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36 Works of Mabel Powers

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How The White Man Came

Story type: Literature

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Long, long before Columbus came to America, the Red Children were here. They were the first and only real Americans. From the Big Sea Water on the east to the Big Sea Water on the west, ranged these Children of the Sun, as they called themselves. Happy and free as the sunlight and air about […]

The Iroquois Red Children are a grateful people. The true Iroquois never rises after eating without saying, “Niaweh,” which means, “I am thankful.” The others reply, “Niuh,”–“It is well.” The Red Children never pick a flower without thinking how kind the Great Spirit has been, to cause the flowers to grow. They like flowers, and […]

In the olden times, tribes of Indians did not always live in one place as they do now. They sometimes wandered from one valley or woodland to another. When they came to a sheltered place, where there was pure running water, and where plenty of game and wood were to be found, they would build […]

Story-Telling Time

Story type: Literature

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The old-time Indians say that long, long ago, the Little People made a law that stories must not be told in summer. Summer is the time for work. Bees must store their honey. Squirrels must gather their nuts. Men must grow their corn. Trees and plants must leaf, and flower, and bear their fruit. If […]

Some moons after the council when the birds chose their feathered suits, a second council was called. The purpose of this council was to see which bird could fly to heaven, and bring a song to earth. When all the birds had arrived and were perched upon the council tree, the wise old owl spoke. […]

A long, long time ago, some Indians were running along a trail that led to an Indian settlement. As they ran, a rabbit jumped from the bushes and sat before them. The Indians stopped, for the rabbit still sat up before them and did not move from the trail. They shot their arrows at him, […]

Why Dogs Chase Foxes

Story type: Literature

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A fox was running through the wood near a river. He had a fish in his mouth. The fish had been stolen from an Indian who lived down the stream. The fox had been passing near the Indian’s wigwam. He saw the fish hanging by the fire. It was cleaned and ready to cook. “What […]

It was a long, long time ago, when the earth was very young. Trees and flowers were growing everywhere, but there were no birds. One morning the Great Spirit drew back the blanket from the door of his wigwam in the sky. He looked upon the earth and smiled, for he saw that his work […]

Why The Partridge Drums

Story type: Literature

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It was after the Great Spirit had made all the beautiful birds, that the Evil Spirit came along. He saw the beautiful birds and heard their beautiful songs. He saw that the earth people liked the birds and liked to hear them sing. Now the Evil Spirit did not wish people to be happy, so […]

Many, many moons before the White man came, a little Indian boy was left in the woods. It was in the days when animals and men understood each other better than they do now. An old mother bear found the little Indian boy. She felt very sorry for him. She told the little boy not […]

Long ago, birds, trees, animals, and men knew each the language of the other, and all could talk together. In those days, the trees of the forest grew very large and strong. At last they came to know their strength too well. They became selfish, and proud, and quarrelsome. Each tree boasted that he was […]

It was some moons after the coon outwitted the fox, before they again met. The coon was hurrying by, when the fox saw him. Now the fox had not forgotten the trick the coon had played on him. His head was still sore from that great thump against the apple tree. So the fox started […]

The land was lean and hungry. The Old Man of the North Lodge had breathed upon the valley. His breath had frozen the corn, and there was no bread for the people. The Indian hunters took to the chase. They followed every track of deer or rabbit. If their arrows brought them meat, they threw […]

A wise old raccoon sat up in a tree near the river where the bear lost his tail. The coon saw the fox play his foxy trick on the bear, and he did not like it. “The fox is getting a big head,” said the coon. “This must not be. His head must be made […]

Every boy has wondered how there came to be two of him. Every girl has puzzled over how she happened to be twins. Sometimes she is the good girl,–sometimes a naughty one. The Indians say this is how it happened. The world was very young. There was no earth, only a cloud-like sea. The sea […]

There was once an Indian boy, who thought he knew more and could do more than anyone else. He was so proud of himself that he walked around like a great chief, who wears a war shirt with many scalp locks on it. The other Indian boys and girls called him Spread Feather, because he […]

At one time, the animals had tribes and chiefs, like men. It was when the porcupine was chief, that a council was called. A great fire was lighted, for it was night. When all the animals were seated around the fire, the porcupine spoke. “Friends,” he said, “we have met here to settle a great […]

Flying Squirrel and Lightning Bow were two little Indian boys. They lived by Singing River, and they played from sunrise to sunset. They were as happy as the day was long. In the summer, they fished and swam in Singing River, and they shot their arrows into chipmunk and woodpecker holes. Sometimes they played “Dodging […]

