The Marriage of Mount Katahdin by Charles M.
An Indian girl gathering berries on the side of Mount Katahdin looked up
at its peak, rosy in the afternoon light, and sighed, "I wish that I had
a husband. If Katahdin were a man he might marry me." Her companions
laughed at this quaint conceit, and, filled with confusion at being
overheard, she climbed higher up the slope and was lost to sight. For
three years her tribe lost sight of her; then she came back with a child
in her arms a beautiful boy with brows of stone. The boy had wonderful
power: he had only to point at a moose or a duck or a bear, and it fell
dead, so that the tribe never wanted food. For he was the son of the
Indian girl and the spirit of the mountain, who had commanded her not to
reveal the boy's paternity. Through years she held silence on this point,
holding in contempt, like other Indians, the prying inquiries of gossips
and the teasing of young people, and knowing that Katahdin had designed
the child for the founder of a mighty race, with the sinews of the very
mountains in its frame, that should fill and rule the earth. Yet, one
day, in anger at some slight, the mother spoke: "Fools! Wasps who sting
the fingers that pick you from the water! Why do you torment me about
what you might all see? Look at the boy's face—his brows: in them do you
not see Katahdin? Now you have brought the curse upon yourselves, for you
shall hunt your own venison from this time forth." Leading the child by
the hand she turned toward the mountain and went out from their sight.
And since then the Indians who could not hold their tongues, and who
might otherwise have been great, have dwindled to a little people.