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The first story Little Crane told concerned some Mingue who stayed the night with a white missionary, and automatically put their horses in the missionary's field to graze. The missionary chased the horses out of the field, saying that he planned to mow the grass to use as hay. The Mingue pointed out that the field was on Indian land, but the missionary replied that regardless, the grass was his, as he had fenced the field in. The Mingue then asked who provided the grass, and the missionary had to answer that the Great Spirit did. The Mingue concluded that since they were children of the Great Spirit, they had a right to the grass, and put their horses back in the field, laughing at the audacity of the missionary who believed that just by fencing in the land, he could claim it as his own.
The second story Little Crane told had a similar theme, the outwitting of the white man by the Indian. A Shawano owed a white man money, and the white man insisted he pay up immediately, even though it was summer, a time when beaver and fox pelts were not prime. The Shawano asked if cattle hides taken in the summer would be acceptable, and the white man said they would. The Shawano agreeably paid his debt with cattle hides and the white man was satisfied, until he realized that the cattle were his own.
Little Crane was not aware that these stories, which were common and received with much amusement by the Indians, would not be taken kindly by the white man. Uncle Wilse and his friends were so infuriated by the stories that one of them shot and scalped Little Crane in retaliation, even as Little Crane was marveling at the white man's lack of a sense of humor (Chapter 11).
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