Some things that they say and do are very funny. After one of our village boys had been to the new boarding-school two or three weeks, he came to our house one day of an errand. While he waited, he said to Winona (that is Miss Collins) “Do you sleep on a bed the way we do at school?” She told him that she did, and then he said: “A long time ago, when I was little and not very wise, I used to come here to your house, and I always thought you slept on that table [the dining-table] but, now I am beginning to see clearly.”
The same ten-year-old friend gave me a lesson one day in digging potatoes. And another time when he had ridden the pony Bessie to drink at the river, his younger brother came to the house with him. The two are as devoted brothers as any that I know, and when I reached out Ben’s pay toward him, he motioned me to give it to Daniel instead. Very likely it was shared afterward, but at least I thought it showed a generous spirit of brotherly love.
Fourth of July and Christmas are great days here as well as among our white friends in the East. This year I had the pleasure of attending two Christmas-tree celebrations. The first was at our little church Christmas evening. The house was full, some of the boys and young men being obliged to sit on the edge of the little platform and on the floor, and everybody seemed happy. The next evening I drove about six miles, to the Oak Creek Station, to share in the festivities at Cross Bear’s house. There, too, they had a tree, and a Santa Claus dressed up in a big, shaggy, fur coat, a very tall hat decorated with Indian designs, and in his hand he carried a stout staff on which he leaned, as if he felt the burden of many winters. He was just as funny as your Santa Claus, as he stood bowing and bowing, and making his little speech.
Indians like to have a good time all together, whether it is Fourth of July, or Christmas, or a prayer-meeting, or a feast. And we are very thankful that now they enjoy meeting in these ways, instead of having the old-time heathen dances. We are thankful that when we speak of Indians now, we do not mean a race of people who are only waiting for a chance to scalp us. They are our friends, as we are theirs.
God has been revealed to them, and they are coming out of their heathen darkness into His light, and they are learning how to live purer and better lives, to think new thoughts, and to be Christian men instead of heathen savages. We who have always known of God, and heard His word, must help them “in His name.” Think, dear boys, if there is anything that you can do.
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WOMAN’S STATE ORGANIZATIONS.
WOMAN’S AID TO A.M.A.
State Committee—Mrs. C.A. Woodbury,
Mrs. A.T. Burbank, Yarmouth;
Mrs. Helen Quimby, Bangor.