Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Red-tailed Hawk

The Red-Tailed Hawk

Strange how things work out- I had casually mentioned earlier that I intended on visiting the park to check on the colors and in the interim feed the squirrels, which happens to be one of my favorite pastimes. 

“The squirrels are quite large in this country,” he remarked thoughtfully, “back in Malaysia, they are quite small, more like mice.”

“Perhaps they are well fed here.” I responded. “They are after all such delightful creatures. The trees are loaded with seeds and acorns at this time of year however people still spoil them with peanuts just to see them eat- Its part and parcel of a park experience.”

Later that afternoon I was off to High Park doing what I liked best: taking a long walk, observing nature and feeding the ducks, animals and birds. As the trees had not yet changed color, I’d armed myself with the standby camera that was not cumbersome.

Chance, however, had other plans for me for I soon stumbled upon a magnificent bird feeding high up in a tree. 

In all my dreams I never thought that he was feeding on a squirrel. That realization came much later, when I was drawn to that haunting, sorrowful and anguished cry emanating from a large bush a little ways down the path. Thinking that it was some wounded bird or animal needing assistance, I lingered at the spot, my eyes searching the bush.

Oh, another surprise… It was a squirrel… A squirrel? 

I've never heard them uttering any sound let along one so gut wrenching. My mind however made a quick sense of this and I nodded, for the sequence of events was now complete. My peace was the resulting casualty. I walked away feeling saddened yet awed at the same time.

Guided by the photographs, for I've never set eyes on a Red-tailed Hawk before, my quick research at home produced these results:

The red-tailed hawk is a member of the genus Buteo, a group of medium-sized raptors with robust bodies and broad wings. It typically weighs from 1.52 to 3.53 lb and measures 45–65 cm in length, with a wingspan from 110–145 cm. The females averaging about 25% is heavier than males. Members of this genus are known as buzzards in Europe, but hawks in North America where they are legally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

In flight, this hawk soars with wings often in a slight dihedral, flapping as little as possible to conserve energy. Active flight is slow and deliberate, with deep wing beats. In wind, it occasionally hovers on beating wings and remains stationary above the ground. When soaring or flapping its wings, it typically travels from 32 to 64 km/h (40 mph), but when diving may exceed 190 km/h (120 mph).

The cry of the red-tailed hawk is a two to three second hoarse, rasping scream, described as ‘kree-eee-ar’ that begins at a high pitch and slurs downward. The red-tailed hawk frequently vocalizes while hunting or soaring, but vocalizes loudest in annoyance or anger, in response to a predator or a rival hawk's intrusion into its territory.

Red-tailed hawk plumage can be variable, depending on the subspecies and the region. These color variations are morphs, and are not related to molting.

Though the markings and hue vary across the subspecies, the basic appearance of the red-tailed hawk is consistent. Overall, this species is blocky and broad in shape, often appearing (and being) heavier than other Buteos of similar length. A whitish underbelly with a dark brown band across the belly, formed by horizontal streaks in feather patterning, is present in most color variations. The underside may be otherwise covered with dark brown spotting, especially in younger birds. The red tail, which gives this species its name, is uniformly brick-red above and light buff-orange below. The bill is short and dark, in the hooked shape characteristic of raptors, and the head can sometimes appear small in size against the thick body frame. They have a relatively short, broad tails and thick, chunky wings. The cere, the legs, and the feet of the red-tailed hawk are all yellow.

Immature birds can be readily identified at close range by their yellowish irises. As the bird attains full maturity over the course of 3–4 years, the iris slowly darkens into a reddish-brown hue. In both the light and dark morphs, the tail of the immature red-tailed hawk is patterned with numerous darker bars.

The red-tailed hawk occupies a wide range of habitats and altitudes throughout most of North America, including deserts, grasslands, coniferous and deciduous forests, tropical rainforests, agricultural fields and urban areas. Unlike some other raptors, the red-tailed hawk is seemingly unfazed by considerable human activity and can nest and live in close proximity to large numbers of humans. Thus the species can also be found in cities and metropolitan parks where there are abundant prey such as rock pigeons and rodents that may support their populations. They are, after all, a most capable bird of prey as well as an opportunistic feeder. Their diet includes small mammals, mice, gophers, voles, chipmunks, ground squirrels, tree squirrels, birds, lagomorphs, shrews, bats, pigeons, quail, corvids, waterfowl, other raptors, reptiles, fish, crustaceans, insects and even the lowly earthworm. 

