Category Archives: Stories and Legends

Why Blackfoot Never Kill Mice

Why Blackfoot Never Kill Mice

(Indian Why Stories- Author Frank Bird Linderman, 1869-1938)

 

1-Muskrat--Final-_Painting800

Muskrat and his grandmother were gathering wood for the camp when they came upon an old buffalo skull.  The plains were dotted with these relics of the chase, for already the hide-hunting white man had played havoc with the great herds of buffalo.

 This skull was in a grove of cottonwood-trees near the river, and as they approached two Mice scampered into it to hide. 

Muskrat, in great glee, secured a stick and was about to turn the skull over and kill the Mice, when his grandmother said: “No, our people never kill Mice.  Your grandfather will tell you why if you ask him.  The Mice-people are our friends and we treat them as such.  Even small people can be good friends –remember that.”

All day long the boy wondered why the Mice-people should not be harmed and at dusk he went to War Eagle’s lodge. When he entered he found the other children already assembled there. As soon as he was seated Muskrat sounded the question:

“Grandfather, why must we never kill the Mice-people?  Grandmother said that you knew.”

“Yes,” replied War Eagle, “I do know and you must now know too.  Therefore I shall tell you all about why the Mice-people must be let alone and allowed to do as they please, for we owe them much; much more than we can ever repay. 

“It happened long, long ago, when there were few men and women in the world.  Old-Man was Chief of all then, and the animal-people and the bird-people were greater than our people, because we had not been on earth long and were not wise.

“There was much quarrelling among the animals and the birds.  You see the Bear wanted to be Chief, under Old-Man, and so did the Beaver. Almost every night they would have a council and quarrel over it. Beside the Bear and Beaver, there were other animals, and also birds, that thought they had the right to be Chief.  They couldn’t agree and the quarrelling grew worse as time went on.  Some said the greatest thief should be chosen.  Others thought the wisest one should be the leader; while some said the swiftest traveller was the one they wanted. So it went on and on until they were most all enemies instead of friends, and you could hear them quarrelling almost every night, until Old-Man came along that way.

“He heard about the trouble.  I forget who told him, but I think it was the Rabbit.  Anyhow he visited the council where the quarrelling was going on and listened to what each one had to say.  It took until almost daylight, too.  He listened to it all–every bit.  When they had finished talking and the quarrelling commenced as usual, he said, ‘Stop!’ and they did stop.

“Then he said to them: ‘I will settle this thing right here and right now, so that there will be no more rows over it, forever.’

“He opened his paint sack and took from it a small, polished bone. This he held up in the firelight, so that they might all see it, and he said:

“‘This will settle the quarrel.  You all see this bone in my right hand, don’t you?’

“‘Yes,’ they replied.

“‘Well, now you watch the bone and my hands, too, for they are quick and cunning.’

“Old-Man began to sing the trickster song and to slip the bone from one hand to the other so rapidly and smoothly that they were all puzzled.

Finally he stopped singing and held out his hands–both shut tight, and both with their backs up.

“‘Which of my hands holds the bone now?’ he asked them.

“Some said it was in the right hand and others claimed that it was the left hand that held it.  Old-Man asked the Bear to name the hand that held the bone, and the Bear did; but when Old-Man opened that hand it was empty–the bone was not there.  Then everybody laughed at the Bear.

 

02-BearFinal-_Painting--800

Old-Man smiled a little and began to sing and again pass the bone.

“‘Beaver, you are smart; name the hand that holds the bone this time.’

“The Beaver said: ‘It’s in your right hand.  I saw you put it there.’

 

03-beaver-Final-painting-800

“Old-Man opened that hand right before the Beaver’s eyes, but the bone wasn’t there, and again everybody laughed–especially the Bear.

“‘Now, you see,’ said Old-Man, ‘that this is not so easy as it looks, but I am going to teach you all to play the game; and when you have all learned it, you must play it until you find out who is the cleverest at the playing.  Whoever that is, he shall be Chief under me, forever.’

“Some were awkward and said they didn’t care much who was Chief, but most all of them learned to play pretty well. 

First the Bear and the Beaver tried it, but the Beaver beat the Bear easily and held the bone for ever so long.  

 

04-Buffalo_Final-Painting800

Finally the Buffalo beat the Beaver and started to play with the Mouse.  Of course the Mouse had small hands and was quicker than the Buffalo–quicker to see the bone.  The Buffalo tried hard for he didn’t want the Mouse to be Chief but it didn’t do him any good; for the Mouse won in the end.

“It was a fair game and the Mouse was Chief under the agreement.  He looked quite small among the rest but he walked right out to the centre of the council and said:

“‘Listen, brothers–what is mine to keep is mine to give away.  I am too small to be your Chief and I know it.  I am not warlike.  I want to live in peace with my wife and family.  I know nothing of war.  I get my living easily.  I don’t like to have enemies.  I am going to give my right to be Chief to the man that Old-Man has made like himself.’

“That settled it.  That made the man Chief forever, and that is why he is greater than the animals and the birds.  That is why we never kill the Mice-people.

 

05-Field-Mouse--Final-Painting-800

“You saw the Mice run into the buffalo skull, of course.  There is where they have lived and brought up their families ever since the night the Mouse beat the Buffalo playing the bone game.  Yes—the Mice-people always make their nests in the heads of the dead Buffalo-people, ever since that night.

“Our people play the same game, even today.  See,” and War Eagle took from his paint sack a small, polished bone.  Then he sang just as Old-Man did so long ago.  He let the children try to guess the hand that held the bone, as the animal-people did that fateful night; but, like the animals, they always guessed wrong.  Laughingly War Eagle said:

“Now go to your beds and come to see me to-morrow night.  Ho!”

 

06-Final-_Painting-Of-Buffalo800

The End

Fishing

Fishing

 

001-Fishing-Rod---Final-Painting--800

A popular idiom, the trick of “passing off fish eyes as pearls,” in a military context refers to, respectively, false and actual manoeuvres. First, the commander offers the enemy some bait, which can be a body of weak troops, poorly guarded provision carts, or a herd of oxen or horses that seem to be unprotected.  At the prospect of sure gain the enemy will advance to swallow the bait.  In this way the able commander has gained initiative by maneuvering the enemy of his own accord and so the victory is assured even before the battle is fought.

Give profit to the enemy to lure it. In warfare, the so-called baiting does not refer to poisoning the enemy’s food.  Instead, any force used to tempt the enemy with the prospect of gain is called a bait army.

 If, during an engagement, the enemy troops scatter oxen and horses, abandon property or jettison supplies, we must not seize them, for that would lead inevitably to our defeat.  The principal goes, “do not swallow the bait army.”

