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Maiden's Hair Falls

RC deWinter

Fairfield, United States

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© 2010 RC deWinter – All Rights Reserved

The Legend of Maiden’s Hair Falls

Back when native peoples freely inhabited most of New England, there lived two neighboring but rival Abenaki tribes in what is now New Hampshire. These settlements were separated by an offshoot of a mountain range; a mighty rushing waterfall that rose to five hundred feet above the valleys below was the main boundary between them.

And so it happened that one late summer morning, a maiden from one of the tribes was out with other young women gathering roots and seeds in a cleared area that was bordered by a thick forest on the far side. They knew that beyond the forest lay the village of their neighbors, and so never strayed beyond their own boundary.

Suddenly, a deer leaped out from the forest into the clearing, closely followed by a young hunter from the rival tribe. The young women shrieked and huddled together, so startled were they by his appearance. The warrior stopped, his gaze fixed on the young maiden with the long, lustrous braids that framed her frightened face.

An unexpected, inexplicable energy flowed across the clearing as they stared, wordlessly, at each other. Then, as if at an unseen signal, the young women turned and made their way swiftly back to their village. They mentioned the encounter with the hunter to the others, and one old wise woman cautioned them against speaking to or showing fear of anyone from the other tribe that they might encounter in the future.

That night, as the maiden lay on her pallet, eyes closed, waiting for sleep to steal her away to the Valley of Dreams, the image of the young hunter’s face appeared behind her eyelids. She found it difficult to fall asleep, and when she finally did, she saw him running and leaping and eventually slaying the deer he had been pursuing.
© 2010 RC deWinter – All Rights Reserved

You can read the entire tale here

Digital oils after an original photograph shot in May 2006.

Tech specs: Photoshop 7, Filter Forge 2, Akvis Oils

25% of all sales of this picture will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

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Artwork Comments

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