The red-tailed hawk usually employs one of two hunting techniques. Often, they scan for prey activity from an elevated perch site, swooping down to seize the prey. They also watch for prey while flying, either capturing a bird in flight or pursuing ground prey until they can pin them down in their talons. Interestingly, Red-tailed hawks, like some other raptors, have been observed to hunt in pairs. The corroborative effort may consist of them stalking on opposite sides of a tree, in order to surround a tree squirrel and flush the rodent out for capture. 

The red-tailed hawk reaches sexual maturity at two years of age. It is monogamous, mating with the same individual for many years. In general, the red-tailed hawk will only take a new mate when its original mate dies. The same nesting territory may be defended by the pair for years. During courtship, the male and female fly in wide circles while uttering shrill cries. The male performs aerial displays, diving steeply, and then climbing again. After repeating this display several times, he sometimes grasps her talons briefly with his own. Courtship flights can last 10 minutes or more. Copulation often follows courtship flight sequences, although copulation (that lasts 5 to 10 seconds and during pre-nesting courtship in late winter or early spring) frequently occurs in the absence of courtship flights. The nest is usually constructed of twigs, and lined with bark, pine needles, corn cobs, husks, stalks, aspen catkins, or other plant matter.

Being a large predator, most predation of these hawks occurs with the eggs and nestlings, which are taken by owls, corvids and raccoons. Great horned owls compete with the red-tailed hawk for nest sites. Each species has been known to kill the young and destroy the eggs of the other, but in general, both species nest in adjacent or congruent territories without conflict. Eggs are laid approximately every other day. A clutch of 1 to 3 eggs is laid in March or April, depending upon latitude. Clutch size depends almost exclusively on the availability of prey for the adults. They are incubated primarily by the female, with the male substituting when the female leaves to hunt or merely stretch her wings. The female broods them while the male provides most of the food to the female and the young.

The fledging period follows, with short flights engaged in, after another 3 weeks. About 6 to 7 weeks after fledging, the young begin to capture their own prey. Shortly thereafter, when the young are around 4 months of age, they become independent of their parents. However, the hawks do not generally reach breeding maturity until they are around 3 years of age. 

The supernatural significance (the omen) of seeing a hawk varies across the continents. In European culture for instance it foretells caution:

Therefore, the sight of a hawk counsels the observer to be on his/her guard against others who are more powerful then them. If the bird is hovering on the left-hand side or, worse still, directly overhead, the gravest possible danger is to be feared from cruel and grasping people.

In the North American Indian culture the Hawk holds a different meaning:

“In the traditions of some Native Americans, the hawk is a messenger of God. Its appearance is a blessing, for it alerts an individual to go to the spiritual mountain and employ the gift of godlike vision.

“A hawk is a good spiritual omen. According to Native American legend, the hawk’s cry –- a shrill whistle –- is to pierce the awareness and awaken people to a state of full awareness. The whistle of a hawk is like the cry of a prophet.

“So the symbol of a hawk is about having a clear spiritual vision.

“The sharp whistle of a hawk is one of the best images to appear in your spiritual life, for it holds out an offer of love, wisdom, and spiritual freedom.”

'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by Wayne, Apr 17, 2010.

As it is, for the North American Indians the feathers of the Red-tailed Hawk were always considered sacred and, like the feathers of the Eagle, were and still are, usually used in religious ceremonies and rituals. 

Here’s an old fable concerning the Red-tailed Hawk:

Legend of Tlanuwa and the Uktena

In this Legend of The Tlanuwa and The Uktena, a village of the Ani Yunwiya (the Cherokee people) rested near a place called Hogahega Uweyu i along the Wanegas, known today as the Tennessee River. The caves at this place were an ancient home of the Tlanuwa.

The people in the village never had problems with the Tlanuwa before, until one day the great hawks came and carried away most of the young children. The grieving mothers pleaded with the men to bring back the children stolen by the Tlanuwa.

So the men went to the Tlanuwa caves. They made ropes from vines growing nearby, in order to climb down the cliffs to reach the caves. First they waited for the great hawks to leave and when the coast was clear, they lowered themselves into the caves and found the missing children. Just then however, they heard more Tlanuwa returning with more children in their grasp. In order to buy time and distract the great hawks, the men quickly threw the unhatched eggs of the Tlanuwa over the cliffs into the water below. When the eggs hit the water, the great Uktena, horned serpents, came up from below the water and began eating the eggs as quickly as the men were throwing them.

