Tag Archive | native

Thanksgiving: A Day of Mourning 2017

Every Thanksgiving, I like to republish this post and add a few thoughts.

My thoughts surround the removal of Confederate statues. I am against the removal for the fact that the act is removing history from our memories, just as what happened to Thanksgiving. I know most folks think that these statues are tributes to these leaders that fought for things that us modern folks aren’t too proud of. Some folks think they are offensive. Contrary to what many people believe, slavery was not high on the list of reasons for the Civil War.

Although some people think that black Africans were the only slaves in written history, slavery goes back to the beginning of time,  and spans all cultures, nationalities and religions. I don’t understand why some folks think this statement is considered racist. It’s the truth! It may not be easy to find collaborating documents to prove the many different peoples that were used as slaves, as much of this history has been buried in history books, because countries don’t want to be remembered that way. That’s a problem, in my opinion. People will soon forget about why the Civil War was fought and the people that are claiming to be repressed because of it will loose their footing in their arguments.

‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ George Santayana

“There aren’t just bad people that commit genocide; we are all capable of it. It’s our evolutionary history.” James Lovelock

thanks not

‘History is written by the victors.’ Winston S. Churchill 

If you are interested in learning a different story of what happened after the pilgrims reached Plymouth Rock, please read on!

Those who are indigenous Indians to North America have been misrepresented and effectively banished in American history textbooks in favor of glorifying European colonialism. Why does democracy refuse to teach that thousands of American Native Indians were unjustifiably slaughtered in the name of conquest and imperialism?

From the book The American Tradition.

“After some exploring in 1620, the Pilgrims chose the land around Plymouth Harbor for their settlement. Unfortunately, they arrived in December and were not prepared for the New England weather. However, they were aided by friendly Indians, who gave them food and showed them how to grow corn. When warm weather came, the colonists planted, fished, hunted and prepared themselves for the next winter. After harvesting their first crop, they and their Indian friends celebrated the first Thanksgiving.”

This is what is taught here in the U.S. Some of it is the truth; the Pilgrims did come to America in 1620. Most didn’t survive the first winter because of their lack of stored food and supplies. They did meet Native American Indians. That’s pretty much where the truth ends.

The Wampanoag people did not truly trust whites, having dealt with European fishermen who had enslave or kill them for the past 100 years. However, because it was their culture and religion to help those in need, the Wampanoags took pity on the settlers and helped them. On March 16th, 1621, a Patuxet Indian (neighbors of the Wampanoag) named Samoset met the settlers for the first time. Samoset spoke excellent English, as did Squanto, another bilingual Patuxet because the British had taken them into slavery in the past. Squanto acted as an interpreter for the Wampanoag Indians, led by Chief Massasoit.

The next harvest season, the settlers and Native Tribes agreed to meet for a 3-day negotiation. As the meeting fell during the Wampanoag Harvest Festival, the Native Indian community agreed to bring most of the food for the event. The peace and land negotiations were successful and the Pilgrims acquired the rights of land for their people. This became the base for the Thanksgiving story.

In 1622 propaganda started to circulate about this “First Thanksgiving”. A book called, “Mourt’s Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims in Plymouth” publicized the greatness of Plymouth and told of the meeting as a friendly feast with the Native Indians. The Pilgrims glamorized the situation, possibly in an effort to encourage more Puritans to settle in their area. By stating that the Native Indian community was warm and open-armed, the newcomers would be more likely to feel secure in their journey to New England.

What started as a hope for peace between the settlers and the Wampanoag, ended in the most sad and tragic way. The Pilgrims, once few in number, had now grown to well over 40,000 and the Native American Indian strength had weakened to less than 3,000. Not only did the battles lower their numbers, contagious diseases never seen by the Native Indians were also to blame. By 1675, one generation later, tension had grown between the Europeans and the Native Indians. The Wampanoag called in reinforcements from other surrounding tribes.

