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glance. Before Ji-shiB could speak or even think,
his grandfather yelled:

" The Sioux 1 the Sioux are here ! the Sioux ! "
As an answer came the Sioux war cry from every
part of the village. Ji-shife had once been greatly
frightened when the Thunder Birds called and yelled
during a fearful tempest; he had once run from his
father all the way to the village when he heard a
wounded mother-bear roar and howl. But when he

The Childhood of Ji-s/nS

heard that war cry his blood turned to ice, his legs
gave way under him, and he sank trembling and
helpless on the ground. It was as though every tree,
yes, every leaf and every grain of sand, had an Evil
Spirit in it which had been wounded and yelled for

The startled Ojibwa Indians poured out of their
wigwams, each one a warrior stripped and armed for
battle. Immediately came their answering war cry
a cry which Ji-shib had often used in playing war;
but not until then did he know what that cry really
meant or how awful it was. He could not speak
or move.

Many of the Squaws and children ran to the
lake shore to escape in the canoes, but the Sioux
had pushed all the canoes far out in the lake. They
had hoped to drive the Ojibwa people to the lake
shore and kill them there. But the barking of the
dogs disclosed the presence of the Sioux before they
had discovered that the village was full of warriors.
They certainly had not intended
to attack a village with four times
as many warriors in it as they
themselves had.

Ji-shib was dragged inside the
wigwam, where there were several
Squaws and children huddled to-


The Childhood of Ji-shiV

gether awaiting what might happen. Three times
arrows were shot into the wigwam from the out-
side. One of them struck the grandmother in
the arm, but when she saw that it was an Ojibwa
arrow she laughed and pulled it out and dressed
her wound.

Once a young Squaw crawled into the wigwam
and fainted near the fire. Her clothes were nearly
all torn from her, and there was an ugly bleeding
wound in her naked back. Her poor little babe
was crushed and dead in her arms.

Suddenly a fiendish Sioux yelled his war cry in
their very ears; a Sioux knife ripped a long slit in
the wigwam cover opposite where Ji-shiB was curled
up by his mother. Almost instantly there followed
a fearful moan outside, and something heavy fell
against the wigwam and afterwards to the earth. All
was silent for a few seconds, then the awful dread
was broken by the Ojibwa cry of victory, and it was

The Childhood of Ji-shiS


the voice of the good old grandfather. He peeped
in at the opening which the Sioux had made, and
immediately darted away, carrying a fresh Sioux
scalp in his hand.

At first there were yells and sounds of battle all
around the village, but soon they became scarcer
and fainter until the war cries came only from the
deep forest. By and by they died away entirely.

' About noon Ji-shifc's father looked anxiously in
at the wigwam, and laying a bundle of buckskin at
the grandmother's side, hastened away again. She
looked at it, and groaned. Then she unrolled the
bundle, for it was the breech-cloth, leggings and
moccasins of brave old Ma-kwa, the grandfather.
As she came to the tomahawk and bloody knife
wrapped up in the garments, she put her arms
around Ji-shilS and hugged and hugged him. With-
out saying a word to any one she took
the weapons of her dead husband and
went out into the forest; when she re-
turned at midnight she carried a Sioux
scalp in her hand, but no one knew
where she got it.

Gradually the warriors came back
to the village, but it was nearly a week
before the last returned. Among these
was Ji-shiB's father, and he said that


The Childhood of Ji-shiB

scarcely a Sioux who attacked the village would be
able to reach his own wigwam to tell the sad tale
of their ill-fated war party.

The grandmother made a bundle
of her husband's clothing and car-
ried it about with her for a year. It
seemed as though nearly half of the
Squaws in the village carried such a
bundle on their backs to show that
they mourned the death of a son
or brother or husband. After all of
| the warriors had returned that is,
all who ever did return the great
scalp dance was held. They flaunted their enemies'
scalps, and danced and yelled until every one was
tired out. The warriors told of their experiences in
the battle, and some one was always ready to tell
how brave each dead warrior was whose bundle of
garments some sick-hearted Squaw was at that mo-
ment carrying on her back.

