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The Ignorant Housekeeper

A Cherokee Legend

An old man whose wife had died lived alone with his son. One day he said to the young man, "We need a cook here, so you would better get married." So the young man got a wife and brought her home.

Then his father said, "Now we must work together and do all we can to help her. You go hunting and bring in the meat and I'll look after the corn and beans, and then she can cook."

The young man went into the woods to look for a deer and his father went out into the field to attend to the corn. When they came home at night they were hungry, and the young woman set out a bowl of walnut hominy (kanâ'talu'hï) before them.

It looked queer, somehow, and when the old man examined it he found that the walnuts had been put in whole. "Why didn't you shell the walnuts and then beat up the kernels," said he to the young woman.

"I didn't know they had to be shelled," she replied.

Then the old. man said, "You think about marrying and you don't know how to cook," and he sent her away.

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