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The Mi'-ka-thi songs are sung by warriors as they leave the village on their way to battle. They all originate in some personal experience, and both story and song are handed down with care and pre­cision.
A Ponka war party once camped near the enemy. The usual sentinels had been stationed, with special injunctions to be vigilant, that the camp might not be discovered and surprised. Among those assigned to duty as sentinel that night was a young man ambitious to win preferment and honour in the tribe. His career was yet all to make, and he was on the alert for opportunity to distinguish himself.
There was no moon, and only the keenest eye could discern any distant object in the darkness. The silence was unbroken save by the occasional cry of the wolf, the creaking of a cricket, or the rustle of a passing breeze.
The young man, intently on the watch, scanned the country from right to left, searching through the dimness for any moving thing; but all was motion­less beneath, while overhead the stars moved slowly through the heavens, as the night wore on.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III