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INDIAN WHY STORIES



MISTAKES OF OLD-MAN

All night the storm raged, and in the
morning the plains were white with snow.
The sun came and the light was blinding, but
the hunters were abroad early, as usual.

That day the children came to my camp,
and I told them several stories that appeal to
white children. They were deeply interested,
and asked many questions. Not until the
hunters returned did my visitors leave.

That night War Eagle told us of the mistakes
of OLD-man. He said:

"OLD-man made a great many mistakes in
making things in the world, but he worked un-
til he had everything good. I told you at the
beginning that OLD-man made mistakes, but I
didn't tell you what they were, so now I shall
tell you.

"One of the things he did that was wrong,
was to make the Big-Horn to live on the plains.
Yes, he made him on the plains and turned him
loose, to make his living there. Of course the
Big-Horn couldn't run on the plains, and OLD-
man wondered what was wrong. Finally, he
said: 'Come here, Big-Horn!' and the Big-
Horn came to him. OLD-man stuck his arm
through the circle his horns made, and dragged
the Big-Horn far up into the mountains. There
he set him free again, and sat down to watch
him. Ho! It made OLD-man dizzy to watch
the Big-Horn run about on the ragged cliffs.
He saw at once that this was the country the
Big-Horn liked, and he left him there. Yes,
he left him there forever, and there he stays,
seldom coming down to the lower country.

"While OLD-man was waiting to see what the
Big-Horn would do in the high mountains, he
made an Antelope and set him free with the
Big-Horn. Ho! But the Antelope stumbled
and fell down among the rocks. He couldn't
man called to the Antelope to come back to
him, and the Antelope did come to him. Then
he called to the Big-Horn, and said:

"'You are all right, I guess, but this one
isn't, and I'll have to take him somewhere else.'

"He dragged the Antelope down to the
prairie country, and set him free there. Then
he watched him a minute; that was as long as
the Antelope was in sight, for he was afraid
OLD-man might take him back to the mountains.

"He said: 'I guess that fellow was made for
the plains, all right, so I'll leave him there';
and he did. That is why the Antelope always
stays on the plains, even to-day. He likes it
better.

"That wasn't a very long story; sometime
when you get older I will tell you some dif-
ferent stories, but that will be all for this time,
I guess. Ho!"

 


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