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Tag Archive: north america

Jun 08 2013

Why the Vulture is plain colored

In the beginning, birds were created without covering. Ashamed of their long legs and ill-shaped bodies, they hid themselves among trees and rocks. They were also without song, as their throats had not yet been fitted for producing music. Long afterward, they learned their songs from whispering leaves, falling rain, running brooks and whistling winds. …

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Jun 04 2013

Bird stories, the Greater Roadrunner

The excrement of the roadrunner (correcaminos) is used against bad witchery. It should be bolied and drank. The excrement is also used among the Otomies to straighten the legs of children who cannot walk. If someone on his way to hunt runs into a roadrunner (correcaminos), the hunter will not find animals to hunt. To …

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May 28 2013

The Mallard talked and his enemy the Falcon heard.

The wintry winds had already begun to whistle and the waves to rise when the Drake and his mate gathered their half-grown brood together on the shore of their far northern lake. “Wife,” said he, “it is now time to take the children southward, to the Warm Countries which they have never yet seen!” Very …

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May 28 2013

It is never wise to be loud if you are small and the Crane is near

In the heart of the woods there lay a cool, green pond. The shores of the pond were set with ranks of tall bulrushes that waved crisply in the wind, and in the shallow bays there were fleets of broad water lily leaves. Among the rushes and reeds and in the quiet water there dwelt …

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May 27 2013

The plucking of Eagle feathers, a Zuni ritual

The plucking of an eagle occurs in the house of a prominent shiwanni on the fourth day of a celebration. The process is as follows: The male members of the family are busy arranging plumes for their te’likinawe, when the stepson of the shiwanni is dispatched for an eagle (the eagles are kept in cages), …

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May 27 2013

Children beware, do not drink dirty water

A quail had more than 20 children and with them she wandered over the whole country in search of water and could not find it. It was very hot and they were all crying. Where can we get some water? Where can we get some water ? But for a long time they could find …

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May 27 2013

Why the Bluebird is blue and Coyote is not

The bluebird was once a very ugly color. But there was a lake where no river flowed in or out and the bird bathed in this four times every morning for four mornings. On the fourth morning it shed all its feathers and came out in its bare skin, but on the fifth morning it …

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May 26 2013

The Chief Kingfisher and his guest

Txamsem went walking, not knowing which way to turn. He came to a creek, and saw a house in front of him. It was a very nice house. He went toward it; and when he went in, he saw a good-looking young man who was making a hook. When Txamsem entered, the young man looked …

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May 25 2013

Why the Cormorant can’t speak properly

Txamsem went walking, not knowing which way to turn. He went toward the sea; and, behold! he saw a house some distance away. He came near, entered, and sat down on one side of the fire. A man was there with his wife. This was the house of Chief Cormorant. The man’s wife arose and …

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May 24 2013

Why the Chickadee is a true teller and the Titmouse a liar

Sometimes an old woman would approach along the trail where the children were picking strawberries or playing near the village, and would say to them cordially, “Come, my grandchildren, come to your granny and let granny dress your hair.” When some little girl ran up and laid her head in the old woman’s lap to …

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