Why The Ice Roof Fell

Story type: Literature

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A great many winters ago, there lived at the foot of a certain lake a tribe of wicked Indians. These Indians were so fierce, and warlike, and wasteful, they went about destroying everything. They laid low a tract of beautiful forest trees, for no good purpose. They tore up shrubs and plants that gave them […]

An Indian woman built a wigwam in the deep wood. She was a brave woman. She had no fear. One night, she heard something coming along the trail. Thump, thump, thump, it came, to the very door of her wigwam. There was a rap. “Come in,” said the woman, but no one entered. Again there […]

Once upon a time, the Great Spirit left the Happy Hunting Ground and came to earth. He took the form of a poor, hungry man. He went from wigwam to wigwam, asking for food. Sometimes he found the Indians sitting around the fire, telling stories and talking of the Great Spirit. Then the man would […]

A hound was chasing a hare through the woods. Some wolves and panthers were chasing a bull that had been feeding in the valley near the woods. For some time they had been trying to run him down, but they did not seem to gain on him. When the wolves and panthers saw that they […]

An Indian hunter went into the forest in search of game. The forest was so large that it would have taken three days to journey through it. All day he followed the track of the deer, but his arrows brought him no food. At night, he came to a dark, swift-running stream. He was tired […]

In the days when there was no one living in this country but the Indians, there were no houses; there were only Indian wigwams. There were no roads and no streets, but Indian trails. At that time there grew a wonderful chestnut, which the Indians used in their cooking. A very small bit of this […]

Why Crows Are Poor

Story type: Literature

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After the Great Spirit had made the Red Children and had given them this beautiful land in which to live, he sent them a great gift,–the gift of the corn. Ga gaah, the Crow, claims it was he who brought this gift. He says he was called to the wigwam of the Great Spirit in […]

The dog is the Indian’s best friend. He is the comrade by day and the protector by night. As long as the Indian’s dog has strength, he will fight for his friend. The Indian says this is how the dog came to take his part. An Indian and his dogs went into the woods to […]

Once a tribe of the Iroquois became very warlike and cruel. They liked to follow the warpath rather than the hunting trails. These warriors thought only of the war dance. They forgot to give thanks for the sweet waters of the maple, and for the planting season. Neither did they remember to praise the Great […]

Some Indian hunters once made their way north, to hunt for moose. It was at the time of Falling Leaves. They journeyed for several days, until they came to a lake. Close by the lake they built a log cabin. Moss was placed between the logs to keep out the wind, and a thick roof […]

Once a rabbit began to run back and forth through the woods, calling for snow, snow, snow! It was one of those large gray rabbits, with long ears, that people call hares. As this hare ran back and forth through the woods, he sang at the top of his voice, “Ah gon ne yah–yeh! Ah […]

The Great Spirit had smiled upon his Red Children. The land was filled with plenty, for the Great Spirit had given to them the three sustainers of life, the corn, the bean, and the squash. Flowers bloomed, birds sang, and all the earth was glad with the Red Children, for the gifts of the Great […]

Far away in the North Sky lives Old Man Winter. Every year he leaves his wigwam in the sky and comes to earth. At the foot of a mountain, he builds a lodge of ice and snow, which no human being, animal, or bird can enter. There he lives for a time. North Wind is […]

An old man of the Iroquois nation once wished to make a beautiful Indian maiden his wife. The old man had many rare furs and valued strings of wampum. These he brought and laid at the door of the wigwam where the maiden lived. The father and mother were pleased with the old man’s gifts. […]

Once the Little People, the Indian fairies, ran with the Red Children through the woods, and played with them beside the streams. Now they are not often seen, for the white man drove them out of the woods with the Indians, and away from the waters, with his big steam noises. But before steamboats and […]

It was bluebird time, many moons ago. Little brooks laughed and danced, and all the forest was glad. An Indian boy came running through the forest. He, too, was glad, for it was spring! As he ran down the trail, he saw something hanging from a bush. The bush was but a few rabbit jumps […]

Once a little Indian girl was very sad and unhappy. The Great Spirit had taken her father and mother, and she had gone to live with relatives who did not want her. Often she went to sleep hungry, for only the scraps of food that were left from a meal were given to her. One […]

One day, an Indian boy was playing beside a stream, when one of the little elf men came along in his canoe. The boy had his bow and arrow with him; so had the little elf man. The little man stopped and offered to trade bows and arrows. The Indian boy looked first at his […]