North America Indian Story & Song - online book

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blazed in the open air, and the men whose duty it was to dress and cook the meat, were moving about the burning logs; while others sat mending their moccasins by the firelight, listening to stories of battles, marvellous escapes, and strange adventures. Supper was cooked, and the meat was piled on freshly cut grass spread upon the ground; and near by were set the pots of broth and the wooden bowls and horn spoons. The Leader was called to perform the usual sacred rites observed before the serving of food; and all the warriors gathered around the fire, each one eager for his portion of the meal. At a signal from the Leader every man bowed his head, and there was silence. Not a breath of air was stirring. Now and then could be heard the far-off dismal howl of the grey wolf or the cry of a strange bird startled from its nest by a coyote. Save from these and the crackling of the fire there was stillĀ­ness in all the surroundings. The warriors had made their silent petitions to Wakon'-da, the power that moves all things. The Leader lifted his head. Then from the pile of meat he took a bit and raised it toward the sky, as an offering to that mysterious power, when suddenly the stillness was broken and the ceremony interrupted by a clear
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