Ice Man Puts Out The Fire

: Indian Legends Retold

Once upon a time there was a forest fire, and the fire went deep down

to the roots of a poplar tree, and there it smoldered for a long time.

The people tried to put it out, but they could do nothing. By and by

they grew frightened, fearing lest it might burn down to the middle of

the earth, or spread over all the world. So they sent a messenger to

the far north, to beg the Ice Man to help them.

Now the Ic
Man is a little fellow, with two heavy braids of black

hair hanging over his shoulders. After he had heard all about the

fire, he nodded, and loosening one braid he breathed upon the strands.

Instantly the wind began to blow. He shook out the hair again, and it

began to rain. When he undid the other braid, it hailed violently,

and the fourth time he blew upon his hair, the storm became so

terrific that the messenger hastened homeward.

When he got home, he saw the fire at the roots of the poplar was still

burning, and the pit looked deeper and wider than ever. Many people

were standing sadly about it, and as they stood there the wind began

to blow. Soon a cold rain fell hissing on the hot coals. Then large

hailstones were mixed with the rain, and before long the tempest grew

so fierce that they were forced to run for shelter. When it stopped at

last, they came out again to look, and the pit of fire was nothing but

black coals covered with lumps of ice.