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Text on one page: Few Medium Many
Two Indian Children
of
Long Ago

BY
FRANCES LILIAN TAYLOR
Author of Adventures in Storyland Readers

ILLUSTRATED BY
L. KATE DEAL

BECKLEY-CARDY COMPANY
CHICAGO




COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY
BECKLEY-CARDY COMPANY
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

[Illustration]




CONTENTS

[Illustration]


PAGE

THE FIRST AMERICANS 7

THE WILD-RICE INDIANS 13

STORIES AND STORY-TELLERS 17

WELCOME TO A PAPOOSE 21

THE INDIAN BABY AND HER CRADLE 25

WHITE CLOUD'S FIRST RIDE 28

NOKOMIS TELLS A STORY 34

THE FIREFLY DANCE 37

SWIFT ELK, THE INDIAN BOY 40

THE NAMING OF SWIFT ELK 45

FIRE AND THE FIRE MAKERS 49

THE THUNDERERS 56

THE LITTLE PEOPLE OF THE FOREST 58

BLACK WOLF TELLS A STORY 62

THE RACE BETWEEN THE CRANE AND THE HUMMING
BIRD 67

HUNTING WILD DUCKS 70

A BRAVE DUCK 77

SUMMER SPORTS 81

THE BALL GAME 85

THE ANIMALS AND THE BIRDS PLAY BALL 89

GATHERING WILD RICE 94

THE ANT AND THE KATYDID 100

HOW WILD RICE WAS DISCOVERED 102

MOVING THE DOLLS' CAMP 106

FINDING A WAR FEATHER 114

THE LYNX AND THE HARE 117

HOW THE ANIMALS SAVED THE TRIBE 119

WINTER EVENINGS 125

THE GROUND-HOG DANCE 131

THE LUCKY HUNTER 134

HOW SICKNESS CAME 140

HOW SPRING CONQUERED WINTER 144

THE GIFT OF CORN 149

THE MAGIC CANOE 154

THE HAPPY HUNTING GROUNDS 158

ABOUT THE BOOK 160




TWO
INDIAN CHILDREN
of LONG AGO

[Illustration]




THE FIRST AMERICANS


We are proud of being Americans. But we must not forget that the
Indians once owned all America, north and south and east and west.

The Indians were the first Americans of whom we read. No people ever
had a greater love for their land, and no race has ever taken more
pleasure in out-of-door life.

After Columbus found the New World, white men came from Europe to make
their homes here. As time went on they drove the Indians farther and
farther west and took away their hunting grounds.

Let us try to imagine our country as it was when the Indians owned it.
Can we picture our land without a house or a store or a railroad? Can
we think of great rivers with no cities on their banks and with no
bridges on which to cross from one side to the other?

Every boy we know likes to go camping. But who would be willing to set
up a camp far away in the deep woods without taking with him tent or
food or blankets?

Before trade with the white men began, the Indians found everything
they needed in the wild land about them. They could make their own
weapons and tools, their canoes and paddles, their houses and
clothing, and even build a fire without matches.

Your fathers leave home to earn money for your food and clothing. Your
mothers see that your meals are cooked and that your clothes are
bought or made.

The Indians took care of their children in much the same way. During
the hunting season the fathers and big brothers went away every
morning to hunt. The men provided all the meat for their families, and
all the skins for clothing and covers.

When a deer or a bear was shot, the hunter brought it to the camp and
threw it down. His work for the day was done--the women could do the
rest.

And it was wonderful to see what the wives and mothers could do with a
big animal. Was there a wigwam in the tribe without food? The meat was
shared to the last mouthful. Was there an abundance? The meat was
dried for long keeping.

Did the son need more covers for his bed? A bear's skin was finished
like a fur rug for his comfort. Did the black-eyed daughter beg for a
new dress? Her mother could make from the deerskin a soft garment
beautifully trimmed with colored beads, stained quills, and fringes.

But what did the Indians do when they could find no more game to shoot
with their arrows? Why, they sent out scouts to select a better place
to live, and the chief gave orders for every one to move.

Down came the lodge poles. The trained dogs were called and loaded,
and away they all went. Just think of a whole village moving and
leaving nothing behind but the land!

