Pocahontas was a beautiful Indian maiden, the daughter of the great chief, Powhatan, and she was so good and kind that she was loved by all the tribe over which her father ruled.
She lived in the forests of Virginia, with the birds and squirrels for her companions. She was an Indian princess, but she learned to cook and to sew and to weave mats, just like the other Indian girls. She liked to embroider, too, and spent many happy hours decorating her dresses with the pretty colored shells and beads that were given to her father.
One day, when she was twelve years old, an Indian came to Powhatan and told him a white man had been captured and brought to the village. "He is a wonderful man," said the scout. "He can talk to his friends by making marks on paper, and he can make a fire without a flint." "Bring him here," said the chief, and Captain John Smith was brought before Powhatan.
The chief received the prisoner in his wigwam, and talked with him, asking him many questions. Captain Smith told the Indians that the earth was round, and that the sun chased the night around it. He said that the sun that set in the west at night was the same sun that rose in the east in the morning. He showed them his compass and told them how it guided him through the forest.
At last the Indians began to fear him, thinking that so wise and powerful a man might do them some harm. So, after holding him as a prisoner for many days, they decided to put him to death.
In the meantime Captain Smith and Pocahontas had become the best of friends. He told her many stories of his childhood in a land across the sea of the blue eyed, fair haired boys and girls, of their toys and games, their homes and schools, and how they learned to read and write.
So when Pocahontas learned that her dear friend must die, she felt very sad, and tried to think of some way of saving his life.
And she did save his life, for just as Captain Smith was to be killed, the child threw her arms about his neck, and begged her father to spare the white man's life, for her sake.
Powhatan loved his little daughter, and wished to please her in everything, so he promised to set the prisoner free, and to send him at once to his friends.
Pocahontas often visited Captain Smith, and learned to know and love his friends.
In later years she went to England to see the fair haired boys and girls and the homes and schools he had told her about during his captivity.