When the enemy comes from far to mount a challenge it aims to entice you to advance. Abandon goods to throw the enemy into disorder, abandon troops to entice it, and abandon fortresses and land to encourage its arrogance.  When it is expedient to apply abandonment, success can hardly be won with too much attachment.

One who is good at manoeuvring the enemy makes the move so that the enemy must make a corresponding move, offers bait so that the enemy must swallow it, or lures the enemy with the prospect of gain and waits for it with one’s main force.

Cao Cao’ s note: entice the enemy with profit , lead it away from its fortress, assume a vantage point, and attack when the enemy is weak and lacking in support.

(Strategy Seventeen in Art of War)

01-Zhuge-Liang-Final-Painting-800

This excerpt from the Three Kingdoms will demonstrate this principle:

Zhuge Liang vs Sima Yi

 

1-Zhuge Liang observes enemy camp.

Zhuge Liang:  The camps remain the same, and the soldiers are unchanged. But with one glance, I can tell there is a new Grand Commander.

2- Wei Yan asks

Wei Yan: We already have Chenchang in our hands. With the supply lines open, what can Sima Yi do?

Zhuge Liang: You mustn’t think like that. Sima Yi knows the art of war well and is a master of strategy. He is my arch-nemesis.

Wei Yan: Your Excellency, pardon me for my poor understanding, but I really can’t tell how Sima Yi is a master of strategy. In the last northern campaign, your “empty city ruse” scared the wits out of him!

Zhuge Liang: Let me tell you about Sima Yi’s mastery of strategy. Sima Yi does not excel in attacking, but in defending. He is the best defense strategist in the realm.  As for us, we detest their deep ditches, tall ramparts and their other defensive tactics, because time is not on our side, but on their side. Sima Yi hopes that we will attack each and every city by force. At this rate, we won’t arrive at Louyang for another 50 years. Now you should understand that defense is Sima Yi’s strategy. Though it may seem like a foolish move, it’s actually quite wise.

Wei Yan: I understand now. Your Excellency, what is your plan?

Zhuge Liang: If we can’t get rid of Sima Yi, we will never take the Central Plains. We need to lure Sima Yi out and engage him in a decisive battle.  Jiang Wei, how is the enemy’s defense in the cities of of Longxi?

3- Zhuge Liang questions Jiang Wei

Jiang Wei: I have investigated that among the 15 cities of Longxi,  Wudu and Yingping’s defenses are the weakest.

Zhuge Liang: Wei Yan, can you take down Wudu and Yingping?

Wei Yan: Your Excellency, there is no difficulty in capturing two small cities.

Zhuge Liang: Good. However it’s not as simple as just attacking the cities. You know what to do right?

Wei Yan: I do. First besiege without attacking, and then attack without occupying the city. Wait until Wei’s reinforcement’s come.

……………………………

4- Sima-Yi

Sima Yi:  Have you investigated the camp thoroughly? Does Shu really only have 3,000 men?

Reporting Scout: I’ve seen them very clearly.  Shu troops are very few indeed. They might not even amount to 3, 000.

Sima Yi:  Have you investigated the area surrounding the city?

Reporting scout: The Mountains surrounding the city have been investigated, and there are no hidden enemy troops.

Sima Yi: You may leave.

Sima Yi (addressing Generals next):  Since I’ve just assumed command, I am eager to report victory to the Court. Generals, who among you is willing to bring me honor by destroying the Shu army at Wudu?

5-Sun-Li_Final-Painting

General Sun Li: I will go.

Sima Yi: Good Sun Li, you are truly courageous general. I will give you 3,000 men. Here are the conditions- If you seize Wudu, you will be granted riches and noble rank. If you do not, don’t return.

General Sun Li: Yes sir!

6-Sima-Yi gives orders to Guo Huai

Sima Yi: All of you may leave, except Guo Huai.  

Guo Huai; do this task for me, but do not let the other generals know.  Prepare 3, 000 coffins. Sun Li will not be returning. I don’t want their corpses exposed in the wild. Wudu is at the flank of our camp. How would Shu dare to attack the city with only 3, 000 troops? Zhuge Liang is trying to lure me out for an ambush.

7-Zhang-He-Final_Painting-800

Zhang He: If you already knew that Sun Li wouldn’t succeed, why did you let him go?

Sima Yi: I have no choice. If I don’t send reinforcements and Wudu falls, the troops in the other cities will think I won’t save them when they are besieged. They will falter before the battle even begins, and thus all the neighboring cities will fall. If that comes to be, how will the main camp survive? Sun Li is loyal and brave. Just as mentioned sending reinforcements to Wudu, he eagerly volunteered.

8- Sima Yi's pain

Sima Yi:   Though I could not have explained things openly, the thought that such a courageous general should not return, I…my heart is racked with pain!

9 -Guo-Huai--Final-_Painting-800

Guo Huai:  Grand Commander, please give me another 3,000 men. I’ll go and support Sun Li’s troops.  I’m sure I can save him.

Sima Yi:  Guo Huai , do you really dare to brave this danger?

Guo Huai:  At worst, it’ll just be another 3, 000 coffins. As a general, I don’t fear death.

10 - Sima Yi's gratitude to Guo

Sima Yi:  Allow me to thank you. Go with peace of mind. I won’t let you die.

Guo Huai: Thank you, Grand Commander.

11-Guo-Huai_Final-Painting

………………………………….

12

Scout meeting the first contingent: General, Wudu is just 10 miles ahead. Shu troops are attacking the city.

Sun Li:   Scout again. Then addressing the army, Brothers! The time has come for us to demonstrate our loyalty and our might! Follow me!

The way is blocked.

13

Wei Yan:  Listen up, I’m Wei Yan. The Prime Minister has instructed me to wait here for you. You petty scoundrels are not my match. Dismount and surrender now.

14

Sun Li:   Wei Yan, I Sun Li specialize in beheading generals! Your life is mine!

Wei Yan:  Shoot them.

(The second reinforcements arrive just in time.)

 

Guo Huai:  General Sun Li! Grand Commander has sent me to save you! Hurry, follow me!

15-Wei-Yan blocks the way

Wei Yan:  The enemy has sent reinforcements! Do not let the enemy generals flee! Charge!

Guo Huai:  General Sun, I’ll bring up the rear!

16- Charge

Sun Li:  General Guo, you came just in time! Fight your way out with me! Charge !

……………………….

17-Zhuge Liang

(Sometime later, Wei Yan reporting back to Zhuge Liang)

 

Wei Yan: Your Excellency, the Wei troops have been routed.

Zhuge Liang:  How many enemy troops did you kill?

Wei Yan:  The Wei general, Sun Li , led 3,000 to rescue Wudu. I killed more than 2,000 of them. I was about to kill Sun Li, but unexpectedly, Vice Commander Guo Huai broke through and rescued him. I didn’t expect there to be another regiment behind the reinforcements.

