Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
January 15, 2000 - Issue 01

The Meadowlark and the Rattlesnake
(Dakota Legend)

Once, long ago, a meadowlark made her nest in some tall prairie grass. She lived there quite happily with her three children. Although her sons were almost grown, they had not yet passed their flying tests.

One day, as the little family was resting at home, a large rattlesnake came and laid down in a circle, near the nest.

When she saw this, the mother bird became very afraid.

She didn't want the snake to know this, however, so she acted like she had invited him for dinner.

She then sent her eldest son to fly and borrow a kettle, in which to prepare a delicious meal, for their guest. This was the young bird's first solo flight, but he flew away very well.

While he was gone, the meadowlark entertained the snake with talk of the weather and gossip about some of their neighbors.

When her first son did not return, the meadowlark sent her second boy out asking to look for his older brother. He also flew away, and did not return.

Now, all of this was taking quite a while and the snake was beginning to become very restless.

The mother, worried about her children's safety, sent out her youngest son, Hakela ( which means younger brother ), and told him to search for the two other children. Of course, when he flew away.......he did not return.

When the mother bird was certain that all of her children had flown safely away and were out of danger, from the snake, she spread her wings and called out to the snake.

"Go on waiting for someone to cook you a meal, Mr. Snake!" and with that she flew away.

The silly snake was completely tricked.

For Pictures to Print and Color check out these links:

snake visits meadowlark

rattlesnake gets tricked

Now Read the story again, and answer these questions......No peeping!!!!!!!

          1. What was the name of the meadowlark's youngest son?
          2. What does this name mean?
          3. What did the meadowlark ask her oldest son to do?
          4. Did the meadowlark really want him to borrow a kettle?
          5. Why didn't the meadowlark want her children to return to the nest?
          6. When all of her children were gone, what did the meadowlark do?
          7. Who was tricked?

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