North America Indian Story & Song - online book

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heard her voice ring out loud and clear in a song,— a song, I doubted not, that carried a message to the mighty storm, in which to her the gods were present. Many years have passed since I witnessed this scene and learned the story of the woman's song. She is now at rest, and let us hope her lifelong sor­row may have turned to joy.
In the early part of the century a Dakota woman fasted and prayed, and Thunder came to her in her vision. To the god she promised to give her first­born child. When she became a mother, she forgot in her joy that the life of her little one did not be­long to her; nor did she recall her fateful vow until one bright spring day, when the clouds gathered and she heard the roll of the thunder, — a sound which summoned all persons consecrated to this god to bring their offerings and to pay their vows. Then she remembered what she had promised; but her heart forbade her to lay the infant, which was smil­ing in her arms, upon the cloud-swept hill-top. She pressed the baby to her breast, and waited in si­lence the passing of the god in the storm.
The following spring, when the first thunder pealed, she did not forget her vow; but she could not gather strength to fulfil it.
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