Why the Peetweet Cries for Rain
"COME to me, every bird that flies," said the Great Father. "There is work to be done that only my birds can do."
The birds were happy that they could do something to please the Great Father, for they remembered how good he had always been to them. They flew to him eagerly to ask what they should do for him. "O Great Father," they sang all together, "tell us what we can do for you."
"The waters that I have made know not where to go," said the Father. "Some should go to the seas, some should go to the lakes in the hollows among the mountains, and some should make rivers that will dance over the rocks and through the fields on their way to the sea."
"And can even as small a bird as I show them where to go?" asked the sparrow eagerly.
"Yes," said the Father, "even my little humming-bird can help me."
Every bird that flies had come to the Father, but the peetweet had come last because he was lazy.
"I do not really wish to fly all over the earth," said he, "to show the waters where to go."
"Oh, I wish I were a bird," said a butterfly. "I should be so glad to do something for the Father."
But the peetweet went on, "I should think the lakes could find their way into the hollows of the mountains by themselves."
The Father heard the lazy peetweet, and he said, "Do you not wish to show the waters where to go?"
"They never showed me where to go," said the lazy bird. "I am not thirsty. Let whoever is thirsty and needs the water help the lakes and rivers."
The other birds all stood still in wonder. "He will be punished," they whispered.
"Yes, he must be punished," said the Father sadly. Then said he to the lazy peetweet, "Never again shall you drink of the water that is in river or lake. When you are thirsty, you must look for a hollow in the rock where the rain has fallen, and there only shall you drink."
That is why the peetweet flies over river and lake, but ever cries eagerly, "Peet-weet, peet-weet!" for that is his word for "Rain, rain!"