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NOTE: This is a FREE resource, so do be resourceful yourselves and feel free to update the gifts being sought. If you don’t have any daughters, feel free to swap the girls names for boys names
A dialogue for Two Little Girls, Ten or Twelve Years Old – by John d MacDonald (1919)
SceneSitting room

(For telephone use box ten by fifteen inches or larger. Fix it to an upright that can be moved out on the platform. Have one end fixed like trap door. Tie skates to muff about one foot apart. Shove muff in box first and then skates. Put electric or bicycle bell on box. Run heavy cord to the window for telephone wire. Have mouthpiece on box, and have box high enough so that the speaker must stand on a chair. Have a receiver or an imitation quite a way from the box—perhaps six or seven feet. Do not hurry.)

Esther (seated in small rocker). This is Christmas Eve, Mabel, and I suppose that Santa Claus has his pack all made up, and is off with his reindeer to visit all the good little boys and girls all over the world. I do hope he will be sure and come to (name your own town or city), because I want something very much this year. Just think, last Christmas I laid awake most all night to see him, but I didn’t see him at all. I don’t know when he got in the house or how he got out, but he just fooled me, that’s what he did.

Mabel. No doubt he’s started on his journey by this time. I think he must ride like the wind to get all over the world in a night. Why it took all night and a day for us to go to Aunt Ella’s last Thanksgiving time, and that’s not so far as around the world. But I would like to see Santa this year so I could tell him what I want. They say if Santa Claus knows what you want he will almost always bring it to you.

Esther. Yes, I know he will, because Maggie Brown wrote to him last year and told him that she wanted a pony and a cart and he brought it to her.

Mabel. And Tommy Carter wrote to him, too, and told him that he wanted a bicycle and he got it, too. I guess Santa is a nice old man.

Esther. And Mrs. Santa must be a nice old lady, too, or she wouldn’t dress all those nice dolls for Mr. Santa Claus.

Mabel. It’s too bad that we did not write to him last week, and then he surely would have gotten our letter.

Esther (rising up and putting doll in the chair). Mabel, why not telephone to him? Papa has a long distance telephone, and I talked away down to New York through it once, and I guess if cousin Mary could hear me in New York, Santa Claus ought to hear me in Santa Claus Land.

Mabel. Wasn’t Papa with you when you talked that time, Esther?

Esther. Yes, but I remember just how I did it. You just ring the bell, and talk in the box, and listen for the answer. Let’s try it, anyway.

Mabel. All right, we will, but he may not be at home. He must start early to travel so far.

Esther. I will ask Mrs. Santa Claus anyway. Now let’s do it quick, before any one comes in.

Mabel (getting a chair for Esther to stand on). Here Esther, you must stand upon this chair. Now be careful not to fall off.

Esther (gets upon chair). Now you take the receiver and stand over there (points) and listen to what she says (Esther rings.)

Mabel. Some one is there, Esther. Ask them to give you Santa Claus Land.

Esther. Hello, hello! Give me Santa Claus Land, please.

Mabel. She says that this is Santa Claus Land.

Esther. Hello! Is this Mrs. Santa Claus?

Mabel. She says “yes.” Ask her if Mr. Santa Claus is at home.

Esther. Mrs. Santa Claus, Mrs. Santa Claus, is Mr. Santa Claus at home?

Mabel. She says “no,” he isn’t. He has gone on a journey to visit all the good boys and girls.

Esther. Hello, hello, Mrs. Santa Claus. Does Mr. Santa Claus only make one trip on Christmas Eve?

Mabel. She says “yes,” that is all he makes. Ask her to send some one after him to catch him, because we want something very special.

Esther. Mrs. Santa Claus. (Both wait a moment.)

Mabel. She can’t be at the phone, Esther, ring her up again.

Esther (rings again). Hello, Mrs. Santa Claus, will you please send some one after Mr. Santa Claus, to tell him that we want something special?

Mabel (waits a moment). She’s not there yet, Esther. Ring her up again. (Esther rings quite hard.) Now she is there, and she wants to know why we bother her so on Christmas Eve.

Esther. Mrs. Santa, please send some one after Mr. Santa, and tell him that we are two good little girls, and we want a muff and a pair of skates, and some candy canes as long as your arm. Now don’t forget, Mrs. Santa—a muff, and skates, and candy canes as long as myself.

