: Indian Legends Retold

Ildini lived at End-of-trail, with his wife and two boys. One day he

went fishing when the wind blew strong from the shore. It blew his

boat so far out that he could not get back. All day and all night he

was blown about the cold gray waters. He became very hungry and

chilled to the bone.

Ildini prayed and sang for a fair wind. This was his song:

"Ocean Spirit, calm the waves for me!
Come closer to me, my Power!

Calm the waves, so that I may go home!"

After many days the wind went down and the canoe floated near a strange

shore, but by now the man was so weak that he could not land. On the

shore he saw no one but a little child, scarcely big enough to talk. He

told the child his name, "Ildini", and the little fellow repeated it

over and over as if it were a game--"Ildini--Ildini--Ildini!" He ran

home still saying over the new name, and exclaimed to his grandfather:

"Grandfather, come--Ildini!" He kept saying this until the old man

followed and discovered the canoe and the fisherman, who was by this

time unable to stand.

He called his wife to help him and together they carried Ildini to their

house, where they rubbed his limbs, warmed him and gave him broth, a

little at a time. When he had recovered, he became the chief of that

tribe, and learned their ways and their language. He never ceased to

mourn for the two sons whom he had left behind at End-of-trail, but he

did not weep for his wife, for he believed her faithless and thought

that she had been the cause of his misfortune. In truth she supposed him

dead and had long since married another.