The Tlanuwa, very angry, dropped the children from their talons to the waiting men below. A long and terrible fight ensued between the Tlanuwa and Uktena. The Tlanuwa destroyed the Uktena into four pieces and scattered its remains across the country.

After the terrible fight, the Tlanuwa still angry with the men for what they had done to their eggs flew far, far away beyond the sky, never to return.

Today, it is still said that on the banks of the Hogahega Uweyu i, one can still see the rocks that were stained from the blood of the Uktena and Tlanuwa from that terrible fight they had in ancient times.

The End.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The Toad-Woman


From: The Indian Fairy Book , The Original Legends

Author: Cornelius Mathews

Great good luck once happened to a young woman who was living all alone in the woods with nobody near her but her little dog; for, to her surprise, she found fresh meat every morning at her door. She was very curious to know who it was that supplied her, and watching one morning, just as the sun had risen, she saw a handsome young man gliding away into the forest. 

Having seen her, he became her husband, and she had a son by him.

One day, not long after this, he did not return at evening, as usual, from hunting. She waited till late at night, but he came no more.

The next day, she swung her child to sleep in its cradle, and then said to her dog, "Take care of your brother while I am gone, and when he cries, halloo for me."

The cradle was made of the finest wampum, and all its bandages and ornaments were of the same precious stuff.

After a short time, the woman heard the cry of the dog, and running home as fast as she could, she found her child gone and the dog too. On looking around, she saw scattered upon the ground pieces of the wampum of her child's cradle, and she knew that the dog had been faithful, and had striven his best to save her child from being carried off, as he had been, by an old woman, from a distant country, called Mukakee Mindemoea, or the Toad-Woman.

The mother hurried off at full speed in pursuit, and as she flew along, she came, from time to time, to lodges inhabited by old women, they told her at what time the child-thief had passed; they also gave her shoes that she might follow on. There were a number of these old women who seemed as if they were prophetesses, and knew what was to come long beforehand. Each of them would say to her that when she had arrived at the next lodge, she must set the toes of the moccasins they had given her pointing homeward, and that they would return of themselves. The young woman was very careful to send back in this manner all the shoes she borrowed.

She thus followed in the pursuit, from valley to valley, and stream to stream, for many months and years; when she came at length to the lodge of the last of the friendly old grandmothers, as they were called, who gave her the last instructions how to proceed. She told her that she was near the place where her son was to be found; and she directed her to build a lodge of cedar-boughs, hard by the old Toad-Woman's lodge, and to make a little bark dish, and to fill it with the juice of the wild grape.

"Then," she said, "Your first child (meaning the dog) will come and find you out."

These directions the young woman followed just as they had been given to her, and in a short time she heard her son, now grown up, going out to hunt, with his dog, calling out to him, "Peewaubik—Spirit-Iron—Twee! Twee!"

The dog soon came into the lodge, and she set before him the dish of grape-juice.

"See, my child," she said, addressing him, "the pretty drink your mother gives you."

Spirit-Iron took a long draught, and immediately left the lodge with his eyes wide open; for it was the drink which teaches one to see the truth of things as they are. He rose up when he got into the open air, stood upon his hind legs, and looked about. "I see how it is," he said; and marching off, erect like a man, he sought out his young master.

Approaching him in great confidence, he bent down and whispered in his ear (having first looked cautiously around to see that no one was listening), "This old woman here in the lodge is no mother of yours. I have found your real mother, and she is worth looking at. When we come back from our day's sport, I'll prove it to you."

They went out into the woods, and at the close of the afternoon they brought back a great spoil of meat of all kinds. The young man, as soon as he had laid aside his weapons, said to the old Toad-Woman, "Send some of the best of this meat to the stranger who has arrived lately."

The Toad-Woman answered, "No! Why should I send anything to her, the poor widow?"

The young man could not be refused; and at last the old Toad-Woman consented to take something and throw it down at the door. She called out, "My son gives you this." But, being bewitched by Mukakee Mindemoea, it was so bitter and distasteful, that the young woman immediately cast it out of the lodge after her.

In the evening the young man paid the stranger a visit at her lodge of cedar-boughs. She then told him that she was his real mother, and that he had been stolen away from her by the old Toad-Woman, who was a child-thief and a witch. 

