Close

Note: You will only see this box once.

We would like to invite you to sign up for the completely free Apples4theteacher.com Newsletter! Join our other 480,975 readers.

Subscribers are automatically registered to receive free teaching resources including lesson plan ideas, printables and more. Stay informed of all our new resources as they're developed...we have some exciting features coming in 2014!

P.S.. To officially become a newsletter subscriber, be sure to confirm your subscription by responding to the email we send you.



We respect your privacy!
Home Kids Safe Search for Apples4theteacher.com Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter! Add this site to your favorites folder Sitemap - Contents of Website Contact Us
Home of Apples4theteacher.com - Elementary lessons, stories, poetry, vocabulary worksheets, children's book reviews, craft ideas for teachers.
Thematic Book Reviews Fun Printable Coloring Sheets Holidays Events and Occasions Teacher Worksheets
Thematic Books Color Holiday Fun Teacher Printables
 
An Educational Resource Site for
Teachers and Homeschoolers
  September 21, 2014
Ad
Featured Teaching Ideas

Ad

Printable Short Stories - Native AmericansNative Americans - Short Stories

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Why the Chipmunk's Back is Striped

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans How the Ducks Got Their Fine Feathers

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Why the Kingfisher Always Wears a War Bonnet

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Why the Curlew's Bill is Long and Crooked

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Old Man Remakes the World

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Why Blackfeet Never Kill Mice

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans How the Otter Skin Became Great Medicine

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Old Man Steals the Sun's Leggings

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Old Man and His Conscience

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Old Man's Treachery

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Why the Night Hawk's Wings are Beautiful

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Why the Mountain Lion is Long and Lean

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans The Fire Leggings

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans The Moon and the Great Snake

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Why the Deer Has No Gall

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Why Indians Whip the Buffalo Berries From the Bushes

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Old Man and the Fox

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Why the Birch Tree Wears the Slashes in It's Bark

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Mistakes of Old Man

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans How the Man Found His Mate

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Dreams

Printable Short Stories - Native Americans Retrospection

Ad

Show Us Some Love -
Click the +1 Button!
 

Children's Native American Stories
Indian Tales for Teachers

 
 

Home > Social Studies > Native American > Short Stories > Old Man and the Fox

Old Man and the Fox

I am sure that the plains Indian never made nor used the stone arrowhead. I have heard white men say that they had seen Indians use them; but I have never found an Indian that ever used them himself, or knew of their having been used by his people. Thirty years ago I knew Indians, intimately, who were nearly a hundred years old, who told me that the stone arrowhead had never been in use in their day, nor had their fathers used them in their own time. Indians find these arrow points just as they find the stone mauls and hammers, which I have seen them use thousands of times, but they do not make them any more than they make the stone mauls and hammers. In the old days, both the head of the lance and the point of the arrow were of bone; even knives were of bone, but some other people surely made the arrow-points that are scattered throughout the United States and Europe, I am told.

One night I asked War Eagle if he had ever known the use, by Indians, of the stone arrowhead, and he said he had not. He told me that just across the Canadian line there was a small lake, surrounded by trees, wherein there was an island covered with long reeds and grass. All about the edge of this island were willows that grew nearly to the water, but intervening there was a narrow beach of stones. Here, he said, the stone arrowheads had been made by little ghost-people who lived there, and he assured me that he had often seen these strange little beings when he was a small boy. Whenever his people were camped by this lake the old folks waked the children at daybreak to see the inhabitants of this strange island; and always when a noise was made, or the sun came up, the little people hid away. Often he had seen their heads above the grass and tiny willows, and his grandfather had told him that all the stone arrow-heads had been made on that island, and in war had been shot all over the world, by magic bows.

"No," he said, "I shall not lie to you, my friend. I never saw those little people shoot an arrow, but there are so many arrows there, and so many pieces of broken ones, that it proves that my grandfather was right in what he told me. Besides, nobody could ever sleep on that island."

I have heard a legend wherein OLD-man, in the beginning, killed an animal for the people to eat, and then instructed them to use the ribs of the dead brute to make knives and arrow- points. I have seen lance-heads, made from shank bones, that were so highly polished that they resembled pearl, and I have in my possession bone arrow-points such as were used long ago. Indians do not readily forget their tribal history, and I have photographed a war-bonnet, made of twisted buffalo hair, that was manufactured before the present owner's people had, or ever saw, the horse. The owner of this bonnet has told me that the stone arrowhead was never used by Indians, and that he knew that ghost-people made and used them when the world was young.

