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Title: Yellow Thunder, Our Little Indian Cousin
Author: Wade, Mary Hazelton Blanchard, 1860-1936
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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Our Little Indian Cousin


Little Cousin Series


    Each volume illustrated with six or more full-page plates in
    tint. Cloth, 12mo, with decorative cover,
    per volume, 60 cents

    (unless otherwise indicated)

    =Our Little African Cousin=

    =Our Little Alaskan Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet

    =Our Little Arabian Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus

    =Our Little Armenian Cousin=

    =Our Little Australian Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet

    =Our Little Brazilian Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet

    =Our Little Brown Cousin=

    =Our Little Canadian Cousin=
        By Elizabeth R. MacDonald

    =Our Little Chinese Cousin=
        By Isaac Taylor Headland

    =Our Little Cuban Cousin=

    =Our Little Dutch Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus

    =Our Little Egyptian Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus

    =Our Little English Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus

    =Our Little Eskimo Cousin=

    =Our Little French Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus

    =Our Little German Cousin=

    =Our Little Greek Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet

    =Our Little Hawaiian Cousin=

    =Our Little Hindu Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus

    =Our Little Hungarian Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet

    =Our Little Indian Cousin=

    =Our Little Irish Cousin=

    =Our Little Italian Cousin=

    =Our Little Japanese Cousin=

    =Our Little Jewish Cousin=

    =Our Little Korean Cousin=
        By H. Lee M. Pike

    =Our Little Mexican Cousin=
        By Edward C. Butler

    =Our Little Norwegian Cousin=

    =Our Little Panama Cousin=
        By H. Lee M. Pike

    =Our Little Persian Cousin=
        By E. C. Shedd

    =Our Little Philippine Cousin=

    =Our Little Porto Rican Cousin=

    =Our Little Russian Cousin=

    =Our Little Scotch Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus

    =Our Little Siamese Cousin=

    =Our Little Spanish Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet

    =Our Little Swedish Cousin=
        By Claire M. Coburn

    =Our Little Swiss Cousin=

    =Our Little Turkish Cousin=

    New England Building,      Boston, Mass.

[Illustration: YELLOW THUNDER.]

YELLOW THUNDER Our Little Indian Cousin

By Mary Hazelton Wade

_Illustrated by_ L. J. Bridgman


    L. C. Page & Company

    _Copyright, 1901_

    _All rights reserved_

    Twelfth Impression, March, 1909
    Thirteenth Impression, June, 1910


ONCE upon a time, as you doubtless know, there were no white people in
the Western world. In those days our Indian cousins were free to wander
wherever they wished, from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Some of them had their homes on the great plains, where herds of wild
buffaloes supplied them with food and clothing. Others dwelt by the
shores of lakes and rivers. Whenever they wished a change, they moved
their camps from one spot to another. They had little to fear except the
attacks of unfriendly tribes of their own race.

When the white men, with their greater skill and knowledge, came to
America, many troubles began for our red cousins. These troubles were
such as they had never known before. They were driven away from the
homes that were so dear to them. Great numbers were killed. Strong
drink, given to them by the white strangers, was the ruin of thousands.
Still others died from sickness and want.

The people whom we have called Indians ever since Columbus gave them
that name now think with sadness of the old free and happy days before
the white traders gave them beads and blankets in exchange for large
tracts of land.

There were then no roads, no cities, no stores or factories in all this
vast continent, and yet our red cousins were freer and happier than they
can ever hope to be again.

MALDEN, MASS., _May, 1904_.

List of Illustrations

    YELLOW THUNDER                             _Frontispiece_
    "SHE SWINGS ON THE BRANCH OF A TREE"                  15
    "HE SHOOTS DOWN THE RIVER"                            49


Our Little Indian Cousin

THEY call him Yellow Thunder. Do not be afraid of your little cousin
because he bears such a terrible name. It is not his fault, I assure
you. His grandmother had a dream the night he was born. She believed the
Great Spirit, as the Indians call our Heavenly Father, sent this to her.
In the dream she saw the heavens in a great storm. Lightning flashed and
she constantly heard the roar of thunder. When she awoke in the morning
she said, "My first grandson must be called 'Yellow Thunder.'" And
Yellow Thunder became his name.

But his loving mamma does not generally call him this. When he is a good
boy and she is pleased with him, she says, "My bird." If he is naughty,
for once in a great while this happens, she calls him "bad boy."

For some reason I don't understand myself, she rarely speaks his real
name. Perhaps it is sacred to her, since she believes it was directed by
the Great Spirit.

Yellow Thunder lives in the forests of your own land, North America. His
skin is a dull, smoky red, his eyes are black and very bright, his hair
is black and coarse. His body is straight and well formed. He can run
through the woods as quickly and softly as a deer. He lives in a bark
house made by his mother. His father is strong and well, yet he did not
help in building it. He thinks such work is not for men. It is fit only
for women.

When I tell you how it is made, you will not think it is very hard work.
Yellow Thunder's patient mamma chose the place for her home, and then
gathered some long poles in the forest. She set these poles in a circle
in the ground, bent them over at the top, and tied them. She left a
small hole at the top. The framework of the house was now complete. What
should she have for a covering? She went out once more into the woods
and got some long sheets of white birch bark. At the end of each sheet
she fastened a rim of cedar wood. The sheets of bark were hung on the
framework, with the rim at the bottom of each one, and the house was
finished. The rim would be useful in keeping the bark from being lifted
by the winds. But, if there should be a severe storm, the Indian woman
would lay stones on the rims to keep the bark down more firmly still.

This is Yellow Thunder's simple home, summer and winter. You would
probably freeze there in the cold days of December, but the Indian boy
was brought up to endure a great deal of cold.

Let us look inside. We must first lift the deerskin which hangs in the
doorway. Does the family sit on the cold, bare ground, do you think? Oh,
no; Yellow Thunder has helped his mamma make good thick rugs out of the
bullrushes and flags which they gather every autumn. These rugs are very
pretty, for they are woven and dyed with the bright colours the Indian
women know how to make. There are many of these mats, because they are
used for many purposes. Yellow Thunder sleeps on one of them at night.
In the day-time he sits on a mat whenever he is in the house. But he is
such a strong lad, he is out-of-doors nearly all the time, both in
sunshine and in storm.

In the middle of the house you will notice there is a bare spot covered
with clean sand. This is the place where the fire is made. It is
carefully swept when there is no fire. If you look directly over the
fireplace, you can see the sky. On rainy days, unless the mother is
cooking, she keeps the hole covered with a piece of deerskin, that the
inside of the house may be dry.

But how does she prepare the food for breakfast, for that is the
principal meal of the day to the Indian? A strong hook is fastened in
the framework of the house, above the fireplace. The Indian mother hangs
a pot on the hook, puts in the meat or fish, and it boils quickly over
the burning twigs which her little boy has gathered.

Let us look around the wigwam. Of course, you have long ago heard that
name for the Indian's house. What beautiful baskets of rushes those are!
I wonder how the red men discovered the way of making such beautiful
colours. Besides many other things, the jewelry and clothing of the
whole family are kept in these baskets. Look up at the sides of the hut
and notice the bows and arrows. And, yes! there is a real tomahawk,
with its sharp edge sticking in that corner. Ears of corn braided
together are hanging from the framework.