But the thing which Ji-shiS remembered best,
and which he never could forget, was the closing
speech of a great War Chief, who spoke as follows:

"Hear my voice, ye heroes ! On that day as our war-
riors sprang with shouts on the dastardly Sioux when they
killed our Squaws and our babes, my heart burned to take
vengeance. And here on my breast have I bled. See, see

The Childhood of Ji-shiS


my battle wounds! Ye mountains, tremble at my yell! My
foes shall die. They shall fly over the plains like a fox.
They shall shake like a leaf in the storm. Their lost bones
shall be picked by the vultures. Five Winters in hunting we
will spend while mourning our dead. Our youth will then
have grown to manhood for the battle path trained, and our
days we will end like these warriors. Ye are dead, noble war-
riors! Ye are gone, my brother, my fellow, my friend! But
we live to avenge you. We hasten to die as you died.'

Ji-shi6 knew that even when five years were
ended, still he would not be old enough to go to
war. But scarcely a week passed that he did not
wish time would fly faster, so that he could avenge
the death of his good old grandfather, who saved
their lives from the Sioux Indian at the wigwam.


* >^i>*


In Which Ji-shifcf Outgrows His Childhood

WITHIN three years after the great battle at
the Ojibwa village, scarcely a visible sign re-
mained to tell the sad story. The Squaws no longer
carried on their backs the clothing of their dead.
In fact, most of the widowed Squaws were married
again, and little children whose parents had been
killed were adopted by other families.

Ji-shiB was now thirteen years old. He was
almost as tall as his mother, and while not nearly
so strong as she, he was an expert trailer and hunter
of small animals. By means of his arrows, rabbits,
porcupines, raccoons, ducks and partridge often
found their way into the family kettle.

One day in the early Summer he went with his
father and another Indian away to the South, into
the country where the Fox Indians lived, to dig
medicine roots in the prairie.

r^(\ As they paddled slowly down the

Yv\ river, a number of blue jays were
v-vK screaming and scolding in the forest
a short distance from shore. It was
evident that something unusual was
occurring, for the Indian learns as
much from the flight and various


The Childhood of Ji-shiK


cries of birds as from anything about him, and those
blue jays exclaimed clearly enough:

"Something is wrong come up and see!"

They paddled rapidly and si-
lently down the stream a short
distance, and then they cautiously
crept up the bank and peered
among the trees.

The jays were screaming
above and around a dense thicket
of paw-paw bushes, now and again
darting into the thicket out of
sight. But the Indians' eyes could
tell them nothing, so they used
their next best means of discovery.

They went back to the edge of the river and
crept softly up stream until they got where the wind
blew from the paw-paw bushes toward them.

When they had again crawled up to the top of
the river bank, the wind blew over to their noses
this unmistakable tale :

"I have just come from that clump of bushes,
and besides there being a great plenty of unripe
paw-paws there, you will also take notice that the
dense foliage is concealing a buffalo."

They knew that the buffalo must be wounded,
or it would never have hidden in such a place.

8o The Childhood of Ji-shiB

Ji-shiB remained where he was and watched the
hunters as they flitted through the forest from one
tree trunk to another, until they could approach

the animal from opposite sides.
They glided along without a
sound, and yet during a
moment in which Ji-shiB
;^ was watching his father,
the other Indian moved the distance of several trees.
The Indian strung his trusty bow and shot an
arrow into the thicket, when a large buffalo bull
staggered into view. It was weakened by hunger
and loss of blood. Another well-directed arrow
caused the wounded animal to totter and sink to
the earth. In skinning the buffalo, the hunters
were greatly astonished to find a Sioux arrow shot
nearly out of sight in its body.

They were alarmed, for they were alone, far
from home, and although in a country which the
Ojibwa Indians, with no apparent dispute, had for
some time claimed as their own, yet there was a
Sioux arrow, and the buffalo which carried it was
shot not more than three days before.

They gradually breathed more freely, because
the Sioux were nowhere discernable. They tracked
the animal back, and soon came to signs of at least
one hundred more. The tracks led directly from

The Childhood of Ji-shib


the river below where the canoe was. On crossing
the stream they found the pointed moccasin tracks
of two Sioux Indians who had crossed the river from
the west side, and although they had skinned a buf-
falo and camped there at night, yet they had not
built a fire. All of this, while showing that they
were brave hunters, also told plainly that they were
crafty Indians and careful not to be discovered.

