American Indian stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 117 pages of information about American Indian stories.

Just here a paleface woman came up to my table.  As she looked into the jar, she shoved my hands roughly aside.  I stood fearless and angry.  She placed her red hands upon the rim of the jar.  Then she gave one lift and stride away from the table.  But lo! the pulpy contents fell through the crumbled bottom to the floor I She spared me no scolding phrases that I had earned.  I did not heed them.  I felt triumphant in my revenge, though deep within me I was a wee bit sorry to have broken the jar.

As I sat eating my dinner, and saw that no turnips were served, I whooped in my heart for having once asserted the rebellion within me.


The devil.

Among the legends the old warriors used to tell me were many stories of evil spirits.  But I was taught to fear them no more than those who stalked about in material guise.  I never knew there was an insolent chieftain among the bad spirits, who dared to array his forces against the Great Spirit, until I heard this white man’s legend from a paleface woman.

Out of a large book she showed me a picture of the white man’s devil.  I looked in horror upon the strong claws that grew out of his fur-covered fingers.  His feet were like his hands.  Trailing at his heels was a scaly tail tipped with a serpent’s open jaws.  His face was a patchwork:  he had bearded cheeks, like some I had seen palefaces wear; his nose was an eagle’s bill, and his sharp-pointed ears were pricked up like those of a sly fox.  Above them a pair of cow’s horns curved upward.  I trembled with awe, and my heart throbbed in my throat, as I looked at the king of evil spirits.  Then I heard the paleface woman say that this terrible creature roamed loose in the world, and that little girls who disobeyed school regulations were to be tortured by him.

That night I dreamt about this evil divinity.  Once again I seemed to be in my mother’s cottage.  An Indian woman had come to visit my mother.  On opposite sides of the kitchen stove, which stood in the center of the small house, my mother and her guest were seated in straight-backed chairs.  I played with a train of empty spools hitched together on a string.  It was night, and the wick burned feebly.  Suddenly I heard some one turn our door-knob from without.

My mother and the woman hushed their talk, and both looked toward the door.  It opened gradually.  I waited behind the stove.  The hinges squeaked as the door was slowly, very slowly pushed inward.

Then in rushed the devil!  He was tall!  He looked exactly like the picture I had seen of him in the white man’s papers.  He did not speak to my mother, because he did not know the Indian language, but his glittering yellow eyes were fastened upon me.  He took long strides around the stove, passing behind the woman’s chair.  I threw down my spools, and ran to my mother.  He did not fear her, but followed closely after me.  Then I ran

Project Gutenberg
American Indian stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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