THE FORGOTTEN EAR OF CORN
An Arikara woman was once gathering corn from the field to store
away for winter use. She passed from stalk to stalk, tearing off
the ears and dropping them into her folded robe. When all was
gathered she started to go, when she heard a faint voice, like a
child's, weeping and calling:
"Oh, do not leave me! Do not go away without me."
The woman was astonished. "What child can that be?" she asked
herself. "What babe can be lost in the cornfield?"
She set down her robe in which she had tied up her corn, and went
back to search; but she found nothing.
As she started away she heard the voice again:
"Oh, do not leave me. Do not go away without me."
She searched for a long time. At last in one corner of the field,
hidden under the leaves of the stalks, she found one little ear of
corn. This it was that had been crying, and this is why all Indian
women have since garnered their corn crop very carefully, so that
the succulent food product should not even to the last small nubbin
be neglected or wasted, and thus displease the Great Mystery.