Posts made in April, 2015

The Brother and Sister

http://www.arapaholegends.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/OldWolfGuardian.mp3   This Arapaho story was rewritten for children by Frances Jenkins Olcott and published in 1917 by the Cambridge University where she worked for years as head librarian of the Children Literature. It was in the chapter titled “January the Cold Month”. Olcott did rewrite the story to be more “suitable” for her young readers, however, she said in her introduction that she kept true to the spirit of the story. THE BROTHER AND SISTER (Arapaho) [253] THERE were three streams all flowing east, and near them a tribe of Indians was camping. A brother and sister were playing at a distance from the camp, and a Chief passed by them. The children called him saucy names and he was very angry. Going to the camp he bade all the people pack up, and move to another camping-ground. Before moving away, the people took the two children who had been saucy to the Chief, and tied them each to a pole. They leaned the poles against some trees, and leaving the children to die, they took their goods, and went to another place. Well, the poor children suffered hunger and thirst, and wept bitterly. At last an old Wolf, the Chief of all the Wolves, saw them, and he said to himself, “How pitiful these children are!” Then he cried out to the pack, “Come, all ye Wolves, from all directions!” In a minute Wolves and Coyotes came running [254] from every part of the Earth, and the old Wolf said to them:— “I pity these children. Seize the poles and lower them slowly. Then chew off the ropes and free the children.” The Wolves and the Coyotes did as he told them to do, and loosed the children. But when the boy and girl saw all the wild animals running about them, they were terribly frightened, for they thought that they would surely be eaten. But the old Wolf said:— “Do not be afraid! Stay with us, and we will care for you.” After that he called four big Wolves from the pack, and said: “You, Clouded Wolf, who are above all others in daring deeds, provide food for this boy and girl. White Wolf, I want you also to look for food for them. Black Coyote, go out and find meat. And you also, Black Wolf, who are brave and cunning, provide meat for them.” Immediately the four big Wolves ran away, and soon came back laden with the best parts of a Buffalo; and piled all the meat in front of the children. [255] The brother and sister ate, and were made strong again. Then the old Wolf told them to go into the timber...

Read More

The Little Owl Boy

Frances Jenkins Olcott was a renowned Children’s author in the early 1900’s. In 1917, she published a collection of Native American stories named “The Red Indian Fairy Book.”  This Arapaho story was in the chapter called “October the month of Nuts and Witches”. Olcott mentions in her introduction that in her re-telling, she eliminated all that was “coarse, fierce and irrational” and made the stories more direct to make it more interesting for the children she was writing for. However, she said she carefully preserved the original character and spirit of the stories. Enjoy! This exerpt is from The Red Indian Fairy Book, published in 1917 by Houghton Mifflin Company. LITTLE OWL BOY (Arapaho) [142] LONG ago, out on the wide prairie, there was an Indian camp, and on the edge of the camp was a tepee, in which lived a brave with his wife and only boy. Now the boy was saucy and bad, and used to shout at his mother and refuse to gather wood and carry water from the spring. His mother scolded and entreated, but all to no purpose, for the boy was saucier than before. One night, when every one in the camp was asleep, the bad boy began to shout, “Hi! Hi! Ho! Ho!” “If you do not stop that,” said his mother, “I will throw you out to Big Owl Owner-of-Bag, who hunts all night for naughty boys.” But the boy only yelled louder. “All right!” said his mother. “Big Owl, here is this foolish boy!” And with that she picked him up, and threw him out of the tepee into the dark, and pulled down the curtain before the door. And who should be standing outside but Big [143] Owl, with his bag wide open, and the boy’s mother did not know it! The boy gave one yell, and fell into the bag; and then Big Owl quickly gave him a lump of roast tongue to keep him quiet. And shutting the mouth of the bag, Big Owl put the boy on his back, and flew away. Well, the mother listened and listened, and when she could not hear the boy cry any more, she said to her husband, who was lying upon the bed: “You never try to make him stop, though he wakes every one in the camp. For my part I have done just right. This will teach him a good lesson.” Then she went to bed, but she could not sleep, nor get the boy out of her mind. When daylight came, she hurried out, but did not see him anywhere. Then she hastened through the camp, from tepee to tepee, asking, “Have you seen my boy?” And when all...

Read More