Fools Crow

Fools Crow

by

James Welch

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A Pikuni warrior and member of the Many Chiefs band. A violent outcast, Owl Child is rejected by many in his own band and by the Pikunis as a whole. He forms a gang of fellow isolated outcasts, including Fast Horse, and vows to “make the Napikwans cry” for invading their lands and way of life. When Owl Child is caught stealing horses from Malcolm Clark, an important rancher among the Napikwans, Clark slaps Owl Child in front of his gang, humiliating him. Owl Child exacts revenge and kills Malcolm Clark, and act for which the United States government intends to make Owl Child’s chief, Mountain Chief, pay. Owl Child’s killing of the Napikwans—and his repeated stealing of their horses—worsens the already strained relationship between the Pikunis and the United States government. While Owl Child claims that he doesn’t intend any harm to come to the Pikunis, his actions lead directly to the massacre at Heavy Runner’s camp by the blue-coat seizers. Owl Child becomes ill during the white-scabs outbreak and presumably dies of the virus.

Owl Child Quotes in Fools Crow

The Fools Crow quotes below are all either spoken by Owl Child or refer to Owl Child. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Fools Crow published in 1986.
Chapter 3 Quotes

Yellow Kidney watched the young men as they chopped down some small spear-leaf trees. These are good human beings, he thought, not like Owl Child and his bunch. His face grew dark as he thought this. He had been hearing around the Pikunis that Owl Child and his gang had been causing trouble with the Napikwans, driving away horses and cattle, and had recently killed a party of woodcutters near Many Houses fort. It would be only a matter of time before the Napikwans sent their seizers to make war on the Pikunis. The people would suffer greatly.

Related Characters: Yellow Kidney, Owl Child
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

Three Bears turned to Fast Horse. “We do not want trouble with the whites. Now that the great war in that place where Sun Chief rises is over, the blue-coat seizers come out to our country. Their chiefs have warned us more than once that if we make life tough for their people, they will ride against us.” He pointed his pipe in the direction of Owl Child. “If these foolish young men continue their raiding and killing of the Napikwans, we will all suffer. The seizers will kill us, and the Pikuni people will be as the shadows on the land. This must not happen.”

Related Characters: Three Bears (speaker), Owl Child, Heavy Runner
Page Number: 61-2
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18 Quotes

The thought came into [Fools Crow’s] mind without warning, the sudden understanding of what Fast Horse found so attractive in running with Owl Child. It was this freedom from responsibility, from accountability to the group, that was so alluring. As long as one thought himself as part of the group, he would be responsible to and for that group. If one cut ties, he had the freedom to roam, to think only of himself and not worry about the consequences of his actions. So it was for Owl Child and Fast Horse to roam. And so it was for the Pikunis to suffer.

Page Number: 213
Explanation and Analysis:
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Owl Child Character Timeline in Fools Crow

The timeline below shows where the character Owl Child appears in Fools Crow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
...large horses, like the kind the Napikwans use to pull their wagons. Fast Horse recognizes Owl Child , a member of the Many Chiefs band. Owl Child has a many-shots gun in... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
Three Bears comes out of his lodge, and Owl Child asks to feast with them. Three Bears questions the ownership of the horses and suspects... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Three Bears gives Owl Child a package of boiled meat. As the young men ride away, Owl Child invites Fast... (full context)
Chapter 8
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...happened. Fast Horse feels a growing hate for his people, and he believes that only Owl Child has true power and courage. Suddenly, Fast Horse is distracted by commotion outside. (full context)
Chapter 9
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
...that Fast Horse has banished himself and has left camp during the night to join Owl Child and his gang. (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
Rides-at-the-door fears that Fast Horse will be an even bigger problem riding with Owl Child than he would be in camp. They are sure to kill and rob more Napikwans,... (full context)
Chapter 10
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
...that he visited all the bands, except that of the Many Chiefs. Seizers had chased Owl Child and his gang, and Mountain Chief had led them to Canada. (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Later, as Mountain Chief stands to make an announcement, White Man’s Dog sees Owl Child and Fast Horse in the distance. Mountain Chief tells the bands that while he doesn’t... (full context)
Chapter 13
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
...tell Three Bears and the Lone Eaters that Malcolm Clark was recently killed, and that Owl Child has been identified as the murderer. He must be held accountable, and the men are... (full context)
War Theme Icon
...Crow is upset by this news and wonders if Fast Horse is still riding with Owl Child ’s gang. Less than a year ago Fools Crow and Fast Horse had raided the... (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
...says that Malcolm Clark was a bad man and he won’t cry for him, but Owl Child is bad as well. Clark had slapped Owl Child in front of this people when... (full context)
Chapter 14
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
...Eaters’ camp for a while. The seizers are determined to make Mountain Chief pay for Owl Child ’s crime, and the camp has become a stressful place. (full context)
Chapter 17
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
...“There are easier ways of gaining wealth,” Fast Horse thinks. He will catch up with Owl Child and take revenge on the rancher who had shot him while he tried to steal... (full context)
Chapter 18
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
As Fast Horse rides the plains, he comes across Owl Child and his gang. He tells Owl Child that he must take revenge on the rancher... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
Later, Fast Horse approaches the rancher’s land with Owl Child and his gang. The rancher is working in his corral while his wife and children... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
...camp. He had ridden through, feasted and rested, but he has gone on to find Owl Child . (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
...screams as Fast Horse empties his rifle into the rancher’s body and takes his scalp. Owl Child ’s gang grabs the woman and, slapping her, rip her clothes from her body. They... (full context)
Chapter 22
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
...Fools Crow mentions that some Napikwan hunters have been killed near camp and, once again, Owl Child and his gang are the suspected culprits. Red Paint begins to feel uneasy—because Owl Child... (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
...with the Pikuni chiefs for a discussion. Three Bears knows that it must be about Owl Child , but he doesn’t know what the seizers expect him to do—he can’t control Owl... (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
...they also must give something to the seizers to placate them, even that means finding Owl Child and killing him. Both agree that if pressed, they will align themselves with Mountain Chief... (full context)
Chapter 24
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
...are not present, and General Sully informs them that he has an arrest warrant for Owl Child . The Blackfeet people are expected to aid in his apprehension. (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
Heavy Runner agrees to find Owl Child but says it will be too difficult to bring him to the agency. It will... (full context)
Chapter 25
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Fast Horse watches a team of oxen from a distance with Owl Child and his gang. The men quickly open fire on the whiskey runners, killing them all.... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Owl Child agrees that they have struck too close to camp. The seizers will surely know that... (full context)
Chapter 27
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Fast Horse approaches the war lodge on Bad Horse Butte with Owl Child and his gang. Fast Horse goes to the lodge alone to scout, and as he... (full context)
Chapter 30
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
...himself to go back. He doesn’t belong with the Pikunis, but he doesn’t belong with Owl Child either. He looks to the north—the whisky traders in Canada are sure to accept him.... (full context)
Chapter 35
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
...is told that they headed toward the Many Chiefs camp. Fools Crow remembers hearing that Owl Child had been inflicted by the white-scabs disease and he too is sure to be dead... (full context)