Many Native Indian communities throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut rallied with the Wampanoags, but the power of the English was overpowering. After the war was over, the remaining Wampanoags and their allies, were either killed or deported as slaves for thirty shillings each. This slave trade was so successful that several Puritan ship owners began a slave-trading business by raiding the coast for Native American Indians and trading them for black slaves of Africa. The black slaves were then sold to colonists in the south. Hence, the Pilgrims were one of the founders of the American-based slave trading industry.

This is why I will not be celebrating Thanksgiving the same way as in the past. I will still be thankful for my friends and my family. However, I will also remember there’s more than one way to weave a story.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

White-Crowned Sparrow ~ Zonotrichia leucophrys

This post was a bit lost in my drafts folder… These guys were passing through last month. They, like the Juncos, like to be up North for the summer. And I mean like the Great White North! I’m also too far North to be in their Northern, Southern range. Ah, alas I am in the migration range only.

The male does most of the singing, however the female likes to belt out a few delicate, but more intricate tunes. Males learn their songs not only from their fathers, but from all of the other White-Crowned Sparrows in the neighborhood. If a male grows-up on the edges of two communities, they might sing two different songs, one from each community, you could say bilingual. 

They mainly eat seeds, however will feed insects to their young. These guys were happy to see many protein-packed sunflower seeds and peanuts on the ground, as they need a bunch of energy for their migration. These guys have been known to stay awake for two weeks straight! Not only that, the can fly for a long time without tiring. Scientist have this little guy running tread mills and other endurance tests. They are trying to figure out what keeps the little guy ticking for so long. Clearly, Scientist’s want to learn how to keep us humans working longer than our standard, 40 hours, sigh.

See you next Fall, White-Crowned Sparrow! I wish I could go with you to Mexico for the winter!!

     

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Thanksgiving: A Day of Mourning

I like to reblog this yearly.

There aren’t just bad people that commit genocide; we are all capable of it. It’s our evolutionary history.

James Lovelock

If you are interested in learning a different story of what happened after the pilgrims reached Plymouth Rock, please read on!

thanks not

Winston S. Churchill — ‘History is written by the victors.’

Those who are indigenous Indians to North America have been misrepresented and effectively banished in American history textbooks in favor of glorifying European colonialism. Why does democracy refuse to teach that thousands of American Native Indians were unjustifiably slaughtered in the name of conquest and imperialism?

From the book The American Tradition.

“After some exploring in 1620, the Pilgrims chose the land around Plymouth Harbor for their settlement. Unfortunately, they arrived in December and were not prepared for the New England weather. However, they were aided by friendly Indians, who gave them food and showed them how to grow corn. When warm weather came, the colonists planted, fished, hunted and prepared themselves for the next winter. After harvesting their first crop, they and their Indian friends celebrated the first Thanksgiving.”

This is what is taught here in the U.S. Some of it is the truth; the Pilgrims did come to America in 1620. Most didn’t survive the first winter because of their lack of stored food and supplies. They did meet Native American Indians. That’s pretty much where the truth ends.

The Wampanoag people did not truly trust whites, having dealt with European fishermen who had enslave or kill them for the past 100 years. However, because it was their culture and religion to help those in need, the Wampanoags took pity on the settlers and helped them. On March 16th, 1621, a Patuxet Indian (neighbors of the Wampanoag) named Samoset met the settlers for the first time. Samoset spoke excellent English, as did Squanto, another bilingual Patuxet because the British had taken them into slavery in the past. Squanto acted as an interpreter for the Wampanoag Indians, led by Chief Massasoit.

The next harvest season, the settlers and Native Tribes agreed to meet for a 3-day negotiation. As the meeting fell during the Wampanoag Harvest Festival, the Native Indian community agreed to bring most of the food for the event. The peace and land negotiations were successful and the Pilgrims acquired the rights of land for their people. This became the base for the Thanksgiving story.

In 1622 propaganda started to circulate about this “First Thanksgiving”. A book called, “Mourt’s Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims in Plymouth” publicized the greatness of Plymouth and told of the meeting as a friendly feast with the Native Indians. The Pilgrims glamorized the situation, possibly in an effort to encourage more Puritans to settle in their area. By stating that the Native Indian community was warm and open-armed, the newcomers would be more likely to feel secure in their journey to New England.