Mabel. She says that Santa is too far away, and nobody could catch him now. And she says that we must not bother her any more as she is busy making her Christmas pies.

Esther (to Mabel). But I want my candy cane (rings several times).

Mabel (frightened). Oh, Esther, Mrs. Santy will be awfully angry with us. Let’s go away.

Esther (getting impatient). Does she answer the ring?

Mabel. No. (Esther rings harder than before.) Now she is there and she wants to know if it is the same two little girls.

Esther (into the phone). Yes, it’s Mabel and me, and we want Santa Claus to bring us some skates, and a muff and candy canes as long as a fishing-pole.

Mabel. She says that we must be good or Santa won’t come to (name your town) tonight at all. We bother her a lot, she says.

Esther (into the phone). Mrs. Santa—Mrs. Santa—(no answer.)

Mabel. She has gone away again, Esther. Let’s not bother her any more or she may send some one after Santa to tell on us.

Esther. I want to know if Santa is coming to (your town) tonight, anyway (rings long and several times).

Mabel (frightened). I guess she is angry with us, Esther. Please do let’s stop now. Let’s not ring any more, because I don’t care for the skates, anyway.

Esther (to Mabel). Isn’t she there yet?

Mabel. No—I guess not. (Esther rings and rings.) Oh, Oh, Esther do stop!

Esther. Now—is—she—there?

Mabel. Yes, and she wants papa to take those naughty girls away from the “phone,” or Santa won’t come to (your town) tonight. Please do stop ringing, Esther. (Listens.) Oh, Esther, I think I hear papa coming, and he will be angry, too.

Esther. No, papa won’t be angry, he would like to have us get our muff and skates. (Ring, rings and rings.)

Mabel (during the ringing). Oh, Esther, oh, Esther! She says to stop that ringing!!

Esther (stamping her foot, keeps on ringing). I’m mad with her, Mabel (then into the phone). Mrs. Santa—Mrs. Santa—do you hear, Mrs. Santa? Do—you—hear—Mrs. Santa? We want our muff, and our skates, and the candy canes as big as a house. Do—you—hear, Mrs. Santa? Mrs. Santa! I want my muff[7] and skates. (Rings while talking.) I am mad with you, Mrs. Santa. I want my muff. (Here pull the trap and the skates drop out, pulling the muff also. Esther jumps down from the chair, Mabel drops the receiver. They seize the skates and muff and say, as they hold them up): We’ve got them. We’ve got them, the skates and muff, the skates and muff!

(Players Exit)

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Fugitive Prince - Prince Regent of Tezcuco, Mexico - Baba Indaba Children's Stories

Fugitive Prince – Prince Regent of Tezcuco, Mexico – Baba Indaba Children’s Stories

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 80

In Issue 80 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the ancient tale of Nezahualcoyotl, Prince Regent of Tezcuco. Long ago and far, far away in the ancient land of Anahuac, that is modern day Mexico, the Tecpanecs overcame the Acolhuans of Tezcuco and slew their king. Nezahualcoyotl (Fasting Coyote), the heir to the Tezcucan throne, saw his father laid low from the shelter of a tree close by, and succeeded in making his escape from the invaders. This is the story of his subsequent thrilling adventures and eventual ascension to the Tezcuco throne.

 

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE STORIES TO DOWNLOADS

 

Each issue also has a “WHERE IN THE WORLD – LOOK IT UP” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

 

eBooks available in PDF and ePub formats. Link: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_THE_FUGITIVE_PRINCE_The_Stories_and_A?id=x_MVDAAAQBAJ

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 31

In Issue 31 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the American Indian tale of how a pair of moccasins was used by a brave to woo a maiden. Did it work? Well you’ll just have to read the story to find out if it did.

It is believed that folklore and tales are believed to have originated in India and made their way overland along the Silk and Spice routes and through Central Asia before arriving in Europe. Even so, this does not cover all folklore from all four corners of the world. Indeed folklore, legends and myths from Africa, Australia, Polynesia, and some from Asia too, are altogether quite different and seem to have originated on the whole from separate reservoirs of lore, legend and culture.

This book also has a “Where in the World – Look it Up” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

URL: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_A_BASHFUL_COURTSHIP_American_Indian_f?id=vg77CwAAQBAJ

 

A Bashful Courtship Cover

A Bashful Courtship Cover

In Issue 25 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the West African folktale about Miss Salt and Miss Pepper and their friends the Sauces and the Onion Leaves. They hear of a handsome youth and go off to see if they can win his attention. On the way poor little Onion Leaves is mocked and asked to walk elsewhere because she smells so much. Walking by herself Onion Leaves helps an old lady whom the others ignored – with surprising results. Look out for the moral of the tale.
 
