The Little People by Mabel Powers
All children who live close to Mother Earth come to know and to see the
fairies of the flowers, the woods, the rocks, and the waters.
These fairies the Iroquois call the Jo gah oh, or "Little People,"
because they are so small. The Little People can do wonderful things.
Whatever they wish, they can do. They can fly through the air. They can
dart under or through the water, into the earth and through the rocks,
as they please, for they wear invisible moccasins and travel in winged
Their wee babies are carried on the little mothers' backs,—just like
the Indian's papoose. The little fathers have wonderful winged bows and
arrows, that can shoot any distance they wish.
The Little People bring good luck to the Indians. Whatever Indian boys
and girls wish for,—if they wish hard enough, the Jo gah oh will
bring to them.
It is said that there are three tribes of these Little People,—those
that live in the rocks beside streams and lakes, those that hover near
the flowers and plants, and those that guard the dark places under the
The rock Little People are very strong. They can uproot large trees and
can hurl great rocks. Sometimes they dare the Indians to a test of
strength with them. They also like to play ball with stones.
The Red Children fear the Stone Throwers, as they call them. But they
love the little folk that help the flowers to blossom, and the fruit and
grains to grow and ripen.
They remember these Little People in their Feasts of Thanksgiving, for
do the Jo gah oh not help the sweet waters of the maple to flow? Do
they not whisper to the growing seeds and show the way to the light? Do
they not guide the runners of the strawberries, turn the blossoms to the
sun, and paint the berries red? They also tint the grains, and give to
the corn its good taste.
A third tribe of Little People dwell under the earth. They guard the
sacred white buffaloes, and keep the serpent monsters that live in the
darkness below from coming to the surface to the Red Children.
There are trails that lead out to the sunlight, but the Little People
guard them close, although sometimes a great serpent will find the
trail of a spring, and will follow it and poison the waters.
Often, at night, these elves of the dark come to the upper world to
dance with the other Little People.
Wherever you find a tree in a deep, dark part of the wood, around which
no grass will grow, there you may be sure a dance ring has been formed.
There the Little People have danced till the moon dropped out of the