But the prettiest thing we see is the baby's cradle, fastened to a peg.
Two bright black eyes are looking out of it, and that is all we can see
of Yellow Thunder's baby sister, "Woman of the Mountain." It took the
loving mother a long time to make that cradle. She was very happy while
doing it, for she loves her baby tenderly.

It is hardly right to call it a cradle. Baby-frame is a better name. It
was made in three pieces, out of the wood of the maple-tree,--a straight
board about two feet long for the bottom, a carved foot-board, and a bow
which is fastened to the sides and arches over the baby's head. These
are all bound together with the sinews of a deer. It is lined with moss,
and then Woman of the Mountain is fastened in her queer little bed
with straps, which her mamma has made beautiful with bead work. Moss is
placed between her feet, her hands are bound at her side, her feet are
bound down also, and a beaded coverlet is placed over her tiny body. She
looks like a little mummy.

If it is stormy she is hung up on a peg in the hut to swing, but if it
is a pleasant day, she swings on the branch of a tree and watches the
leaves flutter and the birds sing. She is a happy little baby, although
you would hardly think it possible. She got used to her imprisonment
almost as soon as she was born. She doubtless thinks it is all right.

When mamma goes out into the forest to gather wood, or into the corn
field to work, Woman of the Mountain goes too. The baby-frame is
fastened on her mother's back by a pretty beaded strap bound over the
woman's forehead.

When the Indian baby was only two days old, she was fastened into her
cradle and carried all day on mamma's back while she was weeding the
garden. To be sure, the woman stopped two or three times to feed her
baby, but the little thing was not once taken out of her frame.

Perhaps you would like to hear a lullaby the Indian mamma often sings to
her little one as she swings in her frame. I fear you could not
understand the Indian words, so I will give them as Mrs. Elizabeth Oakes
Smith wrote them in English:

    Swinging, swinging, lul la by,
      Sleep, little daughter, sleep,
    'Tis your mother watching by,
      Swinging, swinging, she will keep,
    Little daughter, lul la by.

    'Tis your mother loves you, dearest,
      Sleep, sleep, daughter, sleep,
    Swinging, swinging, ever nearest,
      Baby, baby, do not weep;
    Little daughter, lul la by.

    Swinging, swinging, lul la by,
      Sleep, sleep, little one,
    And thy mother will be nigh--
      Swing, swing, not alone--
    Little daughter, lul la by.

You can understand from this how dearly the Indian mother loves her
baby,--just as dearly, I do not doubt, as your own mamma has always
loved and cared for you.

But what is Yellow Thunder's stern-looking father doing all the time? He
has no store to keep, no mill to grind, no factory to work in. There are
only three things which deserve his attention. At least that is what he
thinks. He hunts or fishes, goes to war, and holds councils with the men
of his tribe. Everything else he believes is woman's work, and from the
Indian's standpoint, woman is much beneath a man.

After all, the men's work is really the hardest. Sometimes it is easy
for them to find plenty of food. Then Yellow Thunder's father comes home
rejoicing with the big load he carries. Perhaps he has a red deer
hanging over his shoulder; perhaps it is a bear which he has chased many
miles before he could get near enough to kill it; or it may be some
raccoons for a delicious stew.

But, again, it may be stormy weather. The rivers are frozen over and
snow covers the ground. Then, perhaps, the hunter has little success
with his bow and arrow, and searches long and far before he can find
anything to satisfy his children's hunger. He feels sad, but not for a
moment does he think of complaining or giving up. It is his duty to
obtain food for his family. It does not matter how cold he gets or how
wet he may be. He keeps travelling onward. He will not give up. If he
does not at last get enough for all, he will insist on his wife and
children satisfying their hunger first. He would scorn to show that he
himself is tired, or hungry, or suffering in any way.

We can understand now why the Indian baby is pinned down in its cradle
and not allowed to move freely. It is its first lesson in endurance. It
must learn to be uncomfortable and not to show that it is so. It must
learn to bear pain, and neither cry nor pucker its mouth. It must learn
to appear calm, no matter how it feels.

The hunt is pleasant sometimes, you see, but at others it is work of the
hardest kind.

The second duty of the red boy's father is war. He must protect his home
from human and wild beast enemies. But I'm really afraid that it is a
pleasure for him to fight. If Indians had not been at war so much among
themselves, it would have been far harder for the white people to
conquer them. I suppose you children have all heard the story of the
bundle of sticks, but I will repeat it.

A certain man was about to die. He gathered his sons around him to give
them good advice. He showed them some sticks fastened tightly together.
Then he asked each one to try to break the bundle. No one could do it.
When he saw that they failed, he separated the sticks, and showed them
how easy it was to break each one by itself.

"Take a lesson from this," said the man. "If you are united and work
together, you will succeed in anything you undertake, for no one can
break your strength. If, however, you quarrel among yourselves and try
to work each for himself, you will be like the separate twigs,--easily

It has been like this with the Indians. They have fought against each
other, tribe with tribe. They are very brave and have great courage. But
they have not understood that they should work together. So the white
man came and was able to conquer them.

Besides hunting and going to war, Yellow Thunder's papa is often busy in
the council. All matters of business are settled here. New chiefs are
chosen at the council; wrong-doers are punished according to what it
decides, and treaties with other tribes or the white men are talked over
and agreed upon. Sometimes a council will last many days. It is always
opened with a prayer to the Great Spirit, thanking him for his good
gifts to the people. Each evening, after the business of the council is
over, games are played by old and young. It is a time for feasting and
pleasure. No business with other people is really settled by a council
without gifts of wampum to bind the bargain. Of course you have heard
about wampum. Perhaps you have been told it is the Indian's money. There
are two kinds of wampum. One is purple and the other white. The white
wampum is shaped into beads out of the inside of large conch shells,
while the purple is made from the inside of the mussel shell. These
beads are strung on deer's sinews and woven into belts. A belt of white
wampum is a seal of friendship between two tribes. It is the same as a
sacred promise which must not be broken. It is the most precious of all
things an Indian owns.

Yellow Thunder's papa is very fond of tobacco. He always carries a
beaded pouch filled with it. He believes that the Great Spirit gave
tobacco to the Indian. When he smokes it, it opens a way through which
he may draw near God, and be taught by him. His pipe and tobacco will be
buried with him when he dies, as he thinks they will be needed on his
journey toward heaven. He smokes at the council. He smokes around the
camp-fire when he is away hunting. He smokes in the evening time as he
sits with his friends and tells stories of the chase or listens to
legends of his people.

I hardly know what this Indian father would do without his pipe, as it
seems to give him so much comfort and pleasure.

See! here he comes now. Yellow Thunder is at the door of the lodge,
watching him as he walks quickly down the forest path. He is truly
called a "brave." He looks as though he would fear no danger. How
straight is his body, and how strong are his muscles!

He wears leggings of deerskin, finely worked with beads. They are
fastened just above his knees. A short kilt is gathered around his
waist. It is also made of deerskin, but is worked around the edge with
porcupine quills stained in several colours. It is bitterly cold to-day,
so he wears a blanket over his shoulders. His head is shaved bare,
excepting the scalp-lock at the back. It must be this which makes him
look so fierce.

