A War Between the Birds and the Animals

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    Once upon a time all the animals declared war upon the birds. Each held a council of war to talk over what they should do.

    A tiny black ant slipped into the animals’ council and listened to their plans; then he went to the birds and told them:

    “The fox is to be the war-chief of the animals and his tail is to be their signal. As long as the fox holds his tail up, the animals are to go ahead and fight; but as soon as the fox drops his tail down, the animals are to run away.”

    The eagle was war-chief of the birds, so he sent a messenger to bring in the bee to their council.

    “Mrs. Bee,” said the eagle, “please sting the fox’s tail for us so that we may win this war.”

    Then the birds all flew away to meet and fight the animals. The little bee went and found the fox. The fox was leading the animals with his tail held up high. Mrs. Bee lit on his tail and began to sting it.

    She kept stinging and stinging until the fox could stand it no longer. He dropped his tail down and ran away with all of the animals following him. And the birds won the war.

    Author Note: Laguna Pueblo

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