterfly (3/4 life size)]

Well, this story may be not quite true, but it is partly true, and the
beautiful lady is known to-day as the Mourning-cloak Butterfly. There it
is, plain to be seen, the black mourning cloak, but peeping from under
it, you can see the golden border and some of the blue diamonds too,
if you look very carefully.

In the North Woods where I spent my young days, the first butterfly to
be seen in the springtime was the Mourning-cloak, and the reason we saw
it so early in the season, yes, even in the snowtime, was because this
is one of the Butterflies that sometimes sleep all winter, and so live
in two different seasons.

Its eggs are laid on the willows, elms, or poplars, in early springtime.
The young soon hatch, and eat so much, and grow so fast, that five weeks
after the eggs are laid, and three after they are hatched, the
caterpillar is full grown, and hangs itself up as a chrysalis under some
sheltering board or rail. In two weeks more, the wonderful event takes
place, the perfect Butterfly comes forth; and there is another
Mourning-cloak to liven the roadside, and amaze us with its half-hidden


The Wandering Monarch

Did you ever read the old Greek story of Ulysses, King of Ithaca, the
Wandering Monarch, who for twenty years roamed over sea and land away
from home--always trying to get back, but doomed to keep on travelling,
homesick and weary, but still moving on; until his name became a byword
for wandering?


"The Wanderer" in Three Stages: Cocoon, Caterpillar, and Butterfly]

In our own woods and our own fields in America we have a Wandering
Monarch--the "Big Red Butterfly" as we children called it--the "Monarch"
as it is named by the butterfly catchers.

It is called the "Wanderer" chiefly because it is the only one of our
Butterflies that migrates like the birds. In the late summer it
gathers in great swarms when the bright days are waning, and flies away
to warmer lands. I have often seen it going, yet I do not remember that
I ever saw it come back in the springtime; but it comes, though not in
great flocks like those that went south.

One of the common names of this splendid creature is "Milkweed
Butterfly" because its grub or caterpillar is fond of feeding on the
leaves of the common milkweed.

The drawing shows the size and style of the grub; in colour it is yellow
or yellowish green with black bands.

As soon as it is grown big enough and fat enough, the grub hangs itself
up as a "chrysalis" which is a Greek word that may be freely rendered
into "golden jewel." The middle drawing shows its shape; in colour it is
of a pale green with spots of gold, or as it has been described "a green
house with golden nails."

After about two weeks the great change takes place, and the bundle-baby
or chrysalis opens to let out the splendid red-brown Butterfly, of
nearly the same red as a Cock Robin's breast in springtime, with lines
and embroidery of black and its border set with pearls. Near the middle
of the hind wing is a dark spot like a thickening of one rib. This has
been called a "sachet bag" or "scent-pocket," and though not very
ornamental to look at, is of more use to it than the most beautiful
white pearl of the border. For this is the battery of its wireless
telegraph. We think our ships and aeroplanes very far advanced because
they can signal miles away, and yet the Wandering Monarch had an outfit
for sending messages long before it was ever dreamed of by man. Maybe it
is not a very strong battery, but it certainly reaches for miles; and
maybe its messages are not very clear, but they serve at least to let
the Monarchs know where their wives are, and how to find them, which is

There is one other reason for calling this the Wanderer. Although it is
an American by birth, it has travelled to England and the Philippines
and is ever going farther over the world till at last no doubt it will
have seen all lands and possessed them.

It makes old Ulysses look like a very stay-at-home, for his farthest
travels never went beyond the blue Mediterranean, and his whole twenty
years of voyaging covered less than the states east of the
Mississippi--much less than our Red Wanderer covers in a single summer.


The Bells of the Solomon Seal

Let us go out into the woods, and look for the Solomon Seal. This is May
and we should find it in some half open place, where it is neither wet
nor dry. Here it is! See the string of bells that hangs from its curving
stem. Dig out its roots, wash off the earth, and you will see the mark
of King Solomon's Seal that gives its name to the plant. Now listen to
the story of it all.

King Solomon had the "second sight" that means the deeper sight, the
magic eyesight which made him see through a stone wall, or read men's
thoughts. King Solomon had fayland ears; which means, he could hear all
sounds from A to Z; while common ears, like yours and mine, hear only
the middle sounds from K to Q.

Everything that lives and moves is giving out music; every flower that
blooms is singing its song. We cannot hear, our ears are too dull; but
King Solomon could. And one day, as he walked through the woods, he
heard a new flower-song that made him stop and listen. It had strange
music with it, and part of that was a chime of golden bells.

[Illustration: The Bells of the Solomon Seal]

The great King sat down on a bank. His fayland eyes could see right into
the ground. He saw the fat fleshy root like a little goblin, reaching
its long white fingers down into the soil, picking out the magic
crystals to pack away in its pockets; and he could see the tall stem
like a wood-elf carrying them up, and spreading them upon its flat
hands, so they could soak up the juices of the sun and air. He could see
them turning into a wonderful stuff like amber dew, with a tang like
new-cut timber. But it was not yet done, so he could not tell just what
it might be good for. Now it was springtime, and it would be harvest red
moon before the little worker would have the magic healing stored in its
treasure bags underground. So to prevent any one harming or hindering
the plant till its work was done, the King took out his seal ring and
stamped seal marks all along the root, where they are unto this day. And
then to make it sure he made the golden bell chimes become visible so
every one could see them. There they hang like a row of ringing bells.

But the King never came back to learn the rest of it, for he had to
build the temple; and he had many wives who took up a great deal of his
time. So the world has never found out just what is the magic power of
the plant. But it is there, be sure of that, just as surely as the peal
of golden bells is there, and the marks of the great King's Seal.


The Silver Bells of the False Solomon Seal

[Illustration: The Silver Bells of the False Solomon Seal]

Over a month later, the King suddenly remembered that he had not been
out to see the plant whose root he had sealed. He was very busy at the
time, as he had the temple to build, and many wives to look after; so he
called Djin, a good goblin, who does hard work and said, "Go and see
that no one has harmed that plant," then told him how to find it.

Away went the good goblin, like a flash. He was a very obedient servant,
but not very bright; and when he came to the woods, he looked all around
for the plant with the chime of bells, for King Solomon had forgotten to
say that the bells do not ring after June, and it was now July. So the
goblin looked about for a long time. He did not dare to go back and say
he could not find it--that would have been a terrible crime, so he
looked and looked. At last he heard a little tinkle of bells away off in
the woods. He flew to the place, and there was a plant like the one he
sought but its bells were of silver, and all in a bunch instead of a
long string. The good goblin dug down to the big fat root in the ground
and found that the seal marks had grown over--at least he thought they
had--for they were nowhere to be seen. So he looked around for something
to help. His eye fell on an acorn cup. He took this, and using it for a
seal, he stamped the root all over.

Then he took a piece of the root and a sprig and flew back to show the
King. Solomon smiled and said: "You did the best you could, but you have
marked the wrong root. Listen! This is not the golden chime, but the
chime of silver bells."

That is the story of it and that is why it has ever since been called
the False Solomon Seal.


[A] Some, like the Turkey-buzzards, have not yet been heard to sing, but
I believe they do.


[Illustration: The Brownie and the Mouse-bird]

Things to See in Summertime


How the Mouse-bird Made Fun of the Brownie

Once there was a conceited Brownie, who thought he could do more things
and do them better than any other of his people. He had not tried yet,
for he was very young, but he said he was going to do them some day!

One morning a sly old Brownie, really making fun of him, said: "Why
don't you catch that Phoebe-bird? It is quite easy if you put a little
salt on his tail." Away went Smarty Brownie to try. But the Phoebe would
not sit still, and the Brownie came back saying: "He bobbed his tail so,
the salt would not stay on."

"Well," said the sly old Brownie, "there is a little Mouse-bird whose
tail never bobs. You can easily catch him, for you see, he does not even
fly, but crawls like a mouse up the tree," and he pointed to a little
brown Creeper. By this time the young Brownie knew that the others were
laughing at him, so he said rather hotly, "I'll just show you right

He took an acorn cup full of salt, and went after the Mouse-bird. It was
at the bottom of the big tree, creeping up, round and round, as if on a
spiral staircase, and the Brownie began to climb in the same way. But
every little while the climber had to stop and rest. This had strange
results, for there is a law in Brownie land, that wherever one of the
little people stops to sit down, or rest, a toadstool must spring up for
him to sit on. So the track of the Brownie up the trunk became one long
staircase of toadstool steps, some close, some far apart, but each
showing where the Brownie had rested. They came closer together toward
the top where the Brownie had got tired, but he was coming very near to
the Creeper now. He got his pinch of salt all ready, as his friends down
below kept calling and jeering: "Now you've got him, now is your
chance." But just as he was going to leap forward and drop the salt on
its tail, the Creeper gave a tiny little laugh like "_Tee-tee-tee_,"
spread its wings, for it could fly very well, and sailed away to the
bottom of the next tree to do the spiral staircase all over again, while
Smarty Brownie was so mad that he jumped to the ground and hid away from
his friends for two days. When he came back he did not talk quite so
much as he used to. But to this day you can see the staircase of
toadstools on the tree trunks where the Brownie went up.


The Pot-herb that Sailed with the Pilgrims

"Come," said the Guide, "to-day I am going to show you a Pot-herb that
came from England with the Pilgrim Fathers and spread over the whole of
America. There is a story about it that will keep it ever in your

[Illustration: The Pilgrim's Pot-herb]

The Pilgrims had landed in Massachusetts, and slowly made farms for
themselves as they cleared off the forest. They had a very hard time at
first, but the Indians helped them; sometimes with gifts of venison, and
sometimes by showing them which things in the woods were good to eat.

There was a Squaw named Monapini, "the Root-digger," who was very
clever at finding forest foods. She became friendly with a white woman
named Ruth Pilgrim, and so Ruth's family got the benefit of it, and
always had on the table many good things that came from the woods.

One day, long after the farms were cleared and doing well, the white
woman said, "See, Mother Monapini, thou hast shown me many things, now I
have somewhat to show thee. There hath grown up in our wheat field a
small herb that must have come from England with the wheat, for hitherto
I have not seen it elsewhere. We call it lamb's-quarter, for the lamb
doth eat it by choice. Or maybe because we do eat it with a quarter of
lamb. Nevertheless it maketh a good pot-herb when boiled."

The old Indian woman's eyes were fixed on the new plant that was good to
eat: and she said, "Is it very good, oh white sister?"

"Yes, and our medicine men do say that it driveth out the poison that
maketh itch and spots on the skin." After a moment Monapini said, "It
looketh to me like the foot of a wild goose."

"Well found," chuckled Ruth, "for sometimes our people do call it by
that very name."

"That tells me different," said the Indian.

"What mean you," said Ruth.

"Is not a goose foot very strong, so it never catcheth cold in the icy


"And this hath the shape of a goose foot?"


"Then my Shaman tells that it is by such likeness that the Great Spirit
showeth the goose foot plant to be charged with the driving out of

"It may be so," said the white woman, "but this I know. It is very good
and helpeth the whole body."

The Indian picked a handful of the pot-herbs, then stared hard at the
last; a very tall and strong one.

"What hast thou now, Monapini?" The red woman pointed to the stem of the
lamb's-quarter, whereon were long red streaks, and said: "This I see,
that, even as the white-man's herb came over the sea and was harmless
and clean while it was weak, but grew strong and possessed this field,
then was streaked to midheight with blood, so also shall they be who
brought it--streaked at last to the very waist with blood--not the white
men's but the dark purple blood of the Indian. This the voices tell me
is in the coming years, that this is what we shall get again for helping
you--destruction in return for kindness. Mine inner eyes have seen it."
She threw down the new pot-herb and glided away, to be seen no more in
the settlements of the white men.

And Ruth, as she gazed after her, knew that it was true. Had she not
heard her people talking and planning? For even as the weed seed came
with the wheat, so evil spirits came with the God-fearing Pilgrims, and
already these were planning to put the heathens to the sword, when the
Colony was strong enough.

So the Indian woman read the truth in the little pot-herb that sailed
and landed with the Pilgrims; that stands in our fields to this day,
streaked with the blood of the passing race--standing, a thing of


How the Red Clover Got the White Mark on Its Leaves

[Illustration: How the Red Clover Got the White Mark on Its Leaves]

Once upon a time a Bee, a Bug, and a Cow went marching up to Mother
Carey's palace in the hemlock grove, to tell her of their troubles. They
complained that food was poor and scarce, and they were tired of the
kinds that grew along the roadsides.

Mother Carey heard them patiently, then she said: "Yes, you have some
reason to complain, so I will send you a new food called Clover. Its
flower shall be full of honey for the Bee, its leaves full of cowfood
and its cellar shall be stocked with tiny pudding bags of meal for the
Bug, that is for good little Bug-folks who live underground."

Now the tribes of the Bee, the Bug, and the Cow had a fine time
feasting, for the new food was everywhere.

But Cows are rather stupid you know. They found the new food so good
that they kept on munching everything that had three round leaves,
thinking it was Clover, and very soon a lot of them were poisoned with
strange plants that no wise Cow would think of eating.

So Mother Carey called a Busy Brownie, and put him on guard to keep the
Cows from eating the poison plants by mistake.

At first it was good fun, and the Brownie enjoyed it because it made him
feel important. But he got very tired of his job and wanted to go to the
ball game.

He sat down on a toadstool, and looked very glum. He could hear the
other Brownies shouting at the game, and that made him feel worse. Then
he heard a great uproar, and voices yelling "A home run!" "A home run!"
That drove him wild. He had been whittling the edge of the toadstool
with his knife, and now he slashed off a big piece of the cap, he was so

Then up he got and said to the Cows: "See here, you fool Cows, I can't
stay here for ever trying to keep you from eating poison, but I'll do
this much. I'll stamp all the good-to-eat leaves with a mark that will
be your guide."

[Illustration: The Shamrock]

So he made a rubber stamp out of part of the toadstool he was sitting
on, and stamped every Clover leaf in that pasture, so the Cows could be
sure, then skipped away to the ball game.

When Mother Carey heard of his running away from his job, she was very
angry. She said: "Well, you Bad Brownie, you should be ashamed, but that
white mark was a good idea so I'll forgive you, if you go round, and put
it on every Clover leaf in the world."

He had to do it, though it looked like an endless task, and he never
would have finished it, had not the other Brownies all over the world
come to help him; so it was done at last. And that is the reason that
every Clover leaf to-day has on it the white mark like an arrowhead, the
Brownie sign for "good-to eat."

The Cows get along better now, but still they are very stupid; they go
munching ahead without thinking, and will even eat the blossoms which
belong to the Bees. And the Bees have to buzz very loudly and even sting
the Cows on their noses to keep them from stealing the bee-food. The
good little Bugs underground have the best time, for there the Cows can
not harm them, and the Bees never come near. They eat when they are
hungry and sleep when they are cold, which is their idea of a good time;
so except for some little quarrels between the Cows and the Bees they
have all gotten along very well ever since.


The Shamrock and Her Three Sisters

[Illustration: Yellow-haired Hob. Shamrock's blonde sister]

The Shamrock is really the White Clover. It is much the same shape as
the Red Clover, and has the same food bags in its cellar. It is just as
good for Cows and even better for Bees; so the Brownie stamped all its
leaves with the white arrow mark, as you can plainly see. This plant,
as you know, is the emblem of Ireland.

The story-tellers say that St. Patrick was preaching to Leary, the
heathen King of Tara in Ireland hoping to turn him into a Christian. The
king listened attentively, but he was puzzled by St. Patrick's account
of the Trinity. "Stop," said the king. "How can there be three Gods in
one and only one God where there are three. That is impossible." St.
Patrick stooped down and picking up a Shamrock leaf, said: "See, there
it is, growing in your own soil; there are three parts but only one
leaf." The king was so much struck by this proof that he became a
Christian and ever since the Shamrock has been the emblem of Ireland.

Now to fill out the history of the Clovers, I should tell you of the
other three. The next is called Alsike, or the Pink Clover.

When you look at this Alsike or Alsatian Clover, you might think its
mother was a red clover and its father a white one, for it is about half
way between them in size, and its bloom is pink on the outside and white
in the middle. Evidently, the Brownie didn't think much of it, for he
did not put his arrow mark on its leaves. Still the Cows think it is
good, the Bees think it is fine, and it always carried lots of food bags
in its cellar. So also does the next sister--Melilot, the Yellow Clover
or Honey-lotus--and the last and sweetest of them all, is the Sweet
Clover that spreads sweet smells in the old-fashioned garden.


The Indian Basket-maker

[Illustration: The Indian Basket]

"Come, little Nagami, my Bird-Singer, you are ten years old, it is time
you learned to make baskets. I made my first when I was but eight,"
said Mother Akoko proudly, for she was the best basket-maker on the

So they took a sharp stick, and went into the woods. Akoko looked for
spruce trees that had been blown down by the storm, but found none, so
she stopped under some standing spruce, at a place with no underbrush
and said: "See, Nagami, here we dig for wattap."

The spruce roots or "wattap" were near the surface and easily found, but
not easily got out, because they were long, tangled and criss-crossed.
Yet, by pulling up, and cutting under, they soon got a bundle of roots
like cords, and of different lengths, from two feet to a yard, or more.

"Good," said Akoko; "this is enough and we need not soak them, for it is
summer, and the sap is running. If it were fall we should have to boil
them. Now you must scrape them clear of the brown bark." So Nagami took
her knife and worked for an hour, then came with the bundle saying:
"See, Mother, they are smooth, and so white that they have not a brown
spot left." "Good," said Akoko, "now you need some bark of the willow
for sewing cord. Let us look along the river bank."

There they found the round-leafed, or fish-net willow, and stripped off
enough of its strong bark to make a bundle as big as one hand could

This also had to be scraped clear of the brown skin, leaving only the
strong whitish inner bark, which, when split into strips, was good for

"See, my Nagami, when I was a little girl I had only a bone needle made
from the leg of a deer, but you have easy work; here is a big steel
packing needle, which I bought for you from a trader. This is how you
make your basket."

So Akoko began a flat coil with the spruce roots, and sewed it together
with the willow bark for thread, until it was a span wide. And whenever
a new root was to be added, she cut both old piece and new, to a long
point, so they would overlap without a bump.

Then the next coil of the spruce roots was laid on, not flat and level,
but raised a little. Also the next, until the walls were as high as four
fingers. Then Akoko said, "Good, that is enough. It is a fine corn
basket. But we must give it a red rim for good luck."

So they sought in a sunny place along the shore, and found the fruit of
the squawberry or blitum. "See," said Akoko, "the miscawa. Gather a
handful, my Nagami. They make the red basket-dye."

They crushed the rich red berries, saving the red juice in a clam shell,
and soaked a few strands of the white willow bark in the stain. When
they were dry, Nagami was taught to add a rim to her basket, by sewing
it over and over as in the picture.

Then Akoko said, "Good, my little Bird-Singer, you have done well, you
have made some old black roots into a beautiful basket."

       *       *       *       *       *

N.B. The Guide will remember that rattan and raffia can be used for this
when it is impossible to get spruce roots and willow bark. Good dyes may
be made from many different berries.


Crinkleroot; or Who Hid the Salad?

It has long been the custom of the Brownies to have a great feast on the
first of the merry month of May, to celebrate the return of the spring.

[Illustration: The Crinkleroot; or Who Hid the Salad?]

One springtime long ago, they got ready as usual. The King of the
Brownies had invited all the leaders; the place for the dinner was
chosen in a grove of mandrakes whose flat umbrellas made a perfect
roof, rain or shine. The Bell Bird, whose other name is Wood Thrush, was
ringing his bell, and calling all the Chief Brownies by name.

"Ta-rool-ya! _ting-a-ling-ling-ling._"

"Oka-lee! _ting-a-ling-ling-ling._"

"Cherk! _ting-a-ling-ling-ling._"

"Come to the feasting! _ting-a-ling-ling-ling._"

A hundred glow worms were told to hurry up with their lights and be
ready for that night, and busy Brownies gathered good things from woods
and waters, for the feast.

May Day came bright and beautiful. The busy ones had all the "eats" in
the Mandrake Hall, the glowworms were sleeping soundly to fill their
storage batteries ready for the night. It made the salamanders' mouths
water to see so many good things; but they were not asked, so stayed
away. There were dewdrops in acorn cups, and honey on the wax. There
were clam shells piled up with red checkerberries, and caddis worms on
the half shell, with spicebush nubbins. A huge white Mecha-meck was the
chief dish, with bog nuts on the side. There were lovely long crinkle
salads. And last, there were gumdrops from the sweet birch, while at
each place was a pussy willow to dust the food over with golden pollen
that gave it a pleasant peppery tang. All the guests were there, and the
feast was nearly over, when a terrible thing took place!

Of all the dreaded happenings in the world of beauty there is nothing
else so feared as the forest fire. There is not much danger of it in
springtime, but it is possible at any season, after a long dry spell.
Words cannot tell of the horror it spreads, as it comes raging through
the woods destroying all beautiful living things.

And right in the middle of the feast, the dreadful news was carried by a
flying Night-bird.

"Fire, Fire, Fire, Fire!" he screamed, and almost at once the smoke came
drifting through the banquet hall, so they knew it was true.

There was mad haste to escape, and only two ways were open. One was to
get across some big stream, and the other was to hide in a cave
underground. The birds took the first way, and the Brownies the second.
Every Woodchuck den was just packed with Brownies within a few minutes.
But the busy Brownie who was chief steward and had charge of the feast,
had no idea of leaving all the good things to burn up, if he could help
it. First he sent six of his helpers to make a deep pit for the big
Mecha-meck, and while they did that he began hiding all the dishes in
the ground. Last he dug some deep holes and quickly buried all the
crinkle salads; then he ran for his life into a cave.

The raging fire came along. It is too horrible to tell about, for it was
sent by the Evil One. The lovely woods were left black without a living
thing. But the very next day, Mother Carey and Mother Earth and El Sol,
set about saving the wreck, and in a marvellously short time actually
had made it green again. The mayflowers came up a second time that year,
the violets came back, and in each place where the Brownies had hid a
salad there came up a curious plant that never had been seen before. It
had three saw-edged leaves and a long wand, much like the one carried by
the Chief Steward. I never was able to find out his name for sure, but I
think it was Trileaf or Three-leaves. Anyway, if you dig under his sign
and sceptre wand, you will surely find the salad, and very good indeed
it is to eat; it was not hurt in the least by the fire.

