: AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES
: Boys And Girls Bookshelf
An Indian Tale
The mother of Scar Face the Youth was Feather Woman, who had fallen in
love with Morning Star, and vowed that she would marry none other. To
this she held true, despite the laughter and jibes of her friends. And
one morning when she walked in the fields very, very early, that she
might see Morning Star before the sun hid his brightness, she met a
handsome youth who told her th
t he was Morning Star, and that he had
come to earth for a day, impelled by her love.
So Feather Woman went back to Skyland with Morning Star, and by-and-by a
little son was born to her. At first she had been very happy in Skyland,
but there were times when she was sad because of the camp of the
Blackfeet, which she had left.
Now, in Skyland Feather Woman often dug in the garden, and she had been
cautioned not to uproot the turnip, lest evil befall. After she was
given this charge she looked long at the turnip and wondered what evil
might come from its uprooting. At last she took her flint and dug around
the least bit, not wanting to uproot it; but hardly had she loosened the
turnip when it came out of the ground, and she looked down through the
hole which it had made in the sky and saw the camp of the Blackfeet
spread before her.
Suddenly she began to weep for her friends; and when her father-in-law,
the Sun, saw her weeping, he said: "You have dug up the turnip and have
looked down at the camp of the Blackfeet. Now must you return thither."
So the star-weavers made a net, and Feather Woman and her child, the son
of Morning Star, were let down into the camp of the Blackfeet.
At first she was very happy, but soon she began to grieve for Morning
Star, and at last she died of sorrow because she could not return to
Skyland. Morning Star could not come to earth, for it had been given to
him to come but that one time when impelled by her love.
And so the little son of Feather Woman and Morning Star was left all
alone. And across his face was a great scar, which had been made there
when he had been let down from Skyland in the net woven by the
star-weavers. Because of this scar he was named, and because of it he
was very ugly, so that the children of the tribe were afraid of him, and
the older folks hated him; they said that evil must be in his heart that
he should have so ugly a face.
But there was no evil in the heart of Scar Face, and he hunted and
fished alone, and became a great hunter, bringing home much meat to the
But he was not happy, because of the unfriendliness of the tribe. The
Chief had a very beautiful daughter, and all the young men of the tribe
loved her; and Scar Face, too, loved her, and longed to marry her.
So at last he went to her and told her of his love, and asked her to
marry him; and she, thinking to jest, said: "I will marry you when you
take that ugly scar from your face."
At this Scar Face was more sad than he had been before, for he did not
see how it was possible to get rid of the scar. But he loved the Chief's
daughter very much, and at last he went to the old Medicine Man of the
tribe to ask him what he could do to get rid of the scar.
"You can do nothing," replied the Medicine Man. "The scar was put there
by the Sun, and only the Sun can take it away."
"Then I will go to the Sun and ask him to take away the scar," said Scar
"If you will do that," replied the Medicine Man, "you must journey far
to the west, where the land ends and where the Big Water is. And when
you come to the Big Water at sunset you will see a long trail, marked by
a golden light, which leads to the home of the Sun. Follow the trail."
So Scar Face set out and went to where the land ends and the Big Water
is. And he sat by the Big Water until sunset, and he saw the trail as
the Medicine Man had said. Then he followed the trail, and came at last
to Skyland, where he was greeted by Morning Star, who knew him at once
for his son.
Morning Star was most glad at the coming of his son, and they hunted and
fished together. And one day when they were hunting they came to a deep
cavern in which was a dreadful serpent, which attacked Morning Star and
would have killed him but that Scar Face quickly cut off its head.
Then the Sun was grateful to Scar Face for saving the life of his son,
Morning Star, and he removed the scar from the face of his grandson,
which he had put there in anger at the child's mother.
Then Scar Face went back to the tribe of the Blackfeet, and he was the
most handsome of all the youths; and the daughter of the Chief loved
him, and he had no difficulty in persuading her to marry him. Because he
loved his father, Morning Star, he took her with him and set out again
for the place where the land ends and the Big Water begins; and together
they followed the trail marked by golden light until they came at last
to Skyland. There they lived and were happy; and Morning Star shone with
especial brightness on the camp of the Blackfeet for their sake.