The bow of the plains Indian was from thirty-six to forty-four inches long, and made from the wood of the choke-cherry tree. Sometimes bows were made from the service (or sarvice) berry bush, and this bush furnished the best material for arrows. I have seen hickory bows among the plains Indians, too, and these were longer and always straight, instead of being fashioned like Cupid's weapon. These hickory bows came from the East, of course, and through trading, reached the plains country. I have also seen bows covered with the skins of the bull-snake, or wound with sinew, and bows have been made from the horns of the elk, in the early days, after a long course of preparation.

Before Lewis and Clark crossed this vast country, the Blackfeet had traded with the Hudson Bay Company, and steel knives and lance-heads, bearing the names of English makers, still remain to testify to the relations existing, in those days, between those famous traders and men of the Piegan, Blood, and Blackfoot tribes, although it took many years for traders on our own side of the line to gain their friendship. Indeed, trappers and traders blamed the Hudson Bay Company for the feel- ing of hatred held by the three tribes of Black-feet for the "Americans"; and there is no doubt that they were right to some extent, although the killing of the Blackfoot warrior by Captain Lewis in 1805 may have been largely to blame for the trouble. Certain it is that for many years after the killing, the Blackfeet kept traders and trappers on the dodge unless they were Hudson Bay men, and in 1810 drove the "American" trappers and traders from their fort at Three-Forks.

It was early when we gathered in War Eagle's lodge, the children and I, but the storytelling began at once.

"Now I shall tell you a story that will show you how little OLD-man cared for the welfare of others," said War Eagle.

"It happened in the fall, this thing I shall tell you, and the day was warm and bright. OLD-man and his brother the Red Fox were travelling together for company. They were on a hillside when OLD-Man said: 'I am hungry. Can you not kill a Rabbit or something for us to eat? The way is long, and I am getting old, you know. You are swift of foot and cunning, and there are Rabbits among these rocks.'

"'Ever since morning came I have watched for food, but the moon must be wrong or something, for I see nothing that is good to eat,' replied the Fox. 'Besides that, my medicine is bad and my heart is weak. You are great, and I have heard you can do most anything. Many snows have known your footprints, and the snows make us all wise. I think you are the one to help, not I.'

fox

"'Listen, brother,' said OLD-man, 'I have neither bow nor lance--nothing to use in hunting. Your weapons are ever with you--your great nose and your sharp teeth. Just as we came up this hill I saw two great Buffalo-Bulls. You were not looking, but I saw them, and if you will do as I want you to we shall have plenty of meat. This is my scheme; I shall pull out all of your hair, leaving your body white and smooth, like that of the fish. I shall leave only the white hair that grows on the tip of your tail, and that will make you funny to look at. Then you are to go before the Bulls and commence to dance and act foolish. Of course the Bulls will laugh at you, and as soon as they get to laughing you must act sillier than ever. That will make them laugh so hard that they will fall down and laugh on the ground. When they fall, I shall come upon them with my knife and kill them. Will you do as I suggest, brother, or will you starve?'

"'What! Pull out my hair? I shall freeze with no hair on my body, OLD-man. No--I will not suffer you to pull my hair out when the winter is so near,' cried the Fox.

"'Ho! It is vanity, my brother, not fear of freezing. If you will do this we shall have meat for the winter, and a fire to keep us warm. See, the wind is in the south and warm. There is no danger of freezing. Come, let me do it,' replied OLD-man.

"'Well--if you are sure that I won't freeze, all right,' said the Fox, 'but I'll bet I'll be sorry.'

"So Old-man pulled out all of the Fox's hair, leaving only the white tip that grew near the end of his tail. Poor little Red Fox shivered in the warm breeze that OLD-man told about, and kept telling OLD-man that the hair-pulling hurt badly. Finally OLD-man finished the job and laughed at the Fox, saying: 'Why, you make me laugh, too. Now go and dance before the Bulls, and I shall watch and be ready for my part of the scheme.'

"Around the hill went the poor Red Fox and found the Bulls. Then he began to dance before them as OLD-man had told him. The Bulls took one look at the hairless Fox and began to laugh. My! How they did laugh, and then the Red Fox stood upon his hind legs and danced some more; acted sillier, as OLD-man had told him. Louder and louder laughed the Bulls, until they fell to the ground with their breath short from the laughing. The Red Fox kept at his antics lest the Bulls get up before OLD-man reached them; but soon he saw him coming, with a knife in his hand.

