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p. 143

Why the Animals Remain Animals

BAI'IKURI was tall and very strong. He worked hard to support his children. Sometimes he would go to the sea to get fish and oysters. Other times he would go into the sierra and gather honey, roots of various kinds, and also fruit. Part of these things he would give to his children and the rest he would trade for hides in order to clothe them.

One day he came back loaded with a great deal of fruit. He was tired, and wet from sweating. He sat down on a piece of a log in the shade of a mesquite tree, rolled a cigarette, lit it, and smoked for a while.

Immediately many birds gathered around him. Among them was a bird called Wa'ikumarewi.

Sitting there in the shade, Bai'ikuri sneezed, "ha'achis!"

Wa'ikumarewi wanted to imitate him. He also sneezed, "ha'achis!" But he jerked his head so hard that his neck broke and his head flew off and fell far away.

After that none of the animals ever wanted to imitate men.

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