The Man from the North, the Girl, and the Turtle

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Once upon a time an Indian lived all alone away up in the North, where it snows and rains all the time and is very cold indeed. He went south and married a wife. He brought her to his home to keep him company; but she soon died because of the cold.

The Indian was so lonely after that that he went out in search of another wife. This time he went to the East. After he had been traveling for a long distance, he went up on a hill and looked all around. He saw smoke, so he went to see whence it came; and he found a little house where a young girl lived all alone.

“Come in,” she said, when he knocked on her door. She was lonely too; so when the man asked her to go to live with him and be his wife, she went.

Soon after they reached the man’s house away up north, the man showed his wife where the corn was, so that she could grind some into meal for bread, while he went out to hunt to get meat for their dinner.

The new wife sat down behind the grinding stones and tried to grind some of the corn, but her fingers soon grew too stiff from the cold. She grew colder and colder; and when the man came back from hunting he found her frozen to death.

So again the man set out, to find a third wife. This time he traveled to the West. He walked for many days until he came to a woman hoeing corn. He looked tired, so the woman invited him to come into her house and rest a while. She called to her daughter to cook something for the stranger to eat. While he was eating he watched the young girl as she moved about the house, and he liked her very much. When he finished his meal he asked the girl:

“Won’t you go with me to my house in the north and be my wife?”

“No, I am sorry but I do not wish to go,” she said. But her mother liked the stranger, so she made her daughter go with him.

While they were journeying northward the sad-hearted girl heard some one calling her. She looked all around and finally she saw a turtle.

“Where are you going, my sister?” asked Mrs. Turtle,” and why do you look so sad?”

“I am going into the cold Northland,” replied the girl, “to be the wife of that man walking in front of me. He is good to me; but I am unhappy because I do not want to go and my mother has forced me to. I am afraid of the cold.”

“Do not be unhappy and do not be afraid,” said Mrs. Turtle, “Take this herb with you; and when you reach your new home, make some tea of it and sprinkle the tea in all directions.” The girl took the herb and journeyed on to her new home. When the man went out to hunt, she did as Mrs. Turtle had told her; and, behold, the house grew warm and comfortable and the girl was happy ever after.

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