INCLUDES LINKS TO DOWNLOAD 8 FREE STORIES
 
It is believed that folklore and tales are believed to have originated in India and made their way overland along the Silk and Spice routes and through Central Asia before arriving in Europe. But African folklore has altogether different origins.
 
This book also has a “Where in the World – Look it Up” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.
 
Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.
 
ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 25
 

Once, long ago, the Moon Giant wooed the beautiful giantess who dwells in the Great River and won her love. He built for her a wonderful palace where the Great River runs into the sea. It was made of mother-of-pearl with rich carvings, and gold and silver and precious stones were used to adorn it. Never before in all the world had a giant or giantess possessed such a magnificent home.

When the baby daughter of the Moon Giant and the Giantess of the Great River was born it was decreed among the giants that she should be the Princess of all the Springs and should rule over all the rivers and lakes. The light of her eyes was like the moonbeams, and her smile was like moonlight on still waters. Her strength was as the strength of the Great River, and the fleetness of her foot was as the swiftness of the Great River.

As the beautiful Spring Princess grew older many suitors came to sing her praises beneath the palace windows, but she favoured none of them. She was so happy living in her own lovely palace with her own dear mother that she did not care at all for any suitor. No other daughter ever loved her mother as the Spring Princess loved the Giantess of the Great River.

At last the Sun Giant came to woo the Spring Princess. The strength of the Sun Giant was as the strength of ten of the other suitors of the fair princess. He was so powerful that he won her heart.

When he asked her to marry him, however, and go with him to his own palace, the Spring Princess shook her lovely head. “O Sun Giant, you are so wonderful and so powerful that I love you as I never before have loved a suitor who sang beneath my palace window,” said she, “but I love my mother, too. I cannot go away with you and leave my own dear mother. It would break my heart.”

The Sun Giant told the Spring Princess again and again of his great love for her, of his magnificent palace which would be her new home, of the happy life which awaited her as queen of the palace. At length she listened to his pleadings and decided that she could leave home and live with him for nine months of the year. For three months of every year, however, she would have to return to the wonderful palace of mother-of-pearl where the Great River runs into the sea and spend the time with her mother, the Giantess of the Great River.

The Sun Giant at last sorrowfully consented to this arrangement and the wedding feast was held. It lasted for seven days and seven nights. Then the Spring Princess went away with the Sun Giant to his own home.

Every year the Spring Princess went to visit her mother for three months according to the agreement. For three months of every year she lived in the palace of mother-of-pearl where the Great River runs into the sea. For three months of every year the rivers sang once more as they rushed along their way. For three months the lakes sparkled in the bright sunlight as their hearts once more were brimful of joy.

When at last the little son of the Spring Princess was born she wanted to take him with her when she went to visit her mother. The Sun Giant, however, did not approve of such a plan. He firmly refused to allow the child to leave home. After much pleading, all in vain, the Spring Princess set out upon her journey alone, with sorrow in her heart. She left her baby son with the best nurses she could procure.

Now it happened that the Giantess of the Great River had not expected that her daughter would be able to visit her that year. She had thought that all the rivers and lakes, the palace of mother-of-pearl, and her own mother heart would have to get along as best they could without a visit from the Spring Princess. The Giantess of the Great River had gone away to water the earth. One of the land giants had taken her prisoner and would not let her escape.

When the Spring Princess arrived at the beautiful palace of mother-of-pearl and gold and silver and precious stones, where the Great River runs into the sea, there was no one at home. She ran from room to room in the palace calling out, “O dear mother, Giantess of the Great River, dear, dear mother! Where are you? Where have you hidden yourself?”

There was no answer. Her own voice echoed back to her through the beautiful halls of mother-of-pearl with their rich carvings. The palace was entirely deserted.

She ran outside the palace and called to the fishes of the river, “O fishes of the river, have you seen my own dear mother?”

Fishes of the Sea, Have you seen my Mother?

Fishes of the Sea, Have you seen my Mother?

 

She called to the sands of the sea, “O sands of the sea, have you seen my darling mother?”

She called to the shells of the shore, “O shells of the shore, have you seen my precious mother?”

