Timid Hare was glad to hear the news, because her feet and back ached. She was not strong as an Indian girl of her own age should be and she knew it. “But I look like one,” she said to herself. She was glad now that her body was stained. She had colored it afresh of her own accord just before the journey, for she felt she would not be jeered at by the children of the Dahcotas so long as her hair and body were of the same color as their own.
When the new camping ground was reached, she was very tired. “But I must not show it,” she thought. “I must be bright and cheerful.” So she moved quickly, helping to set up the tepee and get supper for the family. But her eyelids closed the moment she lay down to rest, and she knew nothing more till the barking of the dogs roused her the next morning. At the same time she heard Sweet Grass and her mother talking together.
“The Fountain was last seen when we stopped at a spring to get water in the late afternoon,” one of them was saying.
“I hope she is safe,” replied the other, “and that the gray wolf was not abroad.”
Timid Hare shuddered. “Where can The Fountain be?” she wondered. “She is so good and so pretty, I hope she is unharmed.”
The very next moment a neighbor appeared in the door. “The Fountain has just reached us,” she said. “She spent the night by the spring, and she now brings with her a baby son. He is a lusty child. May he grow up to be a noble warrior!”
“I will go to her and give her my best wishes,” declared the chief’s wife. “It is a good sign for the new home that one more is added to our people.”
Soon afterwards Timid Hare and her young mistress were also on their way to visit the young mother. She was very happy. So was her husband. So was her baby; at least it seemed happy to Timid Hare as she looked at it nestling quietly in its mother’s arms. The little girl longed for it to open its eyes.
“By and by,” The Fountain told her with a smile, “my son will awake. But now he must sleep, for he finds this world a strange one, and he is tired.”
“The Great Spirit has been kind to The Fountain,” said Sweet Grass as she walked homeward with her little maid.
“How powerful He must be,” declared Timid Hare thoughtfully. “Whenever He speaks to us in the thunder and lightning I tremble with fear. But when I looked at the little baby just now I felt His love.”
THE MEDICINE MAN
The next morning Timid Hare was allowed to go once more to visit The Fountain and her little son. The baby lay fastened into a pretty frame the young mother had made for him. The straps were embroidered with porcupine quills, and finished very neatly.
As Timid Hare entered the tepee, The Fountain was about to lift the baby in his frame to her back.
“I am going to see Black Bull,” she said. “He is ill. He has not been well since before the Dog Feast.”