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Smokyriversongs' Look At Indian Life And The Lore
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Native American Lore:

 

Basket Woman's Sister Eats Her Last Meal

Basket Ogress spoke to her little daughter, Tree Roots. "Little Roots, I want you to build a fire and heat those rocks. We are going to have tender roasted children for our supper."

Basket Ogress Put her huge basket on her back and hurried down to the water where the little children were playing. She grabbed them all up and stuffed them into her basket. Little Hunchback kept wriggling himself up over the other children. He managed to be at the top of the basket as Ogress lumbered upland thinking about her supper.

Little Hunchback saw a tree branch that was hanging sideways. He grabbed hold of it and swung himself out of the basket as Ogress crawled under with her pack. Then he ran. He went home. When he got there he told how the bad Basket Ogress had stolen the children. The people immediately prepared themselves to go rescue them. They should kill that Ogress.

When Basket Ogress arrived at home with her basket full of children, she took them out and seated them around the fire. As she thought about her dinner, she began to sing and dance.

She sang...

The children will now be roasted,

The children will now be roasted,

The children will now be roasted.

Around the fire she went. It was a great big fire, and her daughter, little Tree Roots, had lots of rocks heating there. Ogress was very happy. she was glad because now she had lots of tender little children to eat. She became slightly dizzy as she danced around the fire, and she staggered just a little. Oh, but she was so happy as she thought about the dinner she would have in just a little while.

The older boys and girls noticed how she had staggered as she danced. They whispered to each other, "She could burn! We could push the dirty thing, because she gets dizzy when she dances and staggers toward the fire. we could push her down and hold her there by the neck with a forked stick."

"We could all poke her and hold her down on the fire. We could manage to kil her. It would be a good thing if she died, anyway!"
The children discussed their plan; then one of them ran and brought back a forked stick. They said to little Tree Roots, "Little Tree Roots, go and get a forked stick so that we can get your mother out of the fire if she should get dizzy and fall in it." Little Tree Roots went and returned with a forked stick that they used for hunting.

Now they watched carefully as Basket Ogress happily danced around her big hot fire. As soon as she staggered just a little, they pushed her toward the fire and poked her neck onto the hot rocks with the forked sticks. She thrashed around for a little while.

Then she died in the fire! They kept he pressed onto the fire. Basket Ogress, the monster who liked to eat children was dead! She would have eaten them if they had not killed her first!

The people came and made certain that she was truly dead. There was still a little life left in her when the relatives of the children checked her. but finally she died!

After Basket Ogress was dead they covered her over with ashes and left her there. Her little daughter, Little Tree Roots, left. she walked at first then started running away from the place her mother had died.

The younger sister of Basket Ogress had been hunting far away from home. Now she quietly returned. As soon as she glanced around the area, she noticed that a big fire had died down, but there appeared to be something there covered with ashes.

Then she chuckled to herself and said, "Well, well as usual, the great, powerful one has her game cleverly hidden. This is probably her game that she has roasted and hidden here." She went closer to investigate what was covered at the fire. she knew it had been roasted. She uncovered part of it. True it was cooked and falling apart, it was so well done! This younger sister had been out hunting and hadn't had time to stop and cook herself a good meal. she was so hungry.

Now she ate. She thought that this was some game that her sister had cooked and left covered at the fire.

After she had eaten her fill she began to feel a little sick, and she said, "Oh my goodness, this taste like t might have been a dear one. She realized now that it was her own sister whom she had eaten. She got scared and went away from there.

She walked a long way until she came to some people in a village. She asked them, "Where is you door?" They answered, "it is through the hole in the that people enter who come here." They already knew however, that Basket Ogress, sister would be traveling, and they had built a huge fire beneath the roof. When she came through the hole in the roof, they threw her into the fire, where she died.

Now both monsters were dead, and that is why there are no monsters in the world today.

Little Tree Roots was never seen again.

 

 

 

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Big Long Man's Corn Patch

As soon as Big Long Man got back from the mountains he went to his garden to admire his corn and melons. He had planted a big crop for the coming winter. When he saw that half of the corn stalks had been shucked and the ears stolen, and that the biggest melons were gone off of the melon vines, he was very angry.

"Who stole my corn and melons?" he muttered to himself. "I'll catch the thief, whoever he is."

He began to scheme. The next day he built a fence around the garden. But the fence did no good. Each morning Big Long Man found more corn stalks stripped.

At last he thought up a scheme to catch the thief. He gathered a great ball of pine pitch and molded it into the shape of a man. He set the figure up in the corn field and then went to his hogan.

That night Skunk came along to get a bit of corn for his dinner. He had heard from Badger that Big Long Man was away in the mountains. He squeezed his body under the fence and waddled up to a clump of corn. He was just about to shuck a fat ear when he noticed a man standing by the fence. Skunk let go of the ear of corn in fright. He could see in the moonlight that the man was not Big Long Man. He waddled over to the fence and spoke to the figure.

"Who are you, in Big Long Man's corn patch?'' asked Skunk.

The figure did not answer.

Who are you?" said Skunk again, moving closer.

The figure did not answer.

"Speak!" said Skunk boldly, "or I will punch your face."

The figure did not say a word. It did not move an inch.

"Tell me who you are," said Skunk a fourth time, raising his fist, "or I will punch your face."

The figure said not a word. It was very quiet in the moonlit corn field. Even the wind had gone away.

Plop went Skunk's fist into the pine gum face. It sunk into the soft pitch, which is as sticky as glue, and there it stuck. Skunk pulled and pulled.

"If you don't let go my hand," he shouted, "I will hit you harder with my left hand."

But the pine pitch held tight.

Plop went Skunk's left hand. Now both hands stuck fast.

"Let go my hands, or I will kick you," cried Skunk, who was by this time getting mad.

The pine gum man did not let go.

Plop, Skunk gave a mighty kick with his right foot. The foot stuck too, just like the hands.

left foot. Pine gum man held that foot too. Skunk struggled but he could not get loose. Now he was in a fine plight. Every limb was held tight. He had only one more weapon, his teeth.

"I will bite your throat," he shouted and he dug his teeth into the pine gum throat.

"Ugh!" he gurgled for he could no longer say a word. His tongue and teeth were held fast in the pine pitch.

The next morning Big Long Man came to his corn patch and there was Skunk stuck onto the pine gum man. Only his tail was free, waving behind him.

"Ah!" said Big Long Man. "So it's you, Skunk, who has been stealing my corn."

"Ugh," replied Skunk. His mouth full of pine pitch.

Big Long Man pulled him away from the gum figure, tied a rope around his neck and led him to his hogan. He put a great pot of water on the stove to boil, then he took the rope off of Skunk's neck.

"Now, Skunk," he said, "go fetch wood."

Skunk went out into the back yard. Just then Fox happened to pass by. He was on his way to Big Long Man's corn patch. Skunk began to cry loudly. Fox stopped running, and pricked up his sharp ears.

"Who is crying?" he said.

"I am crying," said Skunk.

"Why?" said Fox.

