Once upon a time, there was an Indian village on the bank of a wide river. In the spring, summer, and autumn, the villagers were very happy. There was plenty of wood and food in the deep forests, and the river provided excellent fish. But the Indians feared the months when the Ice King ruled.
One winter, it was terribly cold, and the people in the village suffered terribly. The Ice King had brought the north wind, and the forest was covered with a huge layer of snow. In addition, the river was covered with such a thick layer of ice that the Indians feared it would never melt. This made it very difficult to feed everyone in the wigwams. “When will the Ice King leave us?” they asked each other. “If he rules much longer, we will all die.”
Just when they couldn’t take it any longer, spring came. The snow began to melt, and the ice in the river broke into large pieces. They all floated downstream, except for one piece that remained on the shore in front of the village. When the Indians saw that the spring sun did not melt the ice, they became afraid. “It’s the house of the Ice King,” they said to each other. “As long as he is here, it will never be warm again. Is no one brave enough to fight this tyrant?”
One brave young man decided to defy the Ice King. He took a large club with him and hit the ice with all his might: “Oh cruel Ice King, go away! Your time is up. Go away!” Eventually, he managed to break the ice. “Go away!” the brave young man shouted again. And one by one, he pushed the pieces of ice downstream. When he was done, the white figure of the Ice King appeared before the brave Indian. “You have ruined my house,” said the giant. “The winter season is over,” the young man replied. “Go away!”
“In a few moons, I will return and stay forever,” threatened the Ice King. Then he disappeared to the north. The people in the village were happy that the brave young man had defeated the giant, but they were also afraid of the Ice King’s threats. “I will prepare for a new duel,” said the Indian. This reassured the people somewhat, but they still feared the coming winter.
In the fall, the young man built a wigwam next to the river, with enough wood, oil, blankets, and warm clothes. When winter arrived, the cold north wind blew without mercy and covered everything with a layer of snow. The ice on the river was a meter thick. “The Ice King is here,” the Indians said. “If he keeps his threats, we will all perish.”
On a bitterly cold day, the young man sat by the fire in his wigwam when he suddenly felt a strong wind. Out of nowhere, the Ice King appeared. His icy breath made the young man shiver. “Welcome, Ice King,” he said bravely. “I have come to stay,” the giant replied.
The Indian trembled with cold but stood up and began throwing more wood on the fire. Then he took oil and began sprinkling it over the wood. He kept stoking and stoking until the cold air in the wigwam was driven out by the heat of the fire. The Ice King was pushed back further and further and became weaker by the minute. His icy feathers or on his hat no longer stood proudly, but hung in front of his eyes, and sweat poured down his face.
The brave Indian kept stoking the fire. “Spare me,” the Ice King shouted. But the young man had no mercy and threw more oil on the fire. “Have mercy, I beg of you,” pleaded the Ice King. He stood up and stumbled to the door. “You have defeated me,” he said in a weak voice. “I will leave. From now on, I will no longer try to rule over you all year round. My season will only last three moons.”
And so, the Ice King slinked away quietly, and from that moment on, the winter never lasted longer than three moons.