I want you to notice his feet. They step softly and yet firmly. You
could not walk as he does. Perhaps you have pointed shoes with high
heels. The Indian would look with scorn upon these. What! Cramp the toes
with such uncomfortable things! Impossible! He covers his feet in the
most sensible manner with the soft moccasins made by his wife. They fit
his feet exactly. He can run like a deer, or creep along the ground like
a wildcat in these coverings, and no one will hear him coming. Each
moccasin is made of a single piece of deerskin, seamed at the heel and
in front. The bottom is smooth and without a seam, while the upper part
is worked with beads.

Yellow Thunder's good mamma uses a curious needle and thread. The needle
is made from the bone of a deer's ankle, and her thread is of the sinews
of the same animal. What would the Indian have done without the deer in
the old days before the white man came to this country? I can't imagine,
can you?

This animal furnished much of his food and clothing; ornaments were made
of his hoofs; needles and many other things came from his bones. Even
the brains of the creature were used in tanning skins of animals. They
were mixed with moss, made into cakes, and dried in the sun. This
mixture will keep a great length of time. Whenever it is needed, a piece
of this brain-cake is boiled in water, and the skin is soaked in it
after the hair is scraped off. Then it is wrung out and stretched until
it is dry. But even then the skin is not ready for use. It will tear
very easily. It must be thoroughly smoked on both sides. This work all
belongs to Yellow Thunder's mamma. His father has nothing to do with it.

Suppose we follow the red man into his home. Ugh! What a smoke there is
inside! We can hardly see across the wigwam. We shall need to lie down
on the mat as the Indian does. Our eyes will be blinded unless we do
this. The wife has a good meal waiting for her husband, but she will not
eat till he has finished. That is Indian good manners.

His wooden bowl and plate, together with a boiled corn-cake, are placed
on the mat in front of the man. Venison stew is served him out of the
big pot, and a dish of sassafras tea is also set before him. There is no
milk to put into this queer drink, but if he wishes to sweeten it, he
can add some delicious maple syrup. This is certainly not a bad meal for
any one.

The red man eats and drinks, while scarcely a word is said to his
waiting family. When he has finished his meal, he will light his pipe
for a quiet smoke, after which his wife and child satisfy their hunger.

Yellow Thunder's mamma knows how to prepare many a good dish. She can
make several different kinds of corn bread. She prepares soups of deer
and bear meat. She boils the hominy, on which our little red cousin
pours the maple syrup. She makes teas of wild spices and herbs which
grow near the hut. But these drinks are not likely to keep Yellow
Thunder awake at night. Neither is there danger of his starving, so long
as his father can hunt and his mother can gather her crops. His food is
suited to make him strong and healthy, and he does not miss the dainties
of which you are so fond.

The stern-looking father never thinks of interfering in the management
of the home. That is his wife's right. She gives him his sleeping-place
and the corner in which he shall put his belongings. She decides on what
shall be cooked, and what shall be stored away. She is the ruler in the

But, on the other hand, he does not expect her to scold. She should
always be obliging and happy in entertaining his friends. She should be
ready to furnish him a good meal whenever he comes home.

As yet, he does not take much notice of his only son. He does not
correct the boy's faults. He seldom takes him on his hunts. He has left
all care of the boy to his wife up to this time.

But Yellow Thunder is now twelve years old. He will soon be a man. In a
year or two, at most, his father will begin to make a companion of his
son in hunting and fishing. He will teach him the ways of a brave Indian
warrior. Then there will be no more woman's work for Yellow Thunder.

When the time comes for this great change in his life, he will go out
into the forest to fast. No one will insist on his doing this. He will
himself desire it. It is the same as a baptism to a young Indian. His
father will go with him to the lonely spot where he decides to stay. He
will give his son wise words of counsel. He will urge him to be brave
and keep his fast as long as possible. He will be able to show by this
how much courage and spirit he possesses, and how great a man he desires
to be. Then he will leave his son alone and go back to the village.


A day passes by, and Yellow Thunder grows faint. Two days now are gone,
and the boy's thirst is intense. At the end of three days his father
comes back and finds his son lying weak and dizzy beneath the trees. He
gives him a little water, but no food, for Yellow Thunder says he can
fast still longer.

The father goes away again, leaving the son to watch for the visions
which will surely come. It will be decided now what the red boy's
future will be. The longer he can fast, the greater man he will become
among his people. No one can be a chief unless he has fasted many days
at the beginning of his manhood.

We cannot tell what Yellow Thunder will be, but we know that his visions
will always be remembered. He believes that his guardian spirits will
appear in some form or another to him, and he will get instruction about
his future life. He will endure his fast bravely as long as possible.

It sometimes happens that Indian boys die at this time of fasting, but
we feel sure that Yellow Thunder will live and be a joy to his parents
to the end of their lives.

But how is the Indian mother preparing him for this great test? She
teaches him, first of all, to _obey_. In no other way would it be
possible for him to become a great man. He must heed everything that
his father and mother tell him. He must always be ready to do their
bidding. It is the greatest token of rudeness to appear curious,
therefore he must ask no questions. He must love the truth. A lie is
almost unknown among the Indians; they scorn it as the mark of a
cowardly and mean nature. He must be brotherly to all creatures, and
ready to give to others always.

Yellow Thunder has never seen a pauper or beggar in his life. Whenever
any one comes to his home, his mother hastens at once to prepare food
for the visitor. It is almost a law to her to do so. If relatives should
come for a visit, they will be made welcome and allowed to stay as long
as they desire. If they should remain for the rest of their lives, they
would never be asked to leave. "Be hospitable to all," is a maxim
planted in the heart of every Indian child.

Yellow Thunder is taught that everything should be shared in common.
The Indian does not say, "My land." It is always "Ours." The people of a
tribe are truly brothers to each other.

The red boy's mamma does not need to teach him that theft is wrong. It
is almost unknown among his people. The idea of doing such an
unbrotherly thing does not enter their heads. No wonder there are
neither poorhouses nor prisons among these people. We call them savages,
but there are many things we could copy with profit from them. Don't you
think so, children? "Live and learn," is an old saying, and I think we
would do well to remember it when we read the lives of our cousins in
many lands.

Yellow Thunder does not go to church or Sunday school. I doubt if Sunday
is any different to him from any other day. But his mamma has taught him
that there is one loving Heavenly Father for all. If Yellow Thunder is
good and brave, he will go to the "happy hunting-grounds" when he dies.
At least, this is what he is taught to believe. There will be enough
food and an abundance of animals to kill. Everything that the Indian
loves best to do in this life, he thinks can be found in his heaven. But
there is no place there for the white man. George Washington was the
only white man who ever lived whom they thought fit to enter their
paradise. The exception was made in his case because he was brave and
good, and treated the Indians fairly and justly.

Yellow Thunder's mother often tells him of a prophecy which was made
long ago by the wise men of her tribe. They said that a great monster,
with white eyes, would come out of the East and consume the land. Did
the prophecy come true, you ask? Yes, my dears, it was the white race.

