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The Soft-Hearted Sioux

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Author: Zitkala-Sa (Red Bird; also Gertrude Simmons Bonnin)
Published: 1901
Language: English
Wordcount: 2,912 / 8 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 121.2
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 932
Added to site: 2007.08.18 17966

he turned her face toward her right and addressed most of her words to my mother. Now and then she spoke to me, but never did she allow her eyes to rest upon her daughter's husband, my father. It was only upon rare occasions that my grandmother said anything to him. Thus his ears were open and ready to catch the smallest wish she might express. Sometimes when my grandmother had been saying things which pleased him, my father used to comment upon them. At other times, when he could not approve of what was spoken, he used to work or smoke silently.

On this night my old grandmother began her talk about me. Filling the bowl of her red stone pipe with dry willow bark, she looked across at me.

"My grandchild, you are tall and are no longer a little boy." Narrowing her old eyes, she asked, "My grandchild, when are you going to bring here a handsome young woman?"

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 2 from 1 reviews: **
Paulo Respighi

An oddly inauthentic Indian story. The author's photo shows her in Indian dress, but a tepee is not a wigwam, and the whole story seems false.
A Sioux kid goes to the mission school and learns about Jesus, then comes home to proselytize. Things do not go well.



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