Preparing for Disaster and Self Reliance
The Ice King
A tribe of Indians lived near a river. One winter the weather was very cold, and many of them died.
But spring came at last. The snow melted from the tops of the mountains and ran in torrents down their steep sides and into the river.
The ice in the swollen river broke up into large cakes which floated down the stream.
The weather grew warmer. All the ice melted except one big cake which the flood had left on the bank of the river.
The sun had been shining on this piece of ice for many days, but it would not melt. There were signs of spring everywhere except in this one spot.
A brave warrior had been watching this piece of ice. He said to himself, "That is the Ice King, I am sure. I must conquer him."
He raised his big war club and struck the Ice King, crying, "Come on, Ice King! Do your best. Freeze me if you can. I will show you that I am as strong as you are."
He struck again and again, and the Ice King began to shrink. Pieces of ice floated down the river. At last he became so small that the Indian picked him up and tossed him into the river.
"There!" cried the Indian, "off with you! Never dare to come back here again."
The Ice King whirled about and screamed, "I go now, but I shall come again. Look for me next winter. I will show you then which of us is the stronger."
The Indian hunted and fished all summer, but when autumn was near he began to think of the threat of the Ice King. "He will keep his word," said the Indian, "and I must get ready to fight him."
The Indian placed his wigwam among the trees, where it was well sheltered from the winds. Near it he heaped up a large pile of dry wood. Then he caught some large fish and tried out their fat so that he might have plenty of oil. He made thick clothes for himself out of the skins of animals. During the summer he had gathered much wild rice, and now he dried meat. While he was getting ready, the weather was becoming colder.
At last all was done, and the Indian said, as he sat by his blazing fire, "Let the Ice King come. I am ready for him."
That night the Ice King froze the little pools of water. After a few days the lakes and rivers were frozen. It was very cold.
One night when the Indian was sitting by his fire, the Ice King stepped to the door of the wigwam. He walked boldly to the fire and sat down opposite the Indian.
How cold the Ice King's breath felt! It nearly put out the fire. The poor Indian shivered, but he said to himself, "The Ice King shall not conquer me." He jumped up and threw dry wood on the fire. Then he poured oil upon the wood. The fire blazed up. The Indian put on more wood and more oil. The fire roared and crackled.
The Ice King began to feel too warm. He moved back a little way. The fire became hotter. The Ice King moved farther back. He began to sweat and to grow smaller and weaker. Then he cried out, "My friend, I am conquered. Let me go! Oh, let me go!"
The Indian arose and pushed the fire back from the Ice King. Then he took his trembling hand, lifted him up, and led him to the door of the wigwam.
As the Ice King passed out he said, "You have conquered me twice. You shall always be my master."
Ever since that time men have been masters of the Ice King. When his cold breath blows, they make the fires warmer and their clothing thicker.
Do you love all of the old fables and fairy tales?
Have you thought of staging a play using these old fables? Never staged a play before?
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Today is a great day for a play! Check out the “learn more” link to see all the story plays in each collection. I know there’s something that will strike your fancy.
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More Fairy Tales and Fables
To Nursery Rhymes Fun Home from Preparing for Disaster
Preparing for Disaster. A Story Lesson Scenario in the Value of Preparing for Disaster and Learning Self Reliance. Preparing for disaster need not be scary or threatening. Learn through the Indian's actions how his preparing for disaster benefited his entire tribe.
Preparing for Disaster and Self Reliance
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