There was no answer. No one knew what had become of the Giantess of the Great River.

The Spring Princess was so worried that she thought her heart would break in its anguish. In her distress she ran over all the earth.

Then she went to the house of the Great Wind. The Giant of the Great Wind was away, but his old father was at home. He was very sorry for the Spring Princess when he heard her sad story. “I am sure my son can help you find your mother,” he said as he comforted her. “He will soon get home from his day’s work.”

When the Giant of the Great Wind reached home he was in a terrible temper. He stormed and raged and gave harsh blows to everything he met. His father had hid the Spring Princess in a closet out of the way, and it was fortunate indeed for her that he had done so.

After the Great Wind Giant had taken his bath and eaten his dinner he was better natured. Then his father said to him, “O my son, if a wandering princess had come this way on purpose to ask you a question, what would you do to her?”

“Why, I’d answer her question as best I could, of course,” responded the Giant of the Great Wind.

His father straightway opened the closet door and the Spring Princess stepped out. In spite of her long wanderings and great anguish of mind she was still very lovely as she knelt before the Giant of the Great Wind in her soft silvery green garments embroidered with pearls and diamonds. The big heart of the Giant of the Great Wind was touched at her beauty and at her grief.

“O Giant of the Great Wind,” said the Spring Princess, as he gently raised her from her knees before him, “I am the daughter of the Giantess of the Great River. I have lost my mother. I have searched for her through all the earth and now I have come to you for help. Can you tell me anything about where she is and how I can find her?”

The Giant of the Great Wind put on his thinking cap. He thought hard. “Your mother is in the power of a land giant who has imprisoned her,” he said. “I happen to know all about the affair. I passed that way only yesterday. I’ll gladly go with you and help you get her home. We’ll start at once.”

The Giant of the Great Wind took the Spring Princess back to earth on his swift horses. Then he stormed the castle of the land giant who had imprisoned the Giantess of the Great River. The Spring Princess dug quietly beneath the castle walls to the dungeon where her mother was confined. You may be sure that her mother was overjoyed to see her.

When the Spring Princess had led her mother safely outside the castle walls she thanked the Giant of the Great Wind for all he had done to help her. Then the Giantess of the Great River and the Spring Princess hastened back to the wonderful palace of mother-of-pearl set with gold and silver and precious stones, where the Great River runs into the Sea. As soon as she had safely reached there once more the Spring Princess suddenly remembered that she had stayed away from her home in the palace of the Sun Giant longer than the three months she was supposed to stay according to the agreement. She at once said good-bye to her mother and hastened to the home of the Sun Giant, her husband, and to her baby son.

Now the Sun Giant had been very much worried at first when the three months had passed and the Spring Princess had not come back to him and her little son. Then he became angry. He became so angry that he married another princess. The new wife discharged the nurses who were taking care of the tiny son of the Spring Princess and put him in the kitchen just as if he had been a little black slave baby.

When the Spring Princess arrived at the palace of the Sun Giant the very first person she saw was her own little son, so dirty and neglected that she hardly recognized him. Then she found out all that had happened in her absence.

The Spring Princess quickly seized her child and clasped him tight in her arms. Then she fled to the depths of the sea, and wept, and wept, and wept. The waters of the sea rose so high that they reached even to the palace of the Sun Giant. They covered the palace, and the Sun Giant, his new wife, and all the court entirely disappeared from view. For forty days the face of the Sun Giant was not seen upon the earth.

The little son of the Spring Princess grew up to be the Giant of the Rain. In the rainy season and the season of thunder showers he rules upon the earth. He sends upon the earth such tears as the Spring Princess shed in the depths of the seas.

9781910882764 Tales of Giants from Brazil - coverFrom: Tales of Giants from Brazil

By: Elsie Spicer-Eells

Contains: 12 Folk and Fairy Tales from Brazil

ISBN: 9781910882764

Format: A5, Paperback

Pages: 112

Illustrations: 8 pen and ink drawings

URL: http://goo.gl/8o9Vdc

—————————————-

More folk and fairy tales from the land of the 2016 Olympics: FAIRY TALES FROM BRAZIL – 18 Brazilian folk and fairy tales

By: Elsie Spicer-Eells

Contains: 18 Folk and Fairy Tales from Brazil

ISBN: 9781909302587

Pages: 148

Illustrations: 18 pen and ink illustrated story headings

URL: http://goo.gl/pUOQQn

Fairy Tales from Brazil - Cover

Fairy Tales from Brazil – Cover

 

 

 

Ten years passed by peacefully, except for one little trouble, which occurred in 1667AD, six years after Philip became sachem. An Indian told the people at Plymouth that Philip had said that he wished the Dutch would beat the English in the war which was then being carried on between Holland and England.

