A Little Cinderella (Native American Folk Tale)

Once upon a time Yellow Corn and Blue Corn had a little sister whom they treated very unkindly. They made her live out in the turkey house, where she had to eat with the turkeys, and they did not give her any clothes to wear except a few of their old ragged ones.

Every day this little girl had to go out with the turkeys and watch them to keep them from wandering away and getting lost. One day the turkeys led her to a spring. They jumped into the spring to bathe and each turkey dropped something nice for their kind little keeper. The first turkey dropped some pretty feathers as he jumped into the water; the second turkey dropped a pair of moccasins from his feet; the third turkey dropped a belt; and the fourth turkey, a new black dress. The little girl was very happy. She dressed up in the new clothes and set out for home with the turkeys.

Some children in the village saw her coming. “Oh look!” they cried, “There comes Yellow Corn”s and Blue Corn”s sister all dressed up in some new clothes!”

Yellow Corn and Blue Corn heard them and ran out to see if what they heard was true. When the saw the new clothes they ran to their little sister:

“How lovely your clothes are!” said Yellow Corn, “Come, go into the house with us and let us see them.”

“Yes,” said Blue Corn, “Come in and we will give you some corn cakes and deer”s meat.”

“No, thank you,” replied the little sister, “I had rather stay with my turkeys and eat with them just as I have always done.” For she knew that Yellow Corn and Blue Corn would be unkind to her again as soon as her clothes grew old, and perhaps they would take her clothes away from her if she went in; but the turkeys had always treated her kindly.

“Well, go on then with your old turkeys,” said the Corn girls, and they picked up handfuls of pebbles and threw them at the little girl and the turkeys.

Early the following morning the little girl said to the turkeys, “My sisters are so unkind to me that I am going into the hole (The hole that swallows people down and they never come back again); but do not follow me. They will be mean to you, too, when I am gone, so do not let them catch you. When they chase you, fly away to the north, the south, the east and the west.” And the little girl and the turkeys went out towards the hole. They walked along singing. The little girl sang: “Turkeys, turkeys, leaf on water. Turkeys, turkeys, leaf on water. See how it floats so light. See how it floats so light,” and the turkeys answered, “Piu, piu, chow, chow.”

When they reached the river they met an old man with a load of wood on his back: “Where are you going with your turkeys, little girl?” he asked.

“I am going into the hole,” she replied, “My sisters are so unkind to me that I am not happy, so I am going into the hole.”

The old man put down his wood and hurried to the village to find Yellow Corn and Blue Corn.

“Go catch your sister!” he told them, “and tell her you will not be unkind to her any more; for she is going into the hole to tell the good spirits in the earth about you.”

Yellow Corn and Blue Corn ran as fast as they could to catch their sister. The turkeys saw them coming and flew away to the north, south, east and west. When the overtook the little girl she was almost down in the hole. They caught her by the hair and tried to pull her out. “Come back, little sister and we will be good to you.” But the little sister knew better than that.

“How can I come out if you hold my hair? Please turn it loose,” she said.

The girls thought she was coming back so they turned loose her hair; but the little sister disappeared out of their sight forever and lived happily with the good spirits in the hole.

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