Click here to Download Old Indian Legends PDF Book by Zitkala-Sa Language English having PDF Size 1 MB and No of Pages 38.
IKTOMI is a spider fairy. He wears brown deerskin leggins with long soft fringes on either side, and tiny beaded moccasins on his feet. His long black hair is parted in the middle and wrapped with red, red bands. Each round braid hangs over a small brown ear and falls forward over his shoulders. He even paints his funny face with red and yellow, and draws big black rings around his eyes.
Old Indian Legends PDF Book by Zitkala-Sa
|Name of Book||Old Indian Legends|
|PDF Size||1 MB|
|No of Pages||38|
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He wears a deerskin jacket, with bright colored beads sewed tightly on it. Iktomi dresses like a real Dakota brave. In truth, his paint and deerskins are the best part of him—if ever dress is part of man or fairy. Iktomi is a wily fellow. His hands are always kept in mischief. He prefers to spread a snare rather than to earn the smallest thing with honest hunting.
Why! he laughs outright with wide open mouth when some simple folk are caught in a trap, sure and fast. He never dreams another lives so bright as he. Often his own conceit leads him hard against the common sense of simpler people. Poor Iktomi cannot help being a little imp. And so long as he is a naughty fairy, he cannot find a single friend.
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No one helps him when he is in trouble. No one really loves him. Those who come to admire his handsome beaded jacket and long fringed leggins soon go away sick and tired of his vain, vain words and heartless laughter. Thus Iktomi lives alone in a cone-shaped wigwam upon the plain.
One day he sat hungry within his teepee. Suddenly he rushed out, dragging after him his blanket. Quickly spreading it on the ground, he tore up dry tall grass with both his hands and tossed it fast into the blanket. Tying all the four corners together in a knot, he threw the light bundle of grass over his shoulder.
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Snatching up a slender willow stick with his free left hand, he started off with a hop and a leap. From side to side bounced the bundle on his back, as he ran light-footed over the uneven ground. Soon he came to the edge of the great level land. On the hilltop he paused for breath. With wicked smacks of his dry parched lips, as if tasting some tender meat.
He looked straight into space toward the marshy river bottom. With a thin palm shading his eyes from the western sun, he peered far away into the lowlands, munching his own cheeks all the while. “Ah-ha!” grunted he, satisfied with what he saw. A group of wild ducks were dancing and feasting in the marshes.
With wings outspread, tip to tip, they moved up and down in a large circle. Within the ring, around a small drum, sat the chosen singers, nodding their heads and blinking their eyes. They sang in unison a merry dance-song, and beat a lively tattoo on the drum. Following a winding footpath near by, came a bent figure of a Dakota brave. Old Indian Legends PDF Book
He bore on his back a very large bundle. With a willow cane he propped himself up as he staggered along beneath his burden. “Ho! who is there?” called out a curious old duck, still bobbing up and down in the circular dance. Hereupon the drummers stretched their necks till they strangled their song for a look at the stranger passing by.
“Ho, Iktomi! Old fellow, pray tell us what you carry in your blanket. Do not hurry off! Stop! halt!” urged one of the singers. “Stop! stay! Show us what is in your blanket!” cried out other voices. “My friends, I must not spoil your dance. Oh, you would not care to see if you only knew what is in my blanket.
Sing on! dance on! I must not show you what I carry on my back,” answered Iktomi, nudging his own sides with his elbows. This reply broke up the ring entirely. Now all the ducks crowded about Iktomi. “We must see what you carry! We must know what is in your blanket!” they shouted in both his ears. Old Indian Legends PDF Book
Some even brushed their wings against the mysterious bundle. Nudging himself again, wily Iktomi said, “My friends, ‘t is only a pack of songs I carry in my blanket.” “Oh, then let us hear your songs!” cried the curious ducks. At length Iktomi consented to sing his songs. With delight all the ducks flapped their wings and cried together, “Hoye! hoye!” Iktomi, with great care, laid down his bundle on the ground.