What started as a hope for peace between the settlers and the Wampanoag, ended in the most sad and tragic way. The Pilgrims, once few in number, had now grown to well over 40,000 and the Native American Indian strength had weakened to less than 3,000. Not only did the battles lower their numbers, contagious diseases never seen by the Native Indians were also to blame. By 1675, one generation later, tension had grown between the Europeans and the Native Indians. The Wampanoag called in reinforcements from other surrounding tribes.

Many Native Indian communities throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut rallied with the Wampanoags, but the power of the English was overpowering. After the war was over, the remaining Wampanoags and their allies, were either killed or deported as slaves for thirty shillings each. This slave trade was so successful that several Puritan ship owners began a slave-trading business by raiding the coast for Native American Indians and trading them for black slaves of Africa. The black slaves were then sold to colonists in the south. Hence, the Pilgrims were one of the founders of the American-based slave trading industry.

This is why I will not be celebrating Thanksgiving the same way as in the past. I will still be thankful for my friends and my family. However, I will also remember there’s more than one way to weave a story.

Summer Blooming Flowers 9-8-2016

Punctuality is the virtue of the bored. Evelyn Waugh

Don’t be bored… see what I found blooming in 201320142015

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Eupatorium perfoliatum ~ Common boneset   ||  Persicaria lapathifolia ~ Nodding Smartweed

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Apios americana ~ Groundnut

Tubers are more nutritious than potatoes and the seeds are edible also.

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Impatiens capensis ~ orange jewelweed, common jewelweed, spotted jewelweed, spotted touch-me-not, or orange balsam

The grass only has one name Panicum virgatum ‘Hot Rod’ ~ Switch grass

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Erigeron philadelphicus ~ Philadelphia Fleabane   ||   This bee was resting…. I petted him! He woke up & flew away.

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Silphium perfoliatum ~ Cup plant     ||   Unknown weed

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hibiscus moscheutos ‘Midnight Marvel’ I just planted two of these in my front yard. Love the leaf color.


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 9-7-2016

Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia. Charles M. Schulz

Don’t wait till tomorrow to see what was blooming in 2013, 2014, 2015

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Sporobolus heterolepis ~ Prairie Dropseed   ||   Pennisetum alopecuroides ~ Fountain Grass

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Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pee Gee’

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Hosta     ||   Lobelia cardinalis ~ Cardinal Flower

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Phlox

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Rudbeckia triloba ~ Brown-eyed Susan     ||   Rhus typhina ~ Staghorn sumac

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Parthenium integrifolium ~ Wild Quinine    ||    Solidago canadensis ~ Canada Goldenrod

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Euphorbia corollata – Flowering Spurge


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois State Beach Park

This is the third time we’ve been to Illinois State Beach Park. Part one here  | Part two here.

This is a IDNR (Illinois Dept. Natural Resources) park, one of the most protected areas in Il. It’s located in Zion, kinda a rough neighborhood, but you don’t even realize where you are after entering the park. We also had a great view of the dormant Zion nuclear plant. Awesome…?

This area is 4,160 acres and has a recorded 650+ different plant species. Long recognized for its unique geological features, native flora and unmatched beauty, the Lake Michigan dunes area originally was, in the 1700s, part of the “Three Fires” of the Algonquin Nation: the Potawatomi, Chippewa and Ottawa.

This area was slated to be a preserve as early as 1888, when Robert Douglas, a Waukegan nurseryman, and Jens Jensen, a famous landscape architect (If you live/visit  Chicago, you’ve seen a lot of his work), worked together to make the area a regional park. With industry progressing from the south, sand mining ravaging the dunes and parts of the surrounding rural area succumbing to pasture and homesteads, legislative efforts to save the area finally began in the 1920s.

