Sacred Texts  Native American  Southwest  Index  Previous  Next 


There was a boy who never obeyed his father and mother. Every little animal that came near him, he stepped on it, and when he came across a snake he threw stones at it and killed it. One morning he started to go out and his father and mother said, "Don't kill any little bugs or snakes on your way." But he didn't mind; he stepped on bugs and threw stones at the snakes. The spirits of the bugs and snakes were angry. They had a meeting at night and they said, "We can not stand this any more. He has hurt a great number of us." Some of them who sat in council had broken arms, some had broken legs, and many had suffered from the boy. They agreed one of them should hurt the boy. They chose. the swiftest snake. He said, "I can't do it, he would kill me before I could run away. He, is a very cruel boy." Then they chose the sand snake and said to him, "You are to bite the boy." "No, for he is very cruel. He would kill me before I could bite him." "All right." Next they chose the rattlesnake and said to him, "You must bite the boy." "I can not do that, for he is very cruel and he would kill me before I could bite him." They chose the tip beetle and told him, "You shall be the one to kill the boy." "How can I kill him? I am just a little bug. You are all bigger and more dangerous animals. In what way shall I kill him? But I will do as you say."

In the morning they said to tip beetle, "The boy will come down the river road, and on his way he will be killing the bugs." The

p. 128

tip beetle went down by the road; he saw the boy coming and he was picking up stones to throw at him. As the boy came close he lifted up a stone, but could not throw it. He kicked the tip beetle and just as he kicked him, tip beetle stood on his head and stung him right in the middle of his foot. The boy screamed, "Ouch!" He sat down and tip beetle went off; he didn't kill him. The boy couldn't stand up any more; his leg was all swollen up. He, was angry and he kept on screaming. A man came along from his fields and asked, "What is the matter?" "I was about to kick a tip beetle, but it stung me on my foot." "Now you see what you get for being such a cruel boy. You'll see!" He carried the boy home on his back. By the time they got to his home, he was all swollen up and he died that night. So the little bug killed him.


127:17a Informant 1. Notes, p. 231.

Next: The Man who was Cruel to Animals