When Yellow Thunder thinks of the great forests which his people once
owned, and of the numbers of animals roaming there, when he remembers
the wars which have been fought and lost with the "great monster," his
heart grows bitter.

Don't blame him, children, but feel sorry for your little Indian cousin.
His people have certainly had a hard time. They have been very cruel in
warfare with us, but they felt they were treated unjustly, and we were
taking their homes away from them.

Yellow Thunder believes in the Great Father, as I have told you. His
mother has also taught him that there are many spirits, both good and
bad. God made the good spirits to help him in his care of this great
world. The Indian believes that the wind is a spirit of great power. The
thunder is another spirit, whom he calls Heno. Heno makes the clouds and
the rain. It is he who forms the thunderbolt and sends it to destroy
the wicked.

The Great Spirit is very kind to give men such a helper, and when the
harvest time comes, Yellow Thunder gives him thanks and prays to him
that he will continue to send Heno into the world.

There is an old legend among the Indians that Heno once dwelt in a cave
behind Niagara Falls. The mighty rushing noise of the water was pleasing
to him.

Yellow Thunder pictures the Spirit of the Winds to himself. This spirit
has the face of an old man who is always in the midst of discord, for
the four winds are never at peace with each other.

Then there are the spirits of Corn, of Beans, and of Squash. Each one of
these is looked upon as a friend of the red race, for these vegetables
are prized by them above all others.

It is believed that these spirits have the forms of beautiful women, and
that they dwell happily together and are very fond of each other.

There are many other good spirits. The red boy feels their presence in
the forests and out upon the waters. They are ever around him to protect
him when he is good. But, if he should be bad? Ah! There are many evil
spirits, too, who are only too ready to work mischief and harm among
men, if they have the chance.

Yellow Thunder believes that animals have souls, only they are not as
wise as men. Sometimes, when they have done great wrongs, men have been
changed into animals. Our cousin thinks the wolf was once a little boy
like himself, but the poor little fellow was neglected by his parents,
and was transformed into an animal. The raccoon was once a shell on the
seashore. What curious ideas these are! Where do you suppose they came
from before they lived in the minds of the red race?

While we are speaking of these things, I will stop and tell you of
something that happened at Yellow Thunder's house the other day. His
father, Black Cloud, came home from the hunt bringing a big black bear.
It was so heavy that two other men had to help in carrying it. They had
discovered the creature in a hollow tree and had easily killed it. But
now comes the amusing part of the story. As soon as the bear was laid
down in front of the hut, Yellow Thunder and his mamma went up to it and
began to kiss and stroke the dead animal's head. Black Cloud did the
same, and then they all begged the bear's pardon for having killed it.
Black Cloud said, "I would not have done so, had we not needed food, so
I know you will forgive me."

Then the head of the bear was cut off and laid on one of the best mats.
It was decorated with all the jewelry owned by the family. There were
silver armlets and bracelets, as well as belts and necklaces of wampum.
Tobacco was placed in front of its head, while each one in turn lighted
a pipe and blew the smoke into the bear's nostrils. This was to turn
away its anger from those who had killed it. Black Cloud then made a
speech to the bear.

I suppose these people believed that the spirit of some human being had
come to live in the animal's body, and they looked upon it as a friend
whom they were forced to kill.

After all this ceremony, the fat of the bear was boiled down to oil, the
meat was cut up and dried for future use, while the head was put into
the pot to cook for dinner. I do not doubt that when the bear stew was
served, Yellow Thunder did not give a single thought to the idea of
eating a friend. He had done his duty in asking its forgiveness, and
that was enough.

What kind of a school does Yellow Thunder attend? It is a very large
one. It covers the forests, the rivers, and the lakes. And who is his
teacher? The very same one who gives so many lessons to Anahei in the
hot land of Borneo, so far away. Dame Nature is her name. She is usually
loving and kind, but sometimes she shows her anger in the storms and
winds which rage about our little cousins.

The lessons which Yellow Thunder learns are very different from those
given Anahei, for they live in vastly different climates. Anahei, you
remember, is near the equator, while Yellow Thunder lives in the
temperate lands. He learns from the ice and the snow, he sees different
animals, plants, and trees.

He is quicker, stronger, and brighter than Anahei, for the cold winters
make him so. His eyes are very sharp, his ears will hear sounds that
yours would not notice, his feet can travel many miles without his
having a thought of being tired.

He has no compass, and yet he can journey in the forest in any direction
he may choose without losing his way. How does he do it? He has learned
to notice that the tops of the pine-trees generally lean toward the
rising sun. He has discovered that moss grows toward the roots of the
trees on their north side, while the largest branches of trees are
usually found on the south side of their trunks.

In fact, Yellow Thunder has learned so many of Nature's secrets that, if
he should reveal them all, they would fill many books.

This cousin of yours knows nothing about writing as you understand it.
He puts all his stories into pictures. He could send you a letter with
two or three pictures, telling a long, long story, but I don't believe
you could understand one-quarter of it. His little Indian friends would
be able to read it all at a glance.

Their eyes are well trained, although they know nothing about your
alphabet or vertical penmanship.

Black Cloud often finds a bark picture hanging to some tree while he is
hunting. It is better than any guide-post such as we make, because it
will tell him so much. He will know from it that other red men have
journeyed this way, and what kind of experience they had. Perhaps it
will warn him of danger, or explain to him the best direction to go if
he wishes to find more game.

You may like to see such a picture. I will copy one which Mr. Henry Rowe
Schoolcraft saw while he was living among the Indians. He was exploring
the country with a party of white men and two Indian guides. They lost
their way during the day and camped out all night in a deep forest.
Before they went away on the next morning, the Indian guides hung this
picture on a tree:


They thought it might be of use to others passing there.

Figure I. is the officer who commanded the party. You may know this
because he carries a sword. II. has a book in his hand. This shows he is
the secretary. III. carries a hammer, because he is a geologist. IV.
and V. are attendants. VI. is the man who interprets to the party the
words of the Indian guides. The group of eight figures marked IX.
consists of soldiers. Their muskets stand in the corner, and are marked
X., VII. and VIII. are the two Indian guides. You will notice that they
are drawn with no hats, which shows at once that they are not white men.
XIII., XIV., and XV. represent fires, showing that each separate
group--officers, soldiers, and Indian guides--had a separate one.
Figures XI. and XII. are the pictures of a prairie-hen and a tortoise,
which were the only game they had been able to kill that day. The pole
to which the piece of bark was fastened leaned in the direction which
the party was going to travel. There were three notches in the pole to
show the distance they had already journeyed.

Yellow Thunder learns to read these bark pictures, and also to make
them himself. He enjoys this work very much, and can tell a long story
quickly. If I were you, I would write him a letter and ask him to answer
it in his own way.

This cousin of yours has many things to keep him busy. I have already
told you of the mats and baskets which he helps his mother in making. He
goes with her to get the bark which she will use in mending the wigwam
and making many useful things.