The Plymouth people were very much surprised at this, and immediately called Philip to account. But he denied ever making any such statement, and offered to surrender all his arms to the English in order to show that he had no hostile designs against them. This satisfied the English. Everything went on quietly until 1671AD, when troubles between the two races finally began to arise.

 

In that year Philip complained that the English were not living up to their agreement which they had made with him ten years before. At the request of the people of Plymouth, Philip went to Taunton, a village near his hunting-grounds, and talked matters over with them.

 

He was accompanied by a band of warriors armed to the teeth and painted. The meeting was held in the little village church. Philip and his Indians sat on one side of the room and the English on the other.

 

A man from Boston, who was thought to be friendly to both parties, was chosen to preside over the meeting. Then the Indians and the settlers made speeches, one after the other, just as is done in meetings to-day.

 

Philip admitted that lately he had begun to prepare for war, and also that some of his Indians had not treated the whites justly. But he also showed that the English were arming themselves, and that many of them had cheated the Indians when dealing with them.

 

Philip said that he preferred peace to war, and had only armed his warriors in self-defense. Finally, it was decided to make a new treaty.

Here is a copy of the new treaty as it was drawn up. Notice the quaint way of expressing the ideas, and also, that many words are not spelled as we spell them to-day. Notice, too, how one-sided the treaty is, and that it is signed only by Philip and the Indians.

——-

A FACSIMILE OF THE TREATY MADE AT TAUNTON, APRIL 10, 1671.

 

Whereas my Father, my Brother, and myself have formerly submitted ourselves and our people unto the Kings Majesty of England, and this Colony of New-Plymouth, by solemn Covenant under our Hand, but I having of late through my indiscretion, and the naughtiness of my heart, violated and broken this my Covenant with my friends by taking up arms, with evill intent against them, and that groundlessly; I being now deeply sensible of my unfaithfulness and folly, do desire at this time solemnly to renew my Covenant with my ancient Friends and my Father’s friends above mentioned; and doe desire this may testifie to the world against me, if ever I shall again fail in my faithfulness towards them (that I have now and at all times found so kind to me) or any other of the English colonyes; and as a reall Pledge of my true Intentions, for the future to be faithful and friendly, I doe freely ingage to resign up unto the Government of New-Plymouth, all my English Armes to be kept by them for their security, so long as they shall see reason. For true performance of the Premises I have hereunto set my hand together with the rest of my council.

In the presence of:

 

The Mark of    Philip, Chief Sachem of Pokanoket

William Davis.

The Mark of    Tavoser

William Hudson.        —— ——

Capt. Wisposke

Thomas Brattle           —— ——

Woonkaponehunt      —— ——

Nimrod

——-

But Philip doubted the sincerity of the English. He hesitated to give up his arms. Then the settlers ordered him to come to Plymouth and explain why.

 

Instead of obeying, he went to Boston and complained there of the treatment he had received. He said that his father, his brother, and himself had made treaties of friendship with the English which the latter were trying to turn into treaties of subjection. He said he was a subject of the King of England, but not of the colony of Plymouth, and he saw no reason why the people of Plymouth should try to treat him as a subject.

 

The people of Massachusetts again made peace between Philip and the settlers at Plymouth. But it could not long continue, for each side had now become thoroughly suspicious of the other.

 

In 1674AD, an Indian reported to the settlers that Philip was trying to get the sachems of New England to wage war on the whites. A few days later, that Indian’s dead body was found in a lake. The English arrested three Indians and tried them for the murder. They were found guilty and were executed, although the evidence against them was of such a character that it would not have been admitted in a court of justice against a white man.

——-

From Stories and Legends from Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island –

http://abelapublishing.com/legends-and-stories-from-marthas-vineyard-nantucket-and-block-island_p31019862.htm

 

Cover - Legends and Stories from Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island

Cover – Legends and Stories from Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island

Such was the daily life of Philip year after year, with but little change. Occasionally he met the palefaces in the woods or at his father’s village. Now and then he went to Plymouth and traded with them. Several of them he considered to be his strong personal friends.
We have already seen how greatly interested he was in his boyhood days at the coming of the white men and how friendly he felt toward them at that time. He, his father, and the other Wampanoags continued to remain on friendly terms with the English, although several other Indian tribes did not.

