The Mouse Couple: A Hopi Folktale
. Northland Publishing .
xE99.H7M3445 1988 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Here is an extra copy of this lovely book. Though the story here is listed as a Hopi folktale, this is the age-old story of the right spouse for a proud couple's daughter. The story is highly developed here; this book is fifty-six pages long. The mice parents have been unable to have their own children and have long prayed for a child. They find her in the snow. The father journeys far to the east to find the young sun, who sends him over the mountain to the clouds. The leader of the clouds sends him to the North Winds. The reaction of each of the powers is suited to the character. The gentle rain offers the pipe and is very agreeable; the powerful north wind with tousled hair and wild appearance is abrupt and gets right to business. The latter recommends the Butte, whom even the north winds have not been able ever to topple. The mouse father is relieved not to have his daughter marry the chief of the winds! The Butte admits that he is not even a leader, since he just stands in one place. He recommends no one in particular but points to the holes that mice have made in him and allows that they could even topple him. He sends the father home to find for his daughter one of her own kind. The father does just that. The Southwestern art takes us to beautiful mesas and kivas. Repeated geometric patterns and pregnant symbols grace the pages. One turns the page to find dramatic revelations, e.g., of the mice's underground home (6-7) or of the canyon of the North Winds (26-27). A beautiful book!