… up like ringlets. Some children hang these on their ears for ornaments. Take a stalk for each year of your age; pull its head off. Then you will find that the top end will go into the bottom and make a ring. Use all the stalks you have gathered, to make a chain; now throw this chain into a low tree. If it sticks the first time, your wish will come true this year. Each time it falls puts your wish a year farther away.
This may not be true; but it is a game to play. Some big girls use it, to find out when they are going to be married.
Now dig up the whole plant, root and all — the gardener will be much obliged to you for doing so — take it home, and ask the Guide to make the leaves into a salad; you will find it good to eat; most Europeans eat it regularly, either raw, or boiled as greens.
Last of all, ask the Guide to roast the root, till it is brown and crisp, then grind it in a coffee-mill, and use it to make coffee. Some people think it better than real coffee; at any rate, the doctors say it is much healthier, for it is nourishing food, and does not do one any harm at all. But perhaps you will not like it. You may think all the time you are eating the body of the poor little Prairie-girl, who died of love.
The Cat's-eye Toad, a Child of Maka Ina
When you were little, O Guide! didn't you delight in the tales of gnomes or nibelungen, those strange underground creatures that lived hidden from the light, and busied themselves with precious stones and metals? How unwillingly we gave up those glad beliefs, as we inevitably grew old and lost our fairyland eyes!