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p. 231


THERE was a woman who lived in the mountains, who was very beautiful, and had many suitors, but she never married anyone.

And one day she was making mats of cane; and she fell asleep and a rain came and a drop fell on her navel.

And she had twin babies, and all the men claimed them, but when the babies were old enuf to crawl she told all the claimants to get in a circle, and she would put the babies in the middle, and if they crawled up to any man he would be the father.

But the babies climbed upon nobody, And she never married.

And when these twin boys were old enuf their mother showed them a cloud in the east, and said: "That is your father, and his name is Cloud, and the Wind is your uncle, your father's older brother."

But the children paid little attention, but when they got older they asked their mother if they could go and see their father. And their mother let them go.

And they went, and came to a house, and the man who lived there asked them where they were going, and they said they were looking for their father, whose name was Cloud.

And the man pointed to the next house, and

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said: "That man, there, is your father."

And they went to that man, but he said: "It is not so. He is your father. He is Cloud." and sent them back again.

But the first man sent them back once more to the second, who was really Cloud.

And Cloud said, that time; "I wonder if it is so that you are my children!"

And the boys said: "That is what they say."

And Cloud said: "I want you to do something to prove it."

Then the oldest boy thundered loud and lightened, and the other lightened a little, and Cloud said, "It is true, you are my children!"

And before night Cloud fed them, and then wept into his kee and shut it up and left them outside all night. And it rained and snowed all night, but they staid outside.

And in the morning Cloud came out, and said: "It is really so, that you are my children."

And the next night he took them to a pond, where there was ice, and left them there all. night, And the next day, when he came there and found they had staid in the water all night he said: "It is really so--you are my children.",

So Cloud acknowledged them for his children and took them into his kee. And after a while the boys wanted to go back to their mother. and Cloud said: "You may go, but you must not speak to anybody on the Way. And I will be with you on the journey."

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So the boys started, and cloud was over them, in the sky, shadowing them.

And after a while they saw a man coming, and the younger boy said: "We must ask him how our mother is."

But the older brother said: "Don't you remember that our father told us not to speak to anyone?"

The younger said: "Yes, I remember, but it would not be right not ask how our mother is."

So when the Man came the boy asked: "How is everybody at home, and how is the old woman, our mother?"

And then the cloud above them lightened and thundered, and they were both turned into century plants.

Next: Notes on the Story of Cloud