[Illustration: The Mecha-meck]

But from that day, the Brownies have been very shy of feasting during
dry weather in the woods. They generally have their banquets now in some
meadow, and afterward you can tell the place of the feast by the circle
of little toadstools called fairy rings. For you know that wherever a
Brownie sits, a toadstool must spring up for him to sit on.


The Mecha-meck

That fearful time when the forest fire set all the Brownies busy burying
their food and dishes at the feast-hall, you remember it took six of
them to carry and hide the Mecha-meck. For it is a large fat white root
as big as a baby, and sometimes it has arms or legs, so that when
Monapini told Ruth Pilgrim about it she called it "Man-of-the-earth."

You remember that the busy Brownie hid all the Crinkle salads, and so
saved them; and most of us have found the Crinkleroot and eaten it
since. But how many of us have found the Mecha-meck? I know only one man
who has. We call him the Wise Woodman. He found and dug out the one from
which I made the picture. It was two and a half feet long and weighed
fifteen pounds--fifteen pounds of good food. Think of it! Above it and
growing out of its hiding place was a long trailing vine that looked
like a white morning-glory. There is always one of these over the
Mecha-meck. And by that you may find it, if you look along the sunny
banks outside of the woods. But still it is very hard to find. I never
yet got one, though I have found many of the crinkle-root salads. Of
course, that is easy to explain, for the busy Brownies buried hundreds
of the salads, but only one of the big fat Mecha-meck.


Dutchman's Breeches

[Illustration: Dutchman's Dive

Dutchman's Breeches]

Of course they are not, for no Dutchman I ever saw could wear such tiny
things. I will tell you what they really are and how that came to be.

You remember how the Brownies assembled for the feast on May Day when
the Glow worms were the lamps and the Wood Thrush rang the bell. Well,
it so happened that day that a great crowd of the merrymakers gathered
long before the feast was ready, and while they were wondering what to
do someone shouted: "See, how fine and warm the water is where the brook
spreads out into the ditch. Let us have our first swim of the season
right now!"

So they all went with a whoop! stripped off their clothes, and into
their swimming breeches with a perfect riot of glee.

Then how they did splash! Some blind folks thought it must be a million
early pollywogs splashing. But the swim ended with another racket when
the dinner bell rang.

Each splashing Brownie hopped out and hung up his breeches to dry as he
got into his clothes.

Then you remember the fire came along and scared them away. Of course
the breeches were wet, so they didn't get singed; and there you can see
them hanging to this day on the first of May. That is what they really
are--Brownies' Breeches. And because the Brownies often swim in a ditch,
they are called ditch-man's breeches; but believe me, they are not
Dutchman's breeches and never could be.

[Illustration: The Seven Sour Sisters]


The Seven Sour Sisters

If you look along any half-open bank in the edge of the woods, or even
in the woods itself, you are sure to see one of the Seven Sorrel
Sisters, with leaves a little like Clover, only notched in the end and
without the white marks, that the Brownie put on the Clover. There are
seven of them, according to most doctors; five have yellow eyes, one
purple, and one white streaked with blood. Their Latin name means
"vinegar" and their Greek name means "acid." "Sorrel" itself means
"Little sour one," so you see they have the reputation of a sour bunch.
If you eat one of the leaves, you will agree that the name was
well-chosen, and understand why the druggists get the tart "salt of
lemons" from this family. The French use these Sour Sisters for their
sour soup. But in spite of their unsweetness, they are among the pretty
things of the woods; their forms are delicate and graceful; their eyes
are like jewels, and when the night comes down, they bow their heads,
gracefully fold their hands, and sleep like a lot of tired children.


Self-heal or Blue-curls in the Grass

[Illustration: Self-heal or Blue-curls in the Grass]

You should know the history of the lowly little flower called
Blue-curls; and you must remember that flowers have their troubles just
as you have. For one thing, flowers must get their pollen or yellow
flower-dust, carried to some other of their kind, or they cannot keep on
growing good seed. And since the flower cannot walk about finding places
for its pollen, it generally makes a bargain with a bee. It says, "If
you will carry my pollen to my cousins yonder, I will give you a sweet
sip of nectar." That is where the bees get the stuff for all their
honey, and that is how the pollen is carried.

Well, the modest little Blue-curls long had had a working agreement with
the Meadow Bees, and got on nicely. But one summer Blue-curls became
discontented. She saw all the other plants with wonderful gifts that had
power to cure pain and sickness; while she was doing nothing but live
her own easy life, and she felt she was a nobody.

So one day as Mother Carey's slowest steed was swishing over the grass,
Blue-curls cried out: "Mother Carey, Mother Carey, won't you hear me and
grant me a gift?"

"What is it, little one?" said the All-mother.

"Oh, Mother Carey, the pansy cures heartache, the monkshood cures
canker-lip, the tansy cures colds, and all the others have some joy and
honour of service, but I am good for nothing, Mother Carey so the wise
men despise me. Won't you give me a job? Won't you give me some little

"Little one, such an asking never finds me deaf. I love those who would
help. I will give you a little bit of _all healing_ so that you shall be
good medicine, if not the best, for all ills, and men shall call you
'Self-heal' and 'All-heal' for you shall have all healing in yourself."

And it has been so ever since. So that some who go by looks call the
modest little meadow flower, "Blue-curls in the Grass," but the old
herb-men who know her goodness call her "All-heal" or "Self-heal."


The Four Butterflies You See Every Summer

[Illustration: Summer Butterflies (a little over life size)]

There are four Butterflies that you are sure to see every summer, on our
fields; and remember that each of them goes through the same changes.
First it is an egg, then a greedy grub, next a hanging bundle-baby,
and last a beautiful winged fairy, living a life of freedom and joy.

In the picture I have shown the butterflies life size, but you must add
the colour as you get each one to copy.

The first is the _White_ or _Cabbage Butterfly_ that flits over our
gardens all summer long.

It is not a true American, but came from Europe in 1860 and landed at
Quebec, from whence it has spread all over the country. In the drawing I
have shown the female; the male is nearly the same but has only one
round dark spot on the front wings. Its grub is a little naked green
caterpillar, that eats very nearly a million dollars' worth of cabbages
a year; so it is a pity it was ever allowed to land in this country.
There are moths that we should like to get rid of, but this is the only
butterfly that is a pest.

2nd. The _Yellow_ or _Clouded Sulphur Butterfly_. You are sure to find
it, as soon as you begin to look for butterflies. This is the one that
is often seen in flocks about mud puddles.

When I was a very small boy, I once caught a dozen of them, and made a
little beehive to hold them, thinking that they would settle down and
make themselves at home, just like bees or pigeons. But the grown-ups
made me let them fly away, for the Sulphur is a kindly creature, and
does little or no harm.

One of the most beautiful things I ever came across, was, when about ten
years old, I saw on a fence stake ahead of me a big bird that was red,
white and blue, with a flaming yellow fan-crest. Then as I came closer,
I knew that it was a red-headed woodpecker, with a Sulphur Butterfly in
his beak; this made the crest; what I thought was blue turned out to be
his glossy black back reflecting the blue sky.

3rd. The next is the _Red Admiral_ or _Nettle Butterfly_. The "red" part
of the name is right, but why "Admiral"? I never could see unless it was
misprint for "Admirable."

[Illustration: Red Admiral]

[Illustration: Tiger Swallowtail (life size)]

This beautiful insect lays its eggs and raises its young on nettles, and
where nettles are, there is the Red Admiral also. And that means over
nearly all the world! Its caterpillar is not very well protected with
bristles, not at all when compared with the Woolly-bear, but it lives in
the nettles, and, whether they like it or not, the hospitable nettles
with their stings protect the caterpillar. The crawler may be grateful,
but he shows it in a poor way, for he turns on the faithful nettle, and
eats it up. In fact the only food he cares about is nettle-salad, and he
indulges in it several times a day, yes all day long, eating, growing
and bursting his skin a number of times, till he is big enough to hang
himself up for the winter, probably in a nettle. Then next spring he
comes forth, in the full dress uniform of a Red Admiral, gold lace, red
sash, silver braid and all.

4th. The last of the four is the _Tiger Swallowtail_. You are sure to
see it some day--the big yellow butterfly that is striped like a tiger,
with peacock's feathers in its train, and two long prongs, like a
swallow-tail, to finish off with. It is found in nearly all parts of the
Eastern States and Canada. I saw great flocks of them on the Slave River
of the North.

It is remarkable in that there are both blondes and brunettes among its
ladies. The one shown in the drawing is a blonde. The brunettes are so
much darker as to be nearly black; and so different that at one time
everyone thought they were of a different kind altogether.


The Beautiful Poison Caterpillar

[Illustration: The Beautiful Poison Caterpillar (the moth is a little
over life size)]

The lovely Io Moth is one that you will see early, and never forget, for
it is common, and ranges over all the country from Canada to the Gulf.
When you see it, you will be inclined to spell its name Eye-oh--for it
has on each wing a splendid eye like that on a peacock's tail-feather,
while the rest of its dress is brown velvet and gold.

There is a strange chapter in the life of Io, which you should know
because it shows that Mother Carey never gives any wonderful gift to her
creatures without also giving with it some equal burden of sorrow.

This is how it all came about.

Long ago when the little ones of the Io Moth were small, they were, like
most caterpillars, very ugly little things. They felt very badly about
it, and so they set out one day for the great Home Place of Mother Carey
in the Whispering Grove of the Ages.

There they prayed, "Dear Mother Carey, we are not of an ugly race, why
should we be so ugly as caterpillars? Will you not make us beautiful,
for beauty is one of the best things of all?"

Mother Carey smiled and waved a finger toward a little Brownie, who came
with a tray on which were two cups; one full of bright sparkling pink
stuff, and the other with something that looked like dark green oil. But
the glasses were joined at the top, there was but one place to drink,
and that reached both.

Then Mother Carey said, "These are the goblets of life, one is balm and
will give you joy, the other is gall and will give you suffering. You
may drink little or much, but you must drink equally of both. Now what
would ye?"

The little ugly creatures whispered together, then one said: "Mother
Carey, if we drink, will it give us beauty?"

"Yes, my children, the red goblet of life will give you beauty, but with
it the other will give you grief."

They whispered together, then all the little crawlers went silently
forward, and each took a long drink of the double goblet.

Then they crawled away, and at once became the most beautiful of all
caterpillars, brilliant jewel-green with stripes of pink, velvet, and
gold. Never before were there seen such exquisite little crawlers.

But now a sad thing happened. They were so beautiful that many creatures
became their enemies, and began to kill them and eat them one after
another. They crawled as fast as they could, and hid away, but many of
them were killed by birds and beasts of prey, as well as by big fierce

They did not know what to do, so next day the few that were left crawled
back to the Grove of Ages, and once more stood before Mother Carey.

"Well, my Beauty-crawlers," she said, "what would you?"

"Oh, Mother Carey, it is fearful, everyone seeks to destroy us. Most of
us are killed, and many of us wounded. Will you not protect us?"

"You drank of the two goblets, my children. I warned you that your
beauty would bring terrible trouble with it."

They bowed their little heads in silent sorrow, for they knew that that
was true.

"Now," said the All-Mother, "do you wish to go back and be ugly again?"

They whispered together and said: "No, Mother Carey, it is better to be
beautiful and die."

[Illustration: The Splendid Silk-Moth (about 1/2 life size)]

Then Mother Carey looked on them very kindly, and said: "Little ones, I
love your brave spirit. You shall not die. Neither shall you lose your
beauty. I will give you a defence that will keep off all your enemies
but one, that is the Long-stinger Wasp, for you must in some way pay for
your loveliness." She waved her wand, and all over each of the
Beauty-crawlers, there came out bunches of sharp stickers like porcupine
quills, only they were worse than porcupine quills for each of the
stickers was poisoned at the tip, so that no creature could touch the
Beauty-crawlers without being stung.

The birds and beasts let them alone now, or suffer a terrible punishment
from the poison spears. You children, too, must beware of them; touch
them not, they will give you festering wounds. There is only one
creature now that the Beauty-crawlers truly fear; that is the
Long-stinger Wasp. He does indeed take toll of their race, but that is
the price they still must pay for their beauty. Did they not drink of
the double goblet?


The Great Splendid Silk-Moth or _Samia Cecropia_

When I was a very small boy, I saw my father bring in from the orchard a
ragged looking thing like parchment wrapped up with some tangled hair;
it was really the bundle-baby of this Moth. He kept it all winter, and
when the spring came, I saw for the first time the great miracle of the
insect world--the rag bundle was split open, and out came this glorious
creature with wings of red and brown velvet, embroidered with silver and
spots that looked like precious stones. It seemed the rarest thing in
the world, but I have found out since, that it is one of our common
moths, and any of you can get one, if you take the trouble.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now listen, and you shall hear of what happened long ago to a green
crawler who was born to be a splendid Silk-Moth, but who spoiled it all
by a bad temper.

It had been a very cold, wet summer, and one day, when the wind was
whispering, he cried out: "Mother Carey, when I have done with my
working life, and go into the Great Sleep, grant that it may never rain
on me for I hate rain, and it has done nothing but pour all summer
long." And he shivered the red knobs on his head with peevishness.

"You silly little green crawler, don't you think I know better than you
what is good for you? Would you like there to be no rain?"

"Yes, I would," said the red-knobbed Samia rebelliously.

"Would _you_?" said the All-Mother to another green crawler, who hung on
a near-by limb.

"Mother Carey, we have had a wet, cold summer, and the rain has been
miserable, but I know you will take care of us."

"Good," said the All-Mother: "then, in this way it shall be. You little
Red-Knobs shall have what you so much wish, you shall hang up in a dry
loft where not a drop of dew even shall touch you in your bundle-baby
sleep. And you little Yellow-Knobs shall hang under a limb where every
rain that comes shall drench your outer skin." And she left them.

When the time came to hang up, Red-Knobs was led to a place as dry as
could be, under a shed and swung his bundle-baby hammock from the

Yellow-Knobs hung up his hammock under a twig in the rose garden.

The winter passed, and the springtime came with the great awakening day.
Each of the bundle-babies awoke from his hammock and broke his bonds.
Each found his new wings, and set about shaking them out to full size
and shape. Those of the rain-baby came quickly to their proper form, and
away he flew to rejoice in perfect life. But though the other shook and
shook, his wings would not fluff out. They seemed dried up; they were
numbed and of stunted growth.

Shake as he would, the wings stayed small and twisted. And as he
struggled, a Butcher-bird came by. His fierce eye was drawn by the
fluttering purple thing. It had no power to escape. He tore its crumpled
wings from its feathery form, and made of it a meal. But before dying it
had time to say, "Oh, Mother Carey, now I know that your way was the


The Green Fairy with the Long Train

Some fairies are Brownies and some are Greenies, and of all that really
and truly dance in the moonlight right here in America, Luna Greenie
seems the most wonderful; and this is her history:

Once upon a time there was a seed pearl that dropped from the robe of a
green fairy. It stuck on the leaf of a butternut tree till one warm day
Mother Carey, who knows all the wild things and loves them all, touched
it with her magic wand, called Hatch-awake, and out of the seed pearl
came an extraordinarily ugly little dwarf, crawling about on many legs.
He was just as greedy as he was ugly, and he ate leaf after leaf of the
butternut tree, and grew so fat that he burst his skin. Then a new skin
grew, and he kept on eating and bursting until he was quite big. But he
had also become wise and gentle; he had learned many things, and was not
quite so greedy now.

[Illustration: The Green Fairy With the Long Train (about 4/5 life

Mother Carey, the All-Mother, had been watching him, and knew that now
he was ready for the next step up. She told him to make himself a
hammock of rags and leaves, in the butternut tree. When he had crawled
into it, she touched him with her wand, the very same as the one she
used when she sent the Sleeping Beauty into her long sleep. Then that
little dwarf went soundly to sleep, hanging in his hammock.

Summer passed; autumn came; the leaves fell from the butternut tree,
taking the bundle-baby with them, exactly as in the old rhyme:

        Rock-a-bye baby on the tree-top,
        When the wind blows, your cradle will rock,
        When the cold weather makes all the leaves fall,
        Down tumbles baby and cradle and all.

But the hammock, with its sleeper, landed in a deep bed of leaves, and
lay there all winter, quite safe and warm.

Then when the springtime sun came over the hill, Mother Carey came
a-riding on the Warm Wind, and waving her wand. She stopped and kissed
the sleeping bundle-baby, just as the Prince kissed the Sleeping Beauty,
and instantly the baby awoke. Then happened the strangest thing. Out of
that ragged old hammock there came the most wonderful and beautiful
Green Fairy ever seen, with wings and with two trains; and as it came
out and looked shyly around, trembling with new life, Mother Carey
whispered, "Go to the butternut grove and see what awaits you there."

So away she went. Oh, how easy and glorious it is to fly! She could
remember how once she used to crawl everywhere. And through the soft
sweet night she flew, as she was told, straight to the butternut grove.
As she came near she saw many green fairies--a great crowd of
them--gathered in the moonlight, and dancing round and round in
fluttering circles, swooping about and chasing each other, or hiding in
the leaves. They did not feast, for these fairies never eat, and they
drink only honey from flowers. But there was a spirit of great joy over
them all. And there were some there with longer head plumes than those
she wore. They seemed stronger and one of them came with a glad greeting
to the new Green Dancer and though she flew away, she was bursting with
joy that he should single her out. He pursued her till he caught her,
and hand in hand they danced together in the moonlight. She was happier
than she had known it was possible to be, and danced all night--that
wonderful wedding dance. But she was very tired when morning was near,
and high in the tree she slept so soundly that she never noticed that
many seed pearls that were clustered on the lining of her robe had got
loose and rolled into the crevices of the trunk. There they lay until
Mother Carey came to touch them with her magic wand, so each became a
crawler-dwarf, then a bundle-baby, and at last a dancing fairy.

But the Green Dancer did not know that--she knew only that it was a
glorious thing to be alive, and fly, and to dance in the moonlight.

       *       *       *       *       *

You must never fail to watch under the butternut tree on mid-summer
nights, for it is quite possible that you may see the wedding dance of
the Luna Greenie and her sisters with the long-trained robes.


The Wicked Hoptoad and the Little Yellow Dragon

[Illustration: The Wicked Hoptoad and the Little Yellow Dragon]

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful little Yellow Dragon, who lived
a happy and innocent life on the high banks of a prattling stream. The
Dragon himself was dumb but he loved a merry noise, and nothing
pleased him more than the prattling of the water. Sometimes this
pleasant little Dragon went up stream, where it was noisy, and sometimes
he went down stream, where it was very silent, and rested awhile in
little pools. Here it was that he met with his first enemy, a warty
Hoptoad with jealous eyes. That Toad thought that he owned the pools
because he bathed there every springtime, and though it was a kind
little Dragon, the Toad hated him, and began to plot against him.

"Ho! little Yellow Dragon," he said, "you are very wonderful to see, and
you must be very clever; but you haven't got everything you want, have

The Dragon smiled, shook his head, and made silent signs with his lips.
Then the Toad understood, for he said: "Ho-ho, I understand that you
cannot speak. But are you happy?"

The Dragon smiled sweetly and nodded, then pointed to the stream.

That made the Toad madder than ever, for he thought it meant that the
Dragon was claiming the whole stream. So the Toad said: "See, Dragon,
there is a wonderful food that you have never tasted, that is a poached

This he said with his heart full of guile, for he knew full well that
poached eggs are deadly poison to Dragons.

The Dragon looked puzzled, and the Toad said, "Have you?"

The Dragon shook his head. "Well," said the Toad, "it is the most
delicious thing in the woods; now you wait and see."

He went hoppity-hop, to a sand-bank where he had seen a Turtle lay its
eggs that morning. He dug out one. He rolled it upon a stone, and split
it open with the sharp spur on his heel. As soon as it was stiffened by
the sun heat, he said, "Here now, Dragon, swallow it down, while I get
another for myself."

The poor innocent little Dragon did not know any better. He tried to
swallow the poached egg. The moment he did, it stuck in his throat, and
poisoned him. At once his toes sank into the ground. He turned green all
over, and his head was changed into a strange new flower. There it is to
this day, standing silently where it can hear the brook a-prattling. Its
body is green all over, and its head is yellow and its jaws are wide
open with a poached egg stuck in its throat. And that is how it all came
about. Some call it Toad Flax, and some call it Butter and Eggs, but we
who know how it happened call it the Dragon and the Poached Egg.

Poor dear little Yellow Dragon!


The Fairy Bird or the Humming-bird Moth

When I was a schoolboy, a number of my companions brought the news that
the strangest bird in the world had come that day to our garden and
hovered over the flowers. It was no bigger than a bumble-bee. "No! It
was not a humming-bird," they said, "it was smaller by far, much more
beautiful, and it came and went so fast that no one could see it go."

[Illustration: The Fairy Bird (1-1/2 life size)]

Every guess that I made seemed not to fit the wonderful bird, or help to
give it a name that would lead us to its history in the books. The
summer went by, several schoolmates saw the Wonderbird, and added
stories of its marvellous smallness and mysterious habits. Its body,
they said, was of green velvet with a satin-white throat; it had a
long beak--at least an inch long--a fan-tail of many feathers, two long
plumes from its head, "the littlest feet you ever have seen," and large
lustrous eyes that seemed filled with human intelligence. "It jest
looked right at you, and seemed like a fairy looking at you."

The wonder grew. I made a sketch embodying all the points that my
companions noted about the Fairy Bird. The first drawing shows what it
looked like, and also gives the exact size they said it was.

It seemed a cruel wrong that let so many of them see the thing that was
of chief interest to me, yet left me out. It clearly promised a real
fairy, an elfin bird, a wonderful messenger from the land I hungered to
believe in.

But at last my turn came. One afternoon two of the boys ran toward me,
shouting: "Here it is, the little Fairy Bird, right in the garden over
the honeysuckle. C'mon, quick!"

I rushed to the place, more excited than I can tell. Yes, there it was,
hovering over the open flowers--tiny, wonderful, humming as it swung on
misty wings. I made a quick sweep of my insect net and, marvellous to
relate, scooped up the Fairy Bird. I was trembling with excitement now,
not without a sense of wickedness that I should dare to net a
fairy--practically an angel. But I had done it, and I gloated over my
captive, in the meshes. Yes, the velvet body and snowy throat were
there, the fan-tail, the plumes and the big dark eyes, but the creature
was _not a bird_; it was an insect! Dimly now I remembered, and in a few
hours, learned, as I had feared, that I had not captured a young angel
or even a fairy--it was nothing but a Humming-bird Moth, a beautiful
insect--common in some regions, scarce in some, such as mine--but
perfectly well known to men of science and never afterward forgotten by
any of that eager schoolboy group.