Between the years 1628AD and 1640AD many white people settled forty or fifty miles north of Plymouth, in what is now Boston and Salem, and other cities and towns near Massachusetts Bay.

Others settled inland on the Connecticut River, near the present boundary line between Massachusetts and Connecticut, about seventy-five miles west from Mount Hope, the home of Philip. Others settled at Providence, and still others on the island of Rhode Island, fifteen to twenty miles south of Mount Hope.

The settlers on the Connecticut had trouble with the Pequots, a tribe of Indians living to the west of the Wampanoags, and in the war that followed, all the Pequots were killed. The whites also had trouble with the Narragansetts, who lived near Providence, outbreaks occurring every year or two for several years.
During these years Philip and his father did nothing to injure the settlers in any way. They refused to aid the other Indians in their wars with the English, preferring to remain faithful to their early treaty with the whites; and the whites remained on the most friendly terms with them.

Philip knew nothing of the Christian religion. Several attempts were made by the whites to convert the Indians to Christianity. In 1646, John Eliot translated the Bible into the Indian language, taught the Indians the English habits of industry and agriculture, and established near Boston two towns composed entirely of converted Indians.

At the same time, Thomas Mayhew preached to the Wampanoags on Martha’s Vineyard, and there converted a great many. By the year 1675AD, four thousand Indians had been converted to Christianity.
But the missionaries were not successful with Philip and the Wampanoags at Mount Hope. They utterly refused to listen to the preachers. They preferred their former mode of life, and there were several good reasons for this preference, as they thought.

Philip noticed that many white men who called themselves Christians were in the habit of stealing from the red men, and cheating them whenever they could. He could not see that the Christian religion made them more happy, more honest, or better than he was.

Again, he noticed that, as soon as the Indians were converted, they left their former life and companions and joined themselves to the English. This tended to lessen the control of the chiefs over their tribes, and so reduced their power. Thus he saw that a great deal might be lost by changing his religion, or by urging his followers to change theirs.

Nevertheless, Massasoit and his sons remained strong friends to the Plymouth people until 1661, when Massasoit died, being about eighty years of age.
——————–
From Stories and Legends from Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island – COMING SOON – It’s in proofing right now!

Cover - Legends and Stories from Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island

Cover – Legends and Stories from Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island

We should consider the daily life of Philip very monotonous. It was the same, day by day, year in and year out, with very little change. The little village where he lived contained fewer than one hundred inhabitants. Everybody was thoroughly acquainted with everybody else.

There was no society such as we have to-day. Philip’s squaw did not dress herself up in the afternoon, and make calls on the other squaws. If she wished to talk with them she went where they were, whether it was morning, afternoon, or evening.
There were no parties, no receptions, no theaters, no art museums, no libraries, no books, no music, no fireworks, no holidays, no Sabbath. The Indians believed in a good and a bad spirit, but they had no churches or temples or service or worship or priests.

So we cannot think of Philip sitting in the best pew in church, and listening to a grand sermon, preached by the most famous minister in the country. Philip knew nothing of sermons.

He played no games that instructed his mind. He cared for only such games as would strengthen his body, increase his power of endurance, or develop his muscle or his craftiness. With the other Indians he played football, tossed quoits, wrestled, ran, and jumped.

Occasionally he engaged with them in the war dance. This was performed in a very solemn manner. It represented a war campaign, or a sham battle, as we say. First, the Indians came together from different directions. Then they marched forward stealthily and quietly, lay in ambush, awaited the coming of the enemy, suddenly jumped out and rushed upon them, slaughtered them, retreated, and finally went home. The dance ended with the reception at home, and the torturing and killing of the prisoners.

These were his amusements. His occupations were two in number: hunting and fishing.

In the fall of the year, and again in the spring, he spent about three months in hunting. In company with his brother or some close friend, he went in search of a supply of meat for the use of the family, and of skins to sell to the white men or to use for clothing.

After reaching the hunting-grounds, they built a big wigwam where they stayed at night. There also they stored the skins of the animals they had captured.

Many stories might be told of the exciting adventures they had with bears and wolves. The woods of New England contained many moose and other wild animals, and generally Philip returned to his little village with meat enough to last all winter. Frequently he brought home as many as one hundred beaver skins.

