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.