Ribgrass or Whiteman's-Foot

If you live in the country or in a small town, you will not have to go
many steps, in summer time, before you find the little plant known as
Ribgrass, Plantain, or Whiteman's-foot. If you live in a big city, you
may find it in any grassy place, but will surely see it, as soon as you
reach the suburbs. It grows on the ground, wherever it can see the sun,
and is easily known by the strong ribs, each with a string in it when
you pull the leaf apart. The Indians call it Whiteman's-foot, not
because it is broad and flat, but because it came from Europe with the
white man; it springs up wherever he sets his foot, and it has spread
over all America. Gardeners think it a troublesome weed; but the birds
love its seed; canary birds delight in it; and each plant of the
Ribgrass may grow many thousands of seeds in a summer.

How many? Let us see! Take a seed-stalk of the Plantain and you will
find it thickly set with little cups, as in the drawing. Open one of
these cups, and you find in it five seeds. Count the cups; there are two
hundred on this stalk, each with about five seeds, that is, one thousand
seeds; but the plant has five or more seed-stalks, some have more (one
before me now has seventeen), but suppose it has only ten; then there
are 10,000 seeds each summer from one little plant. Each seed can grow
up into a new plant; and, if each plant were as far from the next as you
can step, the little ones in a row the following summer would reach for
nearly six miles; that is, from the City Hall to the end of Central
Park, New York.[B]

[Illustration: The Ribgrass]

[Illustration: Jack-in-the-Pulpit]

On the third year if all had the full number of seed, and all the seed
grew into plants, there would be enough to go more than twice round the
world. No wonder it has spread all over the country.



Once upon a time there was a missionary named the Rev. John T. Arum, who
set out to preach to the Indians. He had a good heart but a bitter,
biting tongue. He had no respect for the laws of the Indians, so they
killed him, and buried him in the woods. But out of his grave came a new
and wonderful plant, shaped like a pulpit, and right in the middle of
it, as usual, was the Reverend Jack hard at it, preaching away.

If you dig down under the pulpit you will find the preacher's body, or
his heart, in the form of a round root. Taste it and you will believe
that the preacher had a terribly biting tongue, but treat it properly,
that is boil it, and you will find out that after all he had a good
little heart inside. Even the Indians have discovered his good qualities
and have become very fond of him.


How the Indian Pipe Came

[Illustration: How the Indian Pipe Came]

In the last tale you learned the fate of the Rev. John T. Arum, and the
origin of Jack-in-the-Pulpit. But you must not suppose for a moment that
the Indians decided in a hurry to kill the missionary. No, they had too
much sense of fair play for that. They held a great many councils first
to find some way of curbing his tongue, and making him mind his own
business. In fact, they got into the habit of holding a council every
few minutes to discuss the question, no matter where they were or what
else they were doing. So that pretty nearly every part of the woods was
in time used for a council ring to discuss the fate of the Rev. John T.

Of course, you know that no Indian can hold a council without smoking
the Peace Pipe, and when the council is over, he empties out the ashes
of the pipe. So that when all those councils were over, when the matter
was settled, when the missionary was buried, and when the warrior had
gone to the ghost land, there came solemnly poking its white bowl and
stem from under the leaves an Indian pipe, at the very spot where the
Councillors had emptied the ashes. It is a beautifully shaped pipe, with
a curved and feathered stem, but it has none of the bright colours of
the old Peace Pipe. It cannot have them for this is only a ghost Pipe to
show where the council used to be; and one pipe there is for each
council held on that spot, so you see how many, many councils the
Indians had, before they killed the troublesome preacher. And sometimes
you can find a pipe that has the bowl still filled with ghost tobacco or
even a little red ghost fire, showing that the warriors had to hurry
away before that council was finished. Whenever you find the ghost pipe
in the woods, you are sure to see close by either a log, a bank or a
rock on which the Councillors sat to talk it over.


The Cucumber Under the Brownie's Umbrella

The Indians had Brownies, only they called them Pukwudjies, and I am
going to tell you a story of an Indian Brownie.

[Illustration: The Cucumber Under the Brownie's Umbrella]

Whenever the Indians got together for a council, the Brownies did the
same thing, in the woods near by. It was a kind of Brownie Fair, and
some of the little people used to have stands and sell refreshments.
Berries were scarce in the springtime, but the Brownies were very fond
of cucumber. So there were always one or two Cucumber Brownies, who set
up their little umbrellas, and sold slices of Cucumber to the others.

When it was time to go home, or when the sun got so hot that the
cucumbers were likely to spoil, they would bury them in the ground, but
leave the umbrella to mark the place. And there they are yet; many a
time have I found the umbrella, and dug under it to find the cucumber.
It is delicious eating; everything that Brownies like is. You can find
it, and try it. It is one of the things that Monapini taught Ruth
Pilgrim to eat. (Tale 18).

Of course, the Brownies do not like you to dig up their treasure or
good-to-eats, but there are plenty more, far more than they ever need.
"Yet what about it," you say, "if the Brownie happens to be there?"

He may be sitting right under the umbrella, but remember the little
people are invisible to our eyes. You will not see him; at least I never


The Hickory Horn-devil

Hush, whisper! Did you ever meet a Hickory Horn-devil? No! Well I did,
and I tell you he is a terror. Look at this picture of him. It is true,
only he is not quite so big as that, though he looks as if he might be.
And I was not quite so small as that, only I felt as if I were! And
everything about him looked horribly strong, poisonous and ugly. He was
a real devil.

[Illustration: The Hickory Horn-devil (1/2 life size)]

I did not know his history then; I did not learn it for a long time
after, but I can tell it to you now.

Once upon a time there was a little, greenish, blackish worm. He loved
pretty things, and he hated to be ugly, as he was. No one wanted him,
and he was left all alone, a miserable little outcast. He complained
bitterly to Mother Carey, and asked if she would not bless him with some
grace, to help him in his troubles.

Mother Carey said: "Little ugly worm; you are having a hard time,
because in your other life, before you came into this shape, you had an
ugly, hateful spirit. You must go through this one as you are, until the
Great Sleep comes; after that, you will be exactly what you have made of

Then the little ugly worm said: "Oh Mother Carey, I am as miserable as I
can be; let me be twice as ugly, if, in the end, I may be twice as

Mother Carey said gravely, "Do you think you could stand it, little
worm? We shall see."

From that time the worm got bigger and uglier, no creature would even
talk to him. The birds seemed to fear him, and the Squirrels puffed out
little horror-snorts, when they saw him coming, even the other worms
kept away from him.

So he went on his lonely life, uglier and more hated than ever. He lived
chiefly on a big hickory tree, so men called him the Hickory Horn-devil.

One day as he was crawling on a fence, a hen with chickens came running
after him, to eat him. But when she saw how ugly he was she cried: "Oh,
Lawk, lawk! Come away, children, at once!"

At another time he saw a Chipmunk teaching its little ones to play tag.
They looked so bright and happy, he longed, not to join them because he
could only crawl, but to have the happiness of looking on. But when he
came slowly forward, and the old Chipmunk saw him waving his horns and
looking like a green poisonous reptile, she screamed, "Run, my
children!" and all darted into their hole while Mother Chipmunk stuffed
up the doorway with earth.

But the most thrilling thing of all that he saw was one day as the sun
went down, a winged being of dazzling beauty alighted for a moment on
his hickory tree. Never had the Horn-devil seen such a dream of
loveliness. Her slender body was clad in rose velvet, and her wings were
shining with gold. The very sight of her made him hate himself, yet he
could not resist the impulse to crawl nearer, to gaze at her beauty.

But her eyes rested a moment on his horrible shape, and she fled in
fear, while a voice near by said: "The Spangled Queen does not love
poisonous reptiles." Then the poor little Horn-devil wished he were
dead. He hid away from sight for three days. Hunger however forced him
out, and as he was crawling across a pathway, a man who came along was
going to crush him underfoot, but Mother Carey whispered, "No, don't do
it." So the man let him live, but roughly kicked the worm aside, and
bruised him fearfully.

Then came Mother Carey and said: "Well, little ugly worm! Is your spirit
strong, or angry?"

The worm said bravely, though feebly: "Mother, Mother Carey, I am trying
to be strong. I want to win."

The breezes were losing their gentle warmth when Mother Carey came to
him one day, and said: "Little one, your trial has been long, but it is
nearly over.

"Prepare to sleep now, my little horny one, you have fought a brave
fight; your reward is coming. Because your soul has been made beautiful
by your suffering, I will give you a body blazing with such beauty as
shall make all stand in adoration when you pass." Then Mother Earth
said, "Our little one shall have extra care because he has had extra
trials." So the tired little Horn-devil did not even have to make
himself a hammock, for Mother Earth received him and he snuggled into
her bosom. As Mother Carey waved her wand, he dropped off asleep. And he
slept for two hundred days.

Then came the great Awakening Day, the resurrection day of the woods.
Many new birds arrived. Many new flowers appeared. Sleepers woke from
underground, as Mother Carey's silent trumpeters went bugling ahead of
her, and her winged horse, the Warm Wind, came sweeping across the
meadows, with the white world greening as he came.

The bundle-baby of the Horn-devil woke up. He was cramped and sleepy,
but soon awake. Then he knew that he was a prisoner, bound up in silken
cords of strength. But new powers were his now, he was able to break the
cords and crawl out of his hole. He put up his feelers to find those
horrible horns, but they were gone, and his devil form fell off him like
a mask. He had wings, jewelled wings! on his back now. Out he came to
fluff the newfound wings awhile, and when they were spread and supple he
flew into the joyful night, one of the noblest of all the things that
fly, gorgeous in gold and velvet, body and wings; filled with the joy of
life and flight, he went careering through the soft splendour of the
coming night. And as he flew, he glimpsed a radiant form ahead, a being
like himself, with wings of velvet and gold. At first he thought it was
the Princess of the Hickory Tree, but now his eyes were perfect, and he
could see that this was a younger and more beautiful Spangled Princess
than the one of his bygone life, and all his heart was filled with the
blazing fire of love. Fearlessly now he flew to overtake her; for was
she not of his own kind? She sped away, very fast at first, but maybe
she did not go as fast as she could, for soon he was sailing by her
side. At first she turned away a little, but she was not cross or
frightened now. She was indeed inclined to play and tease. Then in their
own language, he asked her to marry him, and in their own language she
said, "yes." Away they flew and flew on their wedding flight, high in
the trees in the purple night, glorious in velvet and gold, more happy
than these printed words can tell.

The wise men who saw them said, "There go the Royal Citheronia and his
bride." And Mother Carey smiled as she saw their bliss, and remembered
the Hickory Horn-devil.


[B] Let the Guide illustrate with some local measure.


[Illustration: The Purple and Gold of Autumn]

Things to See in Autumntime


The Purple and Gold of Autumn

There was once an old gentleman named Father Time, and he had four
beautiful daughters.

The eldest was called Winter Time. She was tall and pale. She dressed
chiefly in white wool trimmed with wonderful lacework. She was much
admired by some, but others considered her very cold and distant. And
most agreed that she was the least winsome of the sisters.

The second one was called Spring Time, and she was dressed in beautiful
golden-green satin. She had a gentle, sunny disposition; some thought
her the loveliest.

The third was Summer Time, and her robe was dark-green velvet. She was
warm-hearted and most attractive, full of life and energy, and as unlike
the eldest sister as possible.

The youngest was Autumn Time. She certainly was a wonderful creature,
with red rosy cheeks, plump form, and riotous good spirits. Her robes
were gorgeous and a little extravagant, for she wore a new one every
day, and of all that she had, the one that she loved the best and wore
the latest was of purple and gold. We can go out in October and see the
purple and gold, and gather some scraps of the robe, for it is on every
wayside and every hillside.


Why the Chicadee Goes Crazy Twice a Year

A long time ago, when it was always summer in our woods, the Chicadees
lived merrily with their cousins, and frolicked the whole year round.
But one day Mother Carey sent the small birds a warning that they must
move to the South, when the leaves fell from the trees, for hard frost
and snow were coming, and maybe starvation too.

All the cousins of the Chicadees listened to the warning and got ready
to go; but Tomtit, their leader, only laughed and turned a dozen wheels
around a twig that served him for a bar.

"Go to the South?" said he. "Not I; I am too happy here; and as for
frost and snow, I never saw any, and I don't believe there are such

Very soon the leaves fell from the trees and the Nut-hatches and the
King-wrens were so busy getting ready to go that the Chicadees left off
play for a minute, to ask questions. They were not pleased with the
answer they got, for the messenger had said that all of them were to
take a long, long journey that would last for days, and the little
King-wrens had actually to go as far as the Gulf of Mexico. Besides,
they were to fly by night, to avoid their enemies, the Hawks, and the
weather at this season was sure to be stormy. So the Chicadees said it
was all nonsense, and went off, singing and chasing one another through
the woods, led by Tomtit singing a new song in which he made fun of the

        Tom Tom Tiddy-Mouse!
        Hid away in our house,
        Hid his brother in the cellar,
        Wasn't he a silly feller?

But their cousins were quite serious. They picked out wise leaders and
formed themselves into bands. They learned that they must follow their
leader, they must twitter as they flew in the darkness, so as to let
those behind know where\he leaders were; they must follow the great
rivers southward; they must wait for a full moon before starting, and
never travel by day.

The noisy, rollicking Chicadees continued to make fun of their cousins
as they saw them now gathering in the woods along the river; and at
length, when the moon was big, bright, and full, the cousins arose to
the call of the leaders and all flew away in the gloom. The Chicadees
said that all the cousins were crazy, made some good jokes about the
Gulf of Mexico, and then dashed away on their favourite game of tag and
tumble through the woods, which, however, did seem rather quiet now, and
bare of leaves; while the weather, too, was certainly turning
uncomfortably cool.

At length the frost and snow really did come, and the Chicadees were in
a bad way. Indeed, they were frightened out of their wits, and dashed
hither and thither, seeking in vain for some one to set them aright on
the way to the warm land. They flew wildly about the woods, till they
were truly crazy. I suppose there was not a squirrel-hole or a hollow
log in the neighbourhood that some Chicadee did not enter to inquire if
this was the Gulf of Mexico. But no one could tell anything about it, no
one was going that way, and the great river was hidden under ice and

About this time a messenger from Mother Carey was passing with a message
to the Caribou in the Far North; but all he could tell the Chicadees was
that he could not be their guide, as he had other business. "Besides,"
he said, "you had the same notice as your cousins whom you called
'crazy.' And from what I know of Mother Carey, you will probably have to
stick it out here all through the snow, not only now, but in every
winter after this; so you may as well make the best of it."

This was sad news for the Chicadee Tomtits; but they were brave little
fellows, and seeing they could not help themselves, they went about
making the best of it. Before a week had gone by they were in their
usual good spirits again, scrambling about the snowy twigs, or chasing
one another as before.

They were glad to remember now that Mother Carey said that winter would
end. They told each other about it so much that even at its beginning,
when a fresh blizzard came on, they would gleefully remark to one
another that it was a "sign of spring," and one or another of the flock
would lift his voice in the sweet little chant that we all know so well:

[Illustration: Spring soon]

Another would take it up and answer back:

[Illustration: Spring com-ing]

and they would keep on repeating the song until the dreary woods rang
again with the good news, and the wood-people learned to love the brave
little bird that sets his face so cheerfully, to meet so hard a case.

And winter did end. Spring did come at last. And the sign of its coming
was when the ice broke on the stream and the pussy willow came purring
out above it. The air was full of the good news. The Chicadees felt it,
and knew it through and through. They went mad with joy, chasing each
other round and round the trees and through the hollow logs, shouting
"The spring is here, the spring is here, Hurree, Hurree, Hurree," and in
another week their joyous lives were going on as before the trouble

But to this day, when the chill wind blows through the deserted woods,
the Chicadees seem to lose their wits for a few days, and dart into all
sorts of queer places. They may then be found in great cities, or open
prairies, cellars, chimneys, and hollow logs; and the next time you find
one of the wanderers in any out-of-the-way corner, be sure to remember
that the Chicadee goes crazy twice a year, in the fall and in the
spring, and probably went into his strange hole or town in search of the
Gulf of Mexico.


The Story of the Quaking Aspen or Poplar

The leaf of the Quaking Asp is like the one marked "a" in the drawing.
Its trunk is smooth, greenish, or whitish, with black knots of bark like
"c". All the farmers know it as Popple, or White Poplar; but the hunters
call it Quaking Asp or Aspen.

[Illustration: The Story of the Quaking Aspen]

The name "quaking" was given because it is for ever shaking its leaves;
the slightest wind sets them all rustling. They move so easily because
each leaf-stem is like a thin, flat strap set on edge; while the
leaf-stem of such as the oak is nearly round and scarcely rustles at
all. Why does the Quaking Asp do this? No doubt, because it lives in
places where the hot dust falls thick on the leaves at times, and if it
did not have some trick of shaking it off, the leaf would be choked and
bent so that the tree could scarcely breathe; for the leaves are the
lungs of the trees. So remember, when the Poplar rustles loudly, it is
coughing to clear its lungs of the dust.

Some trees try to hide their troubles, and quickly cover up their
wounds; but the Aspen has a very touchy skin and, once it is wounded, it
shows the scar as long as it lives. We can, therefore, go to any Aspen
tree, and have it tell us the story of its life. Here is the picture of
one. The black marks at the forks (c) are scars of growth; the belts of
dots (d) were wounds given by a sapsucker to rob it of its sap; the flat
places (e) show where a Red Squirrel gnawed off the outer bark.

If a Raccoon climbed the tree (f), or an insect bored into the trunk, we
are sure to see a record of it in this sensitive bark.

Now, last of all, the paper on which this story is printed was likely
made out of Aspen wood.


The Witch-hazel

[Illustration: Witch-hazel]

These are the things to make you remember the Witch-hazel; its forked
twig was used--nay, still is used--as a magic rod to show where there is
running water underground; that is, where it is possible to find water
by sinking a well. Its nuts are explosive, and go off with a _snap_,
shooting the seeds that are inside, ten or twenty feet away, when the
cold dry days of autumn come. Third, its curious golden-thread flowers
appear in the fall.

As Cracked Jimmy used to sing:-

        Witch-hazel blossoms in the fall,
        To cure the chills and fevers all.
                      --_Two Little Savages._

On November 16, 1919, after a sharp frost, I went out in the morning to
get some Witch-hazel flowers for this drawing, and found them blooming
away in the cold air, vigorously as ever. Imagine a flower that can
bloom while it is freezing. In the drawing I have shown the flower, like
a 4-lipped cup with four yellow snakes coiling out of it.

But these are not the deadly snakes one hears about. They are rather
symbols of old Æsculapius, the famous healer of the long ago, whose
emblem was the cup of life with curling snakes of wisdom about it. In
the Witch-hazel has been found a soothing balm for many an ache and
pain. The Witch-hazel you buy in the drugstores, is made out of the bark
of this tree. If you chew one of the little branches you will know it by
the taste.

Near the top is a flower that is finished, its snakes have fled; and at
the top of all is a bud for next year. That is, they are--_is_,
_has-been_ and _going-to-be_. The nuts are shown in the corner.

Note, last of all, that it is a sociable little tree; it always goes
with a crowd. There are generally three or four Witch-hazels from one
root, and there is always a family of cousins not far away.


How the Shad Came and How the Chestnut Got Its Burrs

In the woods of Poconic there once roamed a very discontented Porcupine.
She was forever fretting. She complained that everything was wrong, till
it was perfectly scandalous, and Wahkonda, the Great Spirit, getting
tired of her grumbling, said:

"You and the world I have made don't seem to fit; one or the other must
be wrong. It is easier to change you. You don't like the trees, you are
unhappy on the ground, and think everything is upside down, therefore
I'll turn you inside out, and put you in the water." And so the
Porcupine was turned into a new creature, a fish, called the Shad. That
is why he is so full of little sharp bones.

Then after the old Porcupine had been turned into a Shad, the young ones
missed their mother, and crawled up into a high Chestnut tree to look
for her coming. Wahkonda happened to pass that way, and they all
chattered their teeth at him, thinking themselves safe. They were not
wicked, but at heart quite good, only badly brought up; oh, so
ill-trained, and some of them chattered and groaned as Wahkonda came
nearer. Then Wahkonda was sorry for them, remembering that he had taken
their mother from them, and said: "You look very well up there, you
little Porkys, so you had better stay there for always, and be part of
the Chestnut tree." And he touched each one with his magic wand and
turned it into a burr that grew tight to the tree. That is how it came
about. There they hang like a lot of little Porcupines on the twigs of
the tree. They are spiney and dangerous, utterly without manners, and
yet most of them have a good little heart inside.


How the Littlest Owl Came

After the Great Spirit had made the world and the creatures in it, he
made the Gitchee O-kok-o-hoo. This was like an Owl, but bigger than
anything else alive, and his voice was like a river plunging over a
rocky ledge. He was so big that he thought he had done it all himself,
and he became puffed up. He forgot the Great Spirit, who decided to
teach him a lesson in this wise:

He called the Blue-jay, the mischief-maker of the woods, and told him
what to do. Away went the Blue-jay to the mountain at the top of which
was the Gitchee O-kok-o-hoo making thunder in his throat. The Blue-jay
flew up to his ear, and said: "Pooh, Gitchee O-kok-o-hoo, you don't call
that a big noise! You should hear Niagara; then you would never twitter

The Gitchee O-kok-o-hoo was so mad at hearing his big wonderful song
called a twitter, that he said: "Niagara, Niagara! I'm sick of hearing
about Niagara. I will go and silence Niagara with my voice." So he flew
to Niagara while the Blue-jay snickered and followed to see the fun.

Now when Niagara Falls was made the Great Spirit said to it, "Flow on
for ever." That last word of the Great Spirit it took up as it rushed
on, and never ceases to thunder out "For ever! For ever! For ever!"

When they came to Niagara the mighty cataract, the Blue-jay said, "Now,
Gitchee, you can beat that I am sure." So Gitchee O-kok-o-hoo began
bawling to drown the noise of it, but could not make himself heard.

