Mississippi and the Four Seasons
Jessica, Age 11, Barrie, ON

Mississippi loved to dance around the forest singing and talking to herself and the animals. Although her mother Frogs Eye disapproved of this and considered it a waste of time.

Mississippi was what you would call a free sprit, but to her clan she was  thought to be lazy giving her the nickname “Lazy River”.

One day Mississippi came across a path of which she had never seen before.  Curious as she was. She did not know of this path and did not know where it would lead. As if she was in a trance she followed the path.

After a short while she came across Grandfather Deer. She noticed that as  he walked he limped.

“Oh dear Grandfather! What has happened to your leg?” asked Mississippi  who was much smaller than Deer.

“Bear attacked me for no reason at all.” replied Deer.

“He must have had some reason or he would not have attacked you.”

“Yes I would guess he would.”

“Would you like me to fix that Grandfather?” asked Mississippi touching the large cut on his hind hip.

“Would you please?” asked Deer.

Mississippi could see the pain in Deer’s eyes. “Yes I will Grandfather.” said Mississippi, ”I will be right back.”

Mississippi ran away deep into the forest.

After a short while Mississippi came across a large clearing. It was like nothing she had ever seen before. The leaves on the trees were beautiful reds, yellows and oranges. On the ground many brown leaves were strewn around. Right in the middle of this large grove were three huge Poplar trees just the tree she wanted.

Running to the trees she carefully ripped off a small amount of bark. Quickly she thanked the tree sprit for the bark.

Popping the piece in her mouth and chewing furiously she ran back the way that she come. Finally reaching Deer again she popped out the bark which now was a fine mush. Mississippi sat down and began to apply the mush. She looked up and saw Deer watching her intently.

“What is your name, little one?” asked Deer.

“Mississippi but everyone calls me Lazy River.” replied Mississippi who had just finished applying the Poplar.

“I see Mississippi and were did you find that Poplar?” asked Deer.

“In a large clearing. It was strange.” said Mississippi standing up and brushing the dirt off her clothes.

“How do you mean strange?”

“The leaves on the trees were beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange. On the ground there were brown leaves that crunched as I walked, and in the middle was three Poplar trees.” said Mississippi.

“Then you have seen the Autumn Tree Grove.” said Deer.

“It is so beautiful I wish my people could see it.”

“They can now that you have seen it.  It will be Autumn for three months because of the three trees in the grove.  That’s three months a year you have to enjoy the leaves.” Stated Deer.

“Thank you Grandfather.” Said Mississippi happily and she ran off.

After a short while she came to a river with babbling water that gently lapped over the rocks.  Pulling up her dress she began to walk across the river.

When she reached the other side a small bird-looking animal waddled up to her.  Looking down at this small bird it looked back up at her.

“Who are you little guy?” Mississippi asked bending down into a kneeling position.

“I I I’m Penguin. Why is it so hot here?” replied Penguin.

“This is Summer Valley it is always hot here.” Explained Mississippi.

“I don’t belong here. Can you take me back to Winter Valley, please?”

“Sure, come on Penguin.”

Taking Penguin’s flipper Mississippi and began walking. Silence fell over the two like a tree that falls in the forest when no one is around to hear it.

At high noon they reached Winter Valley. It was covered in snow and there were almost no trees and right in the middle was three great mountains.

“I thank you for your kindness. I bless your people with three months of winter. One month for each mountain that are in the middle there. Thank you…” Penguin stood there in deep thought.

“Mississippi,” said Mississippi trying to help.

“Yes thank you Mississippi.” Said Penguin waddling away.

She turned and walked back into the forest. A couple of minutes later she found the path again.

Again after a short while she came to a great clearing. Here there was baby birds jumping out of the nest for the first time, fawns just learning how to walk and the ground was filled with green grass and beautiful flowers.

“This is beautiful, but where am I?” she asked allowed to herself.

“This is Spring Clearing it is always beautiful here.” said a voice that scared the skin right off Mississippi’s back.

She turned and gasped for Great Sprit stood behind her.

“You have shown great courage, strength, speed, wisdom and kindness. For this I shall give you three months of the beautiful Springtime which leaves three months for Summer.” said Great Sprit in his booming voice.

“Thank you oh, Great Sprit.” Mississippi said bowing.

“No Mississippi I thank you.” said Great Sprit and then he turned and left.

Suddenly she stood at the edge of the forest staring down at her people no longer would she be called Lazy River.

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