Ji-shiB and his father paddled slowly down the
river, while the other Indian followed the trail of
the buffalo herd. After going down stream half a
day, they came to a shallow ford where the herd
had re-crossed the river, and there they waited.
The tracks told them that the buffalo were no
longer chased or frightened. It was also plain that
the animals had crossed the stream only the pre-
vious evening.

Just at sunset the other Indian came to the river
with a fresh skin and a load of tender meat. He had

82 The Childhood of Ji-shiB

killed a fat buffalo cow which had left the herd as
it moved on through the thin forest, and remained
behind with her calf which had its leg broken.

Seeing that the herd was so near
them, and that it would not be much
farther to reach the prairie where the
medicine roots were if they fol-
lowed the tracks of the buffalo,
the Indians decided to camp all

ht where the y were -

In the early morning they put
their ears close to the ground and heard the tramp
of the buffalo. About noon they saw from a low hill
in the open prairie, small dark spots slowly moving
some distance ahead of them. The Indians remained
hidden behind the hill until they could approach
the buffalo along a narrow creek bed. Here they
could proceed rapidly, for the bushes and small trees
concealed them, and besides, the wind blew directly
from the herd toward them, so that the buffalo
could not discover their presence by the scent.

As they cautiously came out into the prairie
from the creek bed, they were struck dumb with
surprise. There, up the creek, only the distance of
two arrow shots, were the two Sioux hunters also
cautiously entering the prairie from the creek bed,
and also intent on shooting buffalo.

The Childhood of Ji-shiB 83

The two parties discovered each other at the
same instant. There they were, face to face, hated
enemies. Their tribesmen had hunted and killed
each other for generations. Each Indian yelled
his war cry, and in an instant had thrown off
everything except his breech-cloth, moccasins and
weapons. Instinctively each brave hunter leaped
toward the enemy, for there was neither time nor
place to stalk the foe.

Yet it was clear that each party was hunting
and not warring. The Ojibwa knew that the Sioux
were alone, for they had previously seen their tracks.
The Sioux knew that the Ojibwa could not be on
the war path, for children never went to war. So,
scarcely had they started before they all stopped.
After a word of council between the two Sioux
hunters, they both laid down
their weapons and raised their
empty hands above their heads. ::
Ji-shit5 and his father and the r

other Indian did the same. Thus =
these two parties of Indians who
could not understand a word of
each other's language, agreed
on peace.

The Sioux came forward ^ 5
first, one of them holding a pipe PICTURE

84 The Childhood of Ji-shiK

in his hand. All five met half way between where
they had left their weapons, and there they sat down
on the prairie and passed the pipe from one to the

other. No more sacred
promise of peace was ever
made than that of smoking

A i V

the peace-pipe among the
Indians of North America.

When they had finished, they all went back to
their weapons, and passing over the hill, ran down
upon the herd. Each Indian shot a fat buffalo cow;
and Ji-shiB became very excited as he stood half way
down the hillside and saw the remainder of the ani-
mals vanish from sight around a turn in the valley.

The cow that the other Indian shot ran quite a
distance, followed by a large fierce bull. Even after
she fell he stood over her, bellowing and pawing up
the earth. Repeatedly did Ki-niw and the other
Indian try to get to the cow, but each time the faith-
ful old bull charged upon them. At last the two
Indians separated, one coming up on either side, and
they succeeded in shooting the fierce bull.

When they came to the other cow to skin her,
there was a calf lying asleep beside its dead mother.
They caught the calf, and told Ji-shiB to blow in its
nostrils. He filled his lungs with air and then blew
into its nose as one would blow up a football; then

The Childhood of Ji-shiK 85

the little calf, not being able to smell anything
except the breath of Ji-shib, followed him around
as it would its own mother.

The Sioux Indians skinned their two buffalo,
and signaling a peaceful good-bye, followed the flee-
ing herd and were not seen again.

The Ojibwa Indians took their buffalo skins and
went in the opposite direction to seek their medicine
roots. In the evening as they made their camp in
the open prairie, the young motherless calf lay down
beside them, and during the night slept its poor
hungry little life away.