“I will build first a round straw house, for I never sing my songs in the open air,” said he. Quickly he bent green willow sticks, planting both ends of each pole into the earth. These he covered thick with reeds and grasses. Soon the straw hut was ready. One by one the fat ducks waddled in through a small opening, which was the only entrance way.
AFAR off upon a large level land, a summer sun was shining bright. Here and there over the rolling green were tall bunches of coarse gray weeds. Iktomi in his fringed buckskins walked alone across the prairie with a black bare head glossy in the sunlight. He walked through the grass without following any well-worn footpath. Old Indian Legends PDF Book
From one large bunch of coarse weeds to another he wound his way about the great plain. He lifted his foot lightly and placed it gently forward like a wildcat prowling noiselessly through the thick grass. He stopped a few steps away from a very large bunch of wild sage. From shoulder to shoulder he tilted his head.
Still farther he bent from side to side, first low over one hip and then over the other. Far forward he stooped, stretching his long thin neck like a duck, to see what lay under a fur coat beyond the bunch of coarse grass. A sleek gray-faced prairie wolf! his pointed black nose tucked in between his four feet drawn snugly together; his handsome bushy tail wound over his nose and feet.
A coyote fast asleep in the shadow of a bunch of grass!—this is what Iktomi spied. Carefully he raised one foot and cautiously reached out with his toes. Gently, gently he lifted the foot behind and placed it before the other. Thus he came nearer and nearer to the round fur ball lying motionless under the sage grass. Old Indian Legends PDF Book Download
Now Iktomi stood beside it, looking at the closed eyelids that did not quiver the least bit. Pressing his lips into straight lines and nodding his head slowly, he bent over the wolf. He held his ear close to the coyote’s nose, but not a breath of air stirred from it. “Dead!” said he at last. “Dead, but not long since he ran over these plains!
See! there in his paw is caught a fresh feather. He is nice fat meat!” Taking hold of the paw with the bird feather fast on it, he exclaimed, “Why, he is still warm! I’ll carry him to my dwelling and have a roast for my evening meal. Ah-ha!” he laughed, as he seized the coyote by its two fore paws and its two hind feet and swung him over head across his shoulders.
The wolf was large and the teepee was far across the prairie. Iktomi trudged along with his burden, smacking his hungry lips together. He blinked his eyes hard to keep out the salty perspiration streaming down his face. All the while the coyote on his back lay gazing into the sky with wide open eyes. His long white teeth fairly gleamed as he smiled and smiled. Old Indian Legends PDF Book Download
“To ride on one’s own feet is tiresome, but to be carried like a warrior from a brave fight is great fun!” said the coyote in his heart. He had never been borne on any one’s back before and the new experience delighted him. He lay there lazily on Iktomi’s shoulders, now and then blinking blue winks. Did you never see a birdie blink a blue wink?
This is how it first became a saying among the plains people. When a bird stands aloof watching your strange ways, a thin bluish white tissue slips quickly over his eyes and as quickly off again; so quick that you think it was only a mysterious blue wink. Sometimes when children grow drowsy they blink blue winks.
While others who are too proud to look with friendly eyes upon people blink in this cold bird-manner. The coyote was affected by both sleepiness and pride. His winks were almost as blue as the sky. In the midst of his new pleasure the swaying motion ceased. Iktomi had reached his dwelling place. Old Indian Legends PDF Book Download
The coyote felt drowsy no longer, for in the next instant he was slipping out of Iktomi’s hands. He was falling, falling through space, and then he struck the ground with such a bump he did not wish to breathe for a while. He wondered what Iktomi would do, thus he lay still where he fell. Humming a dance-song, one from his bundle of mystery songs, Iktomi hopped and darted about at an imaginary dance and feast.
He gathered dry willow sticks and broke them in two against his knee. He built a large fire out of doors. The flames leaped up high in red and yellow streaks. Now Iktomi returned to the coyote who had been looking on through his eyelashes. Taking him again by his paws and hind feet, he swung him to and fro.