"Because I have to carry wood for Big Long Man. He gives me all of the corn I want to eat, but I do not want to carry wood."

Fox was hungry. He knew that if he stole corn he was liable to get caught. "What an easy way to get corn," he thought. "I would not mind carrying wood."

Out loud he said, "Cousin, let us change places. You go home and I will carry wood for Big Long Man. I like the job. Besides, I was just on my way to steal an ear of corn down at the field."

"All right," said Skunk. "But don't eat too much corn. I have a stomach ache." He felt his fat stomach and groaned. Then he waddled happily away. Fox gathered up an armful of pińon wood. He hurried into Big Long Man's hogan. Big Long Man looked at him in surprise.

"Well, well, Skunk, you changed into a fox, did you? That's funny."

Fox did not say a word. He was afraid he might say the wrong thing and not get any corn to eat. Big Long Man took the rope which had been around Skunk's neck and tied it around Fox's neck.

Fox sat down and waited patiently. Soon the water in the big pot began to bubble and steam. At last Fox said, "Isn't the corn cooked yet, Big Long Man?"

"Corn?" asked Big Long Man. "What corn?"

"Why the corn you are cooking for me," said Fox. "Skunk said you would feed me all of the corn I could eat if I carried wood for you."

"The rascal," said Big Long Man. "He tricked you and he tricked me. Well, Fox, you will have to pay for this." So saying he picked up Fox by the ears and set him down in the boiling water. It was so hot that it took off every hair on his body. Big Long Man left him in the pot for a minute and then he pulled him out by the ears and set him free out of doors.

"Don't be thinking you will ever get any of my corn by tricks," said Big Long Man.

Fox ran yelping toward his den. He was sore all over. Half way home he passed Red Monument. Red Monument is a tall slab of red sand stone that stands alone in a valley. On top of the rock sat Raven eating corn that he had stolen from the corn patch. At the bottom was Coyote holding on to the rock with his paws. He was watching for Raven to drop a few kernels. He glanced behind him when Fox appeared. He did not let go of the rock, however, because he thought Fox might get his place. He was surprised at Fox's appearance.

"Where is your fur, Fox?" he asked over his shoulder.

"I ate too much corn," said Fox sadly. "Don't ever eat too much corn, Coyote. It is very painful." Fox held his stomach and groaned. "Corn is very bad for one's fur. It ruined mine."

"But where did you get so much corn, cousin?" asked Coyote, still holding on to the rock.

"Didn't you hear?" asked Fox. "Why, Big Long Man is giving corn to all the animals who carry wood for him. He will give you all you can eat and more too. Just gather an armful of pińon sticks and walk right into his hogan."

Coyote thought a moment. He was greedy. He decided to go to Big Long Man's hogan but he did not want Fox to go with him. He wanted everything for himself.

"Cousin," he said, "will you do me a favor? Will you hold this rock while I go and get a bite of corn from Big Long Man? I am very hungry and I do not dare leave this rock. It will fall and kill somebody."

"All right," said Fox, smiling to himself. "I will hold the rock. But do not eat too much." He placed his paws on the back side of the rock and Coyote let go. The next minute Coyote was running away as fast as he could toward Big Long Man's hogan. Fox laughed to himself, but after a bit he became tired of holding the rock. He decided to let it fall.

"Look out, Cousin Raven," he shouted. "The rock is going to fall." Fox let go, and jumped far away. Then he ran and did not look behind. He was afraid the rock would hit his tail. If Fox had looked behind him he would have seen the rock standing as steady as a mountain.

Presently, along came Coyote, back from Big Long Man's hogan. He was running at top speed and yowling fearfully. There was not a hair left on his body. When he came to Red Monument he saw Raven still sitting on his high perch nibbling kernels of corn.

"Where has Fox gone?" howled Coyote who was in a rage.

Raven looked down at Coyote. "Fox?" he said. "Why, Fox went home, I suppose. What did you do with your hair, Coyote?"

Coyote didn't answer. He just sat down by the foot of the rock and with his snout up in the air waited for Raven to drop a few kernels of corn.

"I'll get Fox some other day," he muttered to himself.

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Blessed Gift Of Joy Is Bestowed Upon Man

Once there was a time when men knew no joy. Their whole life was work, food, digestion, and sleep. One day went by like another. They toiled, they slept, they awoke again to toil. Monotony rusted their minds.

In these days there was a man and his wife who lived alone in their dwelling not far from the sea. They had three sons,

all spirited lads, anxious to be as good huntsman as their father, and even before they were full grown they entered into all kinds of activities to make them strong and enduring. And their father and mother felt proud and secure in the thought that the boys would provide for their old age and find them food when they could no longer help themselves.

But it happened that the eldest son, and after a while the second one, went a-hunting and never came back. They left no trace behind; all search was in vain. And the father and mother grieved deeply over their loss and watched now with great anxiety over the youngest boy, who was at this time big enough to accompany his father when he went hunting. The son, who was called Ermine (Teriak) liked best to stalk caribou, whereas his father preferred to hunt sea creatures. And, as hunters cannot spend all their lives in anxiety, it soon came about that the son was allowed to go where he pleased inland while the father rowed to sea in his kayak.

One day, stalking caribou as usual, Ermine suddenly caught sight of a mighty eagle, a big young eagle that circled over him. Ermine pulled out his arrows, but did not shoot as the eagle flew down and settled on the ground a short distance from him. Here it took off its hood and became a young man who said to the boy:

"It was I who killed your two brothers. I will kill you too unless you promise to hold a festival of song when you get home. Will you or won't you?"

"Gladly, but I don't understand what you say. What is song? What is a festival?"

"Will you or won't you?"

"Gladly, but I don't know what it is."

"If you follow me my mother will teach you what you don't understand. Your two brothers scorned the gifts of song and merrymaking; they would not learn, so I killed them. Now you may come with me, and as soon as you have learned to put words together into a song and to sing it--as soon as you have learned to dance for joy, you shall be free to go home to your dwelling."

"I'll come with you," answered Ermine. And off they set.

The eagle was no longer a bird but a big strong man in a gleaming cloak of eagles' feathers. They walked and they walked, farther and farther inland, through gorges and valleys, onward to a high mountain, which they began to climb.

"High up on that mountain top stands our house," said the young eagle. And they clambered on over the mountain, up and up until they had a wide view over the plains of the Caribou hunters.

But as they approached the crest of the mountain, they suddenly heard a throbbing sound, which grew louder and louder the nearer they came to the top. It sounded like the stroke of huge hammers, and so loud was the noise that it set Ermine's ears a- humming.

"Do you hear anything?" asked the eagle.

"Yes, a strange deafening noise, that isn't like anything I've ever heard before."

"It is the beating of my mother's heart," answered the eagle.

So they approached the eagle's house, that was built right on the uttermost peaks.

"Wait here until I come back. I must prepare my mother," said the eagle, and went in.