Zhuge Liang:   Sima Yi guessed my intentions.

Wei Yan:  Your Excellency, why do you say that?

Zhuge Liang:  I had you besiege Wudu and Yinping in order to attack the reinforcements.  A rookie general would have seen right through such a simple ruse.   How would Sima Yi be unable to guess my intentions? If he had chosen to abandon the cities, the Wei troops in the neighbouring cities would lose all hope when we attack them. They might even surrender the cities to us.

Jiang Wei:  However, Sima Yi didn’t abandon them. He sent men to their rescue.

Zhuge Liang:  He sent that boor, Sun Li , to rescue Wudu, and then sent the Vice Commander to rescue Sun Li. The first rescue was clearly a ruse, a show for the Wei troops defending the cities. The second one was the real rescue. But Sima Yi would never lead the reinforcements personally.  We need to lure Sima Yi out and engage him in a decisive battle.

Jiang Wei: That cunning fox, Sima Yi …

Zhuge Liang:   We can’t lure him out without attractive bait.

Wei Yan:   Your Excellency, who should we send as bait?

18-

Zhuge Liang:   Me.   Sima Yi dreams of taking my head.

Wei Yan, return to camp and prepare the troops for battle. Jiang Wei, tomorrow morning send 5,000 men with me to go reassure people of Wudu.

Jiang Wei:  Your Excellency, it’s too dangerous.

Wei Yan:  Your Excellency, if Sima Yi sends all his troops against us, I will not be able to rescue you in time.

Zhuge Liang:  I Understand. Life and death are matters of fate. Return to camp and get ready.

………………………………

19-Spy reporting

(Back at Sima Yi’s command centre)

 

Spy: Grand Commander, Zhuge Liang is leading his troops towards Wudu.

Sima Yi:  Drag this man away and execute him.

Spy:  Grand commander, why do you want to kill me?

Sima Yi:  Because you have reported false information. I truly despise liars.

Spy:  Grand Commander, I am not lying! I saw Zhuge Liang with my own eyes!

Sima YI:  How tall is Zhuge Liang? What was he wearing? Was he riding a horse or in a cart? Who were his guards? How many troops were with him? No hesitating. Reply at once.

20- The spy gives account

Spy:   Zhuge Liang had a feathered fan and silk cap. He sat in a four-wheeled cart, so I could not tell his height.   He was guarded by Jiang Wei, who is just over six spans tall.   They had around 5, 000 men with them. I followed them for more than 20 miles and saw Zhuge Liang enter the city.

Sima Yi:   Indeed, you’re not a liar. On the contrary, you are bold and meticulous. I promote you to colonel and reward you with 3, 000 cash.

Spy: Thank you, Grand Commander! Thank you, sir!

21--1200_Final-Painting

Guo Huai:  Grand Commander, can this be true? Zhuge Liang left his main camp for Wudu?

Sima Yi:  I’ve studied Zhuge Liang for several years. This man has a habit. He has personally inspected every city, parapet and post that has capitulated to Shu, in order to comfort the officials and the people. I also have heard that Zhuge Liang prefers to handle these matters personally.

Zhang He:  Grand Commander, this is an excellent opportunity to kill Zhuge Liang. Wudu is a small city that’s easy to attack but difficult to defend.   I’ll lead 20,000 elite troops there at once. By dawn, I should arrive at Wudu. Before the end of the day, I will have either killed or captured Zhuge Liang.

Sima Yi:  Though Wudu is a small city, it is surrounded by mountains, even if tens of thousands of soldiers were to hide there, they would be undetectable. Don’t forget, Wei Yan set an ambush there in the past.

Zhang He: Grand Commander, you are absolutely correct. Last time, Zhuge Liang used Wudu as bait. This time, he himself is the bait.

Sima Yi:   Zhuge Liang is so bold.  How impressive. How impressive… If I don’t take his bait, then Zhuge Liang will be like the man who picks up a rock to crush his own foot- Overly brilliant men are often victims of their own cleverness.

Zhang He:   Instead of going after Zhuge Liang, we will attack them from behind- Attack the Shu camps directly!

Sima Yi:   General, your experience in the battlefield shows. You see what truly matters right away. Their supplies and provisions are in the main camp. That is their lifeline. If we use this opportunity to attack and burn the main camp, Zhuge Liang’s army will crumble before us.

22-Zhang He

Zhang He:  Grand Commander, it’s my turn to lead this attack. I volunteer to lead 20,000 elite troops to attack the Shu camp.

Sima Yi:  General, you have served Wei for three generations. Your fame is well-known already. Let someone younger lead this battle.

Zhang He:  I haven’t gone to battle for a long time. My sword is rattling with battlelust in its case, and my entire body is itching for a fight. I must be part of this battle!

Sima Yi:  Please supervise this battle then. You don’t need to kill the enemies personally.

Zhang He:   Attack the camp!

23- Attack on the enemy camp

We’ve been tricked! Retreat quickly!

Zhang Bao:  Charge ! Exterminate the enemy! Do not let their commanding general escape!

Zhang He:  Brothers, we’ll fight our way out!

Zhang Bao:  I’m General Zhang Bao! You are surrounded! Dismount and surrender!

24- Fighing way out

Zhang He:  Coward! Don’t you know that I am Zhang He?

Not even your father, Zhang Fei, was a match for me!

Guo Huai:  General, there are too many enemies! We can’t breatk through!

Zhang He:  Charge that way! Hurry!

………………

25-_Zhuge Liang observes fierce fighting

(Zhuge Liang observing  the situation from far, asks)

 

Zhuge Liang:  Who is fighting against Zhang Bao?

Jiang Wei:  Zhang He.

Zhuge Liang:  That explains it. Even 20 years ago, he was already one of Cao Cao’s top commanders. His bravery today is no less that it was then.

26--Jiang Wei observes the enemy

Jiang Wei:  If that man is not killed, he’ll be a thorn in our flesh. Let me capture him.

27-Zhuge Liang

Zhuge Liang:  The road towards Jiange is just ahead, and is flanked by steep cliffs.

28

 Zhuge Liang:  Take 2,000 archers and set up an ambush.  I’ll have Wei Yan leave an opening and lure Zhang He towards Jiange. Remember, do not let him get out alive

……………………

29_Gloomy place

Zhang He:  What place is this? It’s so gloomy.

30--1200_Final Painting_edited-1

Jiang Wei:  Zhang He! Considering your old age, I will ask you this: Will you surrender or not?

31Defient Zhang He

Zhang He growls in defiance.

 

Jiang Wei:  Shoot them.

32-Ambush---Final-Painting

……………………..

33- Sima-Fishing---Final-_Painting--800

Sima Yi:   I’ve spent so many years of my life fishing that I consider myself an angling master. Yet, I’ve taken Zhuge Liang’s bait.