As the young man appeared to doubt, she added, "Feign sickness when you go home to her lodge; and when the Toad-Woman asks what ails you, say that you wish to see your cradle; for your cradle was of wampum, and your faithful brother the dog, in striving to save you, tore off these pieces which I show you."

They were real wampum, white and blue, shining and beautiful; and the young man, placing them in his bosom, set off; but as he did not seem quite steady in his belief of the strange woman's story, the dog Spirit-Iron, taking his arm, kept close by his side, and gave him many words of encouragement as they went along. They entered the lodge together; and the old Toad-Woman saw, from something in the dog's eye, that trouble was coming.

"Mother," said the young man, placing his hand to his head, and leaning heavily upon Spirit-Iron, as if a sudden faintness had come upon him, "why am I so different in looks from the rest of your children?"

"Oh," she answered, "it was a very bright, clear blue sky when you were born; that is the reason."

He seemed to be so very ill that the Toad-Woman at length asked what she could do for him. He said nothing could do him good but the sight of his cradle. She ran immediately and brought a cedar cradle; but he said:

"That is not my cradle."

She went and got another of her own children's cradles, of which there were four; but he turned his head, and said:

"That is not mine; I am as sick as ever."

When she had shown the four, and they had been all rejected, she at last produced the real cradle. The young man saw that it was of the same stuff as the wampum which he had in his bosom. He could even see the marks of the teeth of Spirit-Iron left upon the edges, where he had taken hold, striving to hold it back. He had no doubt, now, which was his mother.

To get free of the old Toad-Woman, it was necessary that the young man should kill a fat bear. Directed by Spirit-Iron, who was very wise in such a matter, he secured the fattest in all that country; and, having stripped a tall pine of all its bark and branches, he perched the carcass at the top, with its head to the east and its tail due west. Returning to the lodge, he informed the old Toad-Woman that the fat bear was ready for her, but that she would have to go very far, even to the end of the earth, to get it.

She answered: "It is not so far but that I can get it;" for of all things in the world, a fat bear was the delight of the old Toad-Woman.

She at once set forth; and she was no sooner out of sight than the young man and his dog, Spirit-Iron, blowing a strong breath in the face of the Toad-Woman's four children (who were all bad spirits, or bear-fiends), extinguished their life. They then set them up by the side of the door, having first thrust a piece of the white bear fat in each of their mouths.

The Toad-Woman spent a long time in finding the bear which she had been sent after, and she made at least five and twenty attempts before she was able to climb to the carcass. She slipped down three times where she went up once. As she drew near her lodge with the great bear on her back, she was astonished to see the four children standing up by the door-posts with the fat in their mouths. She was angry with them, and called out:

"Why do you thus insult the pomatum of your brother?"

She was still angrier when they made no answer to her complaint; but when she found that they were stark dead, and placed in this way to mock her, her fury was very great indeed. She ran after the tracks of the young man and his mother as fast as she could; so fast, indeed, that she was on the very point of overtaking them, when the dog, Spirit-Iron, coming close up to his master, whispered to him—"Snakeberry!"

"Let the snakeberry spring up to detain her!" cried out the young man; and immediately the berries spread like scarlet all over the path, for a long distance; and the old Toad-Woman, who was almost as fond of these berries as she was of fat bears, could not avoid stooping down to pick and eat.

The old Toad-Woman was very anxious to get forward, but the snake berry-vines kept spreading out on every side; and they still grow and grow, and spread and spread. To this day the wicked old Toad-Woman is busy picking the berries, and she will never be able to get beyond to the other side, to disturb the happiness of the young hunter and his mother, who still live, with their faithful dog, in the shadow of the beautiful wood-side where they were born.

The End

Monday, 15 September 2014

Zen Meditation- A Brief View

Zen Meditation- A Brief View

“I go among trees and sit still.

All my stirring becomes quiet

around me like circles on water.”


More and more we are learning about the numerous benefits of meditation: physical and mental well-being, compassion, patience, calm, a more flexible mind, strengthened immune system, sharper memory. Whether it’s Zen you’re after, or just a peaceful respite in the day, meditation will shape your life as you utilize it and turn it into a habit. 

“Zen,” the late master Shunryu Suzuki said, “is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.” Or, to paraphrase another writer: “first ecstasy, then the laundry.”