A moment after, he came back and fetched Ermine. They entered a big room, fashioned like the dwellings of men, and on the bunk, quite alone, sat the eagle's mother, aged, feeble, and sad. Her son now said:

"Here's a man who has promised to hold a song festival when he gets home. But he says men don't understand how to put words together into songs, nor even how to beat drums and dance for joy. Mother, men don't know how to make merry, and now this young man has come up here to learn."

This speech brought fresh life to the feeble old mother eagle, and her tired eyes lit up suddenly while she said:

"First you must build a feast hall where many men may gather."

So the two young men set to work and built the feast hall, which is called a kagsse and is larger and finer than ordinary houses. And when it was finished the mother eagle taught them to put words together into songs and to add tones to the words so that they could be sung. She made a drum and taught them to beat upon it in rhythm with the music, and she showed them how they should dance to the songs. When Ermine had learned all this she said:

"Before every festival you must collect much meat, and then call together many men. This you must do after you have built your feast hall and made your songs. For when men assemble for a festival they require sumptuous meals."

"But we know of no men but ourselves," answered Ermine.

"Men are lonely, because they have not yet received the gift of joy," said the mother eagle. "Make all your preparations as I have told you. When all is ready you shall go out and seek for men. You will meet them in couples. Gather them until they are many in number and invite them to come with you. Then hold your festival of song."

Thus spoke the old mother eagle, and when she had minutely instructed Ermine in what he should do, she finally said to him:

"I may be an eagle, yet I am also an aged woman with the same pleasures as other women. A gift calls for a return, therefore it is only fitting that in farewell you should give me a little sinew string. It will be but a slight return, yet it will give me pleasure."

Ermine was at first miserable, for wherever was he to procure sinew string so far from his home? But suddenly he remembered that his arrowheads were lashed to the shafts with sinew string. He unwound these and gave the string to the eagle. Thus was his return gift only a trifling matter. Thereupon, the young eagle again drew on his shining cloak and bade his guest bestride his back and put his arms round his neck. Then he threw himself out over the mountainside. A roaring sound was heard around them and Ermine thought his last hour had come. But this lasted only a moment; then the eagle halted and bade him open his eyes. And there they were again at the place where they had met. They had become friends and now they must part, and they bade each other a cordial farewell. Ermine hastened home to his parents and related all his adventures to them, and he concluded his narrative with these words:

"Men are lonely; they live without joy because they don't know how to make merry. Now the eagle has given me the blessed gift of rejoicing, and I have promised to invite all men to share in the gift."

Father and mother listened in surprise to the son's tale and shook their heads incredulously, for he who has never felt his blood glow and his heart throb in exultation cannot imagine such a gift as the eagle's. But the old people dared not gainsay him, for the eagle had already taken two of their sons, and they understood that its word had to be obeyed if they were to keep this last child. So they did all that the eagle had required of them.

A feast hall, matching the eagle's, was built, and the larder was filled with the meat of sea creatures and caribou. Father and son combined joyous words, describing their dearest and deepest memories in songs which they set to music; also they made drums, rumbling tambourine of taut caribou hides with round wooden frames; and to the rhythm of the drum beats that accompanied the songs they moved their arms and legs in frolicsome hops and lively antics. Thus they grew warm both in mind and body, and began to regard everything about them in quite a new light. Many an evening it would happen that they joked and laughed, flippant and full of fun, at a time when they would otherwise have snored with sheer boredom the whole evening through.

As soon as all the preparations were made, Ermine went out to invite people to the festival that was to be held. To his great surprise he discovered that he and his parents were no longer alone as before. Merry men find company. Suddenly he met people everywhere, always in couples, strange looking people, some clad in wolf skins, others in the fur of the wolverine, the lynx, the red fox, the silver fox, the cross fox--in fact, in the skins of all kinds of animals. Ermine invited them to the banquet in his new feast hall and they all followed him joyfully. Then they held their song festival, each producing his own songs. There were laughter, talk, and sound, and people were carefree and happy as they had never been before. The table delicacies were appreciated, gifts of meat were exchanged, friendships were formed, and there were several who gave each other costly gifts of fur. The night passed, and not till the morning light shone into the feast hall did the guests take their leave. Then, as they thonged out of the corridor, they all fell forward on their hands and sprang away on all fours. They were no longer men but had changed into wolves, wolverines, lynxes, silver foxes, red foxes--in fact, into all the beasts of the forest. They were the guests that the old eagle had sent, so that father and son might not seek in vain. So great was the power of joy that it could even change animals into men. Thus animals, who have always been more lighthearted than men, were man's first guests in a feast hall

A little time after this it chanced that Ermine went hunting and again met the eagle. Immediately it took off its hood and turned into a man, and together they went up to the eagle's home, for the old mother eagle wanted once more to see the man who had held the first song festival for humanity.

Before they had reached the heights, the mother eagle came to thank them, and lo! The feeble old eagle had grown young again.

For when men make merry, all old eagles become young.

The foregoing is related by the old folk from Kanglanek, the land which lies where the forests begin around the source of Colville River. In this strange and unaccountable way, so they say, came to men the gift of joy.

And the eagle became the sacred bird of song, dance and all festivity.

 

 

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Bluebird And The Coyote
A long time ago the Bluebird's feathers were a very dull ugly color
It lived near a lake with waters of the most delicate blue which never changed because no stream flowed in or out.
Because the bird admired the blue water, it bathed in the lake four times every morning for four days, and every morning it sang:
"There's a blue water. It lies there. I went in. I am all blue."
On the fourth morning it shed all its feathers and came out in its bare skin, but on the fifth morning it came out with blue feathers.

All the while, Coyote had been watching the bird. He wanted to jump in and catch it for his dinner, but he was afraid of the blue water.
But on the fifth morning he said to the Bluebird:
"How is it that all your ugly color has come out of your feathers, and now you are all blue and sprightly and beautiful? You are more beautiful than anything that flies in the air. I want to be blue, too."

"I went in only four times," replied the Bluebird.
It then taught Coyote the song it had sung. And so Coyote steeled his courage and jumped into the lake. For four mornings he did this, singing the song the Bluebird had taught him, and on the fifth day he turned as blue as the bird.
That made Coyote feel very proud. He was so proud to be a blue coyote that when he walked along he looked about on every side to see if anyone was noticing how fine and blue he was.

Then he started running along very fast, looking at his shadow to see if it also was blue. He was not watching the road, and presently he ran into a stump so hard that it threw him down upon the ground and he became dust-colored all over.

And to this day all coyotes are the color of dusty earth.

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Buffalo And Eagle Wing

A long time ago there were no stones on the earth. The mountains, hills, and valleys were not rough, and it was easy to walk on the ground swiftly. There were no small trees at that time either. All the bushes and trees were tall and straight and were at equal distances. So a man could travel through a forest without having to make a path.

At that time, a large buffalo roamed over the land. From the water, he had obtained his spirit power--the power to change anything into some other form. He would have that power as long as he only drank from a certain pool.

In his wanderings, Buffalo often traveled across a high mountain. He liked this mountain so much that one day he asked it, "Would you like to be changed into something else?"

"Yes," replied the mountain. "I would like to be changed into something nobody would want to climb over."

