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Native American Legends

The Kind Hawk

A Hopi Legend

A long time ago, in a happy Hopi village, there lived a little boy. His mother loved him so much that she dressed him in a pretty shirt and embroidered moccasins.

One day the boy wandered away from the village, over the plain, and a band of fierce Navaho Indians swooped down and bore him off. They carried him to their camp, where the squaws took his shirt and moccasins away, and gave them to the Chief's son. Then they made the boy work all day, and gave him so little to eat, that, in a few weeks, he grew thin and sick.

Now, near the Navaho camp was a high bluff on which lived a kind-hearted Hawk. It often flew over the camp, and saw the boy working hard, and never playing with the other children. So one day, when all the Navahos were gathered together at the Chief's lodge, the Hawk flew down and hovered over the boy's head.

"Oh, do not kill me!" begged the boy.

"I am not going to hurt you," answered the Hawk, "I am sorry for you. Jump on my back, and hold on to my wings, and I'll carry you away."

The boy jumped on its back, and held on tight, and the bird flew up in the air. It passed over the place where the Navahos were gathered, and when they saw the boy on the back of the Hawk, they were filled with rage and wonder.

The bird flew to the high bluff, and put down the boy, then it went back to the camp. It swooped down on the Chief's little son, and pulling off his embroidered shirt, carried it to the boy. Then the Hawk returned to the camp again, and taking a pair of handsome moccasins off another boy, carried them to the bluff. The Navahos were terribly frightened, and packing up their goods, left the place.

The Hawk first dressed the boy, then fed him on Rabbit-meat, and other good things. After that it took him on its back and flew with him to his mother. Then, without waiting to be thanked, the bird flew away again to its bluff.

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