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wonderful bird.

From blackfeet indian stories by george bird grinnell.
Age Rating 8 Plus.

Start of Story

One day, as Old Man was walking about among the trees, he saw something that seemed very queer. A little bird was sitting on the branch of a tree. Every little while it would make a strange noise, and every time it made this noise its eyes flew out of its head and fastened on a branch of the tree. Then after a little while the bird would make another sort of noise and its eyes would go back to their places in its head. Old Man called out to the bird, "Little brother, teach me how to do that." "If I show you how," the bird answered, "you must not send your eyes out of your head more than four times in a day. If you do, you will be sorry." "It shall be as you say, little brother. It is for you to give, and I will listen to what you say." When the bird had taught Old Man how to do this, he was glad. He began to do it, and did it four times right away. Then he said, "Why did that bird tell me to do this only four times? He has no sense. I will do it again." So once more he made his eyes go out, but now when he called to them they would not come back. He shouted out to the bird, "Little brother, come here, and help me to get back my eyes." The little bird did not answer him; it had flown away. Now Old Man felt all over the branches of the tree with his hands, but he could not find his eyes. So he went away and wandered over the prairie for a long time, crying and calling to the animals to help him. As he was blind, he could find nothing to eat, and he began to be very hungry. A wolf teased him a great deal and had much fun. It had found a dead buffalo, and taking a piece of the meat, it would hold the meat close to Old Man's face. Then Old Man would say, "I smell something dead, I wish I could find it; I am almost starved." He felt all around for it. Once when the wolf was doing this, Old Man caught him, and plucking out one of the wolf's eyes, he put it in his own head. Then he could see, and was able to find his own eyes, but never again could he do the trick the little bird had taught him.


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