He makes barrels out of red elm bark in which to store groundnuts, corn,
and beans. He cuts ladles out of wood, which the family will use in
eating their soup and hominy. On the end of each ladle Yellow Thunder
carves the figure of some animal. Perhaps it is a beaver or a squirrel.
He does it very neatly. Whatever the Indian boy does, he does well.

Yellow Thunder makes sieve-baskets out of splint. His mother can sift
the corn-meal through one of these as nicely as your mamma can do it
with her wire sieve.

He makes salt-bottles out of corn-husks, wooden bowls and pitchers, and
many other things for the simple housekeeping. All this work is done
during the cold winter months, while his mother is making moccasins and
kilts for his father and himself.

When spring opens, she must till the ground for her corn, and Yellow
Thunder can now be of great help. She will miss him greatly when he
begins to hunt with his father. She will then have all this work to do

I wish you could see the Indian woman's garden. It is kept so carefully,
I don't believe you would be able to find a weed. Yellow Thunder's
mother did a queer thing the first night after it was planted. She stole
out of the wigwam alone into the darkness. She went behind a bush, and
took off all her clothing. Taking her skirt in her hand, she ran
swiftly around the field of corn, dragging the garment after her. She
believed this would keep away all insects which might destroy the crop,
and that now it would be sure to yield well. For what a sad thing it
would be if winter should come with no bread to eat through the long

Yellow Thunder is very fond of his mother's corn bread. The corn is
first hulled by boiling in ashes and water. The tough skin will now slip
off easily. After being washed and dried, it is pounded in a mortar into
flour. Then it is sifted and made into cakes about an inch thick. These
cakes are dropped into boiling water, and are quickly made ready for our
red cousin to eat. Since he was a baby, he has lived almost entirely on
corn bread, together with the game and fish which his father brings

Yellow Thunder eats something on his corn cakes which you like as much
as he does himself. It is maple syrup. The sugar which his mother makes
from it is the only kind he has ever tasted in his life. It is his work
to tap the trees in the spring, and bring home the jars of sap, which
his mother will boil down to syrup and sugar.

When her husband goes out on a long hunt, he must take food with him, as
it may be a long time before he gets any game. He cannot carry the
boiled corn cakes, as they would soon crumble and grow sour. His good
wife roasts some corn until it is quite dry. She pounds it into powder
and mixes it with maple sugar. It is packed away in Black Cloud's
bearskin pocket. He need not worry about hunger now, even if he is away
from home many days. He has everything he needs to keep hunger away.

Yellow Thunder is very proud of the beautiful canoe he has just
finished. He had to search a long time before he was able to find a
tree which suited him. He wanted to make his canoe of birch bark because
it is much lighter than the bark of the elm-tree, of which his father's
boat is made.

He needed a strip at least twelve feet long, because the canoe must be
made of one piece. Two of his boy friends went with him and they at last
obtained a strip which was just right. They helped him bend it into
shape, until the side pieces came together in two pointed ends. How do
you suppose they fastened the edges together? They made thread out of
the bark itself, and with this Yellow Thunder sewed the pieces together.

He next got strips of white ash for the rim of his canoe, because the
wood of that tree is very elastic. The boat must be made stronger still
with ribs of the ash, and the work is done.

The canoe is a little beauty. It is so light that the red boy can lift
it out of the water and carry it with the greatest ease from place to
place. I wish you could see him as he shoots down the river in his boat.
He moves so rapidly, he will be out of sight in a few minutes.

[Illustration: "HE SHOOTS DOWN THE RIVER."]

The Indians of the northwestern part of our country used to make their
canoes of cedar logs. The cedar trees there grow so large that canoes
eighty feet long, and large enough to hold one hundred men, were made of
a single piece. One was exhibited at the Columbian Exposition at
Chicago. It was twelve feet wide.

Yellow Thunder has taken his bow and arrows with him to-day, as he may
come upon a flock of wild ducks. He would like to surprise his mother
with some birds for supper.

He can shoot well. He will not fail to secure some game. He has
practised archery ever since he was a tiny little fellow. He would feel
himself disgraced for ever if he should disappoint his father when they
go out to hunt.

I can't tell you how many bows and arrows he has already made in his
lifetime. He has now grown so large and strong that he uses a bow three
and a half feet long. It has such a difficult spring that I fear you
could not bend it far, but Yellow Thunder can set his arrow to the head
with ease. But it takes skill and great strength to do it.

Perhaps you wonder why the arrow is feathered at the end. This will make
it go straight ahead in the direction in which it is sent. Sometimes
Yellow Thunder uses arrow-heads cut out of flint. They are dangerous
things, and will kill deer and even men. Indians have often been known
to place poison on the arrow-heads they used in warfare. The agonies of
the men who were shot by them were terrible indeed.

Black Cloud has not been to war since Yellow Thunder was born. There
are so few of the red race now, and the numbers of the white men are so
great, that there is not much chance of warfare.

However, many stories are told in Black Cloud's lodge of the good old
days when the war-whoop was commonly heard and the tomahawk and
scalping-knife were in constant use. Yellow Thunder often passes by the
grave of a great Indian chief, and thinks about that hero's bravery in
battle. This grave is reverently marked and carefully fenced in. The boy
wishes he had a chance to leave such a memory.

At the head of the grave there is a stick with the figure of a wolf
carved upon it. It is the symbol, or "totem" of the chief's tribe. Below
the wolf there are many strokes of red paint, which Yellow Thunder likes
to count, for each stroke tells of a scalp taken in warfare.

Not many miles up the river above Yellow Thunder's home, beavers are
hunted. Black Cloud likes to catch them, because their flesh is good to
eat, and the skin is covered with fine fur. Last winter he allowed his
son to go with himself and a party of men to hunt for this clever little

Yellow Thunder believes that the beavers were once people and able to
speak like himself. But they were too wise, so the Great Spirit took
away this power and changed them into these animals.

I wonder if you have ever seen a beaver's house. He usually makes it of
the young wood of birch or pine trees, and builds it a short way out in
the river, so that it is surrounded by water. He shows a great deal of
skill in making his home. It has a roof shaped like a dome. It reaches
three or four feet above the surface of the water.

There are generally only two young beavers in the family. The first year
they live with their parents. The second year they have a room built
next to the main house for their special use. By this time they are old
enough to help their father and mother get food. They eat great
quantities of roots and wood, but they like the wood of the birch and
poplar trees best of all.

When the young beavers are two years old, they leave their old home, and
choose a new place in which to build houses for themselves. Once in a
great while, hunters find beavers that the Indians call "old bachelors."
This is because they live alone, build no houses, but make their homes
in holes they find, or dig out for themselves.

The beaver always makes holes in the banks of the river near his house.
The entrance to such a hole is below the surface of the water, so that
if the beaver is attacked in his house, he can flee for safety to his
hiding-place in the bank.

Now let us return to Yellow Thunder and his beaver hunt. It was a bitter
cold day and the river was frozen over in some places, but that would be
so much the better if the hunters hoped to secure their game. They
journeyed by the riverside for several miles. There was a heavy fall of
snow, but they moved along quickly with the help of their snowshoes,
till one of the men whispered: "I see it. Stop!"

Sure enough! A few feet away from them and from the bank rose the roof
of a dam above the ice. One of the men tried the ice and found it was
thick enough to bear them.

