Thursday, April 24, 2014

Chippewa Indian Legend of the Fairy Ring and the Star-Maiden

Chippewa Indian Legend of the Fairy Ring and the Star-Maiden

Native American Chippewa Indian Legend of Fairy Rings

A pretty legend of the Chippewa, an Algonquian tribe, tells how Algon, a hunter, won for his bride the daughter of a star. While walking over the prairies he discovered a circular pathway, worn as if by the tread 
of many feet, though there were no foot-marks visible outside its bounds. The young hunter, who had never before encountered one or these 'fairy rings,' was filled with surprise at the discovery, and hid himself in the long grass to see whether an explanation might not be forthcoming. He had not long to wait. In a little while he heard the sound of music, so faint and sweet that it surpassed anything he had ever dreamed of. The strains grew fuller and richer, and as they seemed to come from above he turned his eyes toward the sky. Far in the blue he could see a tiny white speck like a floating cloud. Nearer and nearer it came, and the astonished hunter saw that it was no cloud, but a dainty osier car, in which were seated twelve beautiful maidens. The music he had heard was the sound of their voices as they sang strange and magical songs. Descending into the charmed ring, they danced round and round with such exquisite grace and abandon that it was a sheer delight to watch them. But after the first moments of dazzled surprise Algon had eyes only for the youngest of the group, a slight, vivacious creature, so fragile and delicate that it seemed to the stalwart hunter that a breath would blow her away.
He was, indeed, seized with a fierce passion for the dainty sprite, and he speedily decided to spring from the grass and carry her off. But the pretty creatures were too quick for him. The fairy of his choice skilfully eluded his grasp and rushed to the car. The others followed, and in a moment they were soaring up in the air, singing a sweet, unearthly song. The disconsolate hunter returned to his lodge, but try as he might he could not get the thought of the Star-maiden out of his head, and next day, long before the hour of the fairies' arrival, he lay in the grass awaiting 
the sweet sounds that would herald their approach. At length the car appeared. The twelve ethereal beings danced as before. Again Algon made a desperate attempt to seize the youngest, and again he was unsuccessful.
"Let us stay," said one of the Star-maidens. "Perhaps the mortal wishes to teach us his earthly dances." But the youngest sister would not hear of it, and they all rose out of sight in their osier basket.