Three stories from the SouxHi dear friends and followers.
North Dakota is the ancestral home of more than one Sioux Peoples: the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota. They are related by language, customs, and political alliances.
THE FORGOTTEN EAR OF CORN
"Oh, do not leave me! Do not go away without me."
The woman was astonished. "What child can that be?" she asked herself. "What babe can be lost in the cornfield?"
She set down her robe in which she had tied up her corn, and went back to search; but she found nothing.
As she started away she heard the voice again:
"Oh, do not leave me. Do not go away without me."
THE LITTLE MICE
The little mouse had a cousin who was fond of dancing and talk, but who did not like to work. She was not careful to get her cache of beans and the season was already well gone before she thought to bestir herself. When she came to realize her need, she found she had no packing bag. So she went to her hardworking cousin and said:
"Cousin, I have no beans stored for winter and the season is nearly gone. But I have no snake skin to gather the beans in. Will you lend me one?"
"I was here."
"What were you doing?"
"I was busy talking and dancing."
"And now you are punished," said the other. "It is always so with lazy, careless people. But I will let you have the snake skin. And now go, and by hard work and industry, try to recover your wasted time."
THE PET RABBIT
Now the little girl had a cousin who loved her very dearly and wished to do her honor; so her cousin said to herself:
"I love my little cousin well and will ask her to let me carry her pet rabbit around;" (for thus do Indian women when they wish to honor a friend; they ask permission to carry about the friend's babe).
She then went to the little girl and said:
Her mother, too, said to her: "Oh no, do not let our little grandchild go away from our tepee."
But the cousin answered: "Oh, do let me carry it. I do so want to show my cousin honor." At last they let her go away with the pet rabbit on her back.
When the little girl's cousin came home to her tepee, some rough boys who were playing about began to make sport of her. To tease the little girl they threw stones and sticks at the pet rabbit. At last a stick struck the little rabbit upon the head and killed it.
When her pet was brought home dead, the little rabbit's adopted mother wept bitterly. She cut off her hair for mourning and all her little girl friends wailed with her. Her mother, too, mourned with them.
"Alas!" they cried, "alas, for the little rabbit. He was always kind and gentle. Now your child is dead and you will be lonesome."