34 Sima Yi's hopeful interpretation

Sima Yi:  But who in the world would set a hook like this?

The bait is at Wudu, but the hook is in their camp!

35-1200_Final Painting_edited-1

Guo Huai:   There were 37 arrows found in the body of General Zhang He!

36--1200--Final, final_Painting_edited-1

Sima Yi:   Why are you crying? Though General Zhang He fell in battle, the morale of our troops has been resurrected. Did you know? Of the 20,000 elite troops by General Zhang He, not one fled from the enemy. This is our victory! With such strong resolve in our rank the Shu army will certainly be defeated!  Sima Zhao; Slaughter my horse and use its hide to wrap General Zhang He’s body! I will personally lead the whole army to send him off one last time!

37- Funeral procession for Gen Zhang He

Fini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Lips Gone, Teeth are exposed to Cold

With Lips Gone, Teeth are exposed to Cold

(From: Spring and Autumn Annals)

 Re-written by BoSt

01-Horseand-Groom-800_Final-Painting

Long ago, Duke Xian of the state of Jin wished to expand his realm and power; the Duke hence, bade Xun Xi to launch an expedition against the powerful State of Guo. The great distance however was of some concern and the campaign’s success depended on traversing the State of Yu. At the time there was a tentative alliance with Yu so Duke Xian asked Xun Xi for his counsel on this matter.

02-Sovereign-and-Xun-800_Final-Painting-Colorized

“In order to secure Duke Yu’s promise to let our army pass …. Hmm…” Xun Xi remained hesitant for a moment, before resuming, “The surest way My Lord, would be to present Duke Yu with our Chuji Jade and good number of Quchan steeds.”

(Note: Xhuji in Xhanxi Province was famous at the time for producing excellent jade stones and Quxhan in Shanxi Province was renowned for its fine breed of horses.)

03-Horse-and-tamer--800-Final_Painting

“Is there no other way?” The Duke Xian was displeased with the suggestion. “The stone is an inherited treasure and should remain so for the next generations. And the idea of losing my steeds to that loathsome, pompous Lord is quite unacceptable. “Duke Xian grumbled, “Perchance, what if Duke Yu accepted our gift but refused our request, what then?”

Xun Xi braved Lord’s fury with this quick riposte: “Well my Lord, if Lord Yu refuses the fine gifts, we can be certain of his veiled hostility and look elsewhere for the safe passage. If however, his Lordship does accept it, we’d only be allowing his Lordship temporary custody of the treasures. What is there to be worried about?”

Duke Xian nodded with approval and soon after sent Xun Xi to the State of Yu to negotiate the army’s safe passage.  

04-Stone-disk-800_Final-Painting

Xun Xi was quick to gain admittance to the Yu court.  He presented a splendid figure in his fineries holding the large precious stone before him.  Many courtiers gasped witnessing the magnificent steeds that were corralled into the courtyard, dazzling everyone. 

Duke Yu greedy for the fine gifts, was about to make the emissary of Jin Xun Xi a rash promise when one of his loyal subjects, Gong Ziyi, came forward to protest: “My Lord, I beg a private council with you, if you please.”

“What, now?” Duke Yu was annoyed.

“How preposterous an intrusion! Has propriety and good sense left Gong Ziyi” Many courtiers grumbled under their breath.

Nevertheless Guo Ziyi was a well respected, loyal minister and Lord Yu was bit intrigued. He signalled Guo to advance and gave him permission to speak his mind.

Guo Ziyi was most direct. “There shall be no promise of any kind, your Grace.” His strong, resounding voice simply ripped through the stone cold silence that had enveloped the court.

“What Yu is to Guo is like gums to the cheeks. Gums are closely related to cheeks and cheeks to gums; which is exactly the present situation of Yu in relation to Guo. As the old ancestral saying goes, ‘If the lips are gone, the teeth will be exposed to cold.’  The fact that Guo is able to exist depends on Yu while Yu’s ability to survive hinges on Guo.  This inter-dependency will be jeopardized, if we make way for Jin army, allowing Guo to perish.  Their demise will transpire in the morning to be followed by Yu in the evening.”

05-Warring-800-Final-Colorized_Painting

Guo again spoke in good strong voice: “Why should we ever let Jin pass?  Why seek a small gain, only to harm vital interests?”

Duke Yu, however refused to listen to reason and, blinded by greed, in the end still gave the Jin army convenient access to Guo.

Thus Xun Xi attacked Guo and conquered it, and on the way back attacked Yu and conquered it too.

Xun Xi then triumphantly returned to Jin. The jade and the horses were once again restored to Duke Xian who, greatly pleased, said in good humor: “The jade remains the same, but he horses have got some more teeth!”

06-Charge-800-Final-Colorized_Painting

Fin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Tulip’s Tale

A Tulip’s Tale

01

The word tulip was first mentioned in Western Europe, in the context of “Turkish Letters” of a diplomat Ogier Ghiselin de Busbercq in about 1554.  This was the time of Ottomans wore typical Turkish tülbend (“muslin” or “gauze”). The correlation between turban and the Tulip flower came about because the tulip in full bloom resembled a turban.  The name Tulip is derived from tulipa or tulipant, tulipe by French and tulīpa in modern Latin.  

02

Did you know that the Tulip can be given as the 11th wedding anniversary flower?  It is said that the tulip’s velvety black center represents a lover’s heart, darkened by the heat of passion.  

Tulips as you well know come in various colors and each carry an important meaning:

Yellow tulips once were associated with jealousy and hopeless love. Lately however, yellow tulips have gained a sunnier disposition; it now represents hope and cheerful thoughts. You may give a yellow tulip bouquet to a good friend as a caring get-well gift. Yellow is also the color of friendship, which makes it great for a just-because floral gift.

04

White conveys forgiveness. White tulips are the flowers to pick for an apology bouquet. You may also include with it some chocolates as a worthwhile gesture to elicit a favorable response.

05

Multi-hued tulips, being the most versatile, can express varied messages to that special someone.  For instance, striped tulips may symbolize a lover’s beautiful eyes, as do tulips with blotched, multicolored petals.

06

Purple represents loyalty. If you want to let her know that she is your queen, choose an arrangement of purple tulips. Purple can also be used to express admiration for a loved one’s accomplishments.

07

Pink flowers express happiness and confidence. This makes them a very good choice when congratulating a friend on a new job or promotion. The flower meaning of pink tulips is the awakening of love. Pink tulips remind me of the lovely little girl in one of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales: Thumbelina.

Thumbelina is a story about a girl who is born from a tulip flower. One day this thumb-sized girl is kidnapped and was carried far, far away. When the destination was finally reached she was then forced to marry a toad.  While in the Toad’s abode however, she comes upon a wounded swallow and with tender loving care, saves him. The ever so grateful swallow, fully recovered, rescues her from her harsh circumstances in return. He then takes her to the Kingdom of Flowers and there she falls in love with and marries the handsome prince of the kingdom. She lives happily ever after.

