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The Snowstorm

from Things To See In Springtime





It was at the great winter Carnival of Montreal not long ago. Looking out of a window on a stormy day were five children of different races: an Eskimo, a Dane, a Russian, an Indian, and a Yankee. The managers of the Carnival had brought the first four with their parents; but the Yankee was the son of a rich visitor.


"Look," cried the little Eskimo from Alaska, as he pointed to the driving snow. "Look at the ivory chips falling! El Sol is surely carving a big Walrus tusk into a fine dagger for himself. See how he whittles, and sends the white dust flying."


Of course he didn't say "El Sol," but used the Eskimo name for him.


Then the Dane said: "No, that isn't what makes it. That is Mother Earth getting ready for sleep. Those are the goose feathers of her feather bed, shaken up by her servants before she lies down and is covered with her white mantle."


The little Indian, with his eyes fixed on the storm, shook his head gravely and said: "My father taught me that these are the ashes from Nana-bo-jou's pipe; he has finished his smoke and is wrapping his blanket about him to rest. And my father always spake true."


"Nay, you are all wrong," said the little Russian. "My grandmother told me that it is Mother Carey. She is out riding in her strongest, freshest steed, the White Wind. He has not been out all summer; he is full of strength and fury; he spumes and rages. The air is filled with the foam from his bridle, and froth from his shoulders, as she rides him, and spurs him, and rides him. I love to see it, and know that she is filling the air with strength and with messages. They carry me back to my own dear homeland. It thrills me with joy to see the whiteness."


But the Yankee boy said: "Why, it's just snowing."







Next: The Fairy Lamps

Previous: How The Wren Became King Of The Birds



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