[Illustration]

The Indians spent much time in feasting, dancing, and games. During
the summer the men had little else to do, for they seldom hunted while
the wild animals were caring for their young.

Each tribe was ruled by a chief and a council of warriors. All their
lands were held in common, and no one suffered want except when food
was scarce for all.

Every boy was watched with interest by the whole village. His first
walking was noticed, and his first success in hunting was often
celebrated by a feast.

[Illustration]

When the corn was ripe, the Indians held one of the most important
dances of the year to show their thanks to the Great Spirit for the
gift of corn.

In times of sickness, the medicine man came with rattle and drum to
drive away the evil spirits that were believed to have caused the
trouble. If the sick person grew worse, Indians, with their faces
painted black, crowded the wigwam and more medicine men were called.

They drummed harder and harder. They yelled and beat their rattles,
thinking that they were helping the sick one to recover.

When anyone in the tribe died, the things he had cared for most were
placed in his grave. There were toys for a little child, and weapons
and blankets for a warrior. The favorite horse of a chief was often
killed to be his companion on the journey to the land of spirits. Even
food was carried to the burial place because the trail was long that
led to the Happy Hunting Grounds.

After many years, the early customs became greatly changed. To-day
large numbers of Indians are living in the white man's way. Some are
well educated and own houses, farms, and even automobiles. Their
children are trained in government schools. There are writers among
them whose books we like to read, and there are artists who paint
interesting pictures of Indian life.

During the great World War the Indians begged to join the army, and
hundreds enlisted. Young men from many tribes were in France, and
there were no braver soldiers.




THE WILD-RICE INDIANS


Every boy and girl who studies geography can find the Great Lakes. In
the states south and west there are hundreds of small lakes and rivers
where wild rice grows in the shallow water.

During the early days of our country, different tribes of Indians
gathered the wild rice for food, and many battles were fought for the
rice fields.

From the birch trees of the forest the men obtained bark for their
canoes. In these light boats the women pushed their way through the
thickets of ripe grain. They beat the stalks with short sticks,
letting the rice fall into the canoes.

The wild rice was eaten raw from the growing plants. It was also
parched while green for daily use, and bushels of the ripe grain were
stored away for the long, cold winter.

[Illustration]

At harvest time there was always good hunting, for great flocks of
ducks, geese, and other birds flew to the rice stalks to eat the seeds.

In the spring the women, boys, and old men spent weeks at the sugar
camp. They caught the maple sap in small bark dishes and boiled it
into sugar. The boys kept the fires going under the kettles and, for
the first few days, ate nearly all the sugar they made.

Many kinds of berries grew in this northern country. These the Indian
women picked and dried. Indeed, the underground storehouse of a
wigwam housekeeper was full of good things to eat.

Hiawatha is said to have lived on the shore of one of the Great Lakes.
Before the white men sold fire water to the Indians, there were many
happy homes in the forest. The ways of living were the same as we read
about in Longfellow's poem, and the children were trained to be brave
and honorable and to respect their elders.

The boys were trained in woodcraft. They learned the names and habits of
wild animals. They could find their way alone through dense forests; and
they could see farther and hear better than any boys we know.

The girls were taught by their mothers to be modest and industrious.
They made beautiful beadwork to trim dresses and moccasins. They could
set up a wigwam, prepare food, and keep a clean and orderly home.

This little book tells how children lived and played long ago in the
wild-rice country. Their tribe was then at peace with the fierce
Indians farther west. A few men of the village had traveled north with
furs, but the children had never seen a white man.

The old-time life of the Indians is ended. But there are camps in the
unsettled lands of the wild-rice region where many strange customs can
still be seen; where the Indian drum is heard, and the women gather
wild rice as in the olden time.




STORIES AND STORY-TELLERS


The Indians of long ago had no books and no schools; but each tribe
had its story-tellers, who went from one wigwam to another. Everywhere
they were welcomed by old and young and begged to return.

The stories were told and retold by their hearers until learned.
Indian mothers quieted their fretful little ones by stories and songs
just as other mothers have always done.

The Indian stories are strange, and some are very beautiful.



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