08

And finally, Red means perfect love and as well, evokes passion and romance. Did you know that in Persia, people give red tulips when they propose? Red tulips have the meaning of eternal love; therefore it’s an ideal choice for expressing deep affections to that someone special.

09

Here’s a Turkish legend that may have contributed to this belief. As the tragic story goes, once a handsome prince named Farhad fell madly in love with a beautiful a maiden named Shirin. Capricious fate however saw to it that Shrin met her untimely demise during the digging of a new replacement well for her village.  When Prince Farhad learned of this he was so overcome with grief that he rode his horse over the edge of a cliff. It’s said that a scarlet tulip sprang up from each droplet of his blood, giving the red tulip the meaning “perfect love.”

10

 Then there is this legend that is told in the Netherlands.

Three knights are enamored by a beautiful girl. Each in turn proposes and presents her with a gift. One gives her a crown which indicates fame. The second one presents her with a mighty sword indicative of power. The third gives her gold which is indicative of property.

The beautiful girl remains in a quandary.  As she cannot choose one over the other, she seeks the Queen of Flower’s help. She pleads with Her Majesty to change her into a flower, and being granted this request, the lovely girl is transformed into a Tulip. Here, as one can see, the crown is the flower, the sword is the leaf, and the gold is the eventual transformation to a bulb.

11

One of the Greek myths is about tulips:

Once, there was a pretty girl named Tulip. One day, the god of autumn while he is about, spotted this enchanting beauty and fell deeply in love. His infatuation grew with each encounter even though she blatantly resisted his declaration of love.

When yet again chancing on her while she was picking flowers he accosted her. She in desperation ran off and sought help from the God of Virginity. Kneeling before Artemis, she pleaded with the Goddess to rescue her from the pesky lover, which the Goddess did … by changing her into a tulip.  

12

Last but not least, here’s a lovely English Folk Tale:

The Tulip Fairies

Once upon a time there was an old woman who lived by herself in a little house. She grew a bed of beautiful multi-colored tulips in her garden, which she would cut and bring into the house, to cheer herself up.

13

One night she was woken up by the sounds of sweet singing and of babies laughing. She looked out of the window and the sounds seemed to be coming from the tulip bed, but she couldn’t see anything.   The next morning she walked among her flowers, but there were no signs of anyone having been there the night before.

14

On the following night she was woken up again by sweet singing and the sound of babies laughing. She rose and stole softly through her garden. The moon was shining brightly on the tulip bed, and the flowers were swaying to and fro. The old woman looked closely and she saw, standing by each tulip, a little fairy mother who was crooning and rocking the flower like a cradle, while in each tulip cup lay a little baby fairy laughing and playing.

15

The old woman was a kind-hearted soul, and so she stole quietly back to her house, and from that time on she never picked another tulip, nor did she allow her neighbors to touch them.

16

The tulips grew brighter in color and larger in size day by day, and they gave off a delicious perfume, like that of roses. They began to bloom all the year round too. And every night the little fairy mothers caressed their babies and rocked them to sleep in the flower cups.

17

Eventually, the day came, as it must, when the good old woman died, and the tulip bed was torn up by people who did not know any better, they didn’t know about the fairies, they didn’t know about the babies, and instead of tulips they planted parsley, but the parsley withered, and died, and so did all the other plants in the garden, and from that time on nothing would grow there.

18

But the good old woman’s grave grew beautiful, for the fairies sang above it, and kept it green – while on the grave and all around it there sprang up tulips, daffodils, and violets, and all the other lovely flowers of spring.

19

The End.

WHY THE CHIMES RANG

WHY THE CHIMES RANG

 (Adapted from Raymond M. Alden-   Re-written by BoSt)

01

 

All acts of kindness however minuscule do not escape the notice of Heaven, even though they may go unnoticed here on Earth.

Once upon a time in a far off land there was a magnificent church set on a hilltop. Tall stained glass windows, placed specifically to catch best angles of the sun’s rays, depicted brilliantly executed religious scenes praising God Almighty’s power and extolling the virtues of the saints. Pious carpenters had painstakingly carved magnificent wooden reliefs above and to the sides of the main entrance. The Church’s most prominent feature however was the gray stone tower with ivy growing over it as far up as the eye can see. In the steeple an array of Christmas chimes was housed.

 

02

 

Every Christmas Eve all the inhabitants of the city, re-enacting an old tradition, flocked to this church bringing with them many offerings to the Christ Child.  Legends told of a time when, after the greatest and best offering was laid on the altar, there arose above the voices of the choir a beautiful sound, emanating from the top of the tower the most divine music of the Christmas Chimes.

 

03

 

Some claimed it had to be the wind that rang them, while other more pious ones believed in their heart of hearts, and exclaimed loudly so,  that it had to be the angels that set the bells  swinging to produce that heavenly  sound.

 

04

 

Then came a time when, however great the offerings were, the chimes never again created blissful melody. As a result people were saddened, feeling there must be something amiss. Yet many Christmases came and went and no chimes were heard.

It so happened that there was an old man living modestly with his wife Madonna, in a ramshackle hut not far from the notable church. This kind old man recalled a time when his mother had spoken to him of hearing the chimes when she was but a little girl.  In her waning years she mourned the fact that people had grown less generous in their hearts with their gifts for the Christ Child.  Love and compassion for their fellow man had diminished; pomp and ceremony, hand in hand with greed and ambition taking root instead.  As a result, when an offering was made without the purest heart and intentions and it became only a show, it did not move the angels and justly did not merit the music of the chimes.  If the old man voiced this mournful insight it unfortunately fell on deaf ears. Everyone dismissed him as a senile old man. When he died some years later his poor old widow Madonna was left to fend for herself in a cruel, cruel world.

 

05

 

In a remote country village a number of miles from the city there lived a boy named Pedro and his little brother Pepito. Their parents had been dead for more than a year and Pedro as the sole provider had done his best to support them.  Pepito had overheard so much about the city’s Christmas celebrations that he pleaded and pleaded with his elder brother to take him to the church.  Not having the heart to say no, Pedro bundled some dry rations, mainly hard bread, a clump of hard, moldy cheese and some grain, in a cloth then tied its ends and slung it over his shoulder. They set out at dawn, both dressed in several layers to escape the bitter, bone chilling cold and skins of water hung at their waists. The day before Christmas was bitterly cold with frigid temperatures plunging below zero and made worse by thrashing winds that whipped and punished any wayward soul who dared venture outside.