"Wa-wa-wa," said the Gitchee O-kok-o-hoo, with great effort and only for
a few heart beats.

"_For ever, For ever, For ever_," thundered the river, steadily, easily,

"Wa-wa-wa--!" shrieked Gitchee O-kok-o-hoo; but his voice was so utterly
lost that he could not hear it himself, and he began to feel small, and
smaller; and as he began to feel small, a strange thing happened--he
began to get small and smaller, until he was no bigger than a Sparrow;
and his voice, instead of being like a great cataract, became like the
dropping of water, just a little


And this is why the Indians give to this smallest of the Owls the name
of "The Water-dropping Bird," who was once the greatest of all
creatures, but is now shrunk to be the littlest of the Owls, because he
became proud and forgot the Great Spirit.


The Wood-witch and the Bog-nuts

Once upon a time there was a rich boy, who knew all about the city, and
nothing about the woods. He went for an outing into the wilderness, and
got lost. He wandered all day until he was very tired and hungry. The
sun was low when he came to a little pathway. He followed it, and it led
to a small log cabin. When he knocked, an old woman opened the door. He
said, "Please, Ma'am, I am lost and very hungry, will you give me
something to eat?"

[Illustration: The Wood-witch and the Bog-nuts]

The old woman looked sharply at his clothes, and knew that he was
rich, so she said: "Poor people are wise, they can take care of
themselves in the woods. They don't get lost. But you rich people are
fools, and I wish you would go away."

"I will, if you'll give me something to eat," he answered.

Then the old woman said: "Listen, foolish rich boy, in the woods beside
you right now is a friend who feeds the poor people, maybe she will feed
you. She is tall and slim, her eyes are brownish purple and her hair is
green, and by this you may know her--she has five fingers on one hand
and seven on the other. Her house is in the brier thicket; she climbs to
the roof and stands there all day waving her hands, and shouting out in
wood-talk, 'There are cocoanuts in my cellar.'

"Now go and find her, maybe she will feed you. She always feeds us poor
folks," and the witch slammed the door.

The boy was puzzled. As he stood in doubt, there was a loud noise, and
his friends arrived. They brought him the food and comfort that he

Then he said: "I wish to know what that old wood-witch meant by the lady
with the purple eyes and green hair." So he went again to the log cabin
and knocked.

When the old woman came, and saw a lot of people about, she was
frightened for she knew she had been unkind. But the boy said: "Now
Granny, you needn't be afraid, I want you to show me the friend that has
seven fingers and a cellar full of cocoanuts."

"I'll show you, if you promise to do me no harm," she answered.

"Of course, I'll promise," replied the boy.

Then Granny Wood-witch went hobbling to the nearest thicket and cackled
out loud, as she pointed out a trailing vine that had sometimes five
leaflets on a stalk and sometimes seven. "See, see, that's the lady.
See seven fingers on that hand and five on this. Now follow her feet
down and dig in the ground."

They dug and found strings of lovely brown nuts as big as walnuts.

"See, see," chuckled the wood-witch. "See the cocoanuts in the cellar."

       *       *       *       *       *

Go forth and look for it, ye Woodcrafters. You will find it throughout
Eastern America on the edge of every wood. Its flower is like a
purple-brown sweet-pea, and is in bloom all summer long. Follow down its
vine, dig out a few of the potatoes or nuts, and try them, raw, boiled,
or if ye wish to eat them as Indian Cake, clean them, cut them in
slices, dry till hard, pound them up into meal, and make a cake the same
as you would of oatmeal.

The wild things love them, the Indians love them, and this was the bread
of the wood-witch. The books call it Bog Potato and Ground Nuts. It is
the third secret of the woods.


The Mud-dauber Wasp

If you look under the roof of any wooden barn in Eastern America you are
likely to see the nest of the common Mud-wasp.

[Illustration: The Mud-dauber Wasp (life size)]

If you look on warm sunny days along the edge of some mud puddle you are
sure to see a curious steel-blue wasp, with a very thin waist, working
away at a lump of mud. She seems to be breathing hard with her body, as
she works with her yellow legs, but she finally goes off laden with a
gob of mud. This is the Mud-wasp at work, building a strong mud-nest for
her family. The nest is the one we have seen hung under the roof of
the shed, always put where no rain can reach it.

In the drawing are two of these nests.

Once the cradle is ready, the mother Wasp goes spider-hunting. Whenever
she can find a spider, she pounces on it, and with her sting, she stabs
it in the body, so as to paralyze it, but not kill it. Then she carries
it to the mud cell and packs it in, at the far end. Many spiders are
caught and preserved this way, for they do not usually die though they
cannot move.

When the cell is full, the Wasp lays an egg on the last spider, and
seals up the opening with a mud lid.

Very soon the egg hatches out a little white grub which begins on the
spider next to him, eating the legs first, and the body last, so as to
keep it alive as long as possible, though of course the spider has no
feeling. Then he eats the next spider, and the next, growing as he eats,
until he nearly fills the cell, and the spiders are all eaten up.

Now the grub goes to sleep, and next spring comes out as a full-grown
Mud-wasp to do exactly as the mother did, though it never saw that
Mother or had a lesson from any one in the many strange things it must
do to live.

I went into my boat-house to-day, November 20, 1919, to get a mud nest
for this drawing. There were 86 on the roof; some of them with 20 or 30
cells, and besides there was a lot of paper nests by other Wasps. The
nest I took had two cells, one open and empty, and the other with a mud
lid on tight. This held a long, shiny brown transparent case, in which
was a white grub much too small for the big coat he was wearing. The
grub was sound asleep, and would have come out next spring, as a big
steel-blue Mud-wasp had I let him alone. But there are plenty of
Mud-wasps so I fed him to the Chicadees, which likely is what Mother
Carey would have done.

[Illustration: The Cicada and the Katydid (life size)]


The Cicada and the Katydid

Once upon a time, long, long ago, the birds whose job it was to make the
woods merry with their songs, decided to go on strike. They said, "We
have sung all day, all springtime, and half way through the summer, but
now we are moulting, the weather is frightfully hot; we need a rest, and
we are going to stop singing, to take a holiday."

Then Dame Nature, who is sometimes called the All-mother, or Mother
Carey, said: "Dear me, this will never do! No songbirds, woods silent
all through the dog-days. Now who will be strike-breakers and volunteer
to supply the music till the birds get once more in a good humour?"

Then up at that question got a long-winged insect like a big fly, and a
long-legged insect like a green grasshopper, and both said at once, "I
will." Amid low murmurs of "Scab! Scab!" from many of the Wood-birds.

"You. I forgot that you two had any voices at all!" said Mother Carey.

Then the long-winged creature, whose name is Cicada, began, "True, my
voice isn't much, but I have invented a most successful musical
Castanet. Listen!"

Then he began an extraordinary racket like an alarm clock, a threshing
machine, and a buzz-saw all going together. He filled the grove with his
noise, and set all the woodfolk laughing with his funny performance.
Though, of course, he didn't mean to be funny; he thought it was fine.

Then as the Cicada ceased, Mother Carey said to the Green Hopper, whose
name was Katy, "Now, Katy, what can you do?"

"I do not brag of my voice, dear Mother," said she, "but I am a
thrilling performer on the violin."

Then she humped herself up over a green fiddle that she had under her
cloak, and nearly deafened them with its hoarse screechings.

There was no doubt that these two could make as much noise as a wood
full of birds; both were eager to take sole charge, and a bitter dispute
arose as to whose idea it was first.

But Mother Carey settled it by dividing the time. "You," she said to
Cicada, "can take charge of the music by day, and you," she said to the
Green one, "must take it up at sundown in place of the nightingale, and
keep it up, till the night breaks, and both of you continue till the
frost comes, or until the birds are back on the job."

That is how it all came about.

But there is considerable feeling yet among the Katies, that they should
get all the night work, and never be seen performing. They think that
their ancestor was the original inventor of this cheap substitute for
bird song. And it is made all the worse by a division among themselves.
Some say "she did" and some say "she didn't." If you notice in early
August, they are nearly all shouting, "Katy-did." Then by the end of the
month, "Katy-didn't" is stronger. In September it is still mixed. In
October their work is over, the chorus ended, but you hear an occasional
"Katy-did" and finally as late as Indian Summer, which is Hallowe'en, I
have heard the last of the fiddlers rasp out "she did"; and do it in
daytime, too, as though to flout the followers of Cicada. And, if the
last word be truth, as they say, we may consider it settled, that Katy
really and truly _did_. And yet I believe next year the same dispute
will arise, and we shall have the noisy argument all over again.

If you look at the portraits of Cicada, the Hotweather-bug or Locust,
and of the Katydid, you will not see their musical instruments very
plainly, but believe me they have them; and you can hear them any late
summer hot-weather time, in any part of the Eastern States and some
parts of southern Canada.

And now let me finish with a secret. Katy is not a lady at all, but a
he-one disguised in green silk stockings, and a green satin dress.


The Digger Wasp that Killed the Cicada

Strange things are done in the realm of Mother Carey; strange things and
cruel. At least so they seem to us, for we do not know the plan that is
behind them. We know only that sometimes love must be cruel. I am going
to tell you of a strange happening, that you may see any hot day in
August. And this is how it came about.

At that meeting in the woods when the Cicada and the Katydid undertook
to be musicians, while the birds were on strike, there was one strong
insect who gave off an angry "_Bizz, Bizz_" that sounded like "_Scab,
Scab_." That was the big yellow-and-black Digger Wasp, the biggest of
the wasps, with a sting that is as bad as that of a baby rattlesnake.
And that very day she declared war on the Cicada and his kind. The
Katydids she could not touch, because the Wasp cannot see at night.

But the Cicada was easy to find. As soon as the day got hot, and that
awful buzzing began in the trees, the Big Digger got her sting ready,
and went booming along in the direction of the sound.

[Illustration: The Digger Wasp (life size)]

Now Mother Carey had given the Cicada bright eyes and strong wings, and
it was his own business to take care of himself; but he was so pleased
with his music that he never saw the fierce Digger Wasp, till she
charged on him. And before he could spread his wings, she had stabbed
him through.

His song died away in a few shrieks, and then the Cicada lay still. But
not dead, for the Digger had stuck her poison dagger into the nerve
centre, so that he was paralyzed and helpless, but still living.

Now the Digger set about a plan. She wanted to get that Cicada body into
her den, to feed her young ones with it. But the Cicada was bigger and
heavier than she was, so that she could not carry it. However, she was
bent on doing it, she got all ready, took tight hold with her claws,
then swooped from the tree, flying as strongly as she could, till the
weight of the Cicada brought her to the ground within fifty feet, while
the den was fully a hundred feet away. But the Wasp dragged the Cicada
up the trunk of another tree, then took another long sloping flight as
before. One more climb and skid down, brought her to her den--a hole in
a bank that she had dug out; that is why she is called the Digger Wasp.
The passage was a foot long and had a crook in the middle. At the end
was a round room an inch and a half high. Here the Digger left her
victim's body and right on its breast, to one side, laid an egg.

This hatched in two or three days, and began to feed on the Cicada. In a
week it had eaten the Cicada and grown to be a big fat grub. Then it
spun a cocoon, and made itself into a bundle-baby, resting all autumn
and all winter in that dark den.

But when the spring came with its glorious wakening up, great changes
came over the bundle-baby of the Digger. It threw off the cocoon and its
outer skin, and came forth from the gloom into the sunshine, a big
strong Digger Wasp with a sting of its own, and a deadly feud with all
screaming Cicadas. Although it never saw its mother, or got any lessons
from her, it goes after the buzzing hotweather-bugs, when August comes,
and treats them exactly as she did.


How the Indian Summer Came

Wahkonda, the Great Spirit, the Ruler of the World, had found pleasure
the whole summer long in making mountains, lakes, and forests. Then when
the autumn came, and the leaves fell from the trees, He lighted His pipe
and sat down to look over the things He had made.

As He did so, the north wind arose for Cold Time was coming, and blew
the smoke and ashes of the pipe into His face. Then He said: "Cease your
blowing, all ye winds, until I have finished smoking." So, of course,
there was dead calm.

Wahkonda smoked for ten days, and during all that time there were no
clouds in the sky, for there was no wind to bring them; there was
unbroken, calm sunny weather. But neither was there any wind to carry
off the smoke, so it hung, as the teepee smoke hangs at sunrise, and it
drifted over the valleys and forests in a blue haze.

Then at last when the Great Spirit finished His smoke and His
meditation, He emptied out His pipe. That was the signal, the north wind
broke loose, and came howling down from the hills, driving the leaves
before it, and warning all wild things to be ready, for soon there would
be winter in the woods.

And it hath been so ever since. When the leaves have fallen and before
yet the Ice-king is here, there come, for a little while, the calm
dreamy days, when the Great Spirit is smoking His pipe, and the smoke is
on the land. The Red-men call them the Smoking Days, but we call it
Indian Summer.


[Illustration: The North Star or Home Star]

Things to See in Wintertime


The North Star, or the Home Star

If you are going to be a Woodcrafter, you must begin by knowing the
North Star, because that is the star which will show you the way home,
if you get lost in the woods at night. That is why the Indians call it
the "Home Star."

But first, I must tell you how it came to be, and the story begins a
long, long time ago.

In those far-off days, we are told, there were two wonderful hunters,
one named Orion, and the other named Boötes (Bo-o-tees). Orion hunted
everything and I shall have to leave him for another story. Boötes was
an ox-driver and only hunted bears to save his cattle. One day he went
after a Mother Bear, that had one little cub.

[Illustration: The Pappoose on the Squaw's Back]

He chased them up to the top of a mountain so high, that they leaped off
into the sky, and just as they were going, Boötes shot his arrows after
them. His very first arrow hit the Little Bear in the tail--they had
long tails in those days--and pinned him to the sky. There he has hung
ever since, swinging round and round, on the arrow in his tail, while
his mother runs bawling around him, with Boötes and his dogs chasing
her. He shot arrows into her tail, which was long and curved, into her
body, and into her shoulder. Seven big arrows he shot, and there they
are yet, in the form of a dipper pointing always to the cub who is
called the "Little Bear." The shining head of the big arrow in the end
of the Little Bear's tail is called the North Star or Pole Star. You can
always tell which is the North Star, by the two Pointers; these are the
two bright stars that make the outer side of the Dipper on the Big
Bear's shoulder. A line drawn through them, points out the North Star.

The Dipper, that is the Big Bear, goes round and round the Pole
Star, once in about twenty-four hours; so that sometimes the Pointers are
over, sometimes under, to left or to right; but always pointing out the
Pole Star or North Star.

This star shows nearly the true north; and, knowing that, a traveller
can find his way in any strange country, so long as he can see this
friendly Home Star.


The Pappoose on the Squaw's Back

Now that you know how the Bears and the Big Dipper came, you should know
the Indian story of the Old Squaw.

First find the bright star that is at the bend of the Dipper handle.
This is called the "Old Squaw"; on her back is a tiny star that they
call "The Pappoose."

As soon as an Indian boy is old enough to understand, his mother takes
him out into the night when it is calm and clear, and without any moon
or any bright lights near, and says, "My child, yonder is the Old Squaw,
the second of the seven stars; she is going over the top of the hill; on
her back she carries her pappoose. Tell me, my child, can you see the

[Illustration: Orion Fighting the Bull]

Then the little redskin gazes, and from his mother's hand he takes two
pebbles, a big one and a little one, and he sets them together on her
palm, to show how the two stars seem to him. When the mother is sure
that he did see them clearly, she rejoices. She goes to the fire and
drops a pinch of tobacco into it, for incense to carry her message, then
looking toward the sky she says: "Great Spirit, I thank Thee that my
child has the eyes of a hunter."

       *       *       *       *       *

These things are not new, O Woodcrafter. The wise men of our race call
the Big Star "Mizar" one of the chariot horses, and the little star
"Alcor" or the Rider. In all ages it has been considered proof of
first-class eyes, to see this little star. Can you see it? Have you the
eyes of a hunter?


Orion the Hunter, and His Fight With the Bull

In the 49th Tale I told you there were two giants among the mighty
hunters in the sky, Boötes, whose adventure with the Bears you have
already heard, and Orion. (O-ry´-on).

Orion was the most famous of all. In his day men had no guns; they had
nothing but clubs, spears, and arrows to fight with, and the beasts were
very big and fierce as well as plentiful, yet Orion went whenever he was
needed, armed chiefly with his club, fought the wild beasts, all alone,
killing them or driving them out, and saving the people, for the joy of
doing it. Once he killed a lion with his club, and ever afterward wore
the lion's skin on his arm. Bears were as nothing to him; he killed them
as easily as most hunters would rabbits, but he found his match, when he
went after a ferocious wild Bull as big as a young elephant.

As soon as the Bull saw him, it came rushing at him. It happened to be
on the other side of a stream, and as it plunged in, Orion drew his bow
and fired seven quick shots at the Bull's heart. But the monster was
coming head on, and the seven arrows all stuck in its shoulder, making
it madder than ever. So Orion waved his lion skin in his left hand, and
with his club in the right, ran to meet the Bull, as it was scrambling
up the bank from the water.

The first whack of the club tumbled the Bull back into the water, but it
turned aside, went to another place, and charged again. And again Orion
landed a fearful blow with the club on the monster's curly forehead.

By this time, all the animals had gathered around to see the big fight,
and the gods in heaven got so interested that they shouted out, "Hold
on, that is good enough for us to see. Come up here."

So they moved the mighty Hunter and the Bull, and the River and all the
animals, up to heaven, and the fight has gone on there ever since.

In the picture I have shown a lot of animals besides Orion and the Bull,
but the only things I want you to look now in the sky, are Orion's belt
with the three stars on it, and the Pleiades on the Bull's shoulder, the
seven spots where the seven arrows struck.

And remember these stars cannot be seen in summer, they pass over us in
winter time. You can find Orion by drawing a straight line across the
rim of the Dipper, beginning at the inner or handle side, passing
through the outer or Pointers side, and continued for twice the length
of the Dipper, handle and all, this will bring you to Betelgeuze, the
big star in the Giant's right shoulder, below that are the three stars
of his belt, sometimes called the "Three Kings."


The Pleiades, that Orion Fired at the Bull

[Illustration: The Pleiades]

When late autumn comes the Pleiades (Ply'-a-dees) appear in the evening
sky to the eastward. These are the seven shots in the Bull's shoulder,
the seven arrows from Orion's bow. The Guide can locate them by
continuing the line of Orion's belt, eight times the length of the belt
to the right, as one faces the Hunter, so Orion must have been very
close indeed. At first they look like a faint light with a few bright
pin-points scattered through. Tennyson described them as:

        Glittering like a swarm of fireflies
        Tangled in a silver braid.

The best time to see them is some clear night about Christmas, when
there is no moon, and the Pleiades are nearly overhead, above the mist
and smoke of the horizon, and there are no electric lights near by.

Study them attentively. Make a tube of your two hands and look through.
Look on the ground, then look back again; look not straight at them, but
a little to one side; and at last, mark down on paper how many you can
clearly see, putting a big spot for the big one, and little spots for
the little ones. Poor eyes see nothing but a haze; fairly good eyes see
four of the pin-points; good eyes see five; the best of eyes see seven.
I can see seven on a clear winter night when there are no clouds and no
moon. This is as high as you need expect to get, although it is said
that some men in clear air on a mountain top have seen ten, while the
telescope shows that there are 2,000.

In taking these eyesight tests you may use your spectacles if you
usually wear them.


The Twin Stars

        Two-Bright-Eyes went wandering out
        To chase the Whippoorwill;
        Two-Bright-Eyes got lost and left
        Our teepee--oh, so still!

        Two-Bright-Eyes was carried up
        To sparkle in the skies
        And look like stars--but we know well
        That that's our lost Bright-Eyes.

        She is looking for the camp,
        She would come back if she could;
        She still peeps thro' the tree-tops
        For the teepee in the wood.


Stoutheart and His Black Cravat

Do you know the bird that wears a black cravat, which he changes once a
year? It is the English Sparrow, the commonest of all our birds. His
hair is gray, but he must have been red-headed once, for just back of
his ears there is still a band of red; and his collar, maybe, was white
once, but it is very dingy now. His shirt and vest are gray; his coat is
brown with black streaks--a sort of sporting tweed. The new cravat comes
when the new feathers grow in late summer; and, at first, it is barred
with gray as if in half mourning for his sins. As the gray tips wear
off, it becomes solid black; that is, in March or April. In summer, it
gets rusty and worn out; so every year he puts on a new one in late

The hen sparrow is quite different and wears no cravat. She has a
black-and-brown cape of the sporting pattern, but her dress is
everywhere of brownish Quaker gray.

The song of the English Sparrow is loud and short; but he tries to make
up, by singing it over and over again, for many minutes.

He eats many bad bugs, and would be well liked, if he did not steal the
nests and the food of Bluebirds, Woodpeckers, Swallows, and others that
are prettier and more useful birds, as well as far better singers than
he is.

But there is much to admire in the Sparrow. I do not know of any bird
that is braver, or more ready to find a way out of trouble; and if he
cannot find a way, he cheerfully makes the best of it.

Some years ago I was at Duluth during a bitterly cold spell of weather.
The thermometer registered 20° or 30° below zero, and the blizzard wind
was blowing. Oh my, it was cold. But out in the street were dozens of
English Sparrows chirruping and feeding; thriving just as they do in
warmer lands and in fine weather.

When black night came down, colder yet, I wondered what the little
stout-hearts would do. Crawl into some hole or bird-house, maybe? or
dive into a snowdrift? as many native birds do.

I found out; and the answer was most unexpected.

In front of the hotel was a long row of electric lights. At nine
o'clock, when I chanced to open the window for a breath of air, my eye
fell on these; on every bulb was an English Sparrow sound asleep with
the overarching reflector to turn the storm, and the electric bulb below
him to warm his toes. My hat is off. Our Department of Agriculture may
declare war on the Sparrow; but what is the use? Don't you think that a
creature who is not afraid of blizzard or darkness, and knows how to use
electric lights, is going to win its life-battle, and that he surely is
here to stay?


Tracks, and the Stories They Tell

[Illustration: Tracks, and the Stories They Tell]

Sometimes, in town, just after rain, when the gutters are wet, and the
pavement dry, look for the tracks of some Dog that walked with wet
feet on the pavement. You will find that they are like "a" in the
drawing. A Dog has five toes on his front feet, but only four touch the
pavement as he walks. The claws also touch, and make each a little mark.

