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When the Storm God Rides, by Florence Stratton, collected by Bessie M. Reid [1936], at

p. 84

The Wise Man's Big Bald Head

An Indian tribe had in it a man who from his boyhood had always tried to find out secrets which nature kept from the Indians. He would not believe the old legends of his tribe. When he heard them he shook his head and walked away thinking. He did not believe many things his friends believed, and he believed things which they did not. This strange man said he wanted to know the truth about everything. He wandered from tribe to tribe asking questions. He looked long into the stars and wondered what made them twinkle and wink at him. He kept thinking all his life, until he became known as a very wise man.

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As this man grew older he lost his hair, and as he lost his hair his head seemed to grow larger. Finally, when he became an old man, he was entirely bald, and his head had become very large indeed. The other Indians said it was because his head was filled with so much wisdom that it had to swell to keep all the wisdom from running out his ears.

One day when the wise man lay sleeping the medicine man of the tribe looked down at him and thought what a pity it would be for all that wisdom to be buried with the man when the time came for him to die. The medicine man wondered about how it might be saved, for the old man did not have much longer to live. Finally the medicine man thought of

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something. He bent over and touched the old man's big round head with his long fingers and muttered magic words.

A strange thing happened. The wise man's body began to shrink as he slept, and his arms and legs began turning into stems and leaves. His big bald head took the shape of a squash growing on the stems and leaves. In this way the tribe never lost what was in the wise man's head, because the squash produced seeds which sprouted and gave them more squashes. When the seeds were dried and cracked they were very good to eat. They should have been, for once they were the wise man's thoughts and his great wisdom.

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