WHY THE BABY SAYS “GOO”

RETOLD BY EHRMA G. FILER

On a sloping highland near the snow-capped mountains of the North was an Indian village. The Chief of the village was a very brave man, and he had done many wonderful things.

These were the days of magic and witchery. The Ice Giants had attempted to raid the land; some wicked Witches had tried to cast an evil spell over the people; and once a neighboring colony of Dwarfs had tried to invade the village.

But the brave Chief had fought and conquered all these forces of evil and magic. He was so successful and so good that the people loved him very much. They thought he could do anything.

Then before long the Chief himself began to be proud and vain. He had conquered everyone; so he thought he was the greatest warrior in the world.

One day he boastfully said: “I can conquer anything or any person on this earth.”

Now, a certain Wise Old Woman lived in this village. She knew one whom the Chief could not conquer. She decided it was best for the Chief to know this, for he was getting too vain. So one day she went to the Chief and told him.

“Granny, who is this marvelous person?” asked the Chief, half angrily.

“We call him Wasis,” she solemnly answered.

“Show him to me,” said the Chief. “I will prove that I can conquer him.”

The old grandmother led the way to her own wigwam. A great crowd followed to see what  would happen.

“There he is,” said the Wise Old Woman; and she pointed to a dear little Indian baby, who sat, round-eyed and solemn, sucking a piece of sugar.

The Chief was astonished. He could not imagine what the old woman meant, for he was sure he could make a little baby obey him. This Chief had no wife, and knew nothing about babies. He stepped up closer to the baby, and looking seriously at him said:

“Baby, come here!”

Little Wasis merely smiled back at him and gurgled, “Goo, Goo,” in true baby fashion.

The Chief felt very queer. No one had ever answered him so before. Then he thought, perhaps the baby did not understand; so he stepped nearer and said kindly: “Baby, come here!”

“Goo, Goo!” answered baby, and waved his little dimpled hand.

This was an open insult, the Chief felt; so he called out loudly: “Baby, come here at once!”

This frightened little Wasis, and he opened his little mouth and began to cry. The Chief had never before heard such a noise. He drew back, and looked helplessly around.

“You see, little Wasis shouts back war-cries,” said the Wise Old Woman.

This angered the Chief, and he said: “I will overcome him with my magic power.”

Then he began to mutter queer songs, and to dance around the baby.

This pleased little Wasis, and he smiled and watched the Chief, never moving to go to him. He just sat and sucked his sugar.

At last the Chief was tired out. His red paint was streaked with sweat; his feathers were falling, and his legs ached. He sat down and looked at the old woman.

“Did I not say that baby is mightier than you?” said she. “No one is mightier than he. A baby rules the wigwam, and everyone obeys him.”

“It is truly so,” said the Chief, and went outside.

The last sound he heard as he walked away was the “Goo, Goo” of little Wasis as he crowed in victory. It was his war-cry. All babies mean just that when they gurgle so at you.