I’ve got you wondering at that title, don’t I?  Well, I’ve been reading century old books lately…. something so special about them.  I finished up ‘A Girl of the Limberlost’, set in the Indiana swamp.  Most enjoyable for simple country girls!


So then I looked over the bookshelves for another vintage read, and out popped Hiawatha!  When I was about 12, I had memorized 40 lines or so of the ‘childhood chapter’.  You know it too.  “By the shores of Gitche-Gumee, by the shining Big-Sea -Water….” (which is our beloved Lake Superior).   I’ve always liked it because of my Indian ancestry, love of poetry, and the Northwoods setting.  I thought it was Hia-time to read the entire book!  🙂


Longfellow’s epic poem first appeared in 1855, after much research and interaction with Native Americans.

The first chapter covers descriptions of the Four Winds… and I smiled at the North Wind, Kabibonokka, who brings the snow and ice.

The fierce wind cries at the lodge dweller, asking “Who is this that dares to brave me? Dares to stay in my dominions?”  Ha!  That is exactly what we all thought of this winter!!

Kabibonokka tried to heap snow drifts on the dwellers fire, and flapped the curtain of his doorway.   And even though he felt the coldness, felt the icy breath, “Still he did not cease his singing, Still he did not leave his laughing, Only turned the log a little, Only made the fire burn brighter. O Kabibonokka, You are but my fellow-mortal!”

I love that.   And today, with sun shining, and windows open… we watch the 6″ snowfall from 2 days ago, pass away into the mud. Winter is finally dying.

Just as any long weary season in our hearts…. mortal fellows all of them.  Gotta turn that log in the fire, and make it spark a bit.



6 thoughts on “Kabibonokka

  1. Oh, Nina! You have discovered a real treasure! Gene Stratton Porter is one of my all time favorite authors! I have collected several of her books and have read and reread them. She has made quite an impression on me. In fact, I am in the mood to start rereading them!

    • And your comments bring to mind the little book I’ve kept at hand for frequent reading…”A Heap o’ Livin'” (c. 1916) by Edgar A. Guest. Those folks could sure turn a word into something memorable! as do you!

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