"All right," said Buffalo. "I will change you into something hard that I will call 'stone.' You will be so hard that no one will want to break you and so smooth that no one will want to climb you."

So Buffalo changed the mountain into a large stone. "And I give you the power to change yourself into anything else as long as you do not break yourself."

Only buffaloes lived in this part of the land. No people lived here. On the other side of the mountain lived men who were cruel and killed animals. The buffaloes knew about them and stayed as far away from them as possible. But one day Buffalo thought he would like to see these men. He hoped to make friends with them and persuade them not to kill buffaloes.

So he went over the mountain and traveled along a stream until he came to a lodge. There lived an old woman and her grandson. The little boy liked Buffalo, and Buffalo liked the little boy and his grandmother. He said to them, "I have the power to change you into any form you wish. What would you like most to be?"

"I want always to be with my grandson. I want to be changed into anything that will make it possible for me to be with him, wherever he goes."

"I will take you to the home of the buffaloes," said their guest. "I will ask them to teach the boy to become a swift runner. I will ask the water to change the grandmother into something, so that you two can always be together."

So Buffalo, the grandmother, and the little boy went over the mountain to the land of the buffaloes.

"We will teach you to run swiftly," they told the boy, "if you will promise to keep your people from hunting and killing buffaloes."

"I promise," said the boy.

The buffaloes taught him to run so fast that not one of them could keep up with him. The old grandmother could follow him wherever he went, for she had been changed into Wind.

The boy stayed with the buffaloes until he became a man. Then they let him go back to his people, reminding him of his promise. Because he was such a swift runner, he became a leader of the hunters. They called him Eagle Wing.

One day the chief called Eagle Wing to him and said to him, "My son, I want you to take the hunters to the buffalo country. We have never been able to kill buffaloes because they run so very fast. But you too can run fast. If you will kill some buffaloes and bring home the meat and the skins, I will adopt you as my son. And when I die, you will become chief of the tribe."

Eagle Wing wanted so much to become chief that he pushed from his mind his promise to the buffaloes. He started out with the hunters, but he climbed the mountain so fast that they were soon left far behind. On the other side of the mountain, he saw a herd of buffaloes. They started to run in fright, but Eagle Wing followed them and killed most of them.

Buffalo, the great one who got his power from the water, was away from home at the time of the hunt. On his way back he grew so thirsty that he drank from some water on the other side of the mountain not from his special pool. When he reached home and saw what the hunter had done, he became very angry. He tried to turn the men into grass, but he could not. Because he had drunk from another pool, he had lost his power to transform.

Buffalo went to the big stone that had once been a mountain.

"What can you do to punish the hunter for what he has done?" he asked Stone.

"I will ask the trees to tangle themselves so that it will be difficult for men to travel through them," answered Stone. "I will break myself into many pieces and scatter myself all over the land. Then the swift runner and his followers cannot run over me without hurting their feet."

"That will punish them," agreed Buffalo.

So Stone broke itself into many pieces and scattered itself all over the land. Whenever the swift runner, Eagle Wing, and his followers tried to run over the mountain, stones cut their feet. Bushes scratched and bruised their bodies.

That is how Eagle Wing was punished for not keeping his promise to Buffalo.

 

 

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Chipmunk And Bear

Long ago when animals could talk, a bear was walking along. Now it has always been said that bears think very highly of themselves. Since they are big and strong, they are certain that they are the most important of the animals.

As this bear went along turning over big logs with his paws to look for food, he felt very sure of himself. "There is nothing I can not do," said this bear.

"Is that so?" said a small voice. Bear looked down. There was a little chipmunk looking up at Bear from it's hole in the ground.

"Yes," bear said, "that is true indeed." He reached out one huge paw and rolled over a big log. "Look how easily I can do this. I am the strongest of all the animals. I can do anything. All the other animals fear me."

"Can you stop the sun from rising in the morning?" said the Chipmunk.

Bear thought for a moment. "I have never tried that," he said. "Yes I am sure I could stop the sun from rising."

"You are sure?" said Chipmunk.

"I am sure." said Bear. "Tomorrow morning the sun will not rise. I, Bear, have said so." bear sat down facing the east to wait.

Behind him the sun set for the night and still he sat there. The chipmunk went into it's hole and curled up in it's snug little nest, chuckling about how foolish Bear was. All through the night Bear sat. Finally the first birds started their songs and the east glowed with the light which comes before the sun.

"The sun will not rise today," said bear. He stared at the glowing light.

"The sun will not rise today."

However, the sun rose, just as it always had. Bear was very upset, but Chipmunk was delighted. He laughed and laughed. "Sun is stronger than Bear," said the chipmunk, twittering with laughter. Chipmunk was so amused that he came out of his hole and began running around in circles singing this song:

"The sun came up'

The sun came up.

Bear is angry,

But the sun came up."

While Bear sat there looking very unhappy, Chipmunk ran around and around, singing and laughing until he was so weak that he rolled over on his back. Then, quicker then the leap of a fish from a stream, Bear shot out a big paw and pinned him to the ground.

"Perhaps I can not stop the sun from rising," said Bear, "but you will never see another sunrise."

"Oh Bear," said Chipmunk. "Oh, oh you are the strongest, you are the quickest, you are the best of all the animals. I was only joking." But Bear did not move his paw.

"Oh Bear," Chipmunk said. "you are right to kill me, I deserve to die. Just please let me say one last prayer to creator before you eat me."

"Say your prayer quickly," said Bear. "Your time to walk the Sky road has come!"

"Oh, Bear said Chipmunk, "I would like to pray. But you are pressing down on me so hard I can not breath. I can hardly squeak. I do not have enough breath to say a prayer. If you would just lift your paw a little, just a little bit, then I could breath, And I could say my last prayer to the Maker of all, to the one who made great, wise, powerful Bear and foolish, weak, little Chipmunk."

Bear lifted his paw. he lifted it just a little bit. That little bit, though was enough. Chipmunk squirmed free and ran for his hole as quickly as the blinking of an eye. Bear swung his paw at the little chipmunk as it darted away. He was not quick enough to catch him, but the very tips of his long claws scraped along Chipmunk's back leaving three pale scares.

To this day, all chipmunks wear those scares as a reminder to them of what happens when one animal makes fun of another.

 

 
 



 

 

 

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The Comrades

Mashtinna, the Rabbit, was a handsome young man, and, moreover, of a kind disposition. One day, when he was hunting, he heard a child crying bitterly, and made all haste in the direction of the sound.

On the further side of the wood he found one tormenting a baby boy with whips and pinches, laughing heartily meanwhile and humming a mother's lullaby.

"What do you mean by abusing this innocent child?" demanded the Rabbit; but the other showed a smiling face and replied pleasantly:

"You do not know what you are talking about! The child is fretful, and I am merely trying to quiet him."

Mashtinna was not deceived, for he had guessed that this was Double-Face, who delights in teasing the helpless ones.

"Give the boy to me!" he insisted; so that Double-Face became angry, and showed the other side of his face, which was black and scowling.

