By Andrew Lang
Retold by Jenna Schmalz
BeeOasis Step 2
Once upon a time an Indian hunter decided to journey far away from all his tribe. He wanted to build himself a hut in the middle of a great forest. Since his heart was warm and kind, he hated the evil acts of those who were his friends. That is why he left them to live far away in the forest.
He took his wife and three children with him. They traveled until they found a spot in the forest with a clear stream nearby. There, they cut down trees to build their hut. For many years they lived in peace, happy in this place. They never left it except for when they hunted wild animals, which they used both for their food and their clothes.
But then the strong hunter felt sick, and before long, he knew he must die. So he gathered his family around him in order to say his last words to them. “You, my wife, will follow me soon enough to the island of the blessed. But you, my children — though you are still young — will have to face the evil that I hated. I shall die in peace if you promise always to love each other. I ask you also to promise to care always for your youngest brother.”
“We promise!” they replied, holding out their hands to show their honesty. And so the hunter died in peace, sure that they would keep their promise.
Only eight months passed when the wife followed her husband in death, just as he said she would. But before she died, she told her two older children to remember their promise always to care for the younger one, for he was a small and weak child.
While there was still snow on the ground, the older children cared for the younger one. But when the ground turned green in spring, the older son greatly desired to see the huts of the village where his father had lived when he was a boy.
He spoke to his sister about it. His sister told him: “My brother, I understand that you wish to see the rest of our people, but. . .