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The Boy And The Beast






Source: Myths And Legends Of California And The Old Southwest

Pima (Arizona)

Once an old woman lived with her daughter and son-in-law and their
little boy. They were following the trail of the Apache Indians. Now
whenever a Pima Indian sees the trail of an Apache he draws a ring
around it; then he can catch him sooner. And these Pimas drew circles
around the trail of the Apaches they were following, but one night when
they were asleep, the Apaches came down upon them. They took the man and
younger woman by the hair and shook them out of their skins, just as one
would shake corn out of a sack. So the boy and the old woman were left
alone.

Now these two had to live on berries and anything they could find, and
they wandered from place to place. In one place a strange beast, big
enough to swallow people, camped in the bushes near them. The
grand-mother told the boy not to go near these bushes. But the boy took
some sharp stones in his hands, and went toward them. As he came near,
the great monster began to breathe. He began to suck in his breath and
he sucked the boy right into his stomach. But with his sharp stones the
boy began to cut the beast, so that he died. Then the boy made a hole
large enough to climb out of.

When his grandmother came to look for him, the boy met her and said, "I
have killed that monster."

The grandmother said, "Oh, no. Such a little boy as you are to kill such
a great monster!"

The boy said, "But I was inside of him. just look at the stones I cut
him with."

Then the grandmother went softly up to the bushes, and looked at the
monster. It was full of holes, just as the little boy had said.

Then they moved down among the berry bushes and had all they wanted to
eat.





Next: Why The Apaches Are Fierce

Previous: The Thirsty Quails



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