"Running up to the Bulls, OLD-man plunged his knife into their hearts, and they died. Into the ground ran their blood, and then OLD- man laughed and said: 'Ho, I am the smart one. I am the real hunter. I depend on my head for meat--ha!--ha!-ha!'

"Then OLD-man began to dress and skin the Bulls, and he worked hard and long. In fact it was nearly night when he got the work all done.

"Poor little Red Fox had stood there all the time, and OLD-man never noticed that the wind had changed and was coming from the north. Yes, poor Red Fox stood there and spoke no word; said nothing at all, even when OLD-man had finished.

"'Hi, there, you! what's the matter with you? Are you sorry that we have meat? Say, answer me!'

"But the Red Fox was frozen stiff--was dead. Yes, the north wind had killed him while OLD-man worked at the skinning. The Fox had been caught by the north wind naked, and was dead. OLD-man built a fire and warmed his hands; that was all he cared for the Red Fox, and that is all he cared for anybody. He might have known that no person could stand the north wind without a robe; but as long as he was warm himself--that was all he wanted.

"That is all of that story. Tomorrow night I shall tell you why the birch tree wears those slashes in its bark. That was some of OLD-man's work, too. Ho!"

 

Email this page to a friend Email this page to a friend

 


Follow Us...

Follow Us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow Us on Pinterest

Free Newsletter!

Join our other 480,975 readers.


We respect your privacy!

Newsletter subscribers are automatically registered to receive free teaching resources including lesson plan ideas and printables.


Native American Activities and Games for Kids

Native American Activities

Native American Unit of Study

Native American Games

Coloring Pages

Names and Rituals

Native American Plays - Skits

Songs and Dances

Native American Printables

Poems and Rhymes

Short Stories

Fun Holiday Activities and Games for Kids

 

Holidays and

Teaching Themes

September Teaching Activities & Worksheets

Back to School Thematic Unit - Back to School
Labor Day Thematic Unit - Labor Day
Father's Day Thematic Unit - Father's Day
Grandparents Day  Theme Unit of Study - Grandparents Day
Patriot Day Theme Unit of Study - 9/11 - Patriot Day
Hispanic Heritage Thematic Unit - Hispanic Heritage Month
Constitution Day Thematic Unit - Constitution Day | Constitution Week
Fall - Autumn Theme Unit of Study - Fall Activities
September Calendar of Events - September Teaching Ideas - Other September Teaching Ideas

October Teaching Activities & Worksheets

Fire Safety Theme Unit of Study - Fire Safety Week
Christopher Columbus Theme Unit of Study - Columbus Day
Thanksgiving Thematic Unit - Canadian Thanksgiving
Halloween Theme Unit of Study - Halloween
October Calendar of Events - October Teaching Ideas - Other October Teaching Ideas

Sample Thematic Activities & Teaching Ideas

Letter Activities, Coloring Pages, Worksheets and Games - Letters of the Alphabet Games
Community Helpers Games, Activities, Worksheets, Books, Poetry, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Community Helpers
100th Day of School Games, Activities, Worksheets, Books, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - The 100th day of School Activities
Seasons Thematic Unit - Summer - Summer
Seasons Thematic Unit - Fall - Autumn - Games, Coloring Pages, Activities, Worksheets, Articles, Books, Poetry, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Fall
Seasons Thematic Unit - Winter - Winter
Seasons Thematic Unit - Spring - Spring
U.S. Presidents Games, Coloring Pages, Activities, Worksheets, Timelines, Books, Poetry, Stories, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Presidents
Dr. Seuss Thematic Teaching Unit - NEA Read Across America - Read Across America - Dr. Seuss's Birthday
Native Americans Thematic Unit - Games, Coloring Pages, Activities, Worksheets, Articles, Books, Poetry, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Native American Study
USA States - U.S. Geography Thematic Unit - U.S. Geography
ADD, ADHD, Literacy, ESL, Special Ed, Bilingual Ed, Gifted, Health Ed, Early Childhood Education   
 
Home Search About Us Contact Compensation and Affiliation Affidavit Getting Started Privacy Policy Terms of Service Sitemap

Apples4theteacher.com is a teacher created website with elementary and homeschooling activities:
first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade and sixth grade teaching materials and lesson plans.

Copyright ©1999-2014
Owned and operated by Webstantaneous Web Marketing, LLC