Yellow Thunder was told to remain where he was on the bank, while the
rest of the party took heavy tools in their hands and went over to the
beavers' house. They quickly destroyed it. But the beavers? What had
become of them? They did not stay in their house to have it broken down
over their heads. They were too wise. When the first alarm was given,
they hurried through the water, under the icy covering of the river, to
a hiding-place in the bank. They had made it long ago to be ready in
case of danger.

Would the Indians succeed in finding them? Remember that nothing could
be seen to show where the beavers had gone. The hunters crept along the
ice on the edges of the river, and kept striking it with their mallets.
If they should hear a hollow sound as they struck the ice, they would
know they had discovered the beavers' hiding-place.

Ah! sure enough! It is Yellow Thunder himself who says: "Quick, father,
come here; I have found it. I know this is a hole because of the noise
the water makes underneath. Beavers are breathing there, or it would not
move so quickly."

Black Cloud hurries to the spot and the ice is cracked in an instant.
Yes, his son is right. A family of beavers is inside the hole. They must
be taken quickly, or they will escape. There is but one way to do it.
The hunter must reach his hands into the hole and pull the animals out.
Their teeth are very sharp, and they will do their best to bite him, but
Black Cloud does not think of that. He is quickly at work and pulls out
one after another.

There are four beavers in all,--two old ones and their young about two
years of age. They are soon killed and ready to be skinned. How
beautiful and glossy the fur is! It is at its very best in midwinter.

This has been a fine day's sport, and Black Cloud has received only one
bad bite in his wrist. It must cause him a good deal of pain, yet he
does not show that he feels any. He binds up his wrist, and nothing is
said about it.


When they reach home Yellow Thunder's mamma will take the tails of the
beavers and put them in the pot to boil. The Indians think they are a
great delicacy. They will make a feast, to which Black Cloud has gone to
invite his friends.

His wife is standing in the door of the wigwam, waiting for the return
of her husband and son. She has dressed herself with great care to-day,
and has a really beautiful costume. Just imagine your mamma in a dress
like hers. She wears long leggings of red cloth reaching from above her
knees down over her moccasins. They are worked with beads around the

A long time ago the Indian women made their clothing of deerskins and
embroidered them with porcupine quills, but nowadays they buy cloth and
beads of the white traders in exchange for furs.

Over the woman's leggings a long blue skirt reaches from her waist
nearly to the ground. This, also, is embroidered with beads in a flower
pattern. And last, but not least, she wears a bright calico overdress
which reaches from her throat to a short distance below her waist, is
also beaded, and is gathered in at the belt.

I must not forget to mention her glass necklace, large silver earrings,
and the shoulder ornaments of woven grass and beadwork.

She is a graceful woman, and it is pleasant to look at her with the
sunset light upon her black hair and eyes.

When her little boy was six years old he was very sick. His cheeks
burned with fever. He could not lift his head from the mat on which he
lay. His dear mamma scarcely left his side through the long hours of the
day. She tried to soothe him with low, sweet songs, but it was in vain.
The fever grew stronger and fiercer. Black Cloud came home at night.
Looking at his little son, he said, "The medicine-man must come. He will
cure him."

The medicine-man was at once sent for. He is a very important person
among the Indians. He is considered very wise. He is thought to have
wonderful dreams and to get instruction from the Great Spirit. The red
people think he can cure sickness, unless it is the will of the Great
Spirit for the patient to die.

The medicine-man always carries a bag of charms to help him in making
his cures. I do not doubt you would laugh at the collection in the bag,
if you had a chance to peep in, but no good Indian has a thought of
doing such a thing. It is believed to be holy, and nothing inside should
be looked upon except as the medicine-man draws it out to work his

There are medicines, the carved figures of different animals, the bones
of others, and I don't know how many other queer things.

Poor little Yellow Thunder looked up with delight as the great man
entered the hut. He believed that he would soon be well and ready to
work and play once more.

The medicine-man ordered first that a dog be sacrificed. Next, that the
family prepare a great feast for themselves. These things would help to
satisfy the Great Spirit and turn away his anger. But this was not all.
He took out a rattle from his bag. It was made of the dried hoofs of
deer fastened to a stick. He began to sing, beating time with his
rattle, and striking himself violent blows. The singing grew louder and
louder. The rattle made a fearful din.

How did our poor sick cousin stand it? I'm sure I can't tell. The little
fellow lay with closed eyes and hardly moved. This queer doctor at
length stopped his song and got ready to go away. He told Yellow
Thunder's papa that his son would be sure to get well. And you know
already from my story that our red cousin did get over his sickness, and
grew to be a big, strong boy. Whether the treatment he got was any help,
or whether Mother Nature did all the work, I leave you to decide for
yourselves. I have my own opinion in the matter.

Yellow Thunder is very fond of music. I wonder what he would think of a
church organ or grand piano. His own instruments are very simple. He
made them himself. He has a tambourine on which he often plays in the
evening while other children dance. He cut a section of wood from a
hollow tree and stretched a skin over it, and his instrument was made.

He also has a flute. It was a little more work for the red boy to make
this. He carved two pieces of cedar in the shape of half cylinders, and
fastened them together with fish glue. He next hunted about in the woods
for a snake. After he had found one and killed it, he took off the skin
and stretched it over the wood. Eight holes were then made in the
instrument, as well as a mouthpiece like that of a flageolet.

When Yellow Thunder blows upon this flute, it makes soft and sweet
music. It lay by his side when he was sick with the fever, and as soon
as he was strong enough to sit up, he amused himself by playing some
simple tunes his mamma had taught him.

Our little friend is very fond of dancing. His people have so many
dances that I shall have to tell you about some of them.

They believe the Great Spirit gave them the gift of dancing. They have a
Dance for the Dead, a Medicine Dance, the War-dance, the Dance of
Honour, and I don't know how many others. In some of them only men take
part, and they have special costumes, while in others there are none but
women. It seems as though there were always something happening among
the Indians to give them a good reason to dance.

The War-dance is only performed in the evening and always on some
important occasion.

Fifteen or twenty men are usually chosen, one of whom must be the
leader. All appear in costume and wear knee rattles of deer's hoofs.
When the time draws near, the people gather in the council-house and
wait quietly for the dancers to arrive. A keeper-of-the-faith rises and
makes a short speech on the meaning of the dance. Hark! The war-whoop
sounds outside! It is heard again, and still again. The band is drawing
near. Ah! here they come at last.

To our eyes they look hideous in their war-paint and feathers, but to
the crowd of eager Indians who are waiting, they appear very fair,

They march in and form a circle. The war-whoop is sounded again by the
leader, and answered by the rest of the dancers. At a given sign, the
singers commence the war-song, the drums beat, and the dancers begin to
move. They come down on their heels again and again with the greatest
force, keeping time to the beating of the drums. The knee rattles make
noise enough of themselves. The din is fearful.

The dancers change their positions continually. At the same moment you
will see some of them with their arms raised as though to attack, others
in the act of drawing the bow, others again appear to be throwing the
tomahawk, or striking with the war-club. Every position possible in
battle is taken.

