The Indian in the Cupboard

by Lynne Reid Banks
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What does Omri promise to give to Little Bear if he doesn't kill the cowboy in The Indian in the Cupboard?

In The Indian in the Cupboard, Omri promises to give Little Bear a wife if Little Bear promises not to kill the cowboy.

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In chapter 9 of the story, Little Bear wants to kill the cowboy. Omri sees Little Bear crawling towards the cowboy with a knife in his hand and quickly intervenes. He says to Little Bear, "You are not to touch him, do you hear?" Little Bear doesn't understand why he is not allowed to kill the cowboy, since they view each other as enemies. Little Bear also says that the cowboy will try to shoot him and take his land if he doesn't kill the cowboy first. Little Bear says that the cowboy is "better dead," and he promises Omri that he will kill the cowboy quickly and that the cowboy won't feel any pain. Little Bear resumes crawling towards the cowboy and then Omri, to stop him, picks him up.

Omri then tells Little Bear that if he does kill the cowboy, "I won't bring you a wife." Little Bear thinks about this for a few moments and then he puts his knife away. The act of putting his knife away signals that he has accepted Omri's ultimatum. Little Bear says to Omri, "No touch. Give word," meaning that he gives his word that he won't touch the cowboy.

In return for agreeing not to kill the cowboy, Little Bear asks if Omri will take him to school. At school, Little Bear will be able to choose his own wife from the other toys. Omri thinks about this and decides that it's a good deal. Omri decides that it will be better for Little Bear to choose his own wife, because Omri "might pick an old or ugly one without realizing it." Indeed this would be an easy mistake to make because the "tiny plastic faces" of the other toys are difficult to see properly from Omri's perspective.

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