The next Spring Ji-shiK and another boy lost a
tame porcupine which they had kept a year, or ever
since it could eat alone. It wandered away during
their absence from home and had been gone several
days before they knew about it. They tracked it
through the forest, then along a creek, and found
where it had eaten in the night at the edge of the
water. Finally, after following it every step of its
long wandering journey, seeing where it had slept
and eaten in the trees and where it had scratched

in the dirt, they came to a lake with
high jagged cliffs along one side. In
some way their cunning failed them
there, for trees were scarce, and some
of the rocks were covered with soft

86 The Childhood of Ji-shiti

green moss like rugs, and others were entirely bare,
even of fine sand.

In vain they searched for tracks back and forth
along the foot of the cliff. They pro-
posed to climb up the rocks a distance
until they could look over from a pro-
jecting point and there watch for the
little rascal to waddle out of his cliff

, f f .

retreat in search or food.

They had scarcely gained their outlook when
their sharp sight caught the reflection of an eagle in
the water. As they cautiously raised their eyes they
saw a female eagle approaching over the lake, and
they could plainly see that she was carrying some-
thing in her claws. Very soon she flew into the
cliff some distance from them, and they heard the
eager cries of a nestful of hungry young birds.

A tame porcupine was tame indeed as com-
pared with a caged eagle, so as soon as the mother-
bird was out of sight again over the forest trees, the
boys carefully picked their way up the cliff.

It was very difficult climbing part of the dis-
tance, but in places they could almost run. At times
one pushed the other up over his head, and he, from
his higher position, let down the end of his breech-
cloth and hauled the lower boy up. But they were
expert climbers, and at last, thanks to frequent but

The Childhood of Ji-shiK

niggardly ledges and occasional balsams and pines
which found a prisoner's fare in the narrow cell-like
crevices, they arrived at the nest. Two young birds
scarcely a week old were asleep within full sight of
their position.

It was decided that Ji-shiB should climb down
the cliff to the nest and bring back the young eagles
tied in his breech-cloth slung over his back, while
the other boy should try to shoot the old bird if she
returned, Ji-shiB had nearly reached the nest, and
his companion watching the tops of the forest trees
over the lake reported everything all right, when
suddenly a frightful cry of alarm and anger sounded
in his ears. The eagle, coming to her nest from the
back way, had not seen the boy until she came fully
on him. A young grouse dropped from her startled
claws to the ledge near him, and the eagle turned to
fight. Not until then had she seen Ji-shiB. He was

the dangerous enemy. He was the
one who would rob her of her dar-
lings. Forgetting her fright, and
screaming her fierce cry of anger,
she whirled again and again and
charged on him.

At first the well-directed arrows
kept her from touching Ji-shiB, but
soon they were gone, none of them

88 The Childhood of Ji-shiK

having penetrated her lapped armor of feathers.
She became bolder, and twice struck the boy a cruel
stinging blow with her heavy wing. Then Ji-shiB,
with his side lying close in against the
rock, his left hand clutching a crevice
above his head, his legs supporting him
from two narrow ledges below, drew his
knife from his breech-cloth, and fast-
ening his determined eyes on the bird,
waited his chance to strike. He could
not reach out far, for he dared not lean away from
the rock, but soon emboldened by her evident suc-
cess, the brave war-eagle came to sink her cruel claws
in his side. Then he struck. Her fierce cry died
half uttered, and she fell away, carrying the knife
sunk deep in her breast. They listened as the heavy
body fell crashing down the cliff, breaking branches
and knocking off loosened pebbles, until it reached
the bottom.

But both of the boys knew that Ji-shiB was now
in greater danger than before, for every moment
they expected the eagle's mate to come in response
to her calls, and there they were, both of them
without weapons.

The boy above hurriedly gathered what stones
and sticks he could, while Ji-shiB passed over the
space to the nest. There he could at least have a





The Childhood of Ji-shiK

little room to dodge and step about
when the bird attacked him.

But for some reason the bird did
not come, and the little eagles were
tied in their new cradle, and there
they swung while Ji-shiB retraced his
danger-path. Far below they found
the dead mother-bird, and lugged her
home for her beautiful feathers.

Outside their wigwam in the vil-
lage they built a platform in a tree,
and on it constructed a wigwam-cage
of willows for their new pets. When
the boys had nothing else to do, they
very well spent their time trying to
catch enough small game to fill the
rapidly growing stomachs of those
two young eagles.

