An Indian Tale

This is by Bob Levi and was published on the Groaners listserv.

There once was a Mexican Indian brave by the name of De-su Lopez. He had a tragic accident as a boy when he slipped crossing a stream and badly fractured a knee cap on the rocks of the shallow rivulet. Of course, he was subsequently known as De-su One-Knee River. (What do you mean that Mexican Indians don’t name their braves after an event in their youth like American Indians do? In this story, De-su One-Knee River got his new name because of this incident. What can I tell you?)

After the accident, De-su had two chores to keep him busy. One was to collect bird and goose feathers for stuffing into pillow and quilts that the Mexican Indian women would make and sell to tourists. And he also ground corn into a flour or meal for the senoras and senoritas of the region to use in their cooking.

These two tasks required him to be very careful in his work. He needed to precisely measure the amount of goose feathers for each article of bedding and cautiously weigh the exact amount of ground corn to be packaged for sale. The amount had to be determined on a very accurate scale. Too many feathers and the finished pillows and quilts would be too lumpy and if there not enough goose feathers, then the customers would be cheated. Similarly, he didn’t want to be over or under on the quantity of corn meal measured.

Young De-su became so proficient at his job that he was well known for his skills. People came from near and far to watch him work. And they would ask him which job he preferred? … “Weigh down or pone, De-su One-Knee River?”

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