The Girl Who Married The Fire Spirit

: 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 hou
e 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