Greedy Fawn and the Porridge
by Mabel Powers
In the days when there was no one living in this country but the
Indians, there were no houses; there were only Indian wigwams. There
were no roads and no streets, but Indian trails.
At that time there grew a wonderful chestnut, which the Indians used in
their cooking. A very small bit of this chestnut grated into a kettle
would make a potful of porridge.
In a certain wigwam lived Deerheart and Sky Elk, and their little son
Greedy Fawn. The mother was called Deerheart because she was so loving,
and gentle, and kind. The father was named Sky Elk because he was so
strong and fleet of foot. Greedy Fawn, too, came rightly by his name.
You will soon know why.
One day, Deerheart and Sky Elk went on a long trail. As they left the
wigwam, they said to Greedy Fawn, "Do not touch the chestnut, do not
build a fire, while we are away."
Greedy Fawn promised. He watched his father and mother disappear down
the western trail. Then he went back to the wigwam.
"Now," thought he, "I will have all the porridge I want."
So he ran and gathered some sticks. He built a fire with the sticks.
Then he hung the kettle over the fire, and put some water in it. Then he
found the chestnut. He grated a little of the chestnut into the kettle,
and began to stir. Then he grated some more, and some more, and some
Faster and faster Greedy Fawn stirred the boiling porridge, for it began
to swell and fill the kettle.
Larger and larger, it grew, and it grew, and it grew.
Greedy Fawn was so frightened he did not know what to do.
"Oh, will it never stop swelling?" he thought. Harder and harder he
stirred to keep the porridge from boiling over. Beads of perspiration
ran down his little bronze face, yet still he stirred. He dared not
Then he remembered that sometimes his mother would rap the kettle with
the porridge stick, if it became too full.
Rap, rap, rap, went the porridge stick on the edge of the kettle.
Instantly the kettle began to swell. Larger, and larger, and larger it
grew. Greedy Fawn was so frightened he did not know what to do.
Now Greedy Fawn could not reach across the kettle, to stir the porridge
with his stick, so he began to run around it. And around, and around,
and around the kettle he ran, stirring, and stirring, and stirring.
At last the kettle was so large that it nearly filled the wigwam. There
was just space enough left for Greedy Fawn to run around it. And around,
and around, and around the kettle he ran, stirring, and stirring, and
Oh, how his little arms ached! And, oh, how tired his small legs were!
But still he ran. He dared not stop.
Here was porridge enough to last a small boy a lifetime, and he could
not stop to taste one mouthful!
At last Greedy Fawn could run no longer. He stumbled and fell by the
side of the kettle. He was too weak to rise. The stick fell from his
hand, and the porridge boiled on. Higher, and higher, and higher it
rose, until it ran over and down the sides of the kettle. Closer, and
closer the boiling porridge crept to the little Indian boy, and soon
Greedy Fawn and his stick were nearly buried in porridge.
For once Greedy Fawn had all the porridge he wanted. And never again
would he have wanted anything, had not Deerheart and Sky Elk heard his
cries, and come running like deer up the trail to save him.