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(The Old Man of the Mountains)

I am everywhere and a friend to all and I desire to be known as the Eternal Spirit of Life, who feeds all the earth.

Air is one of the four essential elements of earth life and is also essential to Spirit life. It can be felt but not seen. Without air there would be no vegetation or earth inhabitants, so I am very important. I protect my children and very often destroy my enemies but people know me least of all.

Nature has formed a very sensitive organ in the bodies of animals which detects odors and this is a means through which I am able, in many cases, to protect them. By the means of this organ, I can impress them with the approach of danger and lead them to feeding places and friendly spirits. I can warn them of storms and fire and the changes of seasons. I can lead them to places of safety from humans and the elements of nature.

All animals do not respond readily to my warnings, either because they are too young to have fully developed the distinction between odors or they are so engrossed with feeding or fighting each other that they pay no attention to the warnings. But if it were not for this faculty, the human, in his ignorance, would have killed all the untamed animals long ago before he had learned the lessons they teach him.

One of the most important lessons that animals have to teach is that humans should also be provided for if they have faith. There are very few animals that starve and when they do, it is usually because humans have robbed them of their natural feeding grounds.

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