Native American Legends
Why flowers are fragrant
An American Indian Legend - Nation Unknown
Small trees grew along a little stream. They were wild apple trees.
They were covered with beautiful blooms and bright blossoms were
scattered over the fields.
one of the wise men said the fragrance of the flowers of the world
was the gift of the Woman who Fell down from heaven.
" Tell how it is"...he said, so the children may know.......
Once the Indians were all going along the path in the woods. They
were moving to a new village by the lake where the water was so
clear that it was as blue as the sky.
The children ran along the path. they played among the trees. They
crossed the streams which poured over stones and made soft water
- music. they picked the wild flowers found on the hills. they loved
the streams, the trees, and the flowers and all of them were very
But all at once they stopped and screamed. They were frightened,
for a panther leaped into the path before them. in its mouth it
carried a babe dressed in beads & buckskin. The panther stood
in the path, in anger it held its head high and roared madly at
The warriors came running up. They shot arrows into the panther,
but it was not hurt, it carefully put the babe down in the path
and was seen no more.
The chief's daughter ran to the child and took it up. It was not
harmed in the least. its dress was covered with pearl beads and
flowers and porcupine quills. It smiled at the children and they
were in love with it at once. The chiefs daughter kept the baby
girl for her own.
In the village she soon grew large enough to run and play with
the other children. She was beautiful child. And she loved the wild
flowers more than all other things. but the flowers had no sweet
smell then as they have now.
So much she did the child love the flowers that they named her
Seets-a'ma.. which means "holding a flower".
One day Seets-a'ma, became very sick. all that was done for her
did not help her. And she died as the sun went down. the people
mourned for the lovely little girl, and the hookies tried to bring
her back, but this could not be done. Seets-a'ma... came to the
city of woman who fell down from heaven.
She was on her way to live with the Little People. She said to
the woman "Before I go on down to the Little People, let me
do something nice for the people of my own village."
What would you like most to do? the woman asked her. "I made
you so", said the Woman. "For, while you are truly my
own child, I brought you from the happy fields of the Upper World.
And I sent the panther to leave you in the path. You shall carry
the sweet odor of the Tree of Light. And you shall give some part
of it to every flower in the Lower world."
Then the Woman gave Seets-a' ma a beautiful bag. It was red as
blood, for it was made of the flowers of the red bud tree. In this
bag was the color and fragrance of the flowers which grew on the
Tree Of Light which fell down from heaven into the Great water.
Then she called the humming bird, and bade it carry Seets-a'ma...to
every flower. Seets-a'ma was as light as the down of silk weed.
And she was brighter than the sun at mid-day. she rode on the back
of the bird poised on the toes of her left foot like a dancing fairy.
She was more graceful than the wild flowers she loved.
The humming bird carried her to every kind of flower. from the
beautiful bag she breathed fragrance into them. And this sweet smell
they have to this day,
Then Seets-a'ma went to her village. All the people ran out to see
"And Behold!!!" there were flowers growing thick all
about everywhere as far as the eyes could see. A sweet smell arose
from these waving fields of many colored flowers. It filled the
air, and the people of the Lower world, and this is her gift to
Then the hummingbird darted away with Seets-a'ma standing on his
back. At the gate of the city the Woman said to the bird, "the
flowers shall bear honey for your food from this day." You
shall live in among them to the end of the world.
And the Indian mother sometimes says yet to her little daughter,
"If you are a good girl, you may see Seets-a'ma, and the Hummingbird
as they fly among the flowers!"
Native American Legends
Back to Top
Other Native American Legends