The Girl Who Married The Fire Spirit
Category: ALASKAN STORIES
Source: Indian Legends Retold
Many men wished to marry the chief's pretty daughter, but she laughed
at them all. One day as she sat quite close to the fire, a spark
snapped upon her dress and burned a tiny hole in it. She pointed at
the fire and called it a bad name in her anger, for it must be
admitted that the girl had a quick temper.
That night the chief's daughter was missing. All the people sought for
her. They searched every house in the village and in the other
villages, wherever men lived who had proposed for her hand. When she
could not be found anywhere, they employed the wisest medicine men. In
a far distant village there lived one whose power was much talked
about, and when he was consulted he said to the chief:
"Your daughter may have said something to displease the Fire Spirit.
Let your fire go out, and have every one in your village do the same;
then you may hear something."
The chief came home and sent his crier through the village to ask
that every fire be allowed to go out. When this had been done, the
girl came up between the stones of the fireplace. The Fire Spirit had
taken her to be his wife!
After this, she was permitted to spend a part of her time with her
family, but whenever the burning wood whistled (as you have sometimes
heard it do) she knew that her spirit husband wanted her, and she was
obliged to go to him at once.
One day, as she was sitting in her father's house stirring a dish of
boiling soap-berries, a young man who was in love with her, and who
was encouraged by her mother in the hope that he might be able to keep
her always with them, took hold of the spoon. Instantly the fire
whistled loudly, and the young wife was terrified.
"He wants me," she murmured, as she disappeared. They never saw her
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