 

06

 

For untold hours the boys trudged to cover the great distance to the city. Huddled together, they walked hand in hand bending their backs to brace themselves against the strong winds. The icy drizzle mercilessly chilled them to the very marrow of their bones.  By dusk they were tired, famished and exhausted, almost unable to take another step, yet the lights of the big city now visible just ahead, egged them to soldier on.

 

07

 

Panting, they at long last approached the gates of the city. Fortunately the gates were still wide open, expecting more visitors. As they were about to enter, Pedro spotted something dark on the snow off to the side of the road, and so veered off to take a closer look.   It was a poor beggar woman who had obviously suffered a mishap and fallen into the shallow ditch.  Stranded, she lay there half-dead, too sick and shivering with cold to rise up or call for help. Rushing over, Pedro helped her to sit up and draped his threadbare coat over her shoulders to bring her some warmth. She looked so pale and had difficulty speaking. He helped her take some tentative sips from his water skin. Then, looking up, he addressed his little brother, “It’s no use, Pepito. I can’t leave her in this condition. You go on ahead to the church.”

“Alone?” cried Pepito in a fearful voice.  “No, I can’t.  I can’t let you will miss the Christmas Festival.”

“You are brave, just go on by yourself. I’ll be here when you come back.  I can’t leave her.” Pedro answered sternly. He looked at her face and smiled encouragingly. “Poor old lady, her face looks like the Madonna in the chapel window.”

“Madonna” the old woman opened her tear stained eyes slightly and smiled at Pedro.

 

08

 

“Go on. I can’t leave her in this state; she will surely freeze to death if nobody stays with her.”  Then Pedro reached deep into to his inner pocket and withdrew a treasured object for his little brother to take. Then with the choking sound of disappointment he added: “If you get a chance, little brother, to slip up to the altar without getting in anyone’s way, please take this little copper piece of mine and lay it down as our offering when no one is looking. That way it will be the same as me going there. “

 

09

 

Pepito reluctantly left Pedro with a heavy heart.  The great church was truly a magnificent place that night. The decorations, lights and glitter, all the displays, riches he’d never seen the like of before simply took his little breath away. A small urchin like himself was virtually invisible amidst the procession as they took their gifts for the Christ Child to the altar.

 

10

 

Some worshipers laid down wonderful jewels; some gave baskets with massive amounts of gold so heavy they could scarcely carry them down the aisle.  A famed author laid down his prized work, a book he had, after many years, just completed.  

 

 

Then the King appeared in all his majesty hoping, like the least petitioner, to win for himself the music of the Christmas chimes. A great murmur rippled through the church as the people witnessed the King taking his priceless golden crown, set with diamonds and rare precious gems, from his head and laying it to  gleam on the alter as his offering to the Christ Child.

 

13

 

“Surely, “They intoned in unison, “Surely we shall hear the bells now.” But the chimes did not ring. Not even a whimper was heard.  When the gifts were all on the altar, the choir began the closing hymn.

 

14

 

The disappointed crowd grumbling under their breath slowly began to disperse. Suddenly the organist stopped playing, and everyone looked aghast at the old Priest, who was holding up his hand for silence.  

“What’s this?”

 

15

 

When the people strained their ears there came resonating through the air, softly but distinctly, the heavenly music of the chimes in the tower!

The divine music seemed so far away and yet so clear.  The notes were so much sweeter than any sound they had ever heard.  Melody rising and falling in the sky was so entrancing that the people in the church held their breath and stood perfectly still.

 

16

 

Then they all stood up together and stared at the altar, wanting to see what great gift had awakened these long-silent chimes. But all the nearest of them saw was the figure of Pepito, who had crept softly down the aisle, perfectly unseen and placed Pedro’s little piece of copper on the altar.

The End

 

17

Merry Christmas  Everyone

 

18

Besting the Ghost

Besting the Ghost

By BoSt

01

To fall in love with someone special and then plan to share a life time with them through a bond of marriage is ideal. Often however considerations other than love come into play in marriages.  In fact, it is still the custom for families in many countries to have an arranged marriage in order to augment political or economic status.  But I digress.  Let us just say, in the olden days this arranged marriage business was often the norm.

02

There was once a young couple who, after pomp and ceremony, settled in to live comfortably in a fine house with lots of land at the edge of town. As beloved children their families had seen to it that the couple would be compatible before they were married. Unfortunately many hidden vices surfaced after the marriage to disrupt their harmony. In time they were no more than two strangers barely speaking to each other but still living under one roof for the sake of appearances.

03

They thought they would be miserable forever, if only there were children to bridge this growing gap. But fate had other designs and before long, the couple’s strained but seemingly mundane life was seriously rocked with the onset of a grave illness that beset the young wife. Finally, after failed attempts to cure her, on the verge of expiring, the wife whispered to her husband in his feigned distress: “Dear husband, despite all your bad characteristics I still love you very much… Alas our time together was so cruelly interrupted.” She gasped a painful breath before resuming, “But marriage should be forever, here and in the hereafter…Promise me, after I leave you do not hasten from me to another woman. If you do, I shall find no rest and shall certainly return as a ghost and cause you endless trouble.”

04

Soon after this implied threat, the wife passed away. The husband at first respected her last wish and stayed celibate for some time, three months and two days to be exact.  But then the loneliness drove him to seek the company of another. Chancing on an exquisite beauty at a small gathering, he became smitten at once. At first he observed her from afar in other social gatherings, and then he pushed for an introduction and gained a chance to converse with her. She was every bit as intelligent and artistic as she was beautiful. He could not help but fall deeply in love with her.  This time through his own will they became engaged to be married. Immediately after the engagement party however a ghost appeared in his quarters that very night and continued on every night after that, with accusing words and gestures, blaming him for his breach of promise.  The ghost was determined and angry as she related exactly what transpired between him and his new fiancé. Whenever he gave his new beloved a present or a token of their love, the ghost would describe in detail the particulars.  She related, word for word all their private conversations. This so perturbed him that he suffered from a persistent case of insomnia. One of his close confidents advised him to take this problem to the local priest who lived in a seminary close to his home.  He resisted this notion at first but as the problems persisted, he at long last went to the Priest seeking his help.

05

“Your former wife became a ghost and knows everything you do,” thoughtfully commented the Priest. “Whatever you do or say, whatever you give your fiancé, she knows of, you say? Hmm. She must be a very wise ghost.  Really you should admire such a resourceful apparition.  Here’s an idea; the next time she manifests, try bargaining with her. Tell her that, since she is so knowledgeable, you can obviously hide nothing from her and that if she can answer you one question, you will promise to break off the engagement immediately and content yourself thereafter to remaining single. “  

“What is the question I must ask?” inquired the man.

“The Priest smiling replied: “Take a large handful of rice and ask her exactly how many grains of rice you hold in your hand. I she cannot tell you, you will know that she is only a figment of your imagination and upon this realization your trouble with the ghost should be no more.”

