The Boy and the Pig

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Once upon a time there lived at Laguna a lazy, kind-hearted boy. He lived alone with his grandmother. Every day she begged him to go help the other boys cut wood or work in the corn fields; but the boy would not go. So he did not have the good things that the other boys had who worked. Instead he was always poor and ragged; but he was always generous with what he had.

One day as he was idly walking outside the village, he saw a pig.

“Please scratch my back for me, Boy,” asked the pig. “I have begged everyone who passed and no one will scratch it for me.” And the boy scratched the pig’s back for a long time.

The next day he scratched the pig’s back again, but he did not seem happy.

“Why are you so sad, Boy?” asked the pig.

“I am sad,” replied the boy, “because today is the Sia feast day, and I want very much to go to the dance; but I have no way to go.”

“Take that whip lying there,” said the pig, “and strike me across the back.”

“Oh, I cannot do that!” said the boy; but the pig insisted, so the boy took the whip and struck the pig across the back. Immediately a fine horse appeared, and the boy’s ragged clothes changed into a new beaded buckskin suit. He mounted the horse and rode happily away to Sia.

When he returned home that night his grandmother asked, “Where have you been all day today, my grandson?”

“I have been to Sia to the feast,” he said.

“That cannot be true for you had no way to go,” replied his grandmother, and so she did not believe that he had gone. She grieved because she thought her grandson was not truthful.

Four days later when the boy was with the pig, the pig asked him again, “why are you so sad today, Boy?”

“I am sad because I fell in love with the Chief’s pretty daughter at Sia, and I am too poor to ask her to marry me.”

Again the pig told him, “Take that whip and strike me across the back with it.”

The boy did as he was told; and this time two fine horses appeared and the boy’s clothes were once more changed into fine new buckskins. He mounted one of the horses and led the other horse over to Sia.

He went straightway to the Chief’s house and asked him for his daughter. The boy looked so fine and had such good horses, that the Chief told him at once that he might have his daughter. The daughter was willing to go, too, so they rode back to Laguna.

When they reached there the pig had disappeared; and in the place where he had been a house, with cattle outside and with blankets inside, awaited the boy and his bride.

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