Myths and Legends of the Great Plains
Page: 45“What was it?” she asked.
“A woman lay dead; and a little baby boy lay beside her kicking.”
“Why did you not bring it home, old man?” she asked.
“Here it is,” he said. Then he took it out of his blanket.
The wife said, “Old man, let us adopt this child.”
The old man said, “We will swing it around the tepee.” He whirled it up through the smoke hole. It went whirling around and around and fell down, and came creeping into the tent.
Again he took up the baby and threw it up through the smoke hole. It got up and came into the tent walking. Again the old man whirled him out. In came a [Pg 138] boy with some green sticks. He said, “Grandfather, I wish you would make me arrows.”
Again the old man whirled him out. No one knows where he went. This time he came back into the tepee a long man, with many green sticks. He said, “Grandfather, make me arrows of these.”
So the old man made him arrows, and he killed a great many buffaloes, and they made a large tepee, and built up a high sleeping place in the back part of the tepee, and were very rich in dried meat.
The old man said, “Old woman, I am glad we are well off; I will proclaim it abroad.” So when morning came, he went to the top of the tent, and sat, and said, “I, I have abundance laid up. I eat the fat of the animals.”
That is how the meadow lark came to be made, they say. It has a yellow breast and black in the middle, which is the yellow of that morning, and they say the black stripe is made by a smooth buffalo horn worn for a necklace.
The young man said, “Grandfather, I want to go visiting.”
“Yes,” said the old man. “When one is young is the time to go visiting.”
The young man went and came to a people, and lo! they were engaged in shooting arrows through a hoop. [Pg 139] And there was a young man who was simply looking on. By and by he said, “My friend, let us go to your house.”
So they came to his lodge. Now this young man also had been raised by his grandmother, and lived with her, they say.
“Grandmother, I have brought my friend home with me; get him something to eat,” said the grandson.
Grandmother said, “What shall I do?”
Then the visiting young man said, “How is it, grandmother?”
She said, “The people are about to die of thirst. All who go for water will not come back again.”
Fallen Star said, “My friend, take a kettle; we will go for water.”