How The Indian Summer Came





Wahkonda, the Great Spirit, the Ruler of the World, had found pleasure the whole summer long in making mountains, lakes, and forests. Then when the autumn came, and the leaves fell from the trees, He lighted His pipe and sat down to look over the things He had made.



As He did so, the north wind arose for Cold Time was coming, and blew the smoke and ashes of the pipe into His face. Then He said: "Cease your blowing, all ye winds, until I have finished smoking." So, of course, there was dead calm.



Wahkonda smoked for ten days, and during all that time there were no clouds in the sky, for there was no wind to bring them; there was unbroken, calm sunny weather. But neither was there any wind to carry off the smoke, so it hung, as the teepee smoke hangs at sunrise, and it drifted over the valleys and forests in a blue haze.



Then at last when the Great Spirit finished His smoke and His meditation, He emptied out His pipe. That was the signal, the north wind broke loose, and came howling down from the hills, driving the leaves before it, and warning all wild things to be ready, for soon there would be winter in the woods.



And it hath been so ever since. When the leaves have fallen and before yet the Ice-king is here, there come, for a little while, the calm dreamy days, when the Great Spirit is smoking His pipe, and the smoke is on the land. The Red-men call them the Smoking Days, but we call it Indian Summer.







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