But Philip, like others, had bad luck sometimes. Now and then he lost his way in the woods, and on one or two occasions the raft on which he was taking his skins across the river upset and the results of his winter’s labor were lost.

He captured his game by shooting or snaring, or by catching it in pitfalls. When the hunting season was over he spent his time in fishing. Generally he caught his fish in nets, although occasionally he used a hook and line.

When not engaged in hunting or fishing, or attending a meeting of Indian princes, he was generally to be found near his wigwam, asleep or watching his squaw at work.

All the work around the wigwam was done by his wife or squaw. According to the Indian view she was his slave. She covered and lined the wigwam, plaited the mats and baskets, planted, tended, and harvested the corn and vegetables, cooked the food, ate the leavings, and slept on the coldest side of the wigwam.
Many Indians did not care very much for their squaws, and made their lives miserable by treating them badly, and showing them no sympathy nor love in any way whatever. But we are told that Philip was better than the other Indians in this respect. He loved his wife and treated her as a companion instead of as a slave.

Philip had no pots and kettles like ours. His wife roasted his meat by placing it on the point of a stake. She broiled it by laying it on hot coals or hot stones. She boiled it in rude vessels made of stone, earth, or wood, and heated the water by throwing hot stones into it.

Philip’s only garden tool was a hoe, made of clam shells or of a moose’s shoulder-blade fastened to a wooden handle. He also had a rude axe or hatchet made of a piece of stone, sharpened by being scraped on another stone, and tied to a wooden handle. His arrows and spears were tipped with bone or with triangular pieces of flint. These were all home-made, for Philip, like other Indians, was obliged to make his own hatchets and arrows.

Finally, Philip never went to the store to buy things to be used at home, for the Indians kept no stores. His wife raised the corn, squashes, and pumpkins, and he caught his own fish and game. These, with nuts, roots, and berries, gave him all the food he needed.

Native American Women at Work

During the next twenty years many more white men came and settled on or near the lands of the Wampanoags.

In the mean time, Philip grew to manhood and received the same education that was given to the other young men of his tribe. It was very different from the education received by us to-day. The Indians had no schools. Philip did not learn his A B C’s or the multiplication table. He never learned how to read or write. He knew nothing about science, and could not even count, or keep track of time.

His education was of a different character, and was intended to make him brave, daring, hardy, and able to bear pain; for these things were thought by the Indians to be of the greatest importance.

He was taught to undergo the most horrible tortures without a word of complaint or a sign of anguish. He would beat his shins and legs with sticks, and run prickly briars and brambles into them in order to become used to pain. He would run eighty to one hundred miles in one day and back in the next two.

When he neared manhood he was blindfolded and taken into the woods far from home to a place where he had never been before.

There he was left with nothing but a hatchet, a knife, and a bow and arrows. The winter was before him, and he was expected to support himself through it. If he was unable to do so, it was better for him to die then.

Philip passed the lonely winter far away from home. Many times did he wish that he was back in his father’s wigwam where he could talk with his parents and his brothers and his friends, and know what the palefaces were doing.

But he knew that if he should return to his little village before the winter was over he would be branded as a coward, and never be considered worthy to succeed his father as sachem.

A Young Hunter

A Young Hunter

What, he, Philip, a prince, afraid? No, no, no! Of course he was not afraid. What was there to be afraid of? Had he not always lived in the woods? Still, he was a little lonely, and once in a while he wanted someone to talk with.

So Philip went to work with a will. With his hatchet he cut down some small trees, made them into poles, and placed one end of them in the ground. With his knife he cut some bark from the trees and laid it over the poles so that he had a fairly comfortable shelter from the storms and winds which he knew would soon surely come. Then he spent several days in hunting birds and wild game in the forest. With his bow and arrows he shot enough to support himself through the winter.

Many an adventure did he have. Many a time did he lie down at night without having tasted food during the whole livelong day. Many a savage beast did he see, and on several occasions he climbed trees, or crawled into caves, or ran as fast as he could, to get out of their way.

But he had a strong will. He knew that the son of the grand sachem of the Wampanoags could do anything that any other Indian had done. And so he passed the long, cold winter, bravely and without complaining.

In the spring, when his father and friends came after him, they found him well and strong. His winter’s work had made him healthy and rugged. He was taken home, and a feast was prepared in honor of Massasoit’s son who had returned to his home stronger than when he had gone away the fall before.

