Published on January 4, 2013 by Casey
Told by Strange Owl in Birney, Montana
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Sun had beautiful, wonder-working leggings which could set the prairie on fire and drive the game toward the hunter’s bow. Veeho, the clever trickster, greatly admired them, and one day when he came to visit, he sneaked off with them when Sun was not looking. Chuckling, Veeho said to himself, “Now I can work many miracles and be the world’s greatest hunter.”
Toward evening he was tired from running so fast and far. “Sun can’t catch up with me now,” he decided. Rolling up the magic leggings and placing them under his head for a pillow, he lay down to sleep. He slept well, but in the morning he found himself back in Sun’s tipi. Veeho is so stupid he didn’t know that all the world is contained within Sun’s lodge. But though he was surprised to wake up there after having run so far and fast, he is hard to embarrass. Sun smiled and said: “What are you doing with my leggings?”
Veeho may be stupid, but he is never at a loss for an answer. He said, “I just put my head on them to sleep softly. I knew you wouldn’t mind.”
“I don’t mind,” said Sun. “You can use them as a pillow if you want to.” Sun knew very well that Veeho was lying, as usual, and meant to steal the wonder-working leggings again. But he only said, “Well, I must go walk my daily path.”
“Don’t hurry back,” said Veeho. “I’ll keep an eye on your lodge.”
Once he could no longer see Sun, Veeho ran off with the leggings again, this time twice as fast and twice as far.
Again he went to sleep, and again woke to find himself back inside Sun’s tipi. Sun laughed and told Veeho:
“If you’re that fond of my leggings, you can keep them. Let’s pretend that I’m holding a giveaway feast and that you got these as a present.” Veeho was overjoyed. “I never meant to steal these beautiful leggings, friend Sun. You know me — I’m always up to some trick; I was only fooling. But now that you’ve given them to me of your own free will, I gladly accept.”
Veeho could hardly wait to get away from Sun’s lodge and put on the leggings. Wearing them, he ran over the prairie and ignited the grass to drive the buffalo toward him. But Veeho did not have Sun’s power; he couldn’t handle such a big fire, and it scorched his soles and blistered his feet.
“Friend Sun, come and help me!” he cried. “Help your poor friend! Where are you, Sun? Come put the fire out!” But Sun pretended not to hear, and soon Veeho’s leggings were on fire. Crying from pain, he plunged into the nearest stream. By then it was too late; the leggings were ruined and Veeho’s legs blistered.
When Veeho begged Sun to make him a new pair of leggings, Sun said, “Even I can’t make magic leggings but once. I’m sorry, friend. Be more careful in the future.”
Sun could easily have made another pair, of course, but then Veeho wouldn’t have learned a lesson.