"The boy is mine," he declared, "and if you say another word I shall treat you as I have treated him!"

Upon this, Mashtinna fitted an arrow to the string, and shot the wicked one through the heart.

He then took the child on his arm and followed the trail to a small and poor teepee. There lived an old man and his wife, both of them blind and nearly helpless, for all of their children and grand- children, even to the smallest and last, had been lured away by wicked Double-Face.

"Ho, grandfather, grandmother! have brought you back the child!" exclaimed the Rabbit, as he stood in the doorway.

But the poor, blind old people had so often been deceived by that heartless Double-Face that they no longer believed anything; therefore they both cried out:

"You liar! we don't believe a word you say! Get away with you, do!"

Since they refused to take the child, and it was now almost night, the kind-hearted young man wrapped the boy in his own blanket and lay down with him to sleep. The next morning, when he awoke, he found to his surprise that the child had grown up during the night and was now a handsome young man, so much like him that they might have been twin brothers.

"My friend, we are now comrades for life!" exclaimed the strange youth. "We shall each go different ways in the world, doing all the good we can; but if either is ever in need of help let him call upon the other and he will come instantly to his aid!"

The other agreed, and they set out in opposite directions. Not long after, the Rabbit heard a loud groaning and crying as of some person in great pain. When he reached the spot, he found a man with his body wedged tightly in the forks of a tree, which the wind swayed to and fro. He could not by any means get away, and was in great misery.

"I will take your place, brother!" exclaimed the generous young man, upon which the tree immediately parted, and the tree-bound was free. Mashtinna took his place and the tree closed upon him like a vise and pinched him severely.

The pain was worse than he had supposed, but he bore it as long as he could without crying out. Sweat beaded his forehead and his veins swelled to bursting; at last he could endure it no longer and called loudly upon his comrade to help him. At once the young man appeared and struck the tree so that it parted and Mashtinna was free.

He kept on his journey until he spied a small wigwam quite by itself on the edge of a wood. Lifting the door-flap, he saw no one but an old blind man, who greeted him thankfully.

"Ho, my grandson! you see me, I am old and poor. All the day I see no one. When I wish to drink, this raw-hide lariat leads me to the stream near by. When I need dry sticks for my fire, I follow this other rope and feel my way among the trees. I have food enough, for these bags are packed with dried meat for my use. But alas, my grandson, I am all alone here, and I am blind!"

"Take my eyes, grandfather!" at once exclaimed the kind-hearted young man. "You shall go where you will, and I will remain here in your place."

"Ho, ho, my grandson, you are very good!" replied the old man, and he gladly took the eyes of the Rabbit and went out into the world. The youth stayed behind, and as he was hungry, he ate of the dried meat in the bags.

This made him very thirsty, so he took hold of the raw-hide rope and followed it to the stream; but as he stooped to the brink, the rope broke and Mashtinna fell in.

The water was cold and the bank slippery, but after a hard struggle he got out again and made his way back to the teepee, dripping wet and very miserable. Wishing to make a fire and dry his clothes, he seized the other rope and went to the wood for sticks.

However, when he began to gather the sticks he lost the rope, and being quite blind he did nothing but stumble over fallen logs, and bruise himself against the trunks of trees, and scratch his face among the briars and brambles, until at last he could bear it no longer, and cried out to his comrade to come to his aid.

Instantly the youth appeared and gave him back his eyes, saying at the same time:

"Friend, be not so rash in future! It is right to help those who are in trouble, but you must also consider whether you are able to hold out to the end."

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Coyote And Multnomah Falls

The Big River, or Great River, in the stories of the Northwest Indians is the Columbia. The Big Shining Mountains are the Rockies.

"Long, long ago, when the world was young and people had not come out yet," said an elderly Indian years ago, "the animals and the birds were the people of this country. They talked to each other just as we do. And they married, too."
Coyote (ki-o-ti) was the most powerful of the animal people, for he had been given special power by the Spirit Chief. For one thing, he changed the course of Big River, leaving Dry Falls behind. In some stories, he was an animal; in others he was a man, sometimes a handsome young man.
In that long ago time before this time, when all the people and all the animals spoke the same language, Coyote made one of his frequent trips along Great River. He stopped when he came to the place where the water flowed under the Great Bridge that joined the mountains on one side of the river with the mountains on the other side. There he changed himself into a handsome young hunter.
When traveling up the river the last time, he had seen a beautiful girl in a village not far from the bridge. He made up his mind that he would ask the girl's father if he might have her for his wife. The girl's father was a chief. When the handsome young man went to the chief's lodge, he carried with him a choice gift for the father in return for his daughter.
The gift was a pile of the hides and furs of many animals, as many skins as Coyote could carry. He made the gift large and handsome because he had learned that the man who would become the husband of the girl would one day become the chief of the tribe.
The chief knew nothing about the young man except that he seemed to be a great hunter. The gift was pleasing in the father's eyes, but he wanted his daughter to be pleased.
"She is my only daughter," the chief said to the young hunter. "And she is very dear to my heart. I shall not be like other fathers and trade her for a pile of furs. You will have to win the heart of my daughter, for I want her to be happy."
So Coyote came to the chiefs lodge every day, bringing with him some small gift that he thought would please the girl. But he never seemed to bring the right thing. She would shyly accept his gift and the run away to the place where the women sat in the sun doing their work with deerskins or to the place where the children were playing games.
Every day Coyote became more eager to win the beautiful girl. He thought and thought about what gifts to take to her. "Perhaps the prettiest flower hidden in the forest," he said to himself one day, "will be the gift that will make her want to marry me."
He went to the forest beside Great River and searched for one whole day. Then he took to the chief's lodge the most beautiful flower he had found. He asked to see the chief.
"I have looked all day for this flower for your daughter," said Coyote to the chief. "If this does not touch her heart, what will? What gift can I bring that will win her heart?"
The chief was the wisest of all the chiefs of a great tribe. He answered, "Why don't you ask my daughter? Ask her, today, what gift will make her heart the happiest of all hearts."
As the two finished talking, they saw the girl come out of the forest. Again Coyote was pleased and excited by her beauty and her youth. He stepped up to her and asked, "Oh, beautiful one, what does your heart want most of all? I will get for you anything that you name. This flower that I found for you in a hidden spot in the woods is my pledge."
Surprised, or seeming to be surprised, the girl looked at the young hunter and at the rare white flower he was offering her.
"I want a pool," she answered shyly. "A pool where I may bathe every day hidden from all eyes that might see."
Then, without accepting the flower that Coyote had searched for so many hours, she ran away. As before, she hurried to play with her young friends.
Coyote turned to her father. "It is well. In seven suns I will come for you and your daughter. I will take you to the pool she asked for. The pool will be for her alone."
For seven suns Coyote worked to build the pool that would win the heart of the girl he wished to marry. First he cut a great gash in the hills on the south side of Great River. Then he lined that gash with trees and shrubs and ferns to the very top of a high wall that looked toward the river.
Then he went to the bottom of the rock wall and slanted it back a long way, far enough to hollow out a wide pool. He climbed up the wall again and went far back into the hills. There he made a stream come out of the earth, and he sent it down the big gash he had made, to fall over the slanting rock wall. From the edge of that wall the water dropped with spray and mist. And so the water made, at the bottom, a big screen that hid the pool from all eyes.
When he had finished his work, Coyote went to the village to invite the chief and his daughter to see what he had made. When they had admired the new waterfall, he showed them the pool that lay behind it and the spray. He watched the eyes of the girl.
She looked with smiling eyes, first at the pool and the waterfall in front of it, and then at the young hunter who had made them for her. He could see that she was pleased. He could see that at last he had won her heart. She told her father that she was willing to become the wife of the young hunter.
In that long ago time before this time, two old grandmothers sat all day on top of the highest mountains. One sat on the top of the highest mountain north of Great River. The other sat on the highest mountain south of it. When the one on the north side talked, she could be heard eastward as far as the Big Shining Mountains, westward as far as the big water where the sun hides every night, and northward to the top of the world.
The grandmother on the south side of the river also could be heard as far west as the big water and as far south as anyone lived. The two old women saw everything that was done, and every day they told all the people on both sides of the river.
Now they saw the chief's daughter go every morning to bathe in the pool, and they saw Coyote wait for her outside the screen of waterfall and spray. The old grandmothers heard the two sing to each other and laugh together. The grandmothers laughed at the pair, raised their voices, and told all the people what they saw and heard.
Soon the chief's daughter knew that all the people were laughing at her--all the people from the big water to the Big Shining Mountains, all the people from the top of the world to as far south as anyone lived.
She was no longer happy. She no longer sang with joy. One day she asked Coyote to allow her to go alone to the pool. The old grandmothers watched her go behind the waterfall. Then they saw her walk from the pool and go down into Great River. Her people never saw her again.
Coyote, in a swift canoe, went down Great River in search of her. He saw her floating and swimming ahead of him, and he paddled as fast as he could. He reached her just before she was carried out into the big water where the sun hides at night.
There the two of them, Coyote and the girl, were turned into little ducks, little summer ducks, floating on the water.
That was a long, long time ago. But even today, when the sun takes its last look at the high cliff south of Great River, two summer ducks swim out to look back at the series of waterfalls that dash down the high mountain. They look longest at the lowest cascade and the spray that hides the tree-fringed pool behind them.
If those who want to understand will be silent and listen, they will hear the little song that the chief's daughter and Coyote used to sing to each other every morning after she had bathed in the pool. The song begins very soft and low, lifts sharply to a high note, and then fades gently away.

