"It is a magic slumber, and she will not wake till you shall bring hither gifts from the Earth, Air, and Water Spirits. 'T is a long and weary task, for you have made no friends to help you, and will have to seek for them alone.
Then with a light heart Thistle journeyed away to the brooks and rivers, seeking the Water Spirits. But he looked in vain; till, wandering through the forest where the Brownies took him captive, he stopped beside the quiet lake.
At length the broken wing was well, and Thistle said he must again seek the Water Spirits. "I can tell you where to find them," said Flutter; "you must follow yonder little brook, and it will lead you to the sea, where the Spirits dwell.
The soft sound lulled him to sleep, and when he awoke the boat was gone, and he stood among the Water Spirits, in their strange and lovely home.
Then softly on the breeze came distant music, growing ever nearer, till over the rippling waves came the singing Water Spirits, in their boats of many-colored shells; and as they placed their glittering crown on Thistle's head, loud rang the flowers, and joyously sang the birds, while all the Forest Fairies cried, with silvery voices, "Lily-Bell and Thistledown!
After the treacherous Middle Passage from Africa, rather than submit to further captivity, a group of slaves drowned themselves off the coast of Georgia, singing: 'The water spirit
brought us here / The water spirit
shall take us home.' The spiralling forms of the figures in Chukwuma's carvings are fleshed out with scraps of tin cans--the artist explains that there is a link between his art as a form of environmental awareness, and as a means of recycling the past so that it speaks the present.