Each one is full of the excitement of the moment. The wild music and
dancing last for about two minutes. For the next two minutes the dancers
walk around in a circle to the slow beating of the drums. Then there is
another war-whoop, which is followed by another dance and song.

The dance is often stopped by a tap upon the ground by one of the
audience. He wishes to make a short speech. It, maybe, is a funny one to
make everybody laugh. Or perhaps the speaker wishes to inspire the
people to nobler lives or to greater love for their race. He can say
anything he chooses, on condition that at the end of the speech he makes
a present to one of the dancers. This speech gives the dancers a chance
to rest, and at the same time keeps the people interested.

The evening is full of entertainment, and passes only too quickly. I'm
afraid, however, if you were present you would be more frightened than
amused by such wild music and motions.

Another strange dance which is performed among Yellow Thunder's people
is called the Dance for the Dead. Only women take part in it. It is
generally given every spring and fall, in honour of those of the tribe
who have died. The Indians believe that at these times their dead
friends come back and join in the dance.

The music is sad, and the movements of the dancers are slow and
mournful. This strange dance is kept up from dusk till the early
morning. It is believed that the dead friends who have been present must
then go back to the happy hunting-grounds.

I haven't said very much as yet about our red cousin's playmates and
sports. They have many good times together. They have a great number of
games and many matches of strength and quickness.

Yellow Thunder loves his ball game as much as you boys love baseball. He
and his friends often prepare for a game by a special diet and training
for days beforehand. Crowds gather from neighbouring tribes and villages
to see the sport. Those who take part wear no clothing except a
waist-cloth. The ball is small and is made of deerskin.

A large open field is chosen, and two gates are made on opposite sides
of it. Each gate is made by setting two poles three rods apart. Six or
eight boys play on a side and own one of the gates. The game is won by
the side which first carries the ball through its own gate a certain
number of times. The white men learned this game from the Indians, and
it is a great favourite with them in some parts of the country,
especially in Canada. It is now called "lacrosse," but its name in the
language of the Iroquois Indians was O-ta-da-jish-qua-age.

Black Cloud has as much interest as Yellow Thunder in the game, and
often takes part in it with his friends. You can hardly believe how
excited these red men get when they are preparing for a set game of

The javelin game is another of the boy's favourites. It is quite simple,
and yet one needs to be very skilful. Rings about eight inches across,
and javelins five or six feet long are needed in playing it. While a
ring is set rolling upon the ground by one person, a player on the other
side throws the javelin and tries to hit it. If he succeed, the ring is
set up as a target, and each one on the opposite side must throw a
javelin and try to hit it. If he fail, he loses his javelin. Victory
belongs to the side which wins the most javelins.

The favourite game in winter is that of snow snakes. The snakes are made
of hickory. They are from five to seven feet long. The head of the
snake is round and pointed with lead. It is about an inch wide and
slightly turned up. The snake is made so that it tapers toward the tail,
which is only about half an inch wide.

Yellow Thunder has practised so much that he can throw his snake with
great skill. It skims along the snow crust like an arrow. He has won
many a game this winter and his father is very proud of him, because it
takes a great deal of strength and training to be a good player.

There are many other games played by the Indian men and boys, but I
shall have to tell you about them some other time.

I hear one of my little friends say: "I wonder if my red cousin has any
holidays. He certainly cannot understand the glorious Fourth, and I
don't believe he ever heard of Christmas. How does he get along?"

Why, my dear children, I can't stop to tell you of all the feasts and
festivals to which the boy is invited. On every possible occasion a
feast is given by some one in the village. For instance, if the men are
very successful in one of their hunts, and come home laden down with a
good supply of deer, raccoon, or bear, some one of them prepares a

How you would laugh to see them gathering at a party. Each one carries
his own wooden bowl and plate, for that is the custom. I mean that each
_man_ does this, for the women are not expected to sit down. They only
stand around and laugh at the bright sayings they hear. They must not
even join in the conversation. They seem to think that they are having a
good time, however, and when the feast is over go back to their own
wigwams, repeating to each other the good things they have heard. The
men remain to smoke and tell more stories.

Sometimes a feast is prepared on purpose for the young people. At such
a time some one who is much older than themselves makes a speech. He
encourages his young friends to be nobler, braver, and better than ever
before. It seems as though Yellow Thunder could never forget the good
words he has heard at these feasts. Whenever he feels like showing pain
or being ill-tempered, he recollects them, and they help to keep him

Each season of the year has its special festival. The longest of all is
the new year jubilee, which lasts seven days. It takes place in the
middle of the winter, about the first of February. Several days before
the beginning of the celebration, our little cousin gathers with his
people in the council-hall. They must confess their sins to each other
before the new year opens. Yellow Thunder thinks over everything which
he has done, or not done as he ought, during the past year. He does not
wish to forget anything.

When the great day arrives, two keepers-of-the-faith come to his home
early in the morning. It is their duty to go to every other wigwam, too.
They are dressed up in such a way that Yellow Thunder cannot tell who
they are. They wear bear or buffalo skins wrapped around their bodies,
and fastened about their heads with wreaths of corn husks. They also
wear wreaths of corn husks around their arms and ankles. Their faces are
painted in all sorts of queer ways. They carry corn pounders in their

As they enter the hut, they bow to the family, and one of them strikes
the ground with his corn pounder. When every one is silent, he makes a
speech, urging them to clean their house, put everything in order, and
prepare for the festivities of the next few days. If any one in the
family should be taken sick and die, he urges them not to mourn till the
ceremonies which the Great Spirit has commanded are over. You can see
from this that the Indian's religion is carried into everything he does.

After a song of thanksgiving, the keepers-of-the-faith leave Yellow
Thunder's home and pass on to the next one. In the afternoon they come
back again, and urge the family to give thanks to the Great Spirit for
the return of the season.

The little boy is most excited on this first day of the festival by the
strangling of the White Dog. It must be spotless, if possible. White is
the emblem of purity and faith. A white deer or squirrel, or any other
animal that is pure white, is thought to be sacred to the Great Spirit.

The dog, which has been carefully kept for this purpose, is killed with
the greatest care. Otherwise it would not be a fitting sacrifice. Not a
drop of blood must be shed. Not a bone must be broken. When it is quite
dead, it is trimmed with ribbons and feathers, and spotted in different
places with dabs of red paint. Then it is hung up by its neck on a pole.
It must stay there till the fifth day. At that time it will be taken
down to be burned.

On the second day, Yellow Thunder is dressed up in his very best, and
goes out with his father and mother to make calls on his neighbours. The
keepers-of-the-faith come to his house three times during the day. They
are now dressed up as warriors with all their war-paint and feathers.
One of them stirs up the ashes in the fireplace and sprinkles them
about. As he does this, he makes a speech, thanking the Great Spirit
that the family, as well as himself, have been allowed to live another
year to take part in the festival. There is another song of thanksgiving
and they go away.

On the third and fourth days small dancing parties go from home to
home. One party will perform the war-dance, another the feather-dance,
still another the fish-dance, and so on. This year Yellow Thunder's
father let him join a party of boys to give the war-dance. They had
great fun dressing up as warriors and decking themselves with paint and
feathers. They went from home to home till they had danced in every hut
in the village. They were tired enough to sleep soundly when night came.