 

 

 

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Coyote And The Another One

Two Coyotes were crossing a farmers field. Both Coyotes were strangers to each other for they had never met. Just as they were about to introduce themselves they heard the farmer yell, "There's a Coyote in the field!" They both started to run for the trees when they heard the farmer yell, "And there goes another one!"

Finally both Coyotes made it to the cover of the trees and they started to introduce themselves. "I never saw you before, I am Wanderer, I am a Coyote like you." The other Coyote looked at him oddly and said, "I am Sleek, but I am not a Coyote like you."

"Yes you are," said Wanderer.

"Oh no I am not," replied Sleek.

"Look my friend, you are confused. You have ears like mine, you have a taillike mine, our fur is the same, you are just like me and we both are Coyotes," Wanderer tried to explain. "Listen let's run across the field again and you will see," challenged Sleek. So off they ran. First went Wanderer and again the Farmer yelled, "There goes that darn Coyote." Then Sleek took afoot and the Farmer yelled, "And there goes another one again!"

When the two Coyotes reached the other side of the field they ducked into the woods. Wanderer turned to Sleek and said, "There! Didn't you hear the Farmer? He called us both Coyotes." Sleek looked disappointed with his new confused friend and said, "Yes I heard the Farmer. He called you a Coyote, but I am an 'Another One'."

Our problem is we are listening to the Farmers tell us who we are.

Something to talk about.

 

 



 

 

 

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Coyote And The Rolling Rock

One spring day Coyote and Fox were out for a walk, and when they came to a big smooth rock, Coyote threw his blanket over it and they sat down to rest. After a while the Sun became very hot, and Coyote decided he no longer needed the blanket. "Here, brother," he said to the rock, "I give you my blanket because you are poor and have let me rest on you. Always keep it."

Then Coyote and Fox went on their way. They had not gone far when a heavy cloud covered the sky. Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled and rain began to fall. The only shelter they could find was in a coulee, and Coyote said to Fox, "Run back to that rock, and ask him to lend us the blanket I gave him. We can cover ourselves with it and keep dry."

So Fox ran back to the rock, and said, "Coyote wants his blanket." "No," replied the rock. "He gave it to me as a present. I shall keep it. Tell him he cannot have it."

Fox returned to Coyote and told him what the rock had said. "Well," said Coyote, "that certainly is an ungrateful rock. I only wanted the use of the blanket for a little while until the rain stops." He grew very angry and went back to the rock and snatched the blanket off. "I need this to keep me dry," he said. "You don't need a blanket. You have been out in the rain and snow all your life, and it won't hurt you to live so always."

Coyote and Fox kept dry under the blanket until the rain stopped and the sun came out again. Then they left the coulee and resumed their walk toward the river. After a while they heard a loud noise behind them coming from the other side of the hill. "Fox, little brother," said Coyote, "go back and see what is making that noise."

Fox went to the top of the hill, and then came hurrying back as fast as he could. "Run! run!" he shouted, "that big rock is coming." Coyote looked back and saw the rock roll over the top of the hill and start rushing down upon them. Fox jumped into a badger hole, but the rock mashed the tip of his tail, and that is why Fox's tail is white to this day.

Meanwhile Coyote had raced down the hill and jumped into the river. He swam across to the other side where he was sure that he was safe because he knew that rocks sink in water. But when the rock splashed into the river it began swimming, and Coyote fled toward the nearest woods. As soon as he was deep in the timber, he lay down to rest, but he had scarcely stretched himself out when he heard trees crashing. Knowing that the rock was still pursuing him, Coyote jumped up and ran out on the open prairie.

Some bears were crossing there, and Coyote called upon them for help. "We'll save you," the bears shouted, but the rock came rolling upon them and crushed the bears. About this time Coyote saw several bull buffalo. "Oh, my brothers," he called to them, "help me, help me. Stop that rock." The buffalo put their heads down and rushed upon the rock, but it broke their skulls and kept rolling. Then a nest of rattlesnakes came to help Coyote by forming themselves into a lariat, but when they tried to catch the rock, the rattlesnakes at the noose end were all cut to pieces.

Coyote kept running along a pathway, but the rock was now very close to him, so close that it began to knock against his heels. Just as he was about to give up, he saw two witches standing on opposite sides of the path. They had stone hatchets in their hands. "We'll save you," they called out. He ran between them, with the rock following close behind. Coyote heard the witches strike the rock with their hatchets, and when he turned to look he saw it lying on the ground all shattered into tiny pieces.

