17. The Mistaken Gifts
When Siagon was about eight years old his parents began looking for a girl who would make a suitable wife. At last when they had decided on a beautiful maiden, who lived some distance from them, they sent a man to her parents to ask if they would like Siagon for a son-in-law.
Now when the man arrived at the girl’s house the people were all sitting on the floor eating periwinkle, and as they sucked the meat out of the shell, they nodded their heads. The man, looking in at the door, saw them nod, and he thought they were nodding at him. So he did not tell them his errand, but returned quickly to the boy’s parents and told them that all the people at the girl’s house were favorable to the union.
Siagon’s parents were very much pleased that their proposal had been so kindly received, and immediately prepared to go to the girl’s house to arrange for the wedding.
Finally all was ready and they started for her house, carrying with them as presents for her parents two buffalo, two horses, two cows, four iron kettles, sixteen jars of wine, two blankets, and two little pigs.
The surprise of the girl’s people knew no bounds when they saw all this coming to their house, for they had not even thought of Siagon marrying their daughter.