In 1948, the state obtained the first parcels of what is now known as Illinois Beach State Park. The Illinois Dunes Preservation Society was established in 1950 to protect the area. Through its efforts and the determinations of the Department of Conservation, in 1964 the area south of Beach Road was dedicated as the first Illinois Nature Preserve.

This area is unique, as it is a sand dune area, and the rest of Illinois is nothing like it. I was on the hunt for Opuntia – Prickly pear & Juniperus horizontalis – Trailing juniper, both of these are native to this area. In 1804, explorers Lewis and Clark noted that trailing juniper “would make a handsome edging to the borders of a garden”

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Cicuta maculata ~ Water Hemlock    Stay away!!    ||   A mossy rose gall, caused by a Diplolepis rosea or Bedeguar Gall Wasp. So cute and fuzzy!! Not really detrimental to the plant.

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Midwestern Plant Girl on the hunt for blooming flowers!!!image

The still standing Zion Nuclear Power Plant. It was built in 1973 and decommissioned in 1998. The hot, nuclear mess still sits in holding tanks below the buildings. Supposedly, the new date for clean-up is in 2020. All the hot stuff will be sent to a remote location in Utah. Poor, Utah… drew the short stick, didn’t we??? It will then be restored to its original habitat, hopefully.

Pretty scary that it sits right next to the largest fresh water supply of the Midwest….

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There were a few gulls on the nuclear power plant side of the fence. 😉 They know folks are supposed to stay on the other side of the fence. There are still armed guards here, keeping folks away from the hot mess.

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Pretty rocks… I would have made a great petrologist =-)

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I love our savannas.

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Chelydra serpentina — Common snapping turtle   ||     Lithobates pipiens or Rana pipiens ~ Northern leopard frog  They were everywhere!

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Wasps and beavers

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Breck with Daddy and Chicago waaaaay in the distance.

Native Orchids of Illinois

I have been blessed enough to have seen these two in the wild with my own eyes. These two native orchids of Illinois are a pretty rare sight. Sadly, aside from us greedy humans taking their habitat, people will selfishly dig these up and take them home. Bad people!

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Cypripedium reginae ~ Showy Lady’s Slipper

She’s called, “Queen Orchid of America” with her slipper-like pouch of dazzling pink and her three white, flared petals, she rivals the orchids of the tropics with her beauty.

Orchids like to grow on a ledge of a marsh (hummock) in damp, deciduous forests and on rocky outcrops with rich organic soil which is usually alkaline based. Like all other Cypripedium species, it requires well-drained soil. These were spotted in the middle of forest, however I don’t feel it was too marshy where they were growing.

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Cypripedium calceolus var. parviflorum

The specific epithet calceolus in Latin means “little shoe,” and parviflorum means “small flower,” in reference to the smaller flower of this variety.

There are 17 genera of native orchids here in the Midwest. Here, orchids are terrestrial (live in earth), whereas the ones native to the tropics are arboreal (live in trees). Orchids are interesting & complicated plants. Each genus is different, with their flower shapes partly influenced by the type of insect that pollinates them.

These two orchids (among others) have a specially made flower that only admits tiny green bees, which are their special pollinators. Other insects are not able to enter the flower, as the sticky anthers prevent them.

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© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Eastern Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta)

imageThe Eastern Painted Turtle is small turtle, only reaching about 5-6 inches. It is very cold tolerant, having been observed to be active under ice (Pritchard, 1979). As with the other painted turtles, the Eastern Painted Turtle moves from a carnivorous lifestyle as a young turtle to omnivorous as an adult.

The painted turtle was designated the official Illinois state reptile in 2005 after winning the vote of the citizens of Illinois in 2004. Others up for the vote were the eastern box turtle and the common garter snake. The painted turtle is also the reptile symbol for Michigan.

The painted turtle is one of the most widespread and abundant turtle species in the USA and Canada and although it faces some local threats, it is considered to be of least concern in terms of current extinction risk.