Getting Started:

“If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?”


Explore the nature of Zen “where you are.” Find a quiet, tranquil corner in your home, far from the bustle of the day, and make it your meditation space. Wear loose-fitting clothing. There’s no need for special exercise pants or the latest techno-fabric shirt. In the beginning any sort of mat or a thick pillow will do; later if you wish to, you may opt to using a zafu, a thick round cushion stuffed with kapok or buckwheat shells. A zabuton—a square pad that cushions the knees—may also prove useful, but a blanket or two folded in a square works equally well. The place is set, now to free you from distraction; you may consider a timer or timer app to keep track of your meditation period.

“Contemplation is the loving sense of this life, this presence and this eternity.”


Posture- The Legs

Stability is the key to proper posture, and the key to stability is in the legs. Traditionally, this means sitting in the full-lotus position: legs crossed with both feet resting atop opposite thighs. However, many of us are not disposed to this position. The half-lotus, with only one foot in the lap, is a bit easier. 

If that doesn’t work, try the Burmese position by placing one leg in front of the other with both ankles on the mat, or the seiza, essentially a combination of kneeling and sitting, often with the help of a special stool. It’s not the exact position that matters, but the ability to sit without fatigue. Its fine to sit in a chair if that’s what’s most comfortable. 

Posture- The Body

The expression “belly forward, buttocks back” is an encouraging mantra—and a useful reminder—of how to approach life. On the zafu, it literally means let the belly hang, which helps pitch the spine into its natural curve. Keep your chest out, head up, and chin slightly tucked in. Your ears should be in line with your shoulders, your shoulders in line with your hips. 

Leave your eyes open, staring but not focusing at a spot on the floor just a few feet ahead. Form your hands into a mudra by resting your right palm face up on your lap and your left palm face up inside. Your thumbs should create an oval, their tips barely touching. The final step is to rock from side to side, starting with wide arcs and slowly settling in until you’re as unmovable as a mountain.

Posture- The Mind

“In this very breath that we take now lay the secret that all great teachers try to tell us.” —PETER MATTHIESSEN

The Chinese call the mind a wild horse. Thoughts don’t slow down, no matter how hard we try to impede them. Instead, we should acknowledge each one, and then let it drift away. 

Often, the first technique of zazen, seated meditation, is counting your breath. Take a slow deep breath in through your nostrils and exhale slowly through your mouth. As you do this practice counting each inhalation and exhalation. When you reach ten, start over. Your breathing should be deep, slow, easy and regular. Of course, the mind will rebel and you will lose count. Return to one and start again. 

Counting your breath can be a complete lifetime’s practice; but even if you move on to koans or other forms of meditation, it remains an invaluable tool.

The End

Sunday, 7 September 2014



From: The Indian Fairy Book , The Original Legends

Author: Cornelius Mathews

At the time when the animals reigned in the earth, they had killed all the people but a girl and her little brother, and these two were living in fear, in an out-of-the-way place. The boy was a perfect little pigmy, and never grew beyond the size of a mere infant; but the girl increased with her years, so that the task of providing food and shelter fell wholly upon her. 

She went out daily to get wood for the lodge-fire, and she took her little brother with her that no mishap might befall him- for he was too little to be left alone. A big bird, of a mischievous disposition, might have flown away with him.

She made him a bow and arrows, and said to him one day, "My little brother, I will leave you behind where I have been gathering the wood; you must hide yourself, and you will soon see the snow-birds come and pick the worms out of the logs which I have piled up. Shoot one of them and bring it home."

He obeyed her, and tried his best to kill one, but he came home unsuccessful. His sister told him that he must not despair, but try again the next day. She accordingly left him at the gathering-place of the wood, and returned to the lodge.

Toward night-fall she heard his little footsteps crackling through the snow, and he hurried in and threw down, with an air of triumph, one of the birds which he had killed. "My sister," said he, "I wish you to skin it, and stretch the skin, and when I have killed more, I will have a coat made out of them."

"But what shall we do with the body?" said she; for they had always up to that time lived upon greens and berries.

"Cut it in two," he answered, "and season our pottage with one half of it at a time."

It was their first dish of game, and they relished it greatly.

The boy kept on in his efforts, and in the course of time he killed ten birds—out of the skins of which his sister made him a little coat: being very small, he had a very pretty coat, and a bird skin to spare.