Then as the wolf swung toward the red flames, Iktomi let him go. Once again the coyote fell through space. Hot air smote his nostrils. He saw red dancing fire, and now he struck a bed of cracking embers. With a quick turn he leaped out of the flames. From his heels were scattered a shower of red coals upon Iktomi’s bare arms and shoulders. Old Indian Legends PDF Book Free
Dumbfounded, Iktomi thought he saw a spirit walk out of his fire. His jaws fell apart. He thrust a palm to his face, hard over his mouth! He could scarce keep from shrieking. IT was a clear summer day. The blue, blue sky dropped low over the edge of the green level land. A large yellow sun hung directly overhead.
The singing of birds filled the summer space between earth and sky with sweet music. Again and again sang a yellow-breasted birdie—“Koda Ni Dakota!” He insisted upon it. “Koda Ni Dakota!” which was “Friend, you’re a Dakota! Friend, you’re a Dakota!” Perchance the birdie meant the avenger with the magic arrow, for there across the plain he strode.
He was handsome in his paint and feathers, proud with his great buckskin quiver on his back and a long bow in his hand. Afar to an eastern camp of cone-shaped teepees he was going. There over the Indian village hovered a large red eagle threatening the safety of the people. Every morning rose this terrible red bird out of a high chalk bluff and spreading out his wings soared slowly over the round camp ground. Old Indian Legends PDF Book Free
Then it was that the people, terror-stricken, ran screaming into their lodges. Covering their heads with their blankets, they sat trembling with fear. No one dared to venture out till the red eagle had disappeared beyond the west, where meet the blue and green. In vain tried the chieftain of the tribe to find among his warriors a powerful marksman who could send a death arrow to the man-hungry bird.
At last to urge his men to their utmost skill he bade his crier proclaim a new reward. Of the chieftain’s two beautiful daughters he would have his choice who brought the dreaded red eagle with an arrow in its breast. Upon hearing these words, the men of the village, both young and old, both heroes and cowards, trimmed new arrows for the contest.
At gray dawn there stood indistinct under the shadow of the bluff many human figures; silent as ghosts and wrapped in robes girdled tight about their waists, they waited with chosen bow and arrow. Some cunning old warriors stayed not with the group. They crouched low upon the open ground. But all eyes alike were fixed upon the top of the high bluff. Old Indian Legends PDF Book Free
Breathless they watched for the soaring of the red eagle. From within the dwellings many eyes peeped through the small holes in the front lapels of the teepee. With shaking knees and hard-set teeth, the women peered out upon the Dakota men prowling about with bows and arrows.
At length when the morning sun also peeped over the eastern horizon at the armed Dakotas, the red eagle walked out upon the edge of the cliff. Pluming his gorgeous feathers, he ruffled his neck and flapped his strong wings together. Then he dived into the air. Slowly he winged his way over the round camp ground; over the men with their strong bows and arrows!
In an instant the long bows were bent. Strong straight arrows with red feathered tips sped upward to the blue sky. Ah! slowly moved those indifferent wings, untouched by the poison-beaked arrows. Off to the west beyond the reach of arrow, beyond the reach of eye, the red eagle flew away. A sudden clamor of high-pitched voices broke the deadly stillness of the dawn. Old Indian Legends PDF Book Free
The women talked excitedly about the invulnerable red of the eagle’s feathers, while the would-be heroes sulked within their wigwams. “He-he-he!” groaned the chieftain. On the evening of the same day sat a group of hunters around a bright burning fire. They were talking of a strange young man whom they spied while out upon a hunt for deer beyond the bluffs.
They saw the stranger taking aim. Following the point of his arrow with their eyes, they beheld a herd of buffalo. The arrow sprang from the bow! It darted into the skull of the foremost buffalo. But unlike other arrows it pierced through the head of the creature and spinning in the air lit into the next buffalo head.
One by one the buffalo fell upon the sweet grass they were grazing. With straight quivering limbs they lay on their sides. The young man stood calmly by, counting on his fingers the buffalo as they dropped dead to the ground. Old Indian Legends PDF Book Free