Tale of The Power Of The Cyclone

A boy sat down on the banks of the river to rest after his morning bath, and as he sat there watching the sun come up and listening to the water and trees, a voice from some place spoke in his ear and said: “Boy, I have been watching you at your bath every morning. I know that your grandmother has sent you here every day in winter and in summer to plunge into the water, no matter how cold, that you might gain strength and become a strong man, hardened to endure. I have come to give you that strength that you desire, and even more.”

The boy looked about him through the trees and in the water, but for a long time he saw nothing. After he had gazed into the water for a long time he saw slowly arising to the surface a man. The boy was not frightened, but sat still on the bank and waited. The man came close and spoke to him, saying: “Dive into the water four times, and as you dive always face the west.” After the boy had dived four times and again sat on the bank, the unknown person said: “I am the power of the Cyclone. Once I was so strong and powerful that I held all the Winds in my control, and all people feared me, but now I am growing old and my strength is going from me. For some time I have been looking over the world to find some one to take my place and to whom I could entrust my powers. As I was looking and almost despairing of finding a worthy young man, I found you. From that time I have been watching you, and now at last I am come to give my power to you. Swing your arms about.” The young man began to swing his arms, and soon a big, black cloud rolled up in the north. It passed to the west, and then, as the boy threw his arms about faster, the wind broke from the cloud and passed through the forest, tearing up trees by the roots and tossing the waters in fury as it went. At last the man cried in a loud voice that was barely heard above the roar of the winds, “Stand still!”

The boy dropped his arms at his sides and stood breathless and panting with the exertion. The man said: “You have received my power. Take care that you never abuse it, and send the cyclone only in the spring, when it is necessary. I give you the name ‘Path-of-the-Cyclone’ to be yours, and people shall know you by that name.” Then the man disappeared. Years after the people came to know the power the boy possessed when they saw him carried through the air to the sky on the breast of the cyclone.

Caddo, Legends,

Dorsey, George A. Traditions of the Caddo. Washington: Carnegie Institution. 1905.

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