On the subsequent night, when the ghost again manifested, the man at first flattered her and told her that he was overawed that she knew everything.

“Indeed,” replied the ghost,” and furthermore, I also know that you went to see that Priest today.”

“I relent; but since you know so much,” demanded the man, “pray tell me how many grains of rice am I holding in my hand?”

There was no answer. The apparition simply vanished and from then on he saw no more ghost.

06

The End

THE LOST DAUGHTER LEELINAU

THE LOST DAUGHTER LEELINAU

 

(Original story: The Indian Fairy Book

From the Original Legends

Author: Cornelius Mathews)

 

Rewritten by BoSt

 01

 

A long time ago a mighty hunter and his family lived in a modest dwelling alongside the lake near the base of the lofty highlands called Kaug Wudjoo. His favorite daughter, named Leelinau, was a beautiful girl who from the earliest age seemed sensitive, thoughtful, and imaginative. Being rather introverted, she unfortunately, passed much of her time in solitude, preferring nature and the company of plants, birds and animals to that of humans.

02

Whenever she could, she snuck out of the lodge and sought the remotest recesses of the woods. There was one particular section that had an irresistible draw and, oftentimes, she would sit in lonely reverie there upon some high promontory of rock overlooking the lake.  Manitowok (otherwise known as the Sacred Wood) was truly an enchanting place.  Resting there amid all the leafy haunts of forest pines, she lent an ear to the melodious ripples of the waves lapping against the open shore.  This hallowed ground was of course shunned by all others who feared they might fall under the spell of its mystical inhabitants: the little wild men of the woods, the turtle spirits, or plant fairies that were believed to be consistently frolicking in mischievous revelry.

03

So fearful were some of the common folk that, whenever they were compelled to make a landing on this sacred coast, they always left behind an offering or token to appease any ill will and ward off malevolence from the indigenous fairy folk.

Leelinau, being the pure spirit of youth, had no such fear or adverse experience despite the many times she visited this place. She had no qualms visiting this enchanting place that welcomed her and made her feel as though she belonged.

 Leelinau began finding her way here from a very young age.  She would often go missing for many hours at a time as she gathered strange flowers and plants.  Upon her safe return, she presented these delightful gleanings to her parents along with intriguing accounts of all her adventures that had transpired in her rambles.

04

 Although her parents harbored a secret worry about her frequent visits to this sacred ground, they were unwilling to prohibit it to her, or even in any way deter her from going there. She’d always been very gentle and delicate in temperament and nature; therefore, they could not openly articulate their opposition for fear of making her sick; and so her visits to Manitowok persisted as she grew up in years to early teens.

Oh, but  how she loved sitting in her favorite spot with her face turned upward, gazing at the sky or at the languid, shimmering ripples on water. Often she would linger long in contemplation, as though in communion with her guardian spirit seeking divine guidance and solace.  Sometimes she would beseech the spirit to lighten her soul and alleviate the sadness that seemed of late to grip her heart. On other visits she would solicit the spirits to procure pleasant dreams or other innocent maiden’s favor.

05

On occasion, when her father remained afar on the hunt later than usual, and it was feared that he could be overwhelmed by a tempest, or encountered some misfortune, Leelinau would fast and then spend time in contemplation and a prayer in Manitowok while she implored the spirits’ help to speed his safe return.

06

As the years advanced, she, now an exquisite beauty in her mid-teens, frequented the fairy pines at greater length and, on her return appeared even more absorbed by it. Her increasingly strange detachment from the accepted norm greatly concerned her parents who began suspecting that some evil spirit had enticed her into its clutches, and had cast upon her a charm which she had not the power to resist.

07

This belief was confirmed when, one day, Leelinau’s mother, rising at dawn, secretly trailed her daughter into the woods.  There, concealed by a huge trunk, she overheard her daughter, quietly seated at a rock, murmuring to some phantom companion, with appeals such as these:

“ Oh spirit of the dancing leaves!” whispered Leelinau, her heart palpitating with intense emotion. “Dear, sweet and gentle specter of the foaming stream. do not forsake me but visit thou my nightly pillow once more, shedding over it silver dreams of mountain brook and pebbly rivulets. Spirit of the starry night; lead my foot-prints to the blushing, burning passion-flower that shines with a carmine hue. Spirit of the greenwood plume,” she concluded, turning with passionate gaze to the beautiful young pines which lightly swayed their green leafy limbs over her head, gently brushing her face “ embrace me, your Leelinau, with thy intoxicating perfume, liken to the ones spring unfolds from its sweetest flowers, or hearts that to each other show their inmost adoration. I entreat you to hear this maiden’s prayer!” 

08

Gradually with the passing of each day these strange communions with the phantom beings stole the heart of Leelinau away.  Now she appeared detached and walked among her people in quiet melancholy, as though she was a passing spirit not belonging to that world. And this was not all, for she grew gradually more remiss with her daily routines, failing to complete even the simplest tasks of the lodge.

Before this time she used to frolic and engage in joyful interactions and play with her young companions as the girls of the neighboring lodges all assembled as usual before the lodge-door to participate in their favorite games of block and string.  In contrast Leelinau would sit vacantly, dismissing these pastimes as trivial, unworthy of her attention, or she would feebly make the effort to join if only to articulate her thoughts that this activity was rather irksome to her.

Moreover, on those warm evenings when she was compelled to join in the group of young people as they formed a ring around the lodge and the leather and bone passed rapidly from one to the other she handed it along offhandedly with dispassionate indifference about winning.

09

Eventually summer turned into autumn and there came the joyful time of the corn harvest. The air was permeated with excitement as all members of the tribe congregated to participate in harvesting the ripened maize from the fields. They had not been at this long when one of the girls, coincidentally the one noted for her beauty, joyfully cried aloud having found a red ear. Everyone rushed over at once to congratulate her for this rare and most fortunate find; for it foretold a brave admirer who would soon be on his way to her father’s lodge.  The girl blushed as crimson as the corn and, tucking the trophy to her bosom, awkwardly intoned her thanks for their well wishes then inwardly offered her sincere gratitude to the Great Spirit that the red ear was straight and true rather than being crooked and bent.

10

Just then one of the young men noted Leelinau’s unease as she stood aloof off to the side and, on looking more intently, spied in Leelinau’s hand another red ear she had just plucked, but this one was crooked. At once the word “Wa-ge-min!” rang out from him and the whole gathering gave a loud roar. 

