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The Pet Donkey

There was a chief's daughter once who had a great many relations so that
everybody knew she belonged to a great family.

When she grew up she married and there were born to her twin sons. This
caused great rejoicing in her father's camp, and all the village women
came to see the babes. She was very happy.

As the babes grew older, their grandmother made for them two saddle bags
and brought out a donkey.

"My two grandchildren," said the old lady, "shall ride as is becoming
to children having so many relations. Here is this donkey. He is patient
and surefooted. He shall carry the babes in the saddle bags, one on
either side of his back."

It happened one day that the chief's daughter and her husband were
making ready to go on a camping journey. The father, who was quite proud
of his children, brought out his finest pony, and put the saddle bags on
the pony's back.

"There," he said, "my sons shall ride on the pony, not on a donkey; let
the donkey carry the pots and kettles."

So his wife loaded the donkey with the household things. She tied the
tepee poles into two great bundles, one on either side of the donkey's
back; across them she put the travois net and threw into it the pots and
kettles and laid the skin tent across the donkey's back.

But no sooner done than the donkey began to rear and bray and kick. He
broke the tent poles and kicked the pots and kettles into bits and tore
the skin tent. The more he was beaten the more he kicked.

At last they told the grandmother. She laughed. "Did I not tell you the
donkey was for the children," she cried. "He knows the babies are
the chief's children. Think you he will be dishonored with pots and
kettles?" and she fetched the children and slung them over the donkey's
back, when he became at once quiet again.

The camping party left the village and went on their journey. But the
next day as they passed by a place overgrown with bushes, a band of
enemies rushed out, lashing their ponies and sounding their war whoop.
All was excitement. The men bent their bows and seized their lances.
After a long battle the enemy fled. But when the camping party came
together again--where were the donkey and the two babes? No one knew.
For a long time they searched, but in vain. At last they turned to go
back to the village, the father mournful, the mother wailing. When they
came to the grandmother's tepee, there stood the good donkey with the
two babes in the saddle bags.

Next: The Rabbit And The Elk

Previous: The Pet Rabbit

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