A R T    C H I L D S ’
“ Y A R N S   O F   T H E   B I G   W O O D S
( H Y P E R T E X T   E D I T I O N )

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From the Editor: Introverted, standoffish and curt, Child's portrayal of a Native American rehashes much of the worn-out stereotyping common for its time just as it is today. Unlike the "guide" or "tenderfoot," Kwasin's moniker is, "the Indian." A label use to oversimplify his collective affiliations and obscure his individuality. While it may go without saying that simplifying people to the point of error should be laid to rest. For the record, as it is applied to people, no creditablity can be lent to the notion "to know one is to know all" and the very idea is more mythical than anything you will read on this site.


          Kwasin, the old Indian, stalked into the camp to see his friend, the guide. The tenderfoot was introduced to the red-skinned visitor.
          “By the way,” remarked the guide to the tenderfoot, “do you see those big scars on Kwasin's arms and neck? That's the work of the billed mosquito. Tell us about it, Kwasin.”
          The Indian grunted, but remained silent.
          “Long time since I've see any skeeteroos,” continued the old guide, “but years ago this country used to be full of ’em. They grew as big as chickens and had a bill ’bout six or eight inches long and as hard as steel. They kept ’em sharper ’n needles, with two little two-handed grindstones they had rigged up on the banks of the creek. Tell hint about the time a whole flock tackled you, Kwasin.”
          “No, you tell um,” requested the Indian gravely.
          “Well, one time when Kwasin was coming down Fish Creek in his canoe a flock of ’em come at him so he hurried to the banks of the stream, hauled his canoe out: turned it over, and got under it. The skeeteroos lit all over the canoe and pierced it full of holes with their sharp bills. Kwasin, to save himself, took a rock and clinched their bills underneath, until, all of a sudden, the skeeteros flew away with his canoe! Isn't that so, Kwasin”
          The Indian grunted solemnly.

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Yarns of the Big Woods Written and Illustrated by Art Childs
(Associated Editors, 1922) Original Text and Illustrations Public Domain License.
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