During the entire Spring a change
was slowly coming over Ji-shiB, and
yet he scarcely knew it. It was a
steady, gradual change of both body
and mind. He was outgrowing his

The day after he built the eagle
cage it was the common knowledge
of the village that one of his playmates

go The Childhood of Ji-shiti

had that morning gone alone into the forest to
begin his fast. All Ojibwa boys fast when they are
as old as Ji-shiB was now, in order to dream of some
animal or plant which shall be their special Guard-
ian Spirit or Totem henceforth.

Ji-shiB was not much surprised therefore at
what occurred at noon. As his birch-bark dish was
handed him there were soft black cedar coals in it
instead of food to eat. He knew what to do with
them, so without saying anything or even looking
at his father or mother or grandmother, he black-
ened his face with the coals. Then he took his
bow and arrows and beaver-skin medicine bag, and
went away into the forest back of the village.
There he must stay alone four days and nights,
without food or wigwam. If he was able to do
that, there would be little doubt that he would
grow up through his boyhood and young man-
hood into a worthy hunter and warrior and husband.

Toward evening it began to rain, so he sought
the shelter of the friendly old hollow tree where
several years before he had once slept when he was
lost. He wished very much to know what the
Sacred Spirits would send him as his Guardian Spirit.

That first night alone in the forest, brought
to his restless dreams only the home-life of the
village. He seemed to hear the barking of the

The Childhood of Ji-shiB

dogs, and now and then the call of an Indian, and
the plaintive music of the lover's-flute, which at
that time of the year was heard almost nightly

in the village.

But the next night, as he slept
hungry and lonely in the hollow
tree, he saw his old friend, the beau-
tiful young Indian, come to him
and beckon him. Ji-shib looked
and saw his good mother come out
of her wigwam. She was smiling
and seemed very happy. She car-
ried his little baby cradle in her
hands, and leaned it up against a tree. He could
faintly hear her say, "My little Blue Bird is fast
becoming a warrior."

As the mother passed into her wigwam the
young Indian said to him: "Thus you outgrew
your babyhood."

While speaking, the beautiful Indian gradually
changed his shape and size, and in a few moments
he was turned into a soft-furred beaver. Then he

Next day Ji-shiK was very hungry. Twice he
went to the creek to drink, and all day long he
thought how the Indian had changed to a beaver.
He had never done that before.

Q2 The Childhood of Ji-shib

That night the young Indian came again while
Ji-shiB slept, and said to him: "Don't you know

Then he quickly laid aside his beautiful buck-
skin garments, and, sure enough, he was a real

"Look!" he said. And Ji-shiB looked and saw
himself sitting in the hollow tree with his face
blackened, and the beaver said: "Thus will you
outgrow your childhood."

Ji-shiB awoke, but could see nothing except the
green shoots on the leafy ground in front of the tree.

He was more and more hungry that next day,
and yet he was getting accustomed to the feeling of
hunger, so he walked aimlessly about in the forest.

Everything seemed well-fed and happy. The
squirrels and birds were busy hunting things to eat,
to be sure, but the lad felt certain that
none of them had been so long without
food as he had. His wanderings at last
brought him to the clear warm sun-
light at the wild rice fields. There
the birds were flitting in and out, to
and from their hidden nests, and Ji-shiB
sat down to watch them.

A bobolink flew from the reeds up
into the air above the nest of its brood-

The Childhood of Ji-shiK

ing mate, and there it hung and fluttered and sung.
What a wild, passionate, happy outburst of melody
that was! It was like the song of a dozen birds
all singing at once a song so fast and frantic and
furious, and yet so sweet. It often sounded like
the melodious dropping of water. Many times the
songster flew to its mate and then back again into
the air, as though trying to outrival its last, happy,
crazy, sweet tangle of notes.

If Ji-shiK had put his new, half formed thoughts
and feelings into words, and if the bobolink could
have understood Ji-shiK as he that day dimly learned
to understand the bobolink, it might have heard
the youth softly singing :

"O little bird,

Songbird of the reeds,
I hear thy song of love,
Thy song of wooing.

"I heard thy sweet-voiced mate
When she piped her answer back;

I heard her soft-toned voice,
Telling she loved thee.

"O pretty reed-bird,

Teach me thy wisdom,
For thou surely art wiser
Than any Ojibwa.'

That evening, that fourth and last
evening of his fast, Ji-shiK fell asleep

The Childhood of Ji-shiB

very early in the old oak tree's hollow wigwam.

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