Sometimes he felt he would never grow tall enough or strong enough to be a true Indian brave.
Siwash was much smaller than all the other Indian boys his age. He couldn't run as fast, jump as high or lift as much as the other boys.
They teased him and played tricks on him. Sometimes they would take him deep into the woods to play hide and seek. When Siwash hid his eyes, the other young boys would run away and leave him all alone in the woods. His father, Running Elk, would have to come and find him and bring him back to the village.
This did not make Running Elk very happy. He was afraid that Siwash would never grow big and strong enough to become an Indian brave able to ride a horse, hunt game and defend the village against its enemies.
When Siwash was born he was so tiny and frail his mother, White Cloud, and his father were afraid he would not survive his first winter. But the little boy did survive, showing an inner strength that amazed both of his parents. Even so, during the next few years he lagged far behind the other children, as they grew taller and stronger than Siwash.
Running Elk had little time for his smallest son, he was always busy hunting and teaching Siwash's two older brothers, Spotted Elk and Running Deer, how to be an Indian braves. He taught them to ride horses, shoot a bow and arrow, the use of the wooden spear to hunt Buffalo, and how to find their way in the woods or out on the broad, grass covered prairie.
White Cloud had little time for Siwash. She was always busy cooking, making clothing from animal skins, molding pottery, and weaving baskets.
Siwash's two older brothers put him down saying he was too small and weak to help gather firewood or carry water from the stream. They did little to shield him from the other boys. They also teased and taunted him.