Now look for the track of a Cat; it is somewhat like that of the Dog,
but it is smaller, softer, and the claws do not show (b). They are too
good to be wasted on a pavement; she keeps them pulled in, so they are
sharp when she has use for them.

Make a drawing of each of these, and make it life size.

When there is dust on the road, or snow, look for Sparrow tracks; they
are like "c."

Note how close together the front three toes are. The inner two are
really fast together, so they cannot be separated far and the hind toe
is very large. Last of all, note that the tracks go two and two, because
the Sparrow goes "hop hop, hop." These things mean that the Sparrow is
really a tree bird; and you will see that, though often on the ground he
gets up into a tree when he wishes to feel safe.

Look for some Chicken tracks in the dust; they are like "d" in the
drawing because the Chicken does not go "hop, hop, hop" like the
Sparrow, but "walk, walk, walk." The Chicken is a ground bird. Most of
the song birds hop like the Sparrow, and most of the game birds walk
like a Chicken. But the Robin (e) goes sometimes hopping and sometimes
running, because part of his life is in the trees, and part on the


A Rabbit's Story of His Life, Written by Himself

Yes, the Rabbit wrote it himself and about himself in the oldest writing
on earth, that is the tracks of his feet.


As shown by the Tracks and Signs in the Snow]

In February of 1885, one morning after a light snowfall, I went tramping
through the woods north of Toronto, when I came on something that always
makes me stop and look--the fresh tracks of an animal. This was the
track of a Cottontail Rabbit and I followed its windings with thrills of
interest. There it began under a little brush pile (a); the bed of brown
leaves showing that he settled there, before the snow-fall began. Now
here (b) he leaped out after the snow ceased, for the tracks are sharp,
and sat looking around. See the two long marks of his hind feet and in
front the two smaller prints of his front feet; behind is the mark made
by his tail, showing that he was sitting on it.

Then he had taken alarm at something and dashed off at speed (c), for
now his hind feet are tracking ahead of the front feet, as in most
bounding forefoots, and the faster he goes, the farther ahead those hind
feet get.

See now how he dodged about here and there, this way and that, among the
trees, as though trying to escape some dreaded enemy (c, d, e, f).

But what enemy? There are no other tracks, and still the wild jumping
went on.

I began to think that the Rabbit was crazy, flying from an imaginary
foe; possibly that I was on the track of a March Hare. But at "g" I
found on the trail for the first time a few drops of blood. That told me
that the Rabbit was in real danger but gave no clue to its source.

At "h" I found more blood and at "j" I got a new thrill, for there,
plain enough on each side of the Rabbit track, were finger-like marks,
and the truth dawned on me that these were the prints of great wings.
The Rabbit was fleeing from an eagle, a hawk, or an owl. Some twenty
yards farther "k" I found in the snow the remains of the luckless Rabbit
partly devoured. Then I knew that the eagle had not done it, for he
would have taken the Rabbit's body away, not eaten him up there. So it
must have been a hawk or an owl. I looked for something to tell me
which, and I got it. Right by the Rabbit's remains was the large
twin-toed track (l) that told me that an owl had been there, and that
therefore he was the criminal. Had it been a hawk the mark would have
been as shown in the left lower corner, three toes forward and one back,
whereas the owl usually sets his foot with two toes forward and two
backward, as in the sketch. This, then, I felt sure was the work of an
owl. But which owl? There were two, maybe three kinds in that valley. I
wished to know exactly and, looking for further evidence, I found on a
sapling near by a big soft, downy, owlish feather (m) with three brown
bars across it; which told me plainly that a Barred Owl or Hoot Owl had
been there recently, and that he was almost certainly the killer of the

This may sound like a story of Sherlock Holmes among the animals--a
flimsy tale of circumstantial evidence. But while I was making my notes,
what should come flying through the woods but the Owl himself, back to
make another meal, no doubt. He alighted on a branch just above my head,
barely ten feet up, and there gave me the best of proof, next to eye
witness of the deed, that all I had gathered from the tracks and signs
in the snow was quite true.

I had no camera in those days, but had my sketch book, and as he sat, I
made a drawing which hangs to-day among my pictures that are beyond

Here, then, is a chapter of wild life which no man saw, which man could
not have seen, for the presence of a man would have prevented it. And
yet we know it was true, for it was written by the Rabbit himself.

If you have the seeing eye, you will be able to read many strange and
thrilling happenings written for you thus in the snow, the mud, and even
the sand and the dust.


The Singing Hawk

Listen, Guide and young folk, I want to add another bird to your list
to-day; another secret of the woods to your learning.

I want you to know the Singing Hawk. Our nature writers nearly always
make their hawks scream, but I want you to know a wonderful Hawk, right
in your own woods, that really and truly sings, and loves to do it.

It is a long time ago since I first met him. I was going past a little
ravine north of Toronto, on a bright warm mid-winter day, when a loud
call came ringing down the valley and the bird that made it, a large
hawk, appeared, sailing and singing, _kee-o, kee-o, kee-o, kee-o, kee-o,
kee-ye-o, ky-ye-o, ky-oodle, ky-oodle, kee-o, kee-o_ and on; over and
over again, in a wild-wood tone that thrilled me. He sailed with set
wings to a near-by tree, and ceased not his stirring call; there was no
answer from the woods, but there was a vibrant response in my heart. It
moved me through and through. How could it do so much, when it was so
simple? I did not know how to tell it in words, but I felt it in my
boyish soul. It expressed all the wild-wood life and spirit, the joy of
living, the happy brightness of the day, the thrill of the coming
spring, the glory of flight; all, all it seemed to voice in its simple
ringing, "_kee-o, kee-o, kee-o, kee-yi-o_"; never before had I seen a
bird so evidently rejoicing in his flight; then singing, it sailed away
from sight; but the song has lingered ever since in the blessed part of
my memory. I often heard it afterward, and many times caught the
Blue-jay in a feeble imitation of its trumpet note. I never forgot the
exact timbre of that woodland call; so when at length, long after, I
traced it to what is known in books as the "Red-shouldered Hawk," it was
a little triumph and a little disappointment. The books made it all so
commonplace. They say it has a loud call like "kee-o"; but they do not
say that it has a bugle note that can stir your very soul if you love
the wild things, and voices more than any other thing on wings the glory
of flight, the blessedness of being alive.

To-day, as I write, is December 2, 1917; and this morning as I walked in
my homeland, a sailing, splendid hawk came pouring out the old refrain,
"_kee-yi-o, kee-yi-o, kee-oh_." Oh, it was glorious! I felt little
prickles in the roots of my hair as he went over; and I rejoiced above
all things to realize that he sang just as well as, yes maybe a little
better than that first one did, that I heard in the winter woods some
forty years ago.


The Fingerboard Goldenrod

"Oh, Mother Carey! All-mother! Lover of us little plants as well as the
big trees! Listen to us little slender Goldenrods.

"We want to be famous, Mother Carey, but our stems are so little and our
gold is so small, that we cannot count in the great golden show of
autumn, for that is the glory of our tall cousins. They do not need us,
and they do not want us. Won't you give us a little job all our own, our
very own, for we long to be doing something?"

[Illustration: The Compass Goldenrod Pointing Toward the North]

Then Mother Carey smiled so softly and sweetly and said: "Little slender
Goldenrods, I am going to give you something to do that will win you
great honour among all who understand. In the thick woods the moss on
the trunk shows the north side; when the tree is alone and in the open,
the north side is known by its few branches; but on the open prairie,
there is no plant that stands up like a finger post to point the north
for travellers, while the sun is hid."

"This, then do, little slender Goldenrods; face the noon sun, and as you
stand, throw back your heads proudly, for you are in service now. Throw
back your heads till your golden plumes are pointing backward to the
north--so shall you have an honourable calling and travellers will be
glad that I have made you a fingerboard on the plains."

So the slender Goldenrod and his brothers rejoiced and they stood up
straight, facing the noon sun, and bent backward, throwing out their
chests till their golden caps and plumes were pointed to the north.

And many a traveller, on cloudy days and dark nights, has been cheered
by the sight of the Compass Goldenrod, pointing to the north and helping
him to get home.

This does not mean that every one of them points to the north all the
time. They do their best but there are always some a little wrong. Yet
you can tell the direction at night or on dark days if you look at a bed
of them that grew out in full sunlight.

"Yon is the north," they keep on singing, all summer long, and even when
winter comes to kill the plant, and end its bloom, the brave little
stalk stands up there, in snow to its waist, bravely pointing out the
north, to those who have learned its secret. And not only in winter
storms, but I have even found them still on guard after the battle, when
the snow melted in springtime. Once when I was a boy, I found a whole
bank of them by a fence, when the snow went off in April, and I wrote
in their honour this verse:

        Some of them bowed are, and broken
          And battered and lying low
        But the few that are left stand like spearmen staunch
          Each pointing his pike at the foe.


Woodchuck Day, February Second Sixth Secret of the Woods


"To be, or not to be"]

It was Monapini that told Ruth Pilgrim, and Ruth Pilgrim told the little
Pilgrims, and the little Pilgrims told the little Dutchmen, and the
little Dutchmen told it to all the little Rumours, and the grandchild of
one of these little Rumours told it to me, so you see I have it straight
and on good authority, this Sixth Secret of the Woods.

The story runs that every year the wise Woodchuck retires to sleep in
his cozy home off the subway that he made, when the leaves begin to
fall, and he has heard the warning. Mother Carey has sung the death-song
of the red leaves; sung in a soft voice that yet reaches the farthest

        "Gone are the summer birds.
         Hide, hide, ye slow-foots.
         Hide, for the blizzard comes."

And Mother Earth, who is Maka Ina, cries to her own: "Come, hide in my
bosom, my little ones." And the wise Woodchuck waits not till the
blizzard comes, but hides while he may make good housing, and sleeps for
three long moons.

But ever on the second sun of the Hunger-moon (and this is the Sixth
Secret) he rouses up and ventures forth. And if so be that the sun is
in the sky, and the snow on the bosom of his Mother Earth, so that his
shadow shall appear on it, he goeth back to sleep again for one and a
half moons more--for six long weeks. But if the sky be dark with clouds
and the earth all bared of snow so that no shadow shows, he says, "The
blizzard time is over, there is food when the ground is bare," and ends
his sleep.

This is the tale and this much I know is true: In the North, if he
venture forth on Woodchuck Day, he sees both sun and snow, so sleeps
again; in the South there is no snow that day, and he sleeps no more;
and in the land between, he sleeps in a cold winter, and in an open
winter rouses to live his life.

These things I have seen, and they fit with the story of Monapini, so
you see the little Rumour told me true.


[Illustration: How the Pine Tree Tells Its Own Story]

Things to Know


How the Pine Tree Tells Its Own Story

Suppose you are in the woods, and your woods in Canada, or the Northern
States; you would see at once two kinds of trees: Pines and Hardwoods.

Pines, or Evergreens, have leaves like needles, and are green all the
year round; they bear cones and have soft wood.

The Hardwoods, or Broadleaves, sometimes called Shedders, have broad
leaves that are shed in the fall; they bear nuts or berries and have
hard wood.

Remember this, every tree that grows has flowers and seeds; and the tree
can always be told by its seeds, that is, its fruit. If you find a tree
with cones on it, you know it belongs to the Pine family. If you find
one with broad leaves and nuts or berries, it belongs to the

Of these the Pines always seem to me more interesting.

       *       *       *       *       *

In September, 1002, I had a good chance to study Pine trees in the
mountains of Idaho. There was a small one that had to be cut down, so I
made careful drawings of it. It was fourteen years old, and across the
stump it showed one ring of wood for each year of growth, and a circle
of branches on the trunk for each year. Notice that between the
branches, the trunk did _not_ taper; it was an even cylinder, but got
suddenly smaller at each knot by the same amount of wood as was needed
by those branches for their wood.

If we begin in the centre of the stump, and at the bottom of the trunk,
we find that the little tree tells us its own story of its life and
troubles. Its first year, judging by the bottom section of the trunk
(No. 1) and by the inmost ring, was just ordinary. Next year according
to section 2 and ring 2, it had a fine season and grew nearly twice as
much as the first year. The third year the baby Pine had a very hard
time, and nearly died. Maybe it was a dry summer, so the little tree
grew only 2-1/2 inches higher while the ring of wood it added was no
thicker than a sheet of paper. Next year, the fourth, it did better. And
the next was about its best year, for it grew 7-1/2 inches higher, and
put on a fine fat ring of wood, as you see.

In its eleventh year, it had some new troubles; either the season was
dry, or the trees about too shady, or maybe disease attacked it. For it
grew but a poor shoot on the top, and the ring of wood on the stump is
about the thinnest of all.

Of course, a saw-cut along the second joint showed but thirteen rings,
and the third but twelve while one through the top joint, the one which
grew this year, showed but a single ring.

Thus the Pine tree has in itself a record of its whole life; and this is
easy to read when the tree is small; but in later life the lower limbs
disappear, and the only complete record is in the rings of growth that
show on the stump. These never fail to tell the truth.

Of course, you are not to go around cutting down trees merely to count
their rings and read their history, but you should look at the rings
whenever a new stump gives you a good chance. Then Hardwoods as well as
Pines will spread before you the chapters of their life; one ring for
each year that they have lived.



All hunters and Indians have signs to let their people know the way.
Some of these signs are on trees, and are called "Blazes." One of those
much used is a little piece of bark chipped off to show the white wood;
it means: "This is the way, or the place." Another sign is like an
arrow, and means: "Over there," or "Go in that direction." No matter
what language they speak, the blazes tell everyone alike. So a blaze is
a simple mark that tells us something without using words or letters,
and it depends on where it is placed for part of its meaning.

On the following page are some blazes used in our towns to-day. You will
find many more if you look, some in books; some on the adjoining page.



[Illustration: BLAZES.]

A Totem is a simple form used as the emblem or symbol of a man, a group
of men, an animal, or an idea; it does not use or refer to words or
letters, so it is the same in all languages. Unlike the blaze it does
not depend on its position for part of its meaning.

[Illustration: Some well known TOTEMS]

Among peoples that cannot read or write, each leading man had a Totem
that he used, instead of writing his name. He put this mark on his
property, and at length put it on his shield and armour to distinguish
him in battle. Out of this grew heraldry.

[Illustration: Indian Symbols]

Modern trade-marks are Totems though often spoiled by words or letters
added. The Totem continues in use because it is so easy to see a long
way off, and can be understood by all, no matter what their language.
Most of the great railway companies have a Totem and the use of such
things is increasing to-day.

Here in the drawing are some Totems seen daily in our towns. Doubtless
you can add to the number.



If you have thought much about it, O Guide! you will surely find that,
for decoration, it is better to use a beautiful symbol of anything,
rather than a good photograph of it. For the symbol lets the imagination
loose, and the other chains it to the ground; the one is the spirit, and
the other the corpse. These things you cannot tell to the little folks,
but you can prove them to yourself, and you will see why I wish to give
some symbols here for use.

There is another reason, one which you _can_ give to them. It is this:
Only the highly trained artist can make a good portrait drawing, while
the smallest child, if it sticks to symbols, is sure, in some degree, of
a pleasant success in its very first effort.

These that I give, are copied from Indian art, and whether in colour, in
raised modelling, or in black lines, can be used successfully to
decorate anything that you are likely to make.

[Illustration: Seventeen Gestures Currently Used in the Sign Language]


Sign Language

All men, especially wild men, and some animals have a language of signs.
That is, they talk to each other without making any sounds; using
instead, the movements of parts of the body. This is "eye talk," while
words are "ear talk."

Among the animals, horses bob their heads when they are hungry and paw
with a front foot when thirsty or eager to be off. Dogs wag their tails
when pleased, and cows shake their heads when angry.

Policemen, firemen, railway men, and others use signs because there is
too much noise to be heard. School children use signs because they are
not allowed to talk in school. Most children know the signs for "yes"
and "no," "come here," "go away," "hurry up," "you can't touch me,"
"hush!", "shame on you!", "up," "down," "word of honour," "swimming,"

The traffic policeman is using signs all day long. By a movement of the
hand he signals:--stop, go on, come here, hurry up, wait, turn around,
go by, stay back, over there, you look out, right here, and one or two

How many signs can you add to these two lists?


The Language of Hens

Yes; Hens talk somewhat as we do; only they haven't so many words, and
don't depend on them as we have to.

There are only ten words in ordinary hen-talk.

The _cluck, cluck_ of the mother means "Come along, kiddies."

The low _kawk_ of warning, usually for a hawk.

The _chuck, chuck_ of invitation means, "Good food."

The _tuk-ut-e-ah-tuk_ means, "Bless my soul, what is that?"

The _cut, cut, get your hair cut_, of a Hen that has just laid and is
feeling greatly relieved; no doubt, saying, "Thank goodness, that's
done!" or maybe it is a notice to her mate or friend that "Business is
over, let's have some fun. Where are you?"

The soft, long-drawn _tawk--tawk--tawk_, that is uttered as the Hen
strolls about, corresponds to the whistling of the small boy; that is,
it is a mere pastime, expressing freedom from fear or annoyance.

The long, harsh, _crauk, crauk_ of fear when captured.

The quick _clack, clack, clatter_ when springing up in fear of capture.

The _put, put_ of hunger.

And, of course, the _peep, peep_ of chickens and the
_cock-a-doodle-doo_, which is the song of the Rooster.

Some Hens may have more; but these given here are hen-talk for
mother-love, warning, invitation, surprise, exultation, cheerfulness,
fear, astonishment, and hunger. Not a bad beginning in the way of


Why the Squirrel Wears a Bushy Tail

"Oh, Mother, look at that Gray Squirrel!" shouted Billie. "What a
beautiful bushy tail he has!" Then, after a pause he added, "Mother,
what is its tail for? Why is it so big and fluffy? I know a 'Possum has
a tail to hang on a limb with, and a Fish can swim with his tail, but
why is a Gray Squirrel's tail so bushy and soft?"

Alas! Mother didn't know, and couldn't tell where to find out. It was
long after, that little Billie got the answer to his childish, but
really important question. The Alligator may use his tail as a club, the
Horse, his tail as a fly-flapper, the Porcupine his tail as a spiked
war-club, the 'Possum his as a hooked hanger, the Fox his as a muffler,
the Fish his as a paddle; but the Gray Squirrel's tail is a parachute, a
landeasy. I have seen a Gray Squirrel fall fifty feet to the ground, but
his tail was in good condition; he spread it to the utmost and it landed
him safely right side up.

I remember also a story of a Squirrel that lost his tail by an accident.
It didn't seem to matter much for a while. The stump healed up, and the
Squirrel was pert as ever; but one day he missed his hold in jumping,
and fell to the ground. Ordinarily, that would have been a small matter;
but without his tail he was jarred so severely that a dog, who saw him
fall, ran up and killed him before he could recover and climb a tree.


Why a Dog Wags His Tail

There is an old story that the Dog said to the Cat: "Cat, you are a
fool; you growl when you are pleased and wag your tail when you are
angry." Which happens to be true; and makes us ask: Why does a Dog wag
his tail to mean friendship?

The fact is, it is part of a wig-wag code, which is doubly interesting
now that all our boys are learning wig-wagging with a white flag. We
think that our army people invented this method; but Woodcraft men know

First, notice that any Dog that has any white on his body has at least a
little white on the end of his tail. This is well known; and the reason
is that the wild ancestor had a white brush on the end of his tail; a
white flag, indeed; and this was the flag of his signal code.

Suppose, then, that a wild Dog, prowling through the woods, sights some
other animal. Instantly he crouches; for it is good woodcraft to avoid
being seen and then watch from your hiding-place. As the stranger comes
near, the crouching Dog sees that it is one of his own kind, and that it
is needless to hide any longer; indeed, that it is impossible to remain
hidden. So the moment the stranger stops and looks at the crouching Dog,
the latter stands straight up on all fours, raises his tail up high, and
wags the white tip from side to side in the sign which means, "Let's be

Every Dog knows the sign, every Dog in every town does it yet; every boy
has seen it a thousand times. We flatter ourselves that we invented the
wig-wag code with our little white flag. Maybe so; but the Dog had it
long before we did.


Why the Dog Turns Around Three Times Before Lying Down

Yes, they all do it; the big St. Bernard, the foolish littlest lap Dog,
the ragged street Dog; give them bare boards, or a silken cushion, or
snow, three turns around and down they go.

Why? Not so hard to answer as some simple questions. Long, long ago, the
wild great-great-grandfather of the Dog--a yellow creature with black
hair sprinkled on his back, sharp ears, light spots over his eyes, and a
white tail-tip--used to live in the woods, or on the prairies. He did
not have a home to which he might return every time he wanted to rest
or sleep; so he camped wherever he found himself, on the plains, in a
thicket, or even in some hole in a rock; and he carried his bedclothes
on his back. But he always found it worth while to add a little comfort
by smoothing the grass, the leaves, the twigs, or the pebbles before
lying down; and the simplest way to do this was by curling up, and
turning round three times, with the body brushing the high grass or
pebbles into a comfortable shape for a bed.

Yes, and they all do it to-day just the same, big and little, which is
only one of the many proofs that they are descended from the same
wild-wood great-grandfather, and still remember his habits.


The Deathcup of Diablo

[Illustration: The Deathcup Toadstool]

The world went very well in those bright days of the long ago, when the
wedding of El Sol and Maka Ina set all living things rejoicing. Green
youth and sparkling happiness were everywhere. Only one there
was--Diablo--who found in it poor comfort. He had no pleasure in the
growing grass. The buttercups annoyed him with the gayness of their
gold. It was at this time he chewed their stalks, so that many ever
since have been flattened and mangled. And the cherry with its fragrant
bloom he breathed on with his poison breath, so its limbs were burnt and
blackened into horrid canker bumps. And poisonous froth he blew on the
sprouting rose leaves, so they blackened and withered away. The jewel
weed, friend of the humming birds, he trampled down, but it rose so many
times and so bravely, that he left the yellow dodder like an herb-worm,
or a root-born leech to suck its blood all summer long, and break it
down. Then to trail over the trunks of trees and suck their life, he
left the demon vine, the Poison Ivy with its touch of burning fire. He
put the Snapping Turtle in the beautiful lakes to destroy its harmless
creatures and the Yellow-eyed Whizz he sent, and the Witherbloom with
its breath of flame.

And last he made the Deathcup Toadstool, and sowed it in the woods.

