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Synopsis

Old Indian Legends
By Zitkala-Sa

"I beg of you make me into a bird with green and purple feathers like yours!" implored Iktomi, tired now of playing the brave in beaded buckskins. The peacock then spoke to Iktomi: "I have a magic power." My touch will change you in a moment into the most beautiful peacock if you can keep one condition." "Yes! yes!" shouted Iktomi, jumping up and down, patting his lips with his palm, which caused his voice to vibrate in a peculiar fashion. "Yes! yes! I could keep ten conditions if only you would change me into a bird with long, bright tail feathers. Oh, I am so ugly! I am so tired of being myself! Change me! Do!" -from "Iktomi and the Fawn" The Lakota writer Zitkala-Sa, or "Red Bird"-the pen name of Native American author, teacher, and activist GERTRUDE SIMMONS BONNIN (1876-1938)-is renowned for being among the first tellers of contemporary Native American history, culture, and experience in her own voice, unaltered by outside influences. Here, she gathers legends and stories she learned as a child on the Yankton Reservation. This replica of the first 1901 edition includes the tales of: • "Iktomi and the Ducks" • "Iktomi's Blanket" • "Iktomi and the Muskrat" • "The Badger and the Bear" • "Shooting of the Red Eagle" • "Dance in a Buffalo Shell" • "The Toad and the Boy" • "Iya, the Camp-Eater" • and more.

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