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How Kagigegabo Became A Brave
by [?]

Kagigegabo sat in front of the wigwam watching the fire slowly die out. Her heart was full of bitterness. For days she had watched the Braves get ready for the long chase. They had painted their faces; they had given their war cries; they had fasted and prayed.

And now they had gone and the camp seemed very still. Oh! how she had wanted to go! Why was she born a girl when she did want to be a Brave! Girls could never do brave things–they had to stay at home, and tend the fires, and hoe the garden. Everything a girl had to do, she hated. Everything a boy had to do, she liked. Her name was Kagigegabo, which meant “One who stands forever.” That would be a great name for a Brave, but she could never do anything that was worth while. She was only a girl.

Slowly she rose to bring the corn and grind it. There was little needed, for the Braves of the wigwam had all gone–even Guka, her brother, had gone. Before this she had watched the others go and then had had him to cheer her. Oh, dear! Why was she a girl?

Hearing a step behind her, she rose to find Wicostu, the oldest squaw of the tribe, waiting to speak with her.

“I have heard your thought,” she said. “You think that to be a girl is to be less than a Brave. It is not so. It is not so. To be a squaw one must be very brave. We cannot go to hunt and to kill, but it takes no less of courage to stay here and guard the tepees. It takes courage to bear pain–it takes courage to be tired and not complain. You can be brave, Kagigegabo, even though you must grow into a Mahala and sit by the fire. The courage is not in the war paint and feathers–the courage is all in the heart.”

Kagigegabo sat very still after Wicostu had left her. Over and over she said to herself those last words of the old squaw–“The courage is all in the heart.” Perhaps after all she could be a Brave, such as Guka was trying to be.

Down toward the spring she ran to get the water for the meal when, suddenly, a hand reached out of the bushes, and she was drawn into them. When she tried to scream, a heavy band was placed over her mouth, and then her hands were tied, her eyes were bandaged and she felt herself being thrown on a pony. Oh! how fast they went!–like the wind it seemed.

Who had taken her? Where was she going? What did they want? Frightened as she was, she still was trying to think.

Then, like a flash, there came to her something that she had heard the old chief say when she had been trying to get closer to the council fire the last night.

“We shall go by the hill trail, for Eagle’s Claw will surely have spies about the camp. We cannot get through the valley alive.”

Perhaps she had been taken by the spies and was on her way to the enemy camp of Eagle’s Claw. Oh! What did they want? If only she were a Brave, perhaps she would know what to do. Then there came to her the words of Wicostu:

“You can be brave. The courage is all in the heart.” But to be brave when one did not know what was going to happen–oh! that was hard.

When the bandage was taken from her eyes, she was in the center of a circle of old Braves. Very fierce they looked as she glanced about the circle. Her knees shook till it seemed she must fall. Then she made a low bow to the chief and pointed to her feet–a sign that she was ready to be his slave.