“Lullaby” is one of the most noted pieces in Storyteller. It is told from the perspective of an old woman reminiscing about some of the most tragic events of her life, all of which seem to be precipitated by the intrusions of white authority figures into her home. She recalls being informed of the death of her son in war, the loss of her children taken by white doctors, and the exploitative treatment of her husband by the white rancher who employs him. Furthermore, these events seem to have led to a long-term alienation between the old woman and her husband. Yet she also recalls strong ties with her own grandmother and mother.

While much of the story is told in terms of these reminiscences, the present tense of the story finds the old woman searching for her husband at the local bar. The lullaby she sings to her husband at the end of the story, as he lies dying in the snow, brings the oral tradition full circle, because she recalls this song as one that her grandmother sang to her as a child. In addition to appearing in the Chicago Review and Yardbird Reader, “Lullaby” has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories of 1975, edited by Martha Foley.

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