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The Captive






Category: PIMA TALES

Source: Indian Legends Retold

There was once a little boy who was brought up by his grandmother.
While he was yet very young, his mother had been taken captive by the
warlike Apaches. He thought about her a great deal, for he had heard
that they treat their prisoners cruelly.

One day he made up his mind to run away and find her. The way was long
and hard, but at last he descried the enemy's camp upon the plain, and
when he came nearer, he could see a woman standing, looking toward the
mesa and her old home. He knew her at once by the white scars which
covered her arms, showing where she had been tortured with fire. The
child turned himself into a dove and flew straight to his mother, who
took him in her hands, and recognized him as her son.

She caressed and fondled him, but told him that he must fly home
again before the Apache chief returned, as it would not be safe for
him to stay. While they were talking together, the chief entered
suddenly.

"What do you mean by whispering to that dove?" he demanded fiercely.
"There is sorcery here." And he took the bird in his powerful hands
and squeezed it so that the delicate flesh and bones oozed out between
his fingers.

The woman screamed, and the murdered dove instantly became a whole
flock of hawks, which beat the chief down with their wings and pecked
out his eyes. While they attacked him, the captive escaped, and
returned to her own people.





Next: The Naughty Grandchildren

Previous: Children Of The Cloud



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