Stories by Katy Yazee
My kids and I check out books at the library every week. The children’s books are colorful and fun read but lately I have been disappointed. They are not stories like Natives mean stories. They are not about a people, a culture or how to live in a culture. They are okay for what they are—fun and entertaining.
My aunt used to make up stories for us kids so I thought I would try to create some for my kids. Here is one of them.
Once there was a young boy whose mother gave him books to read. One day, Preston doesn’t want to read. He takes his book with him and wanders out in the woods. “I’m bored,” he says. He stuffs his book in the crook of the tree and strolls away. He hits trees with a stick and kicks at rocks. He is still bored.
A badger comes out of his hole and talks to him. “Why did you stick your book in a tree? It was a gift of learning from your mother. Why would you disrespect a gift or your mother or the tree? If you are not careful, you will become a badger like me, hiding in holes in the dirt. Is that what you want?”
Preston is scared and runs back to get his book. But the tree wouldn’t let it go. The tree talks to him. “Why are you so disrespectful to me, to this book and to the gift of your mother? Do you want to turn into a tree like me and stay in one place?”
“I’m so sorry,” cries Preston. “I will never disrespect a gift, a book, my mother or a tree again. Please give me another chance.”
The leaves of the tree start shaking as though they are thinking. Finally the tree lets go of the book and tells Preston, “Don’t forget. Respect all things.”
As Preston ran home, he could hear the trees calling “Respect, respect, respect, respect.”
And Preston never forgot.