“The thief is in the corn-field!” shouted the young man, whose name was Lagoo and who happened to be a mischievous person well-known in the tribe for his mirthful powers of story-telling. “Beware all! Watch out for the old man stooping as he enters the field. Watch out for the one who crouches as he creeps in the dark. Is it not plain enough by this mark on the stalk that he was heavily bent in his back? Old man, be nimble or someone will take thee while thou art taking the ear.” Lagoo continued in his exaggerated tones, accompanying his words with the mimicked action of one bowed with age stealthily entering the corn-field.  “See how he stoops as he breaks off the ear. Nushka! He seems for a moment to tremble. Walker, be nimble! Hooh! It is plain the old man is the thief.”  He turned abruptly and, facing Leelinau as she sat in the circle, pensively regarding the crooked ear which she held in her hand, and then loudly screeched, “Leelinau, the old man is thine!”

Rounds of laughter rung merrily through the corn-field, but Leelinau, casting the crooked ear of maize down upon the ground, simply walked away without a word.

The subsequent morning at dawn the eldest son of a neighboring chief called at her father’s lodge. He was quite advanced in years; but he enjoyed such renown for his aptitude, dexterity and courage in battle, to say nothing of his expertise in the hunt, that Leelinau’s parents accepted him at once as a suitor for their daughter.  They also held the firm belief that it must have been the chief’s son whom Lagoo had pictured as the corn-taker.  Their decision was also based on the dire hope that he, with his proficiency as a warrior, would perhaps win back the affections and thoughts of Leelinau from the harmful phantoms in the spirit-land.

Leelinau did not express any objections to his age or give any other plausible reason; she  simply shook her head in the negative, clearly rejecting his proposal. Her parents spent the night arguing the point between them. By the following day, with their mind set, ascribing the young daughter’s hesitancy to maidenly fear, they went ahead anyway and fixed the date for the upcoming nuptials.

Knowing her daughter’s whims better, Leelinau’s mother harbored a secret worry that she kept from her husband. She chose to busy herself for the next couple of days with the customary preparations, refusing to deal with the nagging question that haunted her peace: The marriage-visit to their lodge, when the old warrior would present himself at the door was arranged and the day was fast approaching.  What if Leelinau refused to admit him? She’d already definitely informed her parents that she would never acquiesce to this match. Would she relent?

They had no way of knowing of course that in her heart of hearts Leelinau had already avowed fidelity to another. 

11

When she was much younger she had confessed to her mother some, but not all, the details. The fancies that filled her young mind during all those absentee hours spent under that broad-topped young pine whose leaves whispered in the gentle murmur of the air in the evening hours when the twilight steals by with night on its heels.

12

During one of those times while reclining pensively against the young pine-tree, she’d fancied that she had heard a voice addressing her. At first it had been scarcely more than a sigh, but gradually it had grown more pronounced: 

“Sweet maiden,” Said the melodious whisper. “Pray think of me not just a tree; but as one who is fond to be with thee; I, with my tall and blooming strength, with my bright green nodding plume that wave above thee. Thou art leaning on my breast, Leelinau; lean forever there and be at peace. Fly from men who are false and cruel, and quit the tumult of their dusty strife and instead embrace this quiet, lonely shade. Over thee my arms I will always spread, sturdier than the lodge’s roof. I will breathe a perfume like that of flowers over thy happy evening rest. In my bark canoe I’ll waft thee o’er the waters of the sky-blue lake. I will deck the folds of thy mantle with the sun’s last rays. Come, and on the mountain free rove in bright Fairy with me!”

13

These riveting, enchanting words were drunk in with an eager ear by Leelinau and in time the tiny buds of love in her heart transformed into full blossoms.

14

Her mind made up, she’d sworn then and there to forsake all other. Returning to the spot time after time, she’d listen with intent to hear more but the voice became only an inaudible murmur and then it had ceased altogether. Even so, she felt such solitude and peace there. Meanwhile in her heart the hope persisted and flourished with a sure conviction that one day, one day, it will be so.

15

On the eve of the day that was fixed for her marriage, Leelinau donned her best garments. She arranged her hair according to the tradition of her tribe, and wore all her maiden ornaments in beautiful array.  With a smile, she then came forth and presented herself to her parents.

“I am sorry to have caused you so much worry,” She said, “It is time for me to now to take my leave of you. My place is with the chieftain of the Green Plume, who is waiting for me at the Spirit Grove.”

Her face was radiant with joy, and the parents, taking what she had said as her own fanciful way of expressing acquiescence in their plans, and of her intention to have a clandestine meeting with her intended suitor, wished her good fortune in their happy meeting.

16

“I leave you with some trepidation in my heart,” she continued, addressing her mother as they left the lodge, “Joyful as this event is, my heart is beset with sadness for I am going from one who has loved and nurtured me since my infancy; one who has guarded my youth; who has given me medicine when I was sick, and taught me to cook and sew.” Turning to take one last teary eyed look at the lodge, she added. “I am going from a father who has ranged the forest to procure the choicest skins for my dresses, and kept his lodge supplied with food and warmth. He kept us all safe from all danger.  I am going from a lodge which has been my shelter from the harsh storms of winter, and my shield from the heat of summer. My gratitude is boundless for all that you’ve both done for me. But now I must leave you. Farewell, my beloved mother, my respected father, farewell!”

17

So saying, she sped faster than any could follow to the margin of the fairy wood, and in a moment she was lost to sight.

As she had often thus taken her leave of the lodge with such sentimental and solicitous words, her parents opted not to worry but instead confidently awaited her safe return. Time passed.  Hour followed yet another hour, as the clouds of evening rolled up in the west; darkness came on, but no daughter returned. 

18

They jumped from their seat at a loud knock on the door and rushed to open it. But instead of Leelinau, they came face to face with the forlorn and decidedly angry face of the bridegroom who demanded an explanation for this insult. Soon, armed with torches, they hastened to the wood in search of Leelinau. Although they lit up every dark recess and probed each leafy gloom, their search was in vain. Leelinau was nowhere to be seen. In lamentation they called her name, but she answered not.

19

Many suns rose and set, but nevermore in their light did the bereaved parent’s eyes behold the lost form of their beloved child. Soon they had to come to grips with a harsh reality: their beloved daughter was lost to them forever. Wherever she had vanished, it was to a place no mortal eyes could see and no mortal tongue could tell.

20

Some years later however, it chanced that a company of fishermen, who were spearing fish in the lake near the Spirit Grove, saw an apparition. Back in the village they excitedly descried their encounter as they sat by the fire under the moonlight night; how they had spotted, only for an instant, an enchantingly beautiful apparition resembling a female figure clad in flowing, flowery garments standing on the shore. As the afternoon was mild and the waters calm, they had cautiously pulled their canoe in toward the bank, but the slight ripple of their oars invoked alarm. The phantom beauty had fled in haste, but not before they recognized in the shape and dress as she ascended the bank, the lost daughter, and they saw further her most handsome fairy-lover, green plumes waving over his forehead as he glided lightly through the forest of young pines.

21

The End.