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Native American Legends

How the Cold lost its power

A Sanpoils Legend

Northern-Lights had five sons, - Cold, Colder, Coldest, Extreme Cold, and Most-Extreme-Cold. The youngest son acted as scout. He seared the leaves and grass, and returned to report that he had gone as far as he dared. Then the eldest son would finish the work. The other sons staid in the north with their parents.

They lived in an ice-lodge, and could not endure heat of any kind. They were jealous of Extreme-Cold and guarded him well. By and by Extreme-Cold became restless and traveled southward. His mother, Northern-Lights, warned him not to speak to any human being. He would kill every one he met. The Indians were much troubled by him, as he came at any season, whenever he wished. Therefore the great chief called a council to try and regulate the season.

The people could not devise any way of reaching the lodge of Cold. Finally South-Wind (Cha-helt), a shaman of great power, was selected to attack him. He set out, and saw Extreme-Cold approaching. Everything perished before him. When he met South-Wind, he tried to exercise his power, but it did not avail him. Nobody had ever been able to withstand him. South-Wind held out his hand and addressed Cold as his nephew. He said that he lived in the south, and that Northern-Lights was his sister. He asked the way to his sister's house. Cold consented to take him there.

When they reached the ice-lodge; Cold was full of steam. They went in, and South-Wind claimed to be the brother of Northern Lights. She said she did not remember him, and her husband declared that they had no relatives. They let him stay all night, and planned to freeze him while he slept. Then the Cold family went to sleep. South-Wind gathered pitch-wood and set it on fire. It thawed everything around it, and the Cold family perished in the flames. The shaman broke the power of the cold, and thus the seasons were regulated.

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