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Native American Stories : The Deceived Blind Man

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Tales of the North American Indians

The Deceived Blind Man

There was a blind boy (or young man) who lived with his mother and sister. They went to a place where there was no one and lived alone. One day, when they were in their tent, a bear came up to it. Though the boy was blind he had a bow, and the woman aimed it at the bear for him. The arrow struck the bear and killed it. The mother, however, deceived her son and told him he had missed it. She cut it up and then cooked it. The young man now smelled the bear-meat, and asked his mother whether it was not bear he was smelling. She, however, told him he was mistaken. Then she and her daughter ate it, but she would give him nothing. His sister, however, put half her food in her dress secretly, to give him later. When her mother asked her why she was eating so much (noticing that she seemed to eat an unusual quantity), the girl answered that she was hungry. Later, when her mother was away, she gave the meat to her brother. In this way he discovered that his mother had deceived him. Then he wished for another chance to kill something, when he might not be thus deceived by his mother.
One day, when he was out of doors, a large loon came down to him and told him to sit on its head. The loon then flew with him toward its nest, and finally brought him to it, on a large cliff. After they had reached this, it began to fly again, and took him to a pond. The loon then dived with him, in order to make him recover his eyesight. It would dive and ask him whether he was smothering; when he answered that he was, it took him above the surface to regain his breath. Thus they dived, until the blind boy could see again. His eyesight was now very strong; he could see as far as the loon, and could even see where his mother was, and what she was doing. Then he returned. When he came back, his mother was afraid, and tried to excuse herself, and treated him with much consideration.

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