I think you know by now a North American Indian story was coming up 😉

A Wyandot (Huron) Legend

Many years ago the world had two parts. Animals lived in the lower part, which was completely covered in water and had no land or soil. Above was the Sky World, where the sky people lived. The Sky World had lots of soil, with beautiful mountains and valleys. One day a girl from the Sky World went for a long walk and became very tired.

“I’m so tired, I need to rest,” she said. She sat down under the spreading branches of an apple tree and quickly fell asleep. Suddenly, there was a rumbling sound like thunder and the ground began to crack. A big hole opened up next to the apple tree.

“What’s happening?” screamed the frightened girl. She tried to move but it was too late. She and the tree slid through the hole and tumbled over and over towards the watery world below.

“Help me! Help me!” screamed the girl. Luckily two swans were swimming below and saw the girl tumbling down from the sky. “Come on!” yelled one swan. “Let’s catch her before she hits the water.” “Okay!” yelled the other. The swans spread their wings together and caught the girl on their soft feather backs. “Whew! That was lucky,” said the girl. “But what do I do now? I can’t get back up to the Sky World and I can’t stay on your backs forever.”

“We’ll take you to Big Turtle,” said the swans. “He knows everything.” After hearing what happened, the Big Turtle called all the animals in the water world to a meeting. He told them an old story about soil being found deep under the water. “If we can get some of that soil, we can build an island on my back for you to live on,” said the Big Turtle.

“Sounds good to me,” said the young girl.

The Otter, Beaver and Muskrat started arguing over whom would dive for the soil. “I’ll go,” said the sleek Otter, brushing his glossy fur. “No! I’ll go,” said Beaver, slapping the water with his big flat tail. “I’m the best swimmer,” said Muskrat “I’ll go.”

“Aaaachooo!” sneezed the young girl.” Guys, guys, would just one of you go. These swan feathers are getting up my nose and making me sneeze.”

“Sorry” said the swans.

“That’s alright,” said the young Sky girl.

Then Toskwaye the little Toad popped up out of the water. “I’ll go. I can dive very deep,” she said. The other animals started laughing and pointing at Toskwaye. “You! You’re too small and ugly to help.” Cried the others, laughing.

“Be quite!” said Big Turtle in a loud, stern voice. “Everyone is equal and everyone will have a chance to try”. The sleek Otter smoothed his glossy fur, took a deep breath and slid into the water. He was gone for a long time before he came up gasping for air. “It was too deep,” he said. “I couldn’t dive that far.”

“Now it’s my turn,” said Beaver. He slapped the water with his tail as he disappeared. After a long time he came to the surface again. “It’s too far” he gasped. “No one can dive that deep.” Muskrat tried next and failed.

“Aaaachoo!” sneezed the young girl. “This is not looking good.”

“Now it’s my turn,” said little Toskwaye the Toad. She took a deep breath and jumped into the water. She was gone a very long time and everyone thought they wouldn’t see her again.

Suddenly Otter pointed at the water, shouting, and “Look, look bubbles!” Toskwaye’s small, ugly face appeared through the water. She spat a few grains of soil onto the Big Turtle’s back, then fell back into the water – dead.

The Turtle ordered the others to rub the soil grains and spread them around on his shell. The grains grew and grew, until a large island was formed – big enough for the girl to live on. It grew into our world, as we know it today. And the descendants of the Sky girl became the Earth’s people.

Today, some people say the whole world still rests on Big Turtles back. When he gets tired and changes his position, we have earthquakes.

Toad has not been forgotten either. American native Indians call her “Mashutaha”, which means ‘Our Grandmother’. No one is allowed to harm her.

 

I wish more folks felt this way….


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Spring Blooming Flowers 6-13-2016

Happy Monday the 13th!  😉

How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on. ~ Zall’s Second Law – Blooming in 201320142015.

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Dianthus barbatus ~ Sweet William   |  Isolepsis cernua ~ Fiber optic grass

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Iris ‘Caesar’s brother’   |   Iris Not sure of flavor

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Coreopsis ~ Not sure of the flavor  |  Tropical Hibiscus

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More Iris   |   Aquilegia canadensis ~ Canadian or Canada columbine, Eastern red columbine, Wild columbine

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Toxicodendron radicans ~ Poison Ivy   |   Anyone? I thought it was Nymphoides cordata, but it’s out of range.