He saw the Squirrels eating and storing up the sweet red russula. He saw
it furnish food to mice and deer, so he fashioned the Deathcup Amanita
to be like it; and scattered it wherever good mushrooms grew, a trap for
the unwary.

Tall and shapely is the Deathcup; beautiful to look upon and smelling
like a mushroom. But beware of it, a very little is enough, a morsel of
the cup; the next night or maybe a day later the poison pangs set in.
Too late perhaps for medicine to help, and Amanita, the Deathcup, the
child of Diablo, has claimed another victim.

How shall we know the deadly Amanita among its kindly cousins, the good
mushrooms? Wise men say by these:--The poison cup from which its
springs; the white kid collar on its neck; the white or yellow gills;
and the white spores that fall from its gills if the cup, without the
stem, be laid gills down on a black paper for an hour.

By these things we may know the wan Demon of the woods, but the wisest
Guides say to their tribe:--"Because death lurks in that shapely
mushroom, though there are a hundred good for food, they are much alike,
and safety bids you shun them; let them all alone."

So Diablo went on his way rejoicing because he had spoiled so much good
food for good folk.

This, the danger of the Deathcup, is the Seventh Secret of the Woods.

[Illustration: The Poison Ivy]


Poison Ivy or the Three-Fingered Demon of the Woods

You have been hearing about good fairies and good old Mother Carey and
Medicine in the Sky. Now I am going to warn you against the
three-fingered Demon, the wicked snakevine that basks on stone walls and
climbs up the tree trunk, and does more harm than all the other plants,
vines, trees, and bushes put together; for it is not like the Deathcup,
easy to see and easy to let alone.

This is the Poison Ivy. Does it not look poisonous as it crawls
snake-like up some trunk, sending suckers out into the tree to suck the
sap; and oozing all over its limbs with poison in tiny wicked little
drops? Sometimes it does not climb but crawls on the ground, but by this
ye may always know it: It has only three fingers on its hand; that is,
only three leaflets on each stalk.

The one thing that looks like it, is the Boston Ivy, but that does not
grow in the woods, and the Poison Ivy leaf always has the little bump
and bite out on the side of the leaf as you see in the drawing.

It is known and feared for its power to sting and blister the skin when
it is handled or even touched. The sting begins with an unpleasant
itching which gets worse, especially if rubbed, until it blisters and
breaks open with sores which are very hard to heal.

The cause of the sting is a blistering oil, which is found in tiny drops
on all parts of the leaf and branches; it is a fixed oil; that is, it
will not dry up, and as long as it is on the skin, it keeps on burning
and blistering, worse and worse.


And this is the cure for the sting of the Demon Vine:--

Anything that will dissolve and remove oil without injuring the skin:--

Hot water, as hot as you can stand it, is good; a little salt in it

Hot soapy water is good.

Hot water with washing soda is good.

A wash of alcohol is good.

But best of all is a wash of strong alcohol in which is a little sugar
of lead as an antiseptic.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Guide should remember that three persons out of five are immune from
Poison Ivy, while a few are so sensitive that they are poisoned by flies
carrying it to them on their feet. It can be easily cured if treated at
once; if neglected it often becomes very bad and may need the help of a

This is the Eighth Secret of the Woods.


The Medicine in the Sky

This is one of the greatest and best secrets of Woodcraft--The Medicine
in the Sky.

Let me tell you a story about it. There was once an Indian who left his
own people, to live with the white man, in the East. But the Great
Spirit was displeased, for he did not mean the Indian to live in houses
or cities. After a year, the red man came back very thin and sick,
coughing nearly all night, instead of sleeping. He believed himself

The wise old Medicine Man of his tribe said, "You need the Medicine of
the Sky." He took it and got quite well and strong.

Another Indian, who had gone to visit with a distant tribe of red men,
came back with some sickness on his skin that made it very sore. It was
far worse than Poison Ivy, for it began to eat into his flesh. The
Medicine Man said, "Sky Medicine will cure you." And it did.

One day a white man, a trader, came with chest protectors to sell to the
Indians. He was sure they needed them, because he did; and, although so
well wrapped up, he was always cold. He suffered whenever the wind blew.
The old Medicine Man said, "We don't need your chest pads, and you would
not if you took the Sky Medicine." So the trader tried it, and by and
by, to his surprise and joy, no matter whether it was hot or cold
outdoors, he was comfortable.

This man had a friend who was a learned professor in a college, and he
told him about the great thing he had learned from the old Indian. The
professor was not old, but he was very sick and feeble in body. He could
not sleep nights. His hair was falling out, and his mind filled with
gloomy thoughts. The whole world seemed dark to him. He knew it was a
kind of disease, and he went away out West to see his friend. Then he
met the Medicine Man and said to him, "Can you help me?"

The wise old Indian said, "Oh, white man, where do you spend your days?"

"I spend them at my desk, in my study, or in the classroom."

"Yes, and your nights?"

"In my study among my books."

"And where do you sleep?"

"I don't sleep much, though I have a comfortable bed."

"In the house?"

"Yes, of course."

"Listen, then, O foolish white man. The Great Spirit set Big Medicine in
the sky to cure our ills. And you hide from it day and night. What do
you expect but evil? This do and be saved. Take the Sky Medicine in
measure of your strength."

He did so and it saved him. His strength came back. His cheeks grew
ruddy, his hands grew steady, his hair ceased falling out, he slept like
a baby. He was happy.

Now what is the Sky Medicine? It is the glorious sunlight, that cures so
many human ills. We ask every Woodcrafter to hold on to its blessings.

       *       *       *       *       *

And in this wise, O Guide, you must give it to the little ones. Make it
an honourable exploit to be sunburnt to the elbows without blistering;
another to be sunburnt to the shoulders; another to the waist; and
greatest of all, when sunburnt all over. How are they to get this? Let
them go to some quiet place for the last, and let the glory fall on
their naked bodies, for ten minutes each day. Some more, and some less,
according to their strength, and this is the measure--so long as it is
pleasant, it is good.

In this way they will inherit one of the good things of the woods and be
strong and hardened, for there is no greater medicine than the Sun in
the sky.


The Angel of the Night

O Guide of the young Tribe! Know you the Twelfth Secret of the Woods?
Know you what walked around your tent on that thirtieth night of your
camp out? No! I think you knew, if you continued for thirty nights, but
you knew not that you knew. These things, then, you should have in
heart, and give to those you are leading.

The Great Spirit does not put out good air in the daytime and poison air
at night. It is the same pure air at night, only cooler. Therefore use
more clothing while you sleep. But while the outdoor air is pure, the
indoor may be foul. Therefore sleep out of doors, and you will learn the
blessedness of the night, and the night air, with its cooling kindly
influence laden.

Those who come here to our Camp from life in town and sleeping in close
rooms, are unaccustomed, and nervous it may be, so that they sleep
little at first. But each night brings its balm of rest. Strength comes.
Some know it in a week. The town-worn and nerve-weary find it at
farthest in half a moon. And in one full moon be sure of this, when the
night comes down you will find the blessed balm that the Great Spirit
meant for all of us. You will sleep, a calm sweet vitalizing sleep.

You will know this the twelfth secret of the woods: What walked around
your tent that thirtieth night? You know not, you heard nothing, for you
slept. Yet when the morning comes you feel and know that round your
couch, with wings and hands upraised in blessed soothing influence,
there passed the Angel of the Night, with healing under her wings, and
peace. You saw her not, you heard her not, but the sweet healing of her
presence will be with you for many after moons.


[C] The Guide will note that there are rare exceptions to these rules.

[D] The Guide will remember that Totemism and Tabuism were ideas which
grew up long after the use of Totems began.


[Illustration: Nests of Kingbird, Oriole, Vireo, Robin, Goldfinch,
Phoebe (1/4 life size)]

Things to Do


Bird-nesting in Winter

What good are old bird-nests? These are some of the ends they serve. A
Deermouse seeking the safety of a bramble thicket and a warm house, will
make his own nest in the forsaken home of a Cat-bird. A Gray Squirrel
will roof over the open nest of a Crow or Hawk and so make it a castle
in the air for himself. But one of the strangest uses is this: The
Solitary Sandpiper is a bird that cannot build a tree nest for itself
and yet loves to give to its eggs the safety of a high place; so it lays
in the old nest of a Robin, or other tree bird, and there its young are
hatched. But this is only in the Far North. There are plenty of old
bird-nests left for other uses, and for you.

Bird-nesting in summer is wicked, cruel, and against the law. But
bird-nesting in winter is good fun and harms no one, if we take only the
little nests that are built in forked twigs, or on rock ledges. For most
little birds prefer to make a new nest for themselves each season.

If you get: A Goldfinch, floss nest;

A Phoebe, moss nest;

A Robin, mud nest;

A Vireo, good nest;

A Kingbird, rag nest;

An Oriole, bag nest;

you have six different kinds of beautiful nests that are easily kept
for the museum, and you do no harm in taking them.


The Ox-eye Daisy or Marguerite

[Illustration: The Ox-eye Daisy or Marguerite]

Do you know that "Daisy" means "day's eye," because the old country
Daisy opens its eyes when day comes, and shuts them every night. But our
Daisy is different and much bigger, so we have got into the way of
calling it "Ox-eye." Some of our young people call it "Love-me;
love-me-not," because they think it can tell if one is loved. They pull
out the white rays of the flower one by one, saying, "He loves me; he
loves me not; he loves me; he loves me not." Then what they are saying
as the last is pulled, settles the question. If the Daisy says "He loves
me," they take a second Daisy and ask the next question, "Will he marry
me?" Then, pulling the rays as before, "This year, next year, some time,
never." And in this way they learn all that the Daisies know about these
important matters.

We call it "our Daisy," but it is not a true native of America. Its home
is Europe. The settlers of New England, missing the flower of their
homeland, brought it over and planted it in their gardens. It spread
widely in the North; but it did not reach the South until the time of
the Civil War, when it is said to have gone in with the hay for
Sherman's Army, to become a troublesome weed in the fields.

       *       *       *       *       *

This scrap of history is recorded in a popular ballad.

        There's a story told in Georgia
          'Tis in everybody's mouth,
        That 'twas old Tecumseh Sherman
          Brought the Daisy to the South.
        Ne'er that little blossom stranger
          In our land was known to be,
        Till he marched his blue-coat army
          From Atlanta to the sea.

[Illustration: The Monkeys in the Tree Tops]


A Monkey-hunt

We all love to go a-hunting; every one of us in some way; and it is only
the dislike of cruelty and destruction that keeps most of us from
hunting animals continually, as our forebears did.

Some of my best days were spent in hunting. The Arabs say, "Allah
reckons not against a man's allotted span the days he spends in the

I hope that I may help many of you to go a-hunting, and to get the good
things of it, with the bad things left out.

Come! Now it is the spring of the year, and just the right time for a
Monkey-hunt. We are going prowling along the brookside where we are
pretty sure of finding our game. "See, there is a Monkey tree and it is
full of the big Monkeys!"

"What! That pussy-willow?"

Yes, you think they are only pussy-willows, but wait until you see. We
shall take home a band of the Monkeys, tree and all, and you will learn
that a pussy-willow is only a baby Monkey half done.

Now let us get a branch of live elderberry and one or two limbs of the
low red sumac. It is best to use sumac because it is the only handy wood
that one can easily stick a pin through, or cut. The pieces should be
five or six inches long and about half an inch to an inch thick. They
should have as many odd features as possible, knots, bumps, fungus,
moss, etc.; all of which add interest to the picture.

To these we must add a lot of odd bits of dry cane, dry grasses, old
flower-stalks, moss, and gravel, etc., to use for background and
foreground in the little jungle we are to make for our Monkeys to play
in. It is delightful to find the new interest that all sorts of queer
weeds take on, when we view them as canes or palms for our little

Now with the spoils of our hunt, let us go home and preserve the

Cut off about three inches of the elderberry wood and have it clear of
knots; cut a flat ended ramrod so as just to fit the bore, and force out
the pith with one clean sharp push: or else whittle away the surrounding
wood. The latter way gives a better quality of pith.

Now take a piece of the pith about one-third the size of a big
pussy-willow, use a very sharp knife and you will find it easy to
whittle it into a Monkey's head about the shape of "a" and "b."

Use a very sharp-pointed, soft black pencil to make the eyes, nose, the
line for the mouth and the shape of the ears; or else wait till the pith
is _quite dry_, then use a fine pen with ink.

If you are skilful with the knife you may cut the ears so that they hang
as in "d."

Stick an ordinary pin right down through the crown of the head into a
big pussy-willow that will serve as a body (e). If you glue the head on
it is harder to do, but it keeps the body from being mussed up. Cut two
arms of the pith (ff) and two feet (gg), drawing the lines for the
fingers and toes, with the sharp black pencil, or else ink as before.

Cut a long, straight pointed piece of pith for a tail, dip it in boiling
water, then bend it to the right shape "h."

Cut a branch of the sumac so that it is about four inches high, and of
the style for a tree; nail this on a block of wood to make it stand.
Sometimes it is easier to bore a hole in the stand and wedge the branch
into that.

Set the Monkey on the limb by driving the pin into it as at "i," or else
glueing it on; and glue on the limbs and tail. Sometimes a little wad
of willow-down on the Monkey's crown is a great help. It hides the pin.

Now set this away for the glue to harden.

Meanwhile take an ordinary cigar box about two inches deep, line it with
white paper pasted in; or else paint it with water colour in Chinese
white. Colour the upper part sky colour; the lower, shaded into green,
getting very dark on the bottom. Lay a piece of glass or else a scrap of
an old motor-car window-isinglass on the bottom, and set in a couple of
tacks alongside to hold it; this is for a pool.

Make a mixture of liquid glue, one part; water, five parts; then stir in
enough old plaster of Paris, whitening, or even fine loam to make a soft
paste. Build banks of this paste around the pool and higher toward the
back sides. Stick the tree, with its stand and its Monkeys, in this, to
one side; dust powder or rotten wood over the ground to hide its
whiteness; or paint it with water colours.

Use all the various dry grasses, etc., to form a jungle; sticking them
in the paste, or glueing them on.

And your jungle with its Monkeys is complete.

       *       *       *       *       *

Many other things may be used for Monkeys. I have seen good ones made of
peanuts, with the features inked on, and a very young black birch catkin
for tail. Beautiful birds also can be made by using a pith body and
bright feathers or silks glued on for plumes. The pith itself is easily
coloured with water colours.

You will be delighted to see what beautiful effects you can get by use
of these simple wild materials, helped with a little imagination.

And the end of the Monkey-hunt will be that you have learned a new kind
of hunting, with nothing but pleasant memories in it, and trophies to
show for proof.

[Illustration: The Horsetail and the Jungle]


The Horsetail and the Jungle

Long, long ago, millions of years ago, this world was much hotter than
it is now. Yes, in mid-winter it was hotter than it is now in
mid-summer. Over all Pennsylvania there were huge forests of things that
looked a little like palms, but some looked like pipes with joints, and
had wheels of branches or limb wheels at every joint. They were as tall
as some palms, and grew in swamps.

When one of those big joint-wheels fell over, it sank into the mud and
was forgotten. So at last the swamp was filled up solid with their

Then for some unknown reason all the big joint-trees died, and the sand,
mud, and gravel levelled off the swamp. There they lay, and slowly
become blacker and harder under the mud, until they turned into coal.

That is what we burn to-day, the trunks of the wheel-jointed swamp
trees. But their youngest great-grandchild is still with us, and shows,
in its small way, what its great ancestors were like.

You will find it along some railway bank, or in any damp woods. Country
people who know it, call it Joint Grass or Horsetails; the books call it
Equisetum. The drawing will show you what to look for.

Gather a handful and take them home. Then get some of the moss known as
ground-pine, a small piece of glass (the Guide should see that the edges
of the glass are well rubbed with a stone, to prevent cutting the
fingers), a cigar box, and white paste or putty, as in the Monkey-hunt.

Make a pool with the glass, and banks around it of the paste. Now cover
these banks with the ground pine; using a little glue on the under side
of each piece, but leave an open space without moss at the back, near
the pool. Take a pointed stick and make holes through the moss into the
clay or putty, and in each hole put one of the Horsetails, cutting it
off with scissors if too tall for the top, till you have a thicket of
these stems on each side; only make more on one side than on the other.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now for the grand finish. You must make an extinct monster. Get half a
walnut shell; cut a notch at one end where the neck will be; fill the
shell with putty; stick in wooden pegs for legs, tail, and head. The
central stalk of a tulip-tree fruit makes a wonderful sculptured tail;
the unopened buds of dogwood do for legs, also cloves have been used.
Any nobby stick serves for head if you make eyes and teeth on it.

When dry this makes a good extinct monster. Set it on the far bank of
the water, and you have a jungle, the old Pennsylvania jungle of the
days when the coal was packed away.


The Woods in Winter

Go out to the nearest chestnut tree, and get half a small burr; trim it
neatly. Fill it with putty; set four wooden pegs in this for legs, a
large peg for a head and a long thin one for a tail. On the head put two
little black pins for eyes. Now rub glue on the wooden pegs and sprinkle
them with powdered rotten wood, or fine sand, and you have a Burr
Porcupine. Sometimes carpet tacks are used for legs. You will have to
wear strong leather gloves in making this, it is so much like a real

Now go into your woods and get a handful of common red cedar twigs with
leaves on, or other picturesque branches, some creeping moss of the
kind used by flower dealers to pack plants, various dried grasses, and a
few flat or sharp-cornered pebbles. Take these home. Get a cigar box or
a candy-box, some paper, clay or putty and glass, as already described
for the Monkey-hunt. Make a pond with the glass and a bank with the clay
and pebbles. Paint the top of the clay, and tops of the pebbles with the
thin glue, and also part of the glass; then sprinkle all with powdered
chalk, whitening, plaster of Paris or talcum powder for snow. Put the
Porcupine in the middle, and you have the "Woods in Winter."


The Fish and the Pond

[Illustration: The Fish and the Pond--and the Cone]

Go out and get the cone of a Norway Spruce tree, or a White Spruce; this
is the body of your Fish. Cut two round spots of white paper for eyes,
glue them on, and when dry, put a black ink spot in the middle of each.
Add a curved piece of paper on each side for gills. Then with an awl or
with the point of the scissors make holes in the sides, in which put
fins cut out of brown paper, fixing them in with glue. Then, with the
knife blade, make a long cut in the back, and split the tail, and in
each cut glue a thick piece of brown paper cut fin shape. When dry, draw
lines on these with ink. Now you have a good Fish.

For the pond, take a cigar-box, paint the lower quarter of it dark
green, and the upper part shaded into light blue, for sky. Glue a piece
of glass or else carwindow celluloid level across this near the bottom.
This is for water. Hide all the back and side edges of the glass with
clay banks as described in the Monkey-hunt, or with moss glued on. Put a
fine black thread to the Fish's back, another to his tail, and hang
him level above the water by fastening the threads to the top of the
box. Label it "Pond Life" or the "Fish at Home."


Smoke Prints of Leaves

[Illustration: Smoke Prints of Leaves]

Collect one or two leaves that have strongly marked ribs; elm and
raspberry are good ones. Take a piece of paper that is strong, but
rather soft, and about as big as this page. Grease, or oil it all over
with paint-oil, butter, or lard. Then hold it, grease-side down, in the
smoke of a candle, close to the flame, moving it about quickly so that
the paper won't burn, until it is everywhere black with soot.

Lay the paper flat on a table, soot-side up, on a piece of blotting
paper. Lay the leaf on this; then, over that, a sheet of paper. Press
this down over all the leaf. Lift the leaf and lay it on a piece of
soft, white paper; press it down as before, with a paper over it, on
which you rub with one hand while the other keeps it from slipping; lift
the leaf, and on the lower paper you will find a beautiful line-drawing
of the leaf, done in black ink; which, once it is dry, will never rub
out or fade away.

At one corner write down the date and the name of the leaf.



[Illustration: Bird-boxes]

You can win honours in Woodcraft if you make a successful bird-box. That
is one made by yourself, and used by some bird to raise its brood in.

There are three kinds of birds that are very ready to use the nesting
places you make. These are the Robin, Wren, and Phoebe. But each
bird wants its own kind exactly right, or will not use it.

First the Robin wants a shelf, as in the picture. It should be hung
against a tree or a building, about ten feet up, and not much exposed to
the wind. It should also be in a shady place or at least not where it
gets much sun.

The nails sticking up on the floor are to hold the nest so the wind will
not blow it away. The Phoebe-shelf is much the same only smaller.

The Wren-box should be about four or five inches wide and six inches
high inside, with a hole exactly seven eighths inch wide. If any bigger,
the Wren does not like it so well, and other birds may drive the Wren
away. Many Wren-boxes are made of tomato tins, but these are hard to cut
a hole in. The Wren-box should be hung where the sun never shines on it
all summer, as that would make it too hot inside.


A Hunter's Lamp

[Illustration: A Hunter's Lamp]

In the old pioneer days, every hunter used to make himself a lamp, for
it was much easier to make than a candle. It is a good stunt in
Woodcraft to make one. Each woodcrafter should have one of his own
handiwork. There are four things needed in it: The bowl, the wick, the
wick-holder and some fat, grease, or oil.

For the bowl a big clam shell does well.

For wick a strip of cotton rag rolled into a cord as thick as a slate
pencil, and about two inches long; a cotton cord will do, or perhaps the
fibrous bark of milkweed or other native stuff is the truly woodcraft

For wick-holder get a piece of brick, stone, or a small clam shell about
as big as a half dollar. Bore a hole through the middle to hold the
wick. It is not easy to get the hole through without splitting the
stone, but sometimes one can find a flat pebble already bored. Sometimes
one can make a disc of clay with a hole in it, then burn this hard in a
fierce fire, but the most primitive way is to rub the bump of a small
clam shell on a flat stone till it is worn through.

For oil use the fat, grease, lard, or butter of any animal, if it is
fresh, that is without salt in it.

Fill the bowl with the grease, soak the wick in grease and set it in the
holder so that half an inch sticks up; the rest is in the grease. The
holder rests on the bottom of the bowl.

Light the end that sticks up. It will burn with a clear, steady light
till all the oil is used up.

To have made a lamp that will burn for half an hour is counted an
"honour" in Woodcraft, and may win you a badge if you belong to a
Woodcraft Tribe.


