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Native American Stories About Carelessness

Many Native American legends, especially those aimed at children, are cautionary tales showing how much trouble you can get into if you are careless and gullible. In some cultures it is considered a positive thing to be trusting of other people, have faith in God and hope for the best; but in most Native American tribes, it is more admired to be cautious and double-check your situation carefully.

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Legends About Carelessness

Lox and the Birds:
    Algonquian Indian legends about trickster characters killing and eating gullible birds.
The Travails of Mrs. Bear:
    Micmac Indian story about an overly trusting Bear Woman learning to be more wary.
The Hungry Fox and the Boastful Suitor:
    Iroquois Indian legend about a man who is too careless and full of himself to win a wife.
*Why the Buffalo Has a Hump:
    Chippewa Indian myth about Buffalo being punished for his carelessness.
How the Bear Lost His Tail:
    Ojibwe legend about Otter tricking a gullible bear into losing his tail.
*The Snake Husband:
    Peoria legend of a careless woman who was led astray by a rattlesnake.
*Rabbit's Wish For Snow:
    Narragansett legend about how Rabbit getting into trouble with a careless wish.
*Trickster Kills The Children:
    Arapaho legend about an incautious bear family falling prey to the dangerous trickster Nihansan.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
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Iktomi and the Ducks:
    Lively Sioux Indian tale about the trickster outwitting a group of gullible ducks.
Rabbit's Wish For Snow:
    Picture book by a Narragansett author about Rabbit carelessly creating snow.

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