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The Appeal To The Great Spirit
by [?]

Owaissa, the Indian Squaw, sat before the tepee watching little Litahni play with the colored stones. The child was the idol of the tribe, for was not her father the great chief Black Hawk who had done so much for his people? So, lest anything should happen to the little one, Owaissa made it her chief task to be where the child was and to teach her the things she wanted her to know.

Three years before, the good missionary who was leaving the encampment had said to Owaissa, “Soon there will come to your tepee a little child. Should it be a little girl, teach her to see herself in the things about her, so that the birds, and the trees, and the flowers, and the winds may all help her to grow true and fine, even as they help the young braves to grow brave and strong. The girls of your Indian tribes are not given half a chance to see the helpers all about them. Teach her to see, as I have taught you to see, what a woman can do.”

And the words of the missionary had burned into the very soul of Owaissa. Her child should have a chance. So when the little girl had come to her wigwam, she had named her Litahni–a little light–and she had sought for ways to help her to see what nature meant that man should see.

“Catch a little raindrop,” she said to the little girl as she played near the wigwam. “Every raindrop helps some plant, even though it is so little. You are tiny, too, but you can help every day just as the raindrop does.”

“See the beautiful sunset,” she said to the older girl, as they tramped home from gathering the wood for the fire. “The colors are creeping all over the sky. We see the sunset here and we are happy because it is so beautiful, but away over the mountains in the far away the sunset is just as beautiful and they are happy there as they see it. You can bring happiness, too, both here and far away, if your life is beautiful.

“Listen to the wind in the trees,” she said to the girl of fourteen who was eager to do that which father wanted her to leave undone. “You cannot see the wind, yet it sways the great trees and sometimes fells them. You can bend the will of the strong men of the tribe but you cannot do it by talk and by ugly words. Learn to bend by gentleness and quietly. Learn to steal into their lives as the wind steals through the trees.”

When the girl was sixteen, the young men of the tribe were beginning to love her and to want to take her to their wigwams. Then the mother knew she must show her how to choose. So she sought for ways to help her as they hunted the mountains for the wild berries. Often they sat by the lakeside for their midday meal. Sometimes it was rough and sometimes calm.

“See, daughter,” said Owaissa. “The little lake is very rough to-day. Sometimes our lives are like the little lake. Not always are they calm. Storms sweep over the life. But take the lesson from the lake. Be beautiful through it all. Down beneath the surface, the water is calm and untroubled even though the white caps are above.”

Once they were caught in the mountains in a terrific storm. Litahni crept close to the mother when the thunder rolled loud and long, but she loved to see the long streaks of lightning flash across the sky.

Then Owaissa said, “The thunder cannot hurt you, dear. Seldom does that which comes with a big noise do the harm, for one can run from it and be safe. Fear that which comes silently and swiftly and which strikes at the heart. The lightning yonder is far from us but it may strike at the heart of a giant pine and fell it to the ground. That which should have stood long and sturdy is then rendered useless and laid low.”