During the next two moons—for the Indians counted by moons and not by months as we do—Philip led an idle life. He did no work of any kind. He was taking his vacation after the hard winter life he had led alone in the woods.

But his education was not yet finished. His body had been made strong. It was next necessary to strengthen his constitution against the evil effects of poison. He again went into the forest, and daily found poisonous and bitter herbs and roots. These he bruised and put the juices into water, which he drank.

Then he drank other juices which acted as antidotes and prevented his sickness or death. He did this day after day until his constitution became used to the poisons, and he was able to drink them freely without any harm coming to him.

Then he went home. The people sang and danced and gave him another great feast. He was now considered a man and ready to marry and have a wigwam of his own.

The wedding ceremony was extremely simple. There were no presents, no flowers, no guests, no ceremony, no banquet. Philip simply asked a certain woman to come and live with him. She came and was thereafter his wife, or squaw, as the Indians called her.

We have no record of the date of his marriage, for the Indians kept no such records. We only know that it took place soon after his return from his battle with poisons in the woods.

During the following summer young Philip heard many an interesting story about the English. Squanto himself came to see Massasoit several times, and from him Philip heard the story of his adventures across the sea.

 

Late in the fall, long before Philip had lost his interest in the stories of Squanto, another English vessel arrived on the coast of the Indian country.

 

On the eleventh day of November, 1620AD, the vessel anchored near Cape Cod. Sixteen palefaces came ashore. They did not act like the others who had preceded them. They made no effort to become acquainted with the Indians, but spent their time in looking around and in examining the country.

 

They found four or five bushels of corn, which had been stored for the winter by an Indian, and carried it away to their vessel.

 

This angered the Indians, and we can well imagine the thoughts that passed through the mind of the boy Philip when he heard that the English had stolen the corn that belonged to a poor Indian, one of his father’s friends.

The Indians talked the matter over by their camp fire, and little Philip listened to the story as eagerly as he had listened to the story of Squanto six months before.

 

A week or so later, more news came to Mount Hope. The palefaces had visited the shore a second time, and on this occasion had stolen a bag of beans and some more corn. How Philip’s anger increased as he heard his father talk the matter over with the other Indians!

 

A few days afterwards Philip heard still other news of the English. They had come ashore a third time. The Indians had watched them from a distance. Finally, when a good opportunity offered itself, thirty or forty Indians quietly surrounded the palefaces, and at a given signal every one of them yelled at the top of his voice and began to shoot arrows at the hated visitors.

 

For a time it looked as if the palefaces would be driven into the water. But soon they fired their guns, and the Indians ran away frightened at the noise.

Philip was greatly interested in the description that was given of a gun. He had never so much as heard of one before, and he thought it very strange that any one should be afraid of little pieces of lead. He could not see why it was not as easy to dodge bullets as it was to dodge arrows.

 

A week or two later still further news was brought to Massasoit’s village. The palefaces had left Cape Cod and had sailed across the bay to Patuxet (to which the English gave the name of Plymouth). There they had gone ashore and had built some log cabins, evidently with the intention of staying for some time.

 

This was something that the Indians could not understand. Every day some of them went to the top of the hill which overlooked the little settlement to see what the English were doing. Then they returned to Mount Hope with something new to tell about the palefaces, and Philip eagerly listened to every story that was related.

 

Several meetings of the Indians were held during the winter, at which Philip was always present, and finally one of their number, whose name was Samoset, was sent to Plymouth to ask the English why they had settled in this land which belonged, of right, to the red men.

 

Samoset returned a few days later. He told his story to the Indians around the camp fire, little Philip, as usual, paying great attention to what was said.

 

Samoset said that the palefaces had been very kind to him, and had told him that they had come to this country to settle, that they wanted to live on the most friendly terms with the red men, and that they desired to pay not only for the corn and beans which they had taken, but also for the land on which they had built their village.

 

At the close of his story the Indians expressed themselves as satisfied with the palefaces, and Philip felt that perhaps the English were not so bad as he had thought them to be.

Samoset was then sent to the settlers to tell them that Massasoit and some of his friends would like to meet them for a friendly talk about many things that might otherwise become a cause of disagreement between them. He brought back word that the English eagerly welcomed the opportunity to meet the Indians, and had offered to see them on the following day.

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From a soon to be published book entitled “Stories from Marthas Vineyard (Nantucket and Rhode Island)”