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Who Makes The Echo? [Red Folk And Wild Folk] Turtle-dove, a young Indian mother, had two little children whom she loved very dearly. When sh...

Who Makes The Echo?

Who Makes The Echo? [Red Folk And Wild Folk]

Who Makes The Echo? [Red Folk And Wild Folk]

Turtle-dove, a young Indian mother, had two little children whom she loved very dearly. When she went into the forests to gather herbs and berries, she always took them with her. She started for the forests very early one morning and went farther than usual. Because she was tired from carrying her sleeping child on her back, she gave him to his little sister and put her under a sage bush. “Take care of your brother for me; I will be back soon," said the mother, and the child promised she would be kind to the little baby. 

Who Makes The Echo? [Red Folk And Wild Folk]

The mother wandered away and had gone some distance, when the little girl saw an old woman, standing in front of her. 

"Is that your baby brother?" asked the old woman. 

The little girl was afraid; she thought the woman must be a witch, and witches took little boys away. She held her little brother close and answered, “No, this is my little sister." 

“You naughty, naughty child, don't you know it Is very wrong for little girls to say what is not true ?" and the old witch looked so angry, that the little girl was frightened ; then the old woman seized the baby brother and ran off with him. 

She carried him to her home, far up in the mountain, and laid him on the ground. “I have always wanted a husband," said the witch. “I will make this baby into a man, then I will marry him." 

She took the baby by one little leg and pulled and pulled, until it was very long; then she took the other leg and stretched it, until both legs were the same length. The witch had made the baby into a tall man, but he still had his baby arms; so she caught him by the shoulders with one hand and with the other pulled an arm. It grew longer and longer, and she took the baby's other arm and pulled it in the same way; and soon her husband had long arms! 

Meanwhile Turtle-dove went back and found her little daughter alone, sitting under the sage bush, crying very hard because the baby was gone. 

“Where is my baby?” asked the poor mother. “The witch took him away from me," answered the little girl. The mother was almost crazy. 

Turtle-dove's brother, the Eagle, travelled day and night over all the land, and at last he heard a strange voice. He went nearer and saw Sage-cock, the witch's husband. Then he returned and told the mother what he had seen and heard. 

"If it be my baby, he will know mv voice," said the mother, and she hurried to the place and climbed a cedar tree and began to mourn. 

When the boy heard the sound of his mother's voice, he cried: "I hear my mother; my mother is calling me!” Then the witch turned him back into a baby and hid him in a hollow tree; and she too got into it. “They will never look here for us," she thought.

 “Sister," said the eagle, “before long the old woman will be hungry; then they will have to leave their hiding-place. I will put a rabbit in the top of this tree, and then I will cut off the bark and thin the branches, so that the witch will have a hard time climbing for the food." 

Who Makes The Echo? [Red Folk And Wild Folk]

The witch smelled the food and came out to find it. She tried to climb the tree, but it was very slippery, and she would climb up a little way, only to slip back again. 

While the witch was trying to get the food, the eagle took the baby from his hiding-place and carried him to the delighted mother; then he flew up into the clouds and ordered a storm. 

When the witch returned and found the baby gone, she was angry and looked around for tracks; the rain had washed them all away, but it did not hide the three feathers the eagle had dropped. 

“Now I know!” cried the witch; “It was the eagle. I must go to my grandfather, the rattlesnake, for protection. " 

The rattlesnake was asleep on a rock, and did not want to be disturbed, so when the witch called him, he answered, “Go back to your home; I do not want you here!” 

“Oh, help me, grandfather, or the eagle will catch me!” begged the witch. 

“Crawl into my stomach." The old witch did as he told her, and then, the rattlesnake became so ill that he feared he should die. He told her to come out again, but she would not. At last, in his terrible pain, he crawled out of his skin and left the witch inside. When she found she could not get out of the skin, she rolled about and hid in the rocks. 

Since that day, the rattlesnakes lose their skins every year. 

The eagle was hunting for the old witch, and he kept calling, “Old witch, old witch! Where are you? “and the old witch mocked everything he said, rolling farther and farther away all the time, so that he could not find her. 

Since then little Indian children say it is only ignorant people who think they hear the echo and do not know it is only the angry witches they hear, mocking them ; because the witches can never frighten or carry off children any more. They cannot even travel about in the sunshine, for they always have to stay in their rattlesnake-skin homes.   


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