Ice Man

 

Once , when the people were burning the woods in the fall, the blaze set fire to a poplar tree, which
continued to burn until the fire went down into the roots and burned a great hole in the ground.
It burned and burned, and the hole grew constantly larger, until the people became frightened and
were worried it would burn the whole world. They tried to put out the fire, but it had gone too deep,
and they did not know what to do.
 
At last, someone said there was a man living in a house of ice, far in the north, who could
put out the fire, so messengers were sent. After traveling a long distance,  they came
to the  house of ice and found the Ice Man at home. He was a little fellow with long hair hanging
down to the ground, in two braids. The messengers told him their errand and he, at once,
said, "Oh yes, I can help you," and began to un-braid his hair. When it was all free and loosened he
took it up in one band and struck it once across his other hand, and the messengers felt a wind
blow against their cheeks. A second time he struck his hair across his hand, and a light rain
began to fall. The third time he struck his hair across his open hand, there was sleet, mixed
with the raindrops. When he struck the fourth time, great hailstones fell upon the ground, as
if they had come out from the ends of his hair. "Go back now," said the lce Man, "and I shall
be there tomorrow." So the messengers returned to their people, whom they found still
gathered helplessly about the great burning pit.
 
The next-day, while they were all watching and waiting about the fire, there came a wind from the North, and
they were afraid, for they knew that it came from the lce Man. But, the wind only made the fire
blaze up higher. Then a light rain began to fall, but the drops seemed only to make the fire hotter.
Then the shower turned to a heavy rain, with sleet and hail that killed the blaze and made clouds
of smoke and steam rise from the red coals. The people fled to their homes for shelter, and
the storm rose to a whirlwind that drove the rain into every burning crevice and piled
great hailstones over the embers, until the fire was dead and even the smoke ceased. When,
at last, it was all over and the people returned, they found a lake where the burning pit had
been. From below the water came a sound as of embers still crackling. They knew this was the
Ice Man taking care of the fire for them.
 
 

Creek Legend