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Native American Stories About Kindness to Animals
One common theme in Native American folklore is kindness to animals, especially dogs.
Heroes or heroines who show kindness to a dog or a wild animal are usually rewarded,
whereas people who mistreat animals are headed for an unhappy ending or at least a
comeuppance. There is no strong separation between humans and other animals in most
Native American literature-- indeed, animals frequently transform into humans and vice versa--
so kindness to animals is often simply treated as general kindness in Native American stories.
Legends About Kindness to Animals
A Little Boy Who Brought Good Luck:
Passamaquoddy story about a magical dog rewarding an old couple for their kindness.
The Alligator and the Hunter:
Choctaw legend about an alligator who repaid a hunter's kindness by giving him hunting medicine.
The Boy Who Had Dog Power:
Lenape legend about an orphan who took care of an abandoned dog and received great hunting power.
The Revenge of the Mountain Goats:
Cree legend about a mountain goat spirit who repays a hunter for his kindness.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
A Man Called Raven:
Beautiful book by a Native author and artist illustrating a Northwest Coast legend about the importance of treating animals well.
The Polar Bear Son:
Charming picture book based on an Inuit legend about a woman who adopts a bear cub.
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