The Little Boy Who Was Changed Into an Owl (Native American Folk Tale)

Once upon a time a little Indian boy kept crying and crying all day long. His father and mother could not make him stop crying, so finally they put him outside and shut the door; for they could not stand his noise any longer.

He kept on squalling outside, so an owl came and took him away.

When the little boy”s father went out to get his son – because he thought the boy had stopped crying – he could not find him anywhere. He looked all over the village and all over the mesa, but he could not find him. He was distressed and he and the little boy”s mother wept and mourned.

Several days later the father took his burros to go for a load of wood. He passed near The Owls” Cave, where many owls live. As he passed by he heard his little boy”s voice calling, “Father, Father, here I am.” He looked into the cave, but he could see only a lot of owls up on the rocks inside. There was one owl bigger than all the rest and that owl said, “I am your little boy, Father.”

“Well, come to me if you are,” replied his father.

“No,” said another owl – the same owl that had taken the little boy away – “He cannot go with you unless he promises not to cry so much and be such a bad boy.”

“I will be good,” said the little-boy-owl.

“Well then, you may fly down to your father. He must put you in the kiva and keep you there for four days; and if you have kept your promise to be good, then you will turn back into a little boy once more.”

So the father took the little-boy-owl by his wing and carried him home. He put him into the kiva, as the old owl had told him, and kept him there for four days. And sure enough at the end of that time the owl was a little boy again.

And the little boy was good ever after.

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