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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "Even a Grass Plant Can Become Someone if it Tries"

Even a Grass Plant Can Become Someone if it Tries

"To be safe, I must be a mouse," thought the changeling. "Animals are a higher kind of being than plants, anyway. I will be a mouse."

Instantly it became a mouse and ran off, glad of the change. Now and then it would pause to dig up a tuber, or would sit up on its hind feet to look around on the new scenes that came into view.

"This is much more delightful than being a plant and always staying in one place and never seeing anything of the world," it said.

While traveling nimbly along in this manner, the mouse observed a strange white animal coming through the air toward it, which kept dropping down upon the ground, and after stopping to eat something, it would fly on again.

When it came near, the mouse saw that it was a great white owl. At the same moment the owl saw the mouse and swooped down upon it. Darting off, the mouse was fortunate enough to escape by running into a hole made by one of its kind, and the owl flew off.

After a while the mouse ventured to come out of its shelter, though its heart still beat painfully from its recent fright. "I will be an owl, and in that way be safe," thought the mouse, and with the wish it was changed into a beautiful white owl.

"Oh, this is fine!" he said. "It is glorious to fly through the air, and go up almost to the sky where I can look down on all the world. I'm glad that I was not content to stay always down in the dirt."

With slow, noiseless wing flaps the owl set off toward the north, pausing every now and then to catch and eat a mouse. After a long flight Sledge Island came in view and the owl thought it would go there. When far out at sea its untried wings became so tired that only with the greatest difficulty did it manage to reach the shore, where it perched upon a piece of driftwood that stood up in the sand.

In a short time it saw two fine-looking men pass along the shore, and the old feeling of discontent arose again. "Those men were talking in a better-sounding language than mine. They seemed to understand each other, and they laughed and were having a good time.

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