The Coon Hunt

Take a little bundle of white rags, or paper, as large as a walnut; call
this the "Coon." While all the young folks hide their eyes or go out of
the room, the Guide puts the Coon on some place, high or low, but in
plain view; then, going away from it, shouts "Coon!"

Now the young scouts have to find that Coon, each looking about for
himself. As soon as one sees it, he says nothing, but sits down. Each
must find it for himself, then sit down silently, until all are down.
Last down is the "booby"; first down is the winner; and the winner has
the right to place the Coon the second time, if the Guide does not wish
to do it.

This is often played indoors and sometimes a thimble is used for the


The Indian Pot

This is something everyone can make, no matter how young, and each,
including the Guide, should make one.

Get a lump of good stiff clay; yellow is better than blue, only because
it is a better colour when finished.

Work the clay up with water till soft, pick out all stones, lumps, and
straws. Then roll it out like a pancake; use a knife to cut this into
laces a foot long and about as thick as a pencil.

Dip your fingers in water, take one of these laces and coil it round and
round as in "a," soldering it together with water rubbed on and into the
joints. Keep on adding, shaping and rubbing, till you have a saucer
about three inches across and a quarter of an inch thick. Put this away
in some shady place to set, or harden a little; otherwise it would fall
down of its own weight.

After about an hour, wet the rim, and build up on that round and round
with laces as before, until you have turned the saucer into a cup, about
four inches across, and, maybe three inches high. Set this away to
stiffen. Then finish the shape, by adding more coils, and drawing it in
a little. When this has stiffened, make a "slip" or cream of clay and
water, rub this all over the pot inside and out; use your fingers and a
knife to make it smooth and even. When this is done, use a sharp point,
and draw on the pot any of the Indian designs show in the sketches,
using lines and dots for the shading.

[Illustration: The Indian Pot]

Now set the pot in some shady place to dry. High above the stove in the
kitchen is a good place, so long as it is not too near the stove-pipe.
After one day bring it nearer the heat. Then about the second day, put
it in the oven. Last of all, and this is the hardest part to do, let
the Guide put the bone-dry pot right into the fire, deep down into the
red coals at night, and leave it there till next day. In the morning
when the fire is dead, the pot should be carefully lifted out, and, if
all is well, it will be of hard ringing red terra cotta.

The final firing is always the hardest thing to do, because the pots are
so easily cracked. If they be drawn out of the fire while they are yet
hot, the sudden touch of cold air usually breaks them into pieces.

Now remember, O Guide! A pot is made of the earth, and holds the things
that come out of the earth to make life, that feed us and keep us. So on
it, you should draw the symbols that stand for these things. At the foot
of preceding page you see some of them.


Snowflakes, the Sixfold Gems of Snowroba

[Illustration: Snowflakes]

You have heard of the lovely Snowroba, white calm beautiful Snowroba,
the daughter of King Jackfrost the Winter King, whose sad history was
told in the first Tale. You remember how her robe was trimmed with white
lace and crystal gems, each gem with six points and six facets and six
angles, for that is one of the strange laws of the white Kingdom, the
sixfold rule of gems. I did not give a good portrait of the White
Princess, but I can show you how to make the Jewels which sparkled on
her robe.

Take a square of thin white paper three or four inches wide (a). Fold it
across (b), and again, until it is a square (c), half as wide as "a."
Mark on it the lines as in "d," and fold it in three equal parts as in
"e." Now with pencil draw the heavy black lines as in "f, g, h." Cut
along these lines with scissors, open out the central piece, and you
have your snow-gems as on facing page.

You can see for yourself that these are true to the gem-law of the White
Kingdom, if, when next the snow comes down, you look for the biggest
flakes as they lie on some dark surface. You will find many patterns all
of them beautiful, and all of them fashioned in accordance with the law.

Are You Alive?

Little boy or girl, are you all alive? Just as alive as an Indian? Can
you see like a hawk, feel like a blind man, hear like an owl? Are you
quick as a cat? You do not know! Well, let us find out in the next eight
tales. In these tests 100 is kept in view as a perfect score in each
department, although it is possible in some cases to go over that.



1. Hold up a page of this book, and see how far off you can read it. If
at 60 inches, measured with a tapeline from your eye to the book, then
your eye number is 60, which is remarkably good. Very few get as high as

2. Now go out at night and see how many Pleiades you can count; see Tale
52. If you see a mere haze, your star number is 0; if you see 4 little
pin points in the haze, your number is 8; if you see 6, your number is
12. If you see 7 your number is 14; and you will not get beyond that.

3. Now look for the Pappoose on the Squaw's back, as in Tale 50. If you
do not see it, you score nothing. If you can see it, and prove that you
see it, your number is 14 more.

Now add up these, thus: 60 plus 14 plus 14; this gives 88 as your
_farsight_ number. Anything over 60 means you can see like a hawk.



Take two boards, cards or papers, each about half a foot square; divide
them with black lines into 25 squares each, i. e. 5 each way; get 6 nuts
and 4 pebbles, or 6 pennies and 4 beans; or any other set of two things
differing in size and shape.

Let the one to be tested turn his back, while the Guide places 3 nuts
and 2 pebbles on one of the boards, in any pattern he pleases, except
that there must be only one on a square.

Now, let the player see them for 5 seconds by the watch; then cover it

From memory, the player must place the other 3 nuts and 2 pebbles on the
other board, in exactly the same pattern. Counting one for every one
that was right. Note that a piece exactly on the line does not count;
but one chiefly in a square is reckoned to be in that square.

Do this 4 times. Then multiply the total result by 5. This gives his
_quicksight_ number, to be added to his _aliveness_ score.



Can you hear like an owl? An owl can find his prey by hearing after
dark. His ears are wonderful. Let us try if yours are.

1. _Watch-test._ First, you must be blindfolded, and in some perfectly
quiet place indoors. Now have the Guide hold a man's watch (open if
hunting-cased), near your head; if you can hear it at 40 inches,
measured on a tapeline, and prove that you do, by telling exactly where
it is, in several tries, your hearing number is 40, which is high. If at
20 inches, it is low (20 pts.); if at 60 inches (60 pts.), it is
remarkable. Anything over 50 points means you can hear like an owl. In
this you go by your best ear.

2. _Pindrop-test._ Sometimes it is difficult to get a good watch-test.
Then the trial may be made with an ordinary, silvered brass stick-pin,
1-1/8 inches long, with small head. Lay the pin on a block of wood that
is exactly half an inch thick. Set this on a smooth polished board, or
table top of hardwood, not more than an inch thick, and with open space
under it. Set it away from the edge of the table so as to be clear of
the frame and legs. After the warning "ready," let the Guide tip the
block of wood, so the pin drops from the block to the table top (half an
inch). If you hear it at 35 feet in a perfectly still room, your hearing
is normal, and your hearing number is 35. If 20 feet is your farthest
limit of hearing it, your number is 20, which is low. If you can hear it
at 70 feet, your number is 70, which is remarkable.

You can use either the watch-test or the pin-test. If you use both, you
add the totals together, and divide by 2, to get your _hearing_ number.



1. Have you got wise fingers like a blind man?

Put 10 nickels, 10 coppers and 10 dimes in a hat or in one hand if you
like. Then, while blindfolded, separate them into three separate piles,
all of each kind in a separate pile, within 2 minutes. If it takes you
the full 2 minutes (120 seconds), you are slow, and your feel number is
0. If you do it without a mistake in 1 minute and 20 seconds, your feel
number is 40, one point for each second you are less than 2 minutes. But
you must take off 3 points for every one wrongly placed, so 3 wrongly
placed would reduce your 40 to 31. I have known some little boys on the
East Side of New York to do it in 50 seconds without a mistake, so their
feel-number by coins was 70. That is, 120 seconds minus 50 seconds
equals 70. This is the best so far.

2. Now get a quart of corn or beans. Then when blindfolded, and using
but one hand, lay out the corn or beans in "threes"; that is, three at a
time laid on the table for 2 minutes. The Guide may move the piles aside
as they are made. Then stop and count all that are exactly three in a
pile (those with more or less do not count at all). If there are 40
piles with 3 in each, 40 is your number, by corn.

3. The last test is: Can you lace your shoes in the dark, or
blind-folded, finishing with a neat double bow knot?

Arrange it so your two shoes together have a total of at least 20 holes
or hooks to be used in the test, i. e., which do not have the lace in
them when you begin. Allow 1 point for each hole or hook, i. e., 20
points, finish the lacing in 2 minutes, in any case stop when the 2
minutes is up; then take off 2 points for each one that is wrongly
laced, or not laced. Thus: Supposing 4 are wrong, take off 4 times 2
from 20, and your blindfold lacing number is 12; if the number wrong was
10 or more, your lacing number is 0; if you had 3 wrong, your number is

Suppose by these three tests--coins, corn, and laces--you scored 40,
30, and 14; add these together and they give your _feel_ number; 84.



Put down 12 potatoes (or other round things) in a row, each one exactly
6 feet from the last, and the last 12 feet from a box with a hole in it,
just large enough to take in one potato. Now at the word "go," run and
get the first potato, put it through the hole into the box; then get the
second, bring it to the box, and so on, one at each trip. After one
minute, stop. Now multiply the number of potatoes in the box by 10, and
you have your _quickness_ number. If you have 8 in the box, you score 80
points, you are as quick as a cat. Very few get over 80. No one so far
has made 100 points.


Guessing Length

Take two common nails, or other thin bits of metal, and lay them on a
table or board, at what you guess to be exactly one yard (36 inches)
apart. Then let the Guide lay the tape-line on it, and, allowing 20
points for exactly right, take off 1 point for each half inch you are
wrong, over or under. Do not count quarter inches, but go by the nearest
half-inch mark. Do this 5 times, add up the totals, that will give your
_guessing-length_ number.

Thus, if your first guess turns out to be 37 inches, that is, 2
half-inches too much, 2 from 20 gives 18 points. Your next guess was 34
inches, that is 4 half-inches too little, 4 from 20 gives 16 points.
Your next guess gave 12 points, your next 17, and your last 19. The
total, 18 plus 16 plus 12 plus 17 plus 19, equals your number of
_guessing length_ or 82.


Aim or Limb-control

Take 25 medium-sized potatoes, and set up a bucket or bag whose mouth is
round and exactly one foot across. Draw a line exactly 10 feet from the
bucket or bag. Toe that line, and throw the potatoes, one by one, into
the bag. Those that go in, then bounce out, are counted as in. Do it
four times, then add up all the four totals of those that went in; that
gives your _aim_ or _control_ number.

For example, suppose that in the 4 tries you got 10 in the first time,
15 in the second, 20 in the third, 19 in the fourth. Add these together,
it gives your arm-control or _aim_ number as 64.

Now add up all these high numbers:

        Farsight                   88
        Quicksight                 50
        Hearing                    50
        Feeling                    84
        Quickness                  80
        Guessing Length            82
        Aim                        64

        Your aliveness number is  498

But very few can score so high. If you can score 400 you are surely
alive; you can see like a hawk, you can take in at a glance, you can
hear like an owl, you can feel like a blind man, you are quick as a cat,
you are a good judge of size, and you can aim true; That is, you are as
_alive as an Indian_.


A Treasure Hunt

Make 24 little white sticks, each about three inches long, and as thick
as a pencil. They are easy to make of willow shoots, after the bark is
peeled off. While the young folk hide their eyes, the Guide walks off in
the woods, ties a white rag on a tall stake or limb, for the point of
beginning. Then, one step apart and in a very crooked line, sets each of
the little white sticks in the ground, standing straight up. Under the
last stick should be buried the treasure; usually a stick of chocolate.
This the players are to find by following the sticks.

When the young folk get used to it, the line should be longer, the
sticks farther apart, and the last one may be ten steps from the last
but one.

When they are well trained at it, scraps of paper, white beans, corn, or
even chalk marks on trees, instead of sticks, will serve for trail; and
still later holes prodded in the ground with a sharp pointed cane will

This game can be played in the snow; in which case, the track of the
Guide, when he hides the treasure, takes the place of the sticks.

Finally it makes a good game for indoors on a rainy day. In which case
we use buttons, corn, or scraps of white cotton for trail sticks. Of
course the trail now should be upstairs and down, and as long and
crooked as possible.


Moving Pictures

One of the best developers of imagination is the Moving Picture.
Sometimes called Pantomime, or Dumb-show which means all signs without

The one who is to put on the "movie" is given a subject and must then
stand out on the stage or Council Ring, and carry all the story to the
spectators, without using any sound and with as few accessories as

The "print between the reels" is supplied by the Guide who simply
announces what is needed to explain.

The following subjects have been used successfully (unless otherwise
stated they are for one actor each):

    Miss Muffet and the Spider--the well-known
      Nursery Rhyme
    Old Mother Hubbard
    Little Jack Horner
    Mary and her Little Lamb
    Red Ridinghood--walk through the woods,
      meeting the wolf, etc.
    Robinson Crusoe--finding the track of a man
      in the sand
    A Barber Shop--shaving a customer (two actors)
    The Man's First Speech at a Dinner
    The Politician who was rotten-egged after vainly
      trying to control a meeting
    Joyride in a Ford Car--ending in a bad upset
      (two actors)
    The Operation--a scene in a hospital following
      the accident (two or more)
    The Professor of Hypnotism and His Subject (two actors)
    The Man who Found a Hair in His Soup
    The Young Lady Finds a Purse, on opening it a mouse
      jumps out and she remembers that it is 1st of April
    A Young Man Telephoning to His Best Girl
    A Man Meeting and Killing a Rattlesnake
    Lighting a Lamp
    Drawing a Cork
    Looking for a Lost Coin--finding it in one pocket or
    A Musician Playing His Own Composition
    The Sleeping Beauty and the Prince (two actors)
    Goldilocks and the Three Bears
    William Tell and the Apple (best rendered in caricature
      with a pumpkin and two actors)
    Eliza Crossing the Ice
    The Kaiser Signing His Abdication
    The Judgment of Solomon (three actors)
    Brutus Condemning His Two Sons to Death.


A Natural Autograph Album

If you live in the country, I can show you an old Woodcraft trick. Look
for a hollow tree. Sometimes you can pick one out afar, by the dead top,
and sometimes by noting a tree that had lost one of the biggest limbs
years ago. In any case, basswoods, old oaks and chestnuts are apt to be
hollow; while hickories and elms are seldom so, for once they yield to
decay at all, they go down.

Remember that every hollow tree is a tenement house of the woods. It may
be the home of a score of different families. Some of these, like Birds
and Bats, are hard to observe, except at nesting time. But the fourfoots
are easier to get at. For them, we will arrange a visitors' book at the
foot of the tree, so that every little creature in fur will write his
name, and some passing thought, as he comes to the tree.


Oh, it is simple; I have often done it. First clear and level the ground
around the tree for three or four feet; then cover it with a coat of
dust, ashes, or sand--whichever is easiest to get; rake and brush it
smooth; then wait over one night.

Next morning--most quadrupeds are night-walkers--come back; and you
will find that every creature on four feet that went to the tree
tenement-house has left us its trail; that is its track or trace.

No two animals make the same trail, so that every Squirrel that climbed,
every 'Coon or 'Possum, every Tree-mouse, and every Cottontail that went
by, has clearly put himself on record without meaning to do so; and we
who study Woodcraft can read the record, and tell just who passed by in
the night.


The Crooked Stick

Once upon a time there was a girl who was very anxious to know what sort
of a husband she should get; so, of course, she went to the old

The witch asked a few questions, then said to the girl: "You walk
straight through that woods, turn neither to right nor left, and never
turn back an inch, and pick me out a straight stick, the straighter the
better; but pick only one, and bring it back."

So the girl set out. Soon she saw a fine-looking stick close at hand;
but it had a slight blemish near one end, so she said: "No; I can do
better than that." Then she saw another that was perfect but for a
little curve in the middle, so she passed it by.

Thus she went, seeing many that were nearly perfect; but walking on,
seeking one better, till she was quite through the woods. Then she
realized her chances were nearly gone; so she had to take the only stick
she could find, a very crooked one indeed, and brought it to the witch,
saying that she "could have got a much better one had she been more
easily satisfied at the beginning."

The witch took the stick, waved it at the girl and said: "then this is
your fortune; _through the woods and through the woods and out with a
crooked stick_. If you were less hard to please, you would have better
luck; but you will pass many a good man by, and come out with a crooked

       *       *       *       *       *

Maybe some of our Woodcraft girls can find an initiation in this. Put it
just as the witch did it, but let it be considered a success if the
stick is two feet long and nowhere half an inch out of true line. Let me
add a Woodcraft proverb which should also have its mead of comfort--The
Great Spirit can draw a straight line with a crooked stick.


The Animal Dance of Nana-bo-jou

For this we need a Nana-bo-jou; that is, a grown-up who can drum and
sing. He has a drum and drumstick, and a straw or paper club; also two
goblins, these are good-sized boys or girls wearing ugly masks, or at
least black hoods with two eyeholes, made as hideous as possible; and
any number of children, from three or four up, for animals. If each has
the marks, colours, etc., of some bird or beast, so much the better.

First, Nana-bo-jou is seen chasing the children around the outside of
the circle, trying to catch one to eat; but failing, thinks he'll try a
trick and he says: "Stop, stop, my brothers. Why should we quarrel?
Come, let's hold a council together and I will teach you a new dance."

The animals whisper together and the Coyote comes forward, barks, then

"Nana-bo-jou, I am the Coyote. The animals say that they will come to
council if you will really make peace and play no tricks."

"Tricks!" says Nana-bo-jou, "I only want to teach you the new songs from
the South."

Then all the animals troop in and sit in a circle. Nana-bo-jou takes his
drum and begins to sing:

        "New songs from the South, my brothers,
         Dance to the new songs."

Turning to one, he says: "Who are you and what can you dance?"

The answers are, "I am the Beaver [or whatever it is] and I can dance
the Beaver Dance."

"Good! Come and show me how."

So the Beaver dances to the music, slapping the back of his flat right
hand, up and under his left hand for a tail, holding up a stick in both
paws to gnaw it, and lumbering along in time to the music, at the same
time imitating the Beaver's waddle.

Nana-bo-jou shouts: "Fine! That is the best Beaver Dance I ever saw. You
are wonderful; all you need to be perfect is wings. Wouldn't you like to
have wings so you could fly over the tree-tops, like the Eagle?"

"Yes," says the Beaver.

"I can make strong medicine and give you wings, if all the animals will
help me," says Nana-bo-jou. "Will you?"

"Yes," they all cry.

"Then all close your eyes tight and cover them with your paws. Don't
look until I tell you. Beaver, close your eyes and dance very fast and I
will make magic to give you wings."

All close and cover their eyes. Nana-bo-jou sings very loudly and,
rushing on the Beaver, hits him on the head with the straw club. The
Beaver falls dead. The two goblins run in from one side and drag off the

Then Nana-bo-jou shouts: "Look, look, now! See how he flies away! See,
there goes the Beaver over the tree-tops." All look as he points and
seem to see the Beaver going.

Different animals and birds are brought out to dance their dances and
are killed as before. Then the Crow comes out, hopping, flopping,
cawing. Nana-bo-jou looks at him and says: "You are too thin. You are no
good. You don't need any more wings," and so sends him to sit down.

Then the Coyote comes out to do the Coyote Dance, imitating Coyote,
etc.; but he is very suspicious and, in answer to the questions, says:
"No; I don't want wings. The Great Spirit gave me good legs, so I am
satisfied"; then goes back to his seat.

Next the Deer, the Sheep, etc., come out and are killed; while all the
rest are persuaded that the victims flew away. But the Coyote and the
Loon have their doubts. They danced in their turns, but said they didn't
want any change. They are satisfied as the Great Spirit made them. They
are slow about hiding their eyes. At last, they peek and realize that it
is all a trap and the Loon shouts: "Nana-bo-jou is killing us! It is all
a trick! Fly for your lives!"

As they all run away, Nana-bo-jou pursues the Loon, hitting him behind
with the club, which is the reason that the Loon has no tail and has
been lame behind ever since.

The Loon shouts the Loon battle-cry, a high-pitched quavering
LUL-L-L-O-O-O and faces Nana-bo-jou; the animals rally around the Loon
and the Coyote to attack the magician. All point their fingers at him
shouting "Wakan Seecha" (or Black Magic). He falls dead in the circle.
They bury him with branches, leaves, or a blanket, and all the animals
do their dances around him.

Before beginning, the story of the dance should be told to the


The Caribou Dance

[Illustration: Horns for the Caribou Dance]

The easiest of our campfire dances to learn, and the best for quick
presentation, is the Caribou Dance. It has been put on for public
performance after twenty minutes' rehearsing, with those who never saw
it before, because it is all controlled and called off by the Chief. It
does equally well for indoor gymnasium or for campfire in the woods.

In the way of fixings for this, you need only four pairs of horns and
four cheap bows. Real deer horns may be used, but they are scarce and
heavy. It is better to go out where you can get a few crooked limbs of
oak, cedar, hickory or apple tree; and cut eight pairs, as near like
those in the cut as possible, each about two feet long and one inch
thick at the butt. Peel these, for they should be white; round off all
sharp points of the branches, then lash them in pairs, as shown. A pair,
of course, is needed for each Caribou. These are held in the hand and
above the head, or in the hand resting on the head.

The four Caribou look best in white. Three or four hunters are needed.
They should have bows, but no arrows. The Chief should have a drum and
be able to sing the Muje Mukesin, or other Indian dance tune. One or two
persons who can howl like Wolves should be sent off to one side, and
another that can yell like a Lynx or a Panther on the other side, well
away from the ring. Otherwise the Chief or leader can do the imitations.
Now we are ready for


The Chief begins by giving three thumps on his drum to call attention;
then says in a loud, singing voice: "The Caribou have not come on our
hunting grounds for three snows. We need meat. Thus only can we bring
them back, by the big medicine of the Caribou Dance, by the power of the
White Caribou."

He rolls his drum, then in turn faces each of the winds, beckoning,
remonstrating, and calling them by name; Kitchi-nodin (West); Keeway-din
(North); Wabani-nodin (East); Shawani-nodin (South). Calling last to the
quarter whence the Caribou are to come, finishing the call with a long
KO-KEE-NA. Then as he thumps a slow single beat the four Caribou come in
in single file, at a stately pace timed to the drum. Their heads are
high, and they hold the horns on their heads, with one hand, as they
proudly march around. The Chief shouts: "The Caribou, The Caribou!"
After going round once in a sun circle (same way as the sun), they go
each to a corner. The Chief says: "They honour the symbol of the Great
Spirit." The drum stops; all four march to the fire. They bow to it
together, heads low, and utter a long bellow.

