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In the beginning of the first chapter of Scott O'Dell's young reader's novel Sing Down the Moon, the protagonist Bright Morning tells a story of her brother's death, the only brother she had in her family.
Bright Morning has come to believe that gods punish those who show excessive happiness. Her belief stems from the fact that she witnessed her brother being struck dead by lightning. He had just returned home from a hunt and was singing in celebration because had just shot a "six-pronged deer," which was the first six-pronged deer "anyone had shot that summer." But on his ride back home, he was struck by lightning and killed. Bright Morning, her family, and the rest of the tribe have come to believe that he was killed by lightning as punishment from the gods because his display of excessive happiness was also a display of vanity and pride.
As a result, Bright Morning feels she must restrain herself from showing joy at the fact that spring has come early this year, and she now has a second chance to show her family she can take care of her mother's sheep flock.
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