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Packera aurea ~ golden ragwort or simply ragwort    |   Melilotus officinalis ~ yellow sweet clover, yellow melilot, ribbed melilot or common melilot


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Robin in the Rafters

Robins are the largest North American thrushes. They are named after the European Robin (Erithacus rubecula), however they aren’t in the same family.

Females have paler heads with a grayer back than the male.

Robins are not cavity nesters and prefer to nest in evergreens and eaves. They also like to nest near humans. This one decided that the outdoor area of a Wisconsin bar is the place to be. I snapped a quick photo of her egg while she went out hunting for worms.

Robins build their nests with long coarse grass, twigs, paper, feathers and is fastened with mud. The inside is softened with grass or other materials. An American Robin can produce three successful broods in one year.

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I always love to read the Native American tales.

The Boy Who Became a Robin
by Henry R. Schoolcraft

Once upon a time there was an old Indian who had an only son, whose name was Opeechee. The boy had come to the age when every Indian lad makes a long fast, in order to secure a Spirit to be his guardian for life.

Now, the old man was very proud, and he wished his son to fast longer than other boys, and to become a greater warrior than all others. So he directed him to prepare with solemn ceremonies for the fast.

After the boy had been in the sweating lodge and bath several times, his father commanded him to lie down upon a clean mat, in a little lodge apart from the rest.

“My son,” said he, “endure your hunger like a man, and at the end of TWELVE DAYS, you shall receive food and a blessing from my hands.”

The boy carefully did all that his father commanded, and lay quietly with his face covered, awaiting the arrival of his guardian Spirit who was to bring him good or bad dreams.

His father visited him every day, encouraging him to endure with patience the pangs of hunger and thirst. He told him of the honor and renown that would be his if he continued his fast to the end of the twelve days.

To all this the boy replied not, but lay on his mat without a murmur of discontent, until the ninth day – when he said,

“My father, the dreams tell me of evil. May I break my fast now, and at a better time make a new one?”

“My son,” replied the old man, “you know not what you ask. If you get up now, all your glory will depart. Wait patiently a little longer. You have but three days more to fast, then glory and honor will be yours.”

The boy said nothing more, but, covering himself closer, he lay until the eleventh day, when he spoke again,

“My father,” said he, “the dreams forebode evil. May I break my fast now, and at a better time make a new one?”

“My son,” replied the old man again, “you know not what you ask. Wait patiently a little longer. You have but one more day to fast. Tomorrow I will myself prepare a meal and bring it to you.”

The boy remained silent, beneath his covering, and motionless except for the gentle heaving of his breast.

Early the next morning his father, overjoyed at having gained his end, prepared some food. He took it and hastened to the lodge intending to set it before his son.

On coming to the door of the lodge what was his surprise to hear the boy talking to some one. He lifted the curtain hanging before the doorway, and looking in saw his son painting his breast with vermilion. And as the lad laid on the bright color as far back on his shoulders as he could reach, he was saying to himself:

“My father has destroyed my fortune as a man. He would not listen to my requests. I shall be happy forever, because I was obedient to my parent – but he shall suffer. My guardian Spirit has given me a new form, and now I must go!”

At this his father rushed into the lodge, crying,

“My son! my son! I pray you leave me not!”

But the boy, with the quickness of a bird, flew to the top of the lodge, and perching upon the highest pole, was instantly changed into a most beautiful robin redbreast.

He looked down on his father with pity in his eyes, and said,

“Do not sorrow, O my father, I am no longer your boy, but Opeechee the robin. I shall always be a friend to men, and live near their dwellings. I shall ever be happy and content. Every day will I sing you songs of joy. The mountains and fields yield me food. My pathway is in the bright air.”

Then Opeechee the robin stretched himself as if delighting in his new wings, and caroling his sweetest song, he flew away to the near-by trees.

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl