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Now you’re just being obtuse…

11 November, 2004 (09:00) | hitch | By: hitch

There was once a tribe of American Indians, now sadly gone from this earth, that was proud to have the most learned and wise shamans of all the land. They were particularly wise in the ways of husbands and wives – so much so that many young women would come from far off lands to ask their advice on conceiving children.

And so it happened that a young squaw of but twenty years of age came to the wise men and said to them, “Oh Shamans, I must plea that you assist me. I am but a new bride and wish to bear my husband a strong son, so that he may look upon our child with pride. What should I do to make certain that this comes to be?”

And the shamans, who understood the ways of the woman’s tribe, said to her “Go, get these herbs which we have told you of, and the hide of a deer. When your husband comes to you at night, both of you drink a broth made of these herbs and lay upon the deer hide.”

The woman thanked the shaman and went back to her own tribe, and nine months hence she bore her husband a stong boy papoose.

It was not long before a second young woman appeared to the shamans with much the same request. “Oh Shamans,” said she, “I have come to you in supplication, that you might help me to bear my husband a strong son, that he might be a great hunter like his father, and hold high regard within our tribe when he is grown.”

And the shamans smiled knowingly and said unto her “Worthy sqaw, find these herbs and brew them into a tea which you and your husband shall drink each night. Fetch also a hide cut from a buffalo to lay upon each evening, and that which you ask shall be granted.”

This woman, too, gave birth nine months later to a strong, healthy boy who grew to be a mighty hunter indeed.

Presently, another woman came into the tent of the shamans and lay herself prostrate before them. “Oh, might Shamans!” she cried, “My husband and I have no children! We have been married for fifteen years and I am thirty five years of age! I fear that I may never bear him a child and I cannot accept that! Please tell me what I must do!”

The shamans gazed upon the woman with concern, for they knew that she would have no chance but for their intervention. “Good squaw, hear our words. Yours will be a difficult road to follow. We have set before you a number of herbs, of which you must brew a tea each night and drink a full measure. Further, you must find the hide of a hippopotamus to lay upon when you lay down each night.”

When the woman heard this, she was stricken and broke into sobs of grief. At last she gained her composure and thanked the wise men, taking with her the herbs she would need. Although she despaired ever finding the hide she needed, so great was her desire to bear a child that she sought throughout the countryside for the skin of this strange animal.

Many weeks passed, and she had nearly lost all hope, when she came across a trader who had the hide she needed. Rough and grey, thick and strange it was, but the squaw took the hide back to her husband and told him what they had to do.

Nine months later, the squaw gave birth to not one, but two beautiful, strong baby boys.

This proves beyond a doubt that the sqaw of the hippopotamus equals the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.

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