Then the Chief shouts: "They honour the four Winds, the Messengers."

Then the Caribou back up four paces each, turn suddenly and make a short
bow, with a short bellow, then turn and again face the fire.

The Chief shouts: "Now they live their wild free lives on the plain." He
begins any good dance song and beats double time. The Caribou dance
around once in a circle.

The Chief shouts: "Full of life they fight among themselves."

The first and second Caribou, and third and fourth, close in combat.
They lower their heads, lock horns held safely away from the head,
snort, kick up the dust, and dance around each other two or three

The music begins again, and they cease fighting and dance in a circle
once more.

The music stops. The Chief shouts: "They fight again." Now the first and
fourth and second and third lock horns and fight.

After a round or so the music begins again and they cease fighting and
again circle, dancing as before.

The Chief calls out: "The Wolves are on their track."

Now the howling of Wolves is heard in the distance, from the fellows
already posted.

The Caribou rush toward that side and face it in a row, threatening,
with horns low, as they snort, stamp, and kick up the dust.

The Wolf-howling ceases. The Caribou are victorious. The Chief shouts:
"They have driven off the Wolves." They turn away and circle once to the
music, holding their heads high.

Now Panther-yelling (or other menacing sound) is heard in the other
direction. The Chief shouts: "But now the Panthers have found them out."

Again the Caribou line up and show fight. When it ceases, the Chief
cries out: "They have driven off the Panther." Now they dance proudly
around, heads up, chests out as they step, for they have conquered every

Then the Chief calls out: "But another, a deadlier enemy comes. The
hunters are on their trail." The hunters appear, crawling very low and
carrying bows. They go half around the ring, each telling those behind
by signs, "Here they are; we have found them," "Four big fellows," "Come
on," etc. When they come opposite the Caribou, the first hunter lets off
a short "yelp." The Caribou spring to the opposite side of the ring, and
then line up to defy this new noise; but do not understand it, so gaze
as they prance about in fear. The hunters draw their bows together, and
make as though each lets fly an arrow. The first Caribou drops, the
others turn in fear and run around about half of the ring, heads low,
and not dancing; then they dash for the timber. The hunters run forward
with yells. The leader holds up the horns. All dance and yell around the
fallen Caribou and then drag it off the scene.

The Chief then says: "Behold, it never fails; the Caribou dance brings
the Caribou. It is great medicine. Now there is meat in the lodge and
the children cry no longer."


The Council Robe

The Woodcraft Council Robe is something which every one may have, and
should make for himself. It may be of any shade, of gray, buff, orange,
or scarlet. The best ones are of a bright buff. In size they are about
five feet by six feet, and the stuff may be wool, cotton, silk, or a
mixture. My own is of soft or blanket cotton.

The robe is used as a wall banner, a personal robe, or a bed spread, and
has for the first purpose two or more tag-loops sewn on the top. For the
second, it has a head-hole or poncho-hole, an upright slit near one end
(hh), and for the last, there are one or two buttons or tie-strings to
close the poncho-hole. These are the useful features of the robe.

The ornamental features are the records on it. While these vary with
each owner, the following usually appear: The Fourfold fire, near the
middle; the Woodcraft shield, the owner's totem, the symbols of each
coup and each degree won by the owner.

To this many add a pictographic record of great events or of camps they
have visited.

[Illustration: The Council Robe]

The easiest way to make the robe is to use paints on the cotton fabric.

The favourite way and more beautiful way, is to use appliqués of
coloured cloths for the design.

The most beautiful is to embroider in silk or mercerized cotton. But the
last is very slow, and calls for much labour as well as some money.

On the preceding page are shown four different styles of robe; you may
choose or adapt which you please, except that only a Sagamore may use
the one with the 24 feathers in the centre.


Things to Remember


How the Wren Became King of the Birds

The story is very old, and it may not be true, but this is how they tell
it in many countries.

The animals had chosen the lion for their King because his looks and his
powers seemed to fit him best of all for the place. So the birds made up
their minds that they also would have a royal leader.

After a long council it was decided that, in spite of strong opposition
from the Ostrich and his followers, the one with the greatest powers of
flight should be King. And away all flew to see which could go the

One by one they came down tired out, till only two were to be seen in
the air: the Eagle and the Turkey-buzzard still going up. At last they
got so high that the Turkey-buzzard froze his ears off for they were
naked. Then he gave it up. The Eagle went still higher to show how
strong he was, then sailed downward to claim the royal honours.

But just as they were about to give him the crown, the Wren hopped off
the top of the Eagle's head, where he had been hiding in the long
feathers, and squeaked out, "No matter how high he was, I was a little
bit higher, so I am King."

"You," said the Eagle; "Why I carried you up."

"Nothing to do with it," said the Wren.

"Then let's try it over," said the Eagle.

"No, no," said the Wren, "one try was agreed on, and it's settled now, I
was higher than you."

And they have been disputing over it ever since. The lawyers take the
Wren's side and the soldiers take the Eagle's side.

The peasants in Europe sometimes speak of the Eagle as "the King of the
Birds," but they always call the Wren the "Little King." And that is why
we call our gold-crowned Wrens, Kinglets, or Kingwrens and I suppose
that is why they wear a crown of gold.

TALE 100

The Snowstorm

It was at the great winter Carnival of Montreal not long ago. Looking
out of a window on a stormy day were five children of different races:
an Eskimo, a Dane, a Russian, an Indian, and a Yankee. The managers of
the Carnival had brought the first four with their parents; but the
Yankee was the son of a rich visitor.

"Look," cried the little Eskimo from Alaska, as he pointed to the
driving snow. "Look at the ivory chips falling! El Sol is surely carving
a big Walrus tusk into a fine dagger for himself. See how he whittles,
and sends the white dust flying."

Of course he didn't say "El Sol," but used the Eskimo name for him.

Then the Dane said: "No, that isn't what makes it. That is Mother Earth
getting ready for sleep. Those are the goose feathers of her feather
bed, shaken up by her servants before she lies down and is covered with
her white mantle."

The little Indian, with his eyes fixed on the storm, shook his head
gravely and said: "My father taught me that these are the ashes from
Nana-bo-jou's pipe; he has finished his smoke and is wrapping his
blanket about him to rest. And my father always spake true."

"Nay, you are all wrong," said the little Russian. "My grandmother told
me that it is Mother Carey. She is out riding in her strongest, freshest
steed, the White Wind. He has not been out all summer; he is full of
strength and fury; he spumes and rages. The air is filled with the foam
from his bridle, and froth from his shoulders, as she rides him, and
spurs him, and rides him. I love to see it, and know that she is filling
the air with strength and with messages. They carry me back to my own
dear homeland. It thrills me with joy to see the whiteness."

But the Yankee boy said: "Why, it's just snowing."

TALE 101

The Fairy Lamps

There was once a little barelegged, brown-limbed boy who spent all his
time in the woods. He loved the woods and all that was in them. He used
to look, not at the flowers, but deep down into them, and not at the
singing bird, but into its eyes, to its little heart; and so he got an
insight better than most others, and he quite gave up collecting birds'

But the woods were full of mysteries. He used to hear little bursts of
song, and when he came to the place he could find no bird there. Noises
and movements would just escape him. In the woods he saw strange tracks,
and one day, at length, he saw a wonderful bird making these very
tracks. He had never seen the bird before, and would have thought it a
great rarity had he not seen its tracks everywhere. So he learned that
the woods were full of beautiful creatures that were skillful and quick
to avoid him.

One day, as he passed by a spot for the hundredth time, he found a
bird's nest. It must have been there for long, and yet he had not seen
it; and so he learned how blind he was, and he exclaimed: "Oh, if only I
could see, then I might understand these things! If only I knew! If I
could see but for once, how many there are, and how near! If only every
bird would wear over its nest this evening a little lamp to show me!"

The sun was down now; but all at once there was a soft light on the
path, and in the middle of it the brown boy saw a Little Brown Lady in a
long robe, and in her hand a rod.

She smiled pleasantly and said: "Little boy, I am the Fairy of this
Woods. I have been watching you for long. I like you. You seem to be
different from other boys. Your request shall be granted."

Then she faded away. But at once the whole landscape twinkled over with
wonderful little lamps--long lamps, short lamps, red, blue, and green,
high and low, doubles, singles, and groups; wherever he looked were
lamps--twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, here and everywhere, until the forest
shone like the starry sky. He ran to the nearest, yes, a nest; and here
and there, each different kind of lamp stood for another kind of nest. A
beautiful purple blaze in a low tangle caught his eye. He ran to it, and
found a nest he had never seen before. It was full of purple eggs, and
there was the rare bird he had seen but once. It was chanting the weird
song he had often heard, but never traced. But the eggs were the
marvelous things. His old egg-collecting instinct broke out. He reached
forth to clutch the wonderful prize, and--in an instant all the lights
went out. There was nothing but the black woods about him. Then on the
pathway shone again the soft light. It grew brighter, till in the
middle of it he saw the Little Brown Lady--the Fairy of the Woods. But
she was not smiling now. Her face was stern and sad, as she said: "I
fear I set you over-high. I thought you better than the rest. Keep this
in mind:

        "Who reverence not the
         lamp of life can never
         see its light."

Then she faded from his view, and he never saw the lamps again.

TALE 102

The Sweetest Sad Song in the Woods

Once a great American poet was asked which he thought was the sweetest
voice in the woods. He said: "The sweetest sound in Nature is the
calling of the Screech Owl."

Sometimes, though rarely, it does screech, but the sound it most often
makes is the soft mournful song that it sings in the woods at night,
especially in the autumn nights.

It seems to be moaning a lament for the falling leaves, a sad good-bye
to the dear dying summer.

Last autumn one sat above my head in the dark October woods, and put his
little soul into a song that seemed to be

        Ohhhh! Ohhhh!
        The leaves are falling:
        Ohhhh! Ohhhh!
        A sad voice calling;
        Ohhhh! Ohhhh!
        The Woodbirds flying;
        Ohhhh! Ohhhh!
        Sweet summer's dying,
        Dying, Dying.

[Illustration: The Lament of the Owl.

Notation by Ann Seton]

A mist came into my eyes as I listened, and yet I thanked him. "Dear
voice in the trees, you have said the things I felt, and could not say;
but voicing my sadness you have given it wings to fly away."

TALE 103

Springtime, or the Wedding of Maka Ina and El Sol

Oh, that was a stirring, glowing time! All the air, and the underwood
seemed throbbed with pleasant murmuring voices. The streams were
laughing, the deep pools smiling, as pussy-willows scattered catkins on
them from above. The oak trees and the birches put on little
glad-hangers, like pennants on a gala ship. The pine trees set up their
green candles, one on every big tip-twig. The dandelions made haste to
glint the early fields with gold. The song toads and the peepers sang in
volleys; the blackbirds wheeled their myriad cohorts in the air, a guard
of honour in review. The woodwale drummed. The redbud draped its naked
limbs in early festal bloom; and Rumour the pretty liar smiled and
spread the news.

All life was smiling with the frank unselfish smile, that tells of
pleasure in another's joy.

The love of love is wider than the world. And one who did not know their
speech could yet have read in their reflected joy a magnitude of joyful
happening, could guess that over two beings of the highest rank, the
highest rank of happiness impended.

Yes, all the living world stood still at gaze: the story of the
bridegroom, the gracious beauty of the bride were sung, for the wedding
day had come. And Mother Carey, she was there, for were they not her
peers? And the Evil One--he came, but slunk away, for the blessing of
the one Great Oversoul was on them.

Oh, virile, radiant one, El Sol! Oh, Maka Ina! bounteous mother earth,
the day of joining hand in hand passed by. The joy is with us yet;
renewed each year, when March is three weeks gone. Look, then, ye
wanderers in the woods! Seek in the skies, seek in the growing green,
but find it mostly in your souls, and _sing_!

TALE 104

Running the Council

Every good Woodcrafter should know the way of the Council Ring.

Select some quiet level place out of doors; in the woods if possible,
for it is so much better if surrounded by trees.

Make a circle of low seats; the circle should be not less than 12 feet
or more than 20 feet across, depending somewhat on the number to take

In the middle prepare for a small fire. At one side is a special seat
for the Chief; this is called the Council Rock.

On very important occasions take white sand or lime, and draw a circle
around the fire. Then from that draw the four lamps and the twelve laws
as in Tale 105.

When all is ready with the Guide on the Council Rock, and the Scouts in
their seats, the Guide stands up and says: "Give ear my friends, we are
about to hold a council. I appoint such a one, Keeper of the fire and
so-and-so, Keeper of the tally. Now let the Fire-keeper light the fire."

Next the Tally-keeper calls the roll. After which the business part of
the Council is carried on exactly the same as any ordinary meeting,
except that instead of addressing the "Chairman," they say, "O Chief";
instead of "yes" they say "ho," instead of "no" they say "wah."

The order of doings in Council is:--

        Opening and fire-lighting
        Roll Call
        Reading and accepting tally of last Council
        Reports of Scouts (things observed or done)
        Left-over business
        New business
        Honourable mention
        (For the good of the Tribe) Complaints and suggestions.
          (_Here business ends and entertainment begins._)
        Games, contests, etc.
        Close by singing Omaha Prayer (Tale 108)

TALE 105

The Sandpainting of the Fire

[Illustration: The Sandpainting of the Fire]

When I was staying among the Navaho Indians, I met John Wetherall, the
trader. He had spent half his life among them, and knew more of their
ways than any other white man that I met. He told me that part of the
education of Navaho priest was knowing the fifty sandpaintings of his
tribe. A sandpainting is a design made on the ground or floor with dry
sands of different colours--black, white, gray, yellow, red, etc. It
looks like a rug or a blanket on the ground, and is made up of many
curious marks which stand for some man, place, thing, or idea. Thus, the
first sandpainting is a map of the world as the Navaho knew it, with
rivers and hills that are important in their history. These
sandpaintings cannot be moved; a careless touch spoils them, and a gust
of wind can wipe them out. They endure only in the hearts and memories
of the people who love them.

In the Woodcraft Camp there is but one sandpainting that is much used;
that is, the Sandpainting of the Fourfold Fire. When I make it in camp,
I use only white sand or powdered lime; but indoors, or on paper, I use
yellow (or orange) and white.

This is the story of the sandpainting. The fire is the symbol of the
Great Spirit; around that we draw a great circle, as in the diagram.

At each of the four sides we light another fire; these four are called
Fortitude, Beauty, Truth, and Love, and come from the Fire through
Spirit, Body, Mind, and Service.

Then from each of these we draw three golden rays. These stand for the
twelve laws of Woodcraft, and they are named in this way:

        Be Brave, Be Silent and Obey;
        Be Clean, Be Strong, Protect Wild Life alway;
        Speak True, Be Reverent, Play Fair as you Strive!
        Be Kind; Be Helpful; Glad you are alive.

And the final painting is as in the drawing. Of course the names are not
written on the real thing though the Woodcraft scout should know them.

TALE 106

The Woodcraft Kalendar

[Illustration: The Woodcraft Kalendar]

The Woodcraft Kalendar is founded on the Indian way of noting the
months. Our own ancestors called them "Moons" much as the Indians did.
Our word "month" was once written "moneth" or "monath" which meant a
"moon or moon's time of lasting." The usual names for the moons to-day
are Latin, but we find we get closer to nature if we call them by
their Woodcraft names, and use the little symbols of the Woodcraft

TALE 107

Climbing the Mountain

Afar in our dry southwestern country is an Indian village; and in the
offing is a high mountain, towering up out of the desert. It is
considered a great feat to climb this mountain, so that all the boys of
the village were eager to attempt it. One day the Chief said: "Now boys,
you you may all go to-day and try to climb the mountain. Start right
after breakfast, and go each of you as far as you can. Then when you are
tired, come back: but let each one bring me a twig from the place where
he turned."

Away they went full of hope, each feeling that he surely could reach the

But soon a fat, pudgy boy came slowly back, and in his hand he held out
to the Chief a leaf of cactus.

The Chief smiled and said: "My boy, you did not reach the foot of the
mountain; you did not even get across the desert."

Later a second boy returned. He carried a twig of sagebrush.

"Well," said the Chief. "You reached the mountain's foot but you did not
climb upward."

The next had a cottonwood spray.

"Good," said the Chief; "You got up as far as the springs."

Another came later with some buckthorn. The Chief smiled when he saw it
and spoke thus: "You were climbing; you were up to the first slide

Later in the afternoon, one arrived with a cedar spray, and the old man
said: "Well done. You went half way up."

An hour afterward, one came with a switch of pine. To him the Chief
said: "Good; you went to the third belt; you made three quarters of the

The sun was low when the last returned. He was a tall, splendid boy of
noble character. His hand was empty as he approached the Chief, but his
countenance was radiant, and he said: "My father, there were no trees
where I got to; I saw no twigs, but I saw the Shining Sea."

Now the old man's face glowed too, as he said aloud and almost sang: "I
knew it. When I looked on your face, I knew it. You have been to the
top. You need no twigs for token. It is written in your eyes, and rings
in your voice. My boy, you have felt the uplift, you have seen the glory
of the mountain."

       *       *       *       *       *

Oh Ye Woodcrafters, keep this in mind, then: the badges that we offer
for attainment, are not "_prizes_"; prizes are things of value taken by
violence from their rightful owners. These are merely tokens of what you
have done, of where you have been. They are mere twigs from the trail to
show how far you got in climbing the mountain.


Harmonized by PROF. J. C. FILLMORE.]

        Wa-kon-da dhe-dhu Wa-pa dhin a-ton-he.

        Wa-kon-da dhe-dhu Wa-pa-dhin a-ton-he.

(By permission from Alice C. Fletcher's "Indian Story and Song.")


        Father a needy one stands before thee;
        I that sing am he.

This old Indian prayer is sung by the Council standing in a great circle
about the fire with feet close together, hands and faces uplifted, for
it is addressed to the Great Spirit. At the final bars the hands and
faces are lowered to the fire.

Books by Ernest Thompson Seton


The stories of Lobo, Silverspot, Molly Cottontail, Bingo, Vixen, The
Pacing Mustang, Wully and Redruff. (Scribners.)


The story of a long hunt that ended without a tragedy. (Scribners.)


The story of old Wahb from cubhood to the scene in Death Gulch. (The
Century Company.)


This is a school edition of "Wild Animals I Have Known," with some of
the stories and many of the pictures left out. (Scribners.)


A musical play in which the parts of Lobo, Wahb, Vixen, etc., are taken
by boys and girls. Out of print. (Doubleday, Page & Co.)


The stories of Krag, Randy, Johnny Bear, The Mother Teal, Chink, The
Kangaroo Rat, and Tito, the Coyote. (Scribners.)


Twelve large pictures for framing (no text), viz., Krag, Lobo, Tito Cub,
Kangaroo Rat, Grizzly, Buffalo, Bear Family, Johnny Bear, Sandhill Stag,
Coon Family, Courtaut the Wolf, Tito and her family. Out of print.


This is a school edition of "The Lives of the Hunted" with some of the
stories and many of the pictures left out. (Scribners.)


A book of adventure and woodcraft and camping out for boys, telling how
to make bows, arrows, moccasins, costumes, teepee, war-bonnet, etc., and
how to make a fire with rubbing sticks, read Indian signs, etc.
(Doubleday, Page & Co.)


The story of a big California grizzly that is living yet. (Scribners.)


The stories of a Slum Cat, a Homing Pigeon, The Wolf That Won, A Lynx, A
Jackrabbit, A Bull-terrier, The Winnipeg Wolf, and a White Reindeer.


A collection of fables, woodland verses, and camp stories. (The Century


The Manual of the Woodcraft Indians, first edition, 1902. (Doubleday,
Page & Co.)


Showing the Ten Commandments to be fundamental laws of all creation. 78
pages. (Scribners.)


or Domino Reynard of Goldur Town, with 100 illustrations by the author.
209 pages.

A companion volume to "Biography of a Grizzly." (The Century Company.)


In two sumptuous quarto volumes with 68 maps and 560 drawings by the
author. Pages, 1267.

Said by Roosevelt, Allen, Chapman, and Hornaday to be the best work ever
written on the Life Histories of American Animals. (Scribners.)


A handbook of Woodcraft, Scouting, and Life Craft Including the
Birch-Bark Roll. 192 pages. Out of print. (Doubleday, Page & Co.) The
year-book of the Boy Scouts of America is now handled by the American
News Co.


The Adventures of a Boy Scout with Indian Quonab and little dog Skookum.
Over 200 drawings by the author. (Doubleday, Page & Co.)


A canoe journey of 2,000 miles in search of the Caribou. 415 pages with
many maps, photographs, and illustrations by the author. (Scribners.)


with over 500 drawings by the author. (Doubleday, Page & Co.)


One hundred of the best-known forest trees of eastern North America,
with 100 maps and more than 200 drawings. Out of print. (Doubleday, Page
& Co.)


with over 150 sketches and photographs by the author. 226 pages. In this
Mr. Seton gives for the first time his personal adventures in studying
wild animals. (Doubleday, Page & Co.)


The fourteenth Birch-Bark Roll. 100 pages. (Doubleday, Page & Co.)


More animal stories introducing a host of new four-footed friends, with
200 illustrations by the author. (Doubleday, Page & Co.)


A handbook of Woodcraft and Outdoor life for members of the Woodcraft
League. 440 pp. 700 ills. (Doubleday, Page & Co.)


Like the foregoing but adapted for girls. 424 pp., Illus. (Doubleday,
Page & Co.)


A novel. A tale of the open country. (Doubleday, Page & Co.)


A Universal Signal Code, Without Apparatus, for use in the Army, the
Navy, Camping, Hunting, Daily Life and among the Plains Indians.
(Doubleday, Page & Co.)


Delightful children's stories, of fable and fairy-tale flavour, with the
wild things of the woodland for their heroes. In the heart of each some
nature secret is revealed. (Doubleday, Page & Co.)


(Published by DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & CO.)


A book of outdoor adventures and camping for women and girls. How to
dress for it, where to go, and how to profit the most by camp life.


A companion volume, giving Mrs. Seton's side of the many campfires she
and her husband lighted together in the Rockies from Canada to Mexico.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Page 79, "gr  dy" changed to "greedy" (as greedy as he)

Page 134, "throught he" changed to "through the" (through the outer)

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