I must tell you of some more sport they had during the festival. Some of
the boys dressed in rags and paint, put on false faces and formed a
"thieving party," as it was called. They went about collecting things
for a feast. An old woman carrying a large basket went with them. If the
family they visited made them presents, they handed them to the old
woman and gave a dance in return for the kindness. But if no presents
were given, they took anything they could seize without being seen. If
they were discovered, they gave them up, but if not, it was considered
fair for them to carry the things away for their feast.

Yellow Thunder had great fun hiding the stolen articles in his clothing.
He was not once caught.

Every night was given up to dancing and other entertainments. Our Indian
cousin got time for a game of snow snakes nearly every day.

On the morning of the fifth day the White Dog was burned. A procession
was formed, the men marching in Indian file. Listen! A great sound is
heard. It is something like the war-whoop. It is the signal to start.
The dead dog is carried to the altar on a bark litter in front of the
procession. The sacrifice is laid upon the altar. The fire is kindled.
As the flames rise, a prayer is made to the Great Spirit for all his
good gifts to the Indians. The trees and the bushes, the sun and the
winds, the moon and the stars,--none are forgotten that have helped to
make the world better to live in.

As the sacrifice burns upon the altar, Yellow Thunder listens to the
long prayer with reverence. He believes that the dog's soul is now
rising to the Great Spirit. It will be a proof to Him of the faith of
His people, for the day itself is the day of faith and trust.

During the rest of the festival there is more dancing and more feasting,
while favourite games are played by old and young.

"Oh, what a good time it is," thinks Yellow Thunder; "how happy we all
should be that the new year has come." And what a tired boy sleeps on
Yellow Thunder's mat when the seven days of this glorious time are over.
The Fourth of July celebration is slight indeed compared with it.

Yellow Thunder begins already to look forward to the first festival of
the springtime. It is called by the Indians "Thanks to the Maple." I
don't dare to give it to you in their own language. You would only scowl
and say, "Oh, dear! what's the use? I can't pronounce those long words,
and I will not try."

Just as soon as the first warm days arrive, the red boy's eyes begin to
watch the maple-trees. He wishes to be the first one to discover that
the sap has started and is beginning to flow. Then hurrah for a holiday
for old and young! Thanks must be given to the tree that gives so much
sweetness to boys and girls. The Great Spirit must be thanked, also, for
he gave the maple to the poor Indian.

There must be more feasting and story-telling, more games and dancing.
Tobacco must be burned as an offering to the Great Spirit, and prayers
must be said. The great feather dance will be the best thing of all. It
is very graceful and beautiful, and the band of dancers will wear
costumes which belong only to this dance.

You certainly cannot wonder that Yellow Thunder enjoys this festival. I
don't doubt you would like to be there, also, as well as at the green
corn feast, and many others.

At these times your red cousin's heart is full of gladness and gratitude
for the great gifts the Great Spirit has given him.

It is evening time. Let us creep up softly behind him as he listens to a
legend one of the story-tellers of the tribe is repeating. It is the
tale of the Lone Lightning.

Once upon a time there was a poor little boy who had no father or
mother. He lived with an uncle who did not love him. This cruel man made
the child do many hard things and did not give him enough to eat. Of
course the child did not grow properly. He was very thin and pitiful to
look upon. After awhile the cruel uncle grew ashamed of the appearance
of the boy. Every one could see that he was ill-treated.

He said to himself, "I will give the child so much to eat that he will
die. I hate him!" Then he went to his wife and said, "Give the boy
bear's meat, and choose the fat of it for him."

They kept cramming the child. When they were stuffing the food down his
throat one day, he almost choked. Poor little fellow! There was no one
who cared for him or wished him to live. He knew it only too well.

The first chance he obtained, he ran away. He did not know where to go,
but wandered around in the forest. Night came. Wild beasts would now
begin to roam about. They would get him and eat him. The little boy was
afraid when he thought of all this. He climbed up in a tree as far as he
dared, and went to sleep in a fork of the branches. He had a wonderful
dream. It was an omen given to him by the spirits.

It seemed as though some one appeared to him from out of the sky. He
spoke to the orphan, and said, "Poor child, I know all about your hard
life and your cruel uncle. Come with me."

The boy awoke instantly. There was his guide. He began to follow him.
Higher and higher he rose up in the air till they were both in the upper
sky. Then his guide placed twelve arrows in his hands and told him that
there were many bad manitos (spirits) in the northern sky. He must go
forth and try to shoot them.

He did as he was told. He travelled toward the north and shot one arrow
after another, vainly trying to kill the manitos. He now had only one
arrow left. As each one had sped forth from his bow, there had been a
long streak of lightning in the sky. Then all had grown clear again.

The boy held the last arrow in his hand for a long time and tried again
to discover the manitos. But these beings are very cunning if they
choose, and they can change their forms at any moment. They were afraid
of the boy's arrows, for they had magic powers and had been given him by
a good spirit. If the child aimed them straight, the bad manitos would
be killed.

At length the boy gained courage and shot his last arrow. He thought it
was aimed at the very heart of the chief of the spirits. But before it
reached him, he had changed himself into a rock. The head of the arrow
pierced this rock and fastened itself within it.

The manito was enraged. He cried out, "Your arrows are gone now. You
shall be punished for daring to strike at me." As he said these words,
he changed the boy into the Lone Lightning, which is still seen in the
northern sky to this day.

    =THE END.=


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Being three "Little Colonel" stories in the Cosy Corner Series, "The
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The scene of this story is laid in Kentucky. Its heroine is a small
girl, who is known as the Little Colonel, on account of her fancied
resemblance to an old-school Southern gentleman, whose fine estate and
old family are famous in the region.


This is the story of Joyce and of her adventures in France. Joyce is a
great friend of the Little Colonel, and in later volumes shares with her
the delightful experiences of the "House Party" and the "Holidays."


In this volume the Little Colonel returns to us like an old friend, but
with added grace and charm. She is not, however, the central figure of
the story, that place being taken by the "two little knights."


A delightful little story of a lonely English girl who comes to America
and is befriended by a sympathetic American family who are attracted by
her beautiful speaking voice. By means of this one gift she is enabled
to help a school-girl who has temporarily lost the use of her eyes, and
thus finally her life becomes a busy, happy one.


The readers of Mrs. Johnston's charming juveniles will be glad to learn
of the issue of this volume for young people.


A collection of six bright little stories, which will appeal to all boys
and most girls.


A story of two boys. The devotion and care of Stephen, himself a small
boy, for his baby brother, is the theme of the simple tale.


"Ole Mammy's Torment" has been fitly called "a classic of Southern
life." It relates the haps and mishaps of a small negro lad, and tells
how he was led by love and kindness to a knowledge of the right.


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owned jointly by two brothers. Dago tells his own story, and the account
of his haps and mishaps is both interesting and amusing.


A pleasant little story of a boy's labor of love, and how it changed the
course of his life many years after it was accomplished.


A story of a boy's life battle, his early defeat, and his final triumph,
well worth the reading.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes: Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

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