"Sister," said he, one day, as he paraded up and down before the lodge, enjoying his new coat, and farcifying himself the greatest little fellow in the world—as he was, for there was no other beside him—"My sister, are we really alone in the world, or are we playing at it? Is there nobody else living? And, tell me, was all this great broad earth and this huge big sky made for a little boy and girl like you and me?"

She told him, by no means; there were many folks very unlike a harmless girl and boy, such as they were, who lived in a certain other quarter of the earth, who had killed off all of their kinsfolk; and that if he would live blameless and not endanger his life, he must never go where they were. This only served to inflame the boy's curiosity; and he soon after took his bow and arrows and went in that direction. After walking a long time and meeting no one, he became tired, and stretched himself upon a high green knoll where the day's warmth had melted off the snow.

It was a charming place to lie upon, and he fell asleep; and, while sleeping, the sun beat so hot upon him that it not only singed his bird-skin coat, but it so shrivelled and shrunk and tightened it upon the little boy's body, as to wake him up.

When he felt how the sun had seared and the mischief its fiery beams had played with the coat he was so proud of, he flew into a great passion, and berated the sun in a terrible way for a little boy no higher than a man's knee, and he vowed fearful things against it.

"Do not think you are too high," said he; "I shall revenge myself. Oh, sun! I will have you for a plaything yet."

On coming home he gave an account of his misfortune to his sister, and bitterly bewailed the spoiling of his new coat. He would not eat—not so much as a single berry. He lay down as one that fasts; nor did he move nor change his manner of lying for ten full days, though his sister strove to prevail on him to rise. At the end of ten days he turned over, and then he lay full ten days on the other side.

When he got up he was very pale, but very resolute too. He bade his sister make a snare, for, he informed her, that he meant to catch the sun. She said she had nothing; but after awhile she brought forward a deer's sinew which the father had left, and which she soon made into a string suitable for a noose. 

The moment she showed it to him he was quite wroth, and told her that would not do, and directed her to find something else. She said she had nothing—nothing at all. At last she thought of the bird-skin that was left over when the coat was made; and this she wrought into a string. With this the little boy was more vexed than before. "The sun has had enough of my bird-skins," he said; "find something else." She went out of the lodge saying to herself, "Was there ever so obstinate a boy?" She did not dare to answer this time that she had nothing. Luckily she thought of her own beautiful hair, and pulling some of it from among her locks, she quickly braided it into a cord, and, returning, she handed it to her brother. The moment his eye fell upon this jet black braid he was delighted. "This will do," he said; and he immediately began to run it back and forth through his hands as swiftly as he could; and as he drew it forth, he tried its strength. He said again, "this will do;" and winding it in a glossy coil about his shoulders, he set out a little after midnight. His object was to catch the sun before he rose. He fixed his snare firmly on a spot just where the sun must strike the land as it rose above the earth; and sure enough, he caught the sun, so that it was held fast in the cord and did not rise.

The animals who ruled the earth were immediately put into great commotion. They had no light; and they ran to and fro, calling out to each other, and inquiring what had happened. They summoned a council to debate upon the matter, and an old dormouse, suspecting where the trouble lay, proposed that someone should be appointed to go and cut the cord. This was a bold thing to undertake, as the rays of the sun could not fail to burn whoever should venture so near to them.

At last the venerable dormouse himself undertook it, for the very good reason that no one else would. At this time the dormouse was the largest animal in the world. When he stood up he looked like a mountain. 

It made haste to the place where the sun lay ensnared and as it came nearer and nearer, its back began to smoke and burn with the heat, and the whole top of his huge bulk was turned in a very short time to enormous heaps of ashes. It succeeded, however, in cutting the cord with its teeth and freeing the sun, which rolled up again, as round and beautiful as ever, into the wide blue sky.

But the dormouse—or blind woman as it is called—was shrunk away to a very small size; and that is the reason why it is now one of the tiniest creatures upon the earth.

The little boy returned home when he discovered that the sun had escaped his snare, and devoted himself entirely to hunting. "If the beautiful hair of my sister would not hold the sun fast, nothing in the world could," he said. "He was not born, a little fellow like himself, to look after the sun. It required one greater and wiser than he was to regulate that." And he went out and shot ten more snow-birds; for in this business he was very expert; and he had a new bird-skin coat made, which was prettier than the one he had worn before.

The End.