Stránka:tales 1921.djvu/68

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who was very clever at finding forest foods. She became friendly with a white woman named Ruth Pilgrim, and so Ruth's family got the benefit of it, and always had on the table many good things that came from the woods.

One day, long after the farms were cleared and doing well, the white woman said, "See, Mother Monapini, thou hast shown me many things, now I have somewhat to show thee. There hath grown up in our wheat field a small herb that must have come from England with the wheat, for hitherto I have not seen it elsewhere. We call it lamb's-quarter, for the lamb doth eat it by choice. Or maybe because we do eat it with a quarter of lamb. Nevertheless it maketh a good pot-herb when boiled."

The old Indian woman's eyes were fixed on the new plant that was good to eat: and she said, "Is it very good, oh white sister?"

"Yes, and our medicine men do say that it driveth out the poison that maketh itch and spots on the skin." After a moment Monapini said, "It looketh to me like the foot of a wild goose."

"Well found," chuckled Ruth, "for sometimes our people do call it by that very name."

"That tells me different," said the Indian.

"What mean you," said Ruth.

"Is not a goose foot very strong, so it never catcheth cold in the icy water?"

"Yes."

"And this hath the shape of a goose foot?"

"Yes."

"Then my Shaman tells that it is by such likeness that the Great Spirit showeth the goose foot plant to be charged with the driving out of colds."

"It may be so," said the white woman, "but this I know. It is very good and helpeth the whole body."

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