Then Coyote noticed that the path had led him into a large camp. When he sat down to catch his breath, he overheard one of the witches say to the other: "He looks nice and fat. We'll have something good for dinner now. Let's eat him right away."

Coyote Pretended he had heard nothing, but he watched the witches through one of his half-closed eyes until they went into their lodge and began rattling their cooking utensils. Then he jumped up and emptied all their water pails.

As soon as they came outside again, he said, "I am very thirsty. I wish you would give me a good drink of water."

"There is plenty of water here," one of the witches replied. "You may have a drink from one of these pails." But when she looked in the pails she found that every one was empty.

"That creek down there has water in it," Coyote said. "I'll go and get some water for you."

He took the pails and started off, but as soon as he was out of sight he ran away as fast as his legs could carry him. Afterwards he heard that when the old witches discovered that he had tricked them, they began blaming each other for letting him escape. They quarreled and quarreled, and fought and fought, Until finally they killed each other.

 

 

 

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Coyote Kills A Giant

Coyote was walking one day when he met Old Woman. She greeted him and asked where he was headed.

"Just roaming around," said Coyote.

"You better stop going that way, or you'll meet a giant who kills everybody."

"Oh, giants don't frighten me," said Coyote (who had never met one). "I always kill them. I'll fight this one too, and make an end of him."

"He's bigger and closer than you think," said Old Woman.

"I don't care," said Coyote, deciding that a giant would be about as big as a bull moose and calculating that he could kill one easily.

So Coyote said good-bye to Old Woman and went ahead, whistling a tune. On his way he saw a large fallen branch that looked like a club. Picking it up, he said to himself, "I'll hit the giant over the head with this. It's big enough and heavy enough to kill him." He walked on and came to a huge cave right in the middle of the path. Whistling merrily, he went in.

Suddenly Coyote met a woman who was crawling along on the ground.

"What's the matter?" he asked.

"I'm starving," she said, "and too weak to walk. What are you doing with that stick?"

"I'm going to kill the giant with it," said Coyote, and he asked if she knew where he was hiding.

Feeble as she was, the woman laughed. "You're already in the giant's belly."

"How can I be in his belly?" asked Coyote. "I haven't even met him."

"You probably thought it was a cave when you walked into his mouth," the woman said, and sighed. "It's easy to walk in, but nobody ever walks out. This giant is so big you can't take him in with your eyes. His belly fills a whole valley."

Coyote threw his stick away and kept on walking. What else could he do?

Soon he came across some more people lying around half dead. "Are you sick?" he asked.

"No," they said, "just starving to death. We're trapped inside the giant."

"You're foolish," said Coyote. "If we're really inside this giant, then the cave walls must be the inside of his stomach. We can just cut some meat and fat from him."

"We never thought of that," they said.

"You're not as smart as I am," said Coyote.

Coyote took his hunting knife and started cutting chunks out of the cave walls. As he had guessed, they were indeed the giant's fat and meat, and he used it to feed the starving people. He even went back and gave some meat to the woman he had met first. Then all the people imprisoned in the giant's belly started to feel stronger and happier, but not completely happy. "You've fed us," they said, "and thanks. But how are we going to get out of here?"

"Don't worry," said Coyote. "I'll kill the giant by stabbing him in the heart. Where is his heart? It must be around here someplace."

"Look at the volcano puffing and beating over there," someone said.

"Maybe it's the heart."

"So it is, friend," said Coyote, and began to cut at this mountain.

Then the giant spoke up. "Is that you, Coyote? I've heard of you. Stop this stabbing and cutting and let me alone. You can leave through my mouth; I'll open it for you."

"I'll leave, but not quite yet," said Coyote, hacking at the heart. He told the others to get ready. "As soon as I have him in his death throes, there will be an earthquake. He'll open his jaw to take a last breath, and then his mouth will close forever. So be ready to run out fast!"

Coyote cut a deep hole in the giant's heart, and lava started to flow out. It was the giant's blood. The giant groaned, and the ground under the people's feet trembled.

"Quick, now!" shouted Coyote. The giant's mouth opened and they all ran out. The last one was the wood tick. The giant's teeth were closing on him, but Coyote managed to pull him through at the last moment.

"Look at me," cried the wood tick, "I'm all flat!"

"It happened when I pulled you through," said Coyote. "You'll always be flat from now on. Be glad you're alive."

"I guess I'll get used to it," said the wood tick, and he did.



 

 

 

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Coyote vs. Duck

Coyote became disturbed because he had a sick daughter. He thought Duck had done something against his children in order to make them sick. So Coyote determined to bring harm to Duck. He met Duck at a certain place and ordered that Duck should run to a point with his eyes closed. This Duck did. When he opened them again, he found himself in the hole of a big rock, a little cave high on the face of a cliff. There was no way out for Duck.

Coyote took Duck's wife and children, whom he treated badly. In time, Coyote had more children from this woman, and these he took good care of.

Duck tried constantly to get out of the cave, without success. At last Bat camped nearby, and every day, when he went to hunt rabbits, his children could hear someone crying. They told Bat, and he flew upward to look. On his way he killed rabbits and hung them on his belt. Finally he found Duck, who was very weak from lack of food.

"Who is there?" asked Bat. "I am Duck." Bat asked, "How did you come up here?" Duck said, "Coyote caused me to lose my way with my eyes closed. He got rid of me in order to steal my wife." Then Bat said "Throw yourself down." Duck was afraid to try. So Bat told him, "Throw down a small rock." This Duck did and Bat caught it on his back. He said, "That is exactly the way I will catch you. You will not be hurt."

Duck still feared that Bat would not catch him. Bat continued to urge him to let himself fall. Several times Duck almost let himself go, but drew back. At least he thought, "Suppose I am killed; I shall die here anyway; I am as good as dead now."

Duck closed his eyes as Bat commanded, and let himself fall. Bat caught him gently and put Duck safely on the ground. Bat then took Duck to his home and said, "Do not use the fire-sticks that are near my fireplace, but use those stuck behind the tent poles, at the sides of the tent."

Then he entered, and Duck saw the sticks at the sides of the tent, but only thought them to be fine canes, too handsome for stirring the fire. He saw a number of sticks laying around that were charred on the ends. He took one of these and stirred the embers. Oh, how the sticks cried. All the other sticks called out, "Duck has burned our younger brother."

These sticks were Bat's children, and they all ran away. Duck became frightened at what he had done, and went out and hid in the brush. Bat came and called to him, "Come back! You have done no harm."

For a long time Duck seemed afraid that Bat would punish him. Then he thought, "I've already been as good as dead, so I have nothing more to fear, even if they should kill me." Duck went back into the tent. But Bat did not hurt him and gave him plenty of rabbit meat to eat. Soon Duck was strong again.

Duck said to Bat, "Coyote took my wife and children; I think I shall go and look for them." Believing him to be strong enough, Bat encouraged him to go. Duck went to his old camp, but he found it deserted. He followed tracks leading from it, and after a while found some tracks other than his own children's.

"I think Coyote has got children from my wife," he thought, and he became very angry. Coyote came along with Duck's wife. She was carrying a very large basket. Inside were Coyote's children, well kept; but Duck's children sat on the outer edge of the basket. Nearly falling off. These were dirty and miserable.

Duck caught the basket with a finger and pulled it back. "What are you doing, children?" the woman said. "Don't do that; you must not catch hold of something and hold me back." Duck continued to pull at the basket. At last she turned to look at the children and saw Duck. He said to her, "Why do you take care of Coyote's children, while my children are dirty and uncared for? Why do you not treat my children properly?"

The woman was ashamed and did not answer. Then he asked her, "Where will you camp now?" When she told him, he said to her, "Go to the place where Coyote told you to camp, but when you put up the shelter, make the grass very thin on one side and very thick on the side on which you are, so I can reach Coyote."

The woman arrived at the camping place. Coyote asked, "To whom have you been talking now?" She replied, "I have not met nor talked with anyone. Why do you always ask me that?" She then put up the shelter as Duck had directed her. Immediately Duck began to blow. He blew softly, but again, again, and again, until he made it freezing cold.

Coyote could not sleep. He thrust his spear through the sides of the shelter in all directions and nearly speared the Duck. Coyote said to his wife, "I knew that you met someone. It must have been Duck, who is making it so cold." Duck continued to blow and blow. At last Coyote burrowed himself down into the fireplace ashes, hoping to warm himself there. But it was of no use. Coyote froze to death before morning.

Duck let all of Coyote's children go free where they wished. Then he took his wife and his children back to their old home, where they had lived before all of the disruption began.



 

 

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Creation Of The First Man And First Woman

The first people came up through three worlds and settled in the fourth world. They had been driven from each successive world because they had quarreled with one another and committed adultery.

In previous worlds they found no other people like themselves, but in the fourth world they found the Kisani or Pueblo people.

The surface of the fourth world was mixed black and white, and the sky was mostly blue and black. There were no no sun, no moon, no stars, but there were four great snow-covered peaks on the horizon in each of the cardinal directions.

Late in the autumn they heard in the east the distant sound of a great voice calling. They listened and waited, and soon heard the voice nearer and louder than before. Once more they listened and heard it louder still, very near.

A moment later four mysterious beings appeared. These were White Body, god of this world; Blue Body, the sprinkler; Yellow Body; and Black Body, the god of fire. Using signs but without speaking, the gods tried to instruct the people, but they were not understood.

When the gods had gone, the people discussed their mysterious visit and tried without success to figure out the signs. The gods appeared on four days in succession and attempted to communicate through signs, but their efforts came to nothing.

On the fourth day when the other gods departed, Black Body remained behind and spoke to the people in their own language: "You do not seem to understand our signs, so I must tell you what they mean. We want to make people who look more like us. You have bodies like ours, but you have the teeth, the feet and the claws of beasts and insects. The new humans will have hands and feet like ours. Also, you are unclean; you smell bad. We will come back in twelve days. Be clean when we return."

On the morning of the twelfth day the people washed themselves well. Then the women dried their skin with yellow cornmeal, the men with white cornmeal. Soon they heard the distant call, shouted four times, of the approaching gods.

When the gods appeared, Blue Body and Black Body each carried a sacred buckskin. White Body carried two ears of corn, one yellow, one white, each covered completely with grains. The gods laid one buckskin on the ground with the head to the west, and on this they placed the two ears of corn with their tips to the east. Under the white ear they put the feather of a white eagle; under the yellow the feather of a yellow eagle.

Then they told the people to stand back and allow the wind to enter. Between the skins the wind wind blew from the east and the yellow wind from the west. While the wind was blowing the eight of the gods, the Mirage People, came and walked around the objects on the ground four times. As they walked, the eagle feathers, whose tips protruded from the buckskins, were seen to move.

When the Mirage People had finished their walk, the upper buckskin was lifted. The ears of corn had disappeared; a man and a woman lay in their place. The white ear of corn had become the man, the yellow ear the woman, First Man and First Woman. It was the wind that gave them life, and it is the wind that comes out of our mouths now that gives us life.

When this ceases to blow, we die.

The gods had the people build an enclosure of brushwood, and when it was finished, First Man and First Woman went in. The gods told them, "Live together now as husband and wife."

At the end of four days, First Woman bore hermaphrodite twins. In four more days she gave birth to a boy and a girl, who grew to maturity in four days and lived with one another as husband and wife.

In all, First Man and First Woman had five pairs of twins, and all except the first became couples who had children. In four days after the last twins were born, the gods came again and took First Man and First Woman away to the eastern mountain, dwelling place of the gods. The couple stayed there for four days, and when they returned, all their children were taken to the eastern mountain for four days.

The gods may have taught them the awful secrets of witchcraft. Witches always use masks, and after they returned, they would occasionally put on masks and pray for the good things they needed; abundant rain and abundant crops

Witches also marry people who are too closely related to them, which is what First Man and First Woman's children had done. After they had been to the eastern mountain, however, the brothers and sisters separated. Keeping their first marriages secret, the brothers now married women of the Mirage People and the sisters married men of the Mirage People.

But they never told anyone, even their new families, the mysteries they had learned from the gods. Every four days the women bore children, who grew to maturity in four days, then married, and in turn had children in four days.

In this way many children of First Man and First Woman filled the land with people.

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Creation Of The Red And White Races

Among the people of long ago, Old-Man Coyote was a symbol of good and Mountain sheep were a symbol of evil.

Old-Man-In-The-Sky created the world. Then he drained all the water off the earth and crowded into the big salt holes now called the oceans. The land became dry except for the places called lakes, streams and rivers.

Old-Man coyote often became lonely and went up onto the sky world just to talk. One time he was so unhappy that he was crying. Old-Man-In-The-Sky questioned him. "Why are you so unhappy that you are crying? Have I not made much land for you to run around on? Are not Chief Beaver, Chief Otter, Chief Bear, and Chief Buffalo keeping you company?"
"Why do you not like Mountain Sheep? I placed him up in the hilly parts so that you two need not fight. Why do you come up here so often?"

Old-Man Coyote sat down and cried even harder. Old-Man-In-The-Sky became cross and began to scold him.

"Foolish Old-Man Coyote, you must not drop so much water down upon the land. Have I not worked many days to dry it? Soon you will have it all covered with water again. What is the trouble with you? What more do you want to make you happy?"

I am very lonely because I have no one to talk to," he replied. Chief Beaver, Chief Otter, Chief bear and Chief Buffalo are busy with their families. They do not have time to visit with me. I want people of my own, so that I may watch over them."

"Then stop this shedding of water," said Old-Man-In-The-Sky. "If you will stop annoying me with your visits, I will make people for you. Take this parfleche. It is a bag made of rawhide. Take it some place in the mountain where there is red earth. Fill it and bring it back up to me."

Old-Man Coyote took the bag made of rawhide and traveled many days and night At last he came to where there was plenty of red soil. He was very weary after such a long journey but he managed to fill the parfleche. He was very sleepy.

"I will lie down and sleep for awhile. When I wake up, I will run swiftly back to Old-Man-in