“But there came a time when Ke-honk-a said, as he flew over, ’Winter is coming, winter is coming.’ But nobody understood and nobody cared. Why should they care about winter when they did not know what it was?
“Soon after this the people of the Summer Land noticed a change in the weather. One half of the year was cooler than the other half. The first time this happened they did not mind it at all. Indeed, they rather liked it. It was pleasant to have a change.
“The next year it was cooler and the next still cooler. And so it went on for some years, each winter getting colder than that which had gone before.
“One day a dull, gray cloud came up out of the north and hid the face of the sun. Out of its gray bosom there came floating to earth a whole flock of big, white snowflakes. The people of the Summer Land were amazed.
“As the great flakes came wavering lazily down through the air, they looked at them and thought that they must be some new kind of winged creatures. ‘What a lot of them,’ thought they, ’there must be to make that great cloud which hides the sun!’
“In a short time the sun shone out from behind the gray cloud. In the twinkling of an eye all the snowflakes were gone. ‘Strange, strange!’ thought the people of the Summer Land. ’What has become of all those white-winged creatures?’
“The next winter so many snowflakes fell that they hid the brown earth for many weeks. This happened again and again, and the people of the Summer Land began to understand what winter was. The snow became so deep for months at a time that they found it hard to get food.
“After a while life became so hard for them that they felt that something must be done. So they summoned a Great Council to consider the matter. After much talk they decided to send a messenger to the Master of Life, who lived far away among the western mountains, to beg him to come and help them. For their messenger they chose the swallow, the swiftest of all the birds.
“The swallow flew for many days, until at last he reached the lodge of the Master of Life, and told his story.
“‘Go back,’ said the Master when he had heard it, ’and after four moons I will come to visit you. Summon all the people of the Summer Land to a Great Council and I will tell them what they must do.’
“At the time appointed, the Master of Life came. When all the people of the Summer Land had assembled, he spoke to them and said, ’I have heard of your troubles and have thought of a plan to help you.
“’Henceforth, so long as the world shall last, there shall be summer and winter in this land. Half the year shall be summer and half the year shall be winter.
“’While summer reigns, this is a pleasant land, and you may live here and find plenty of food. Before winter comes, you must leave this land and journey far away to the south, to another country where summer always reigns. But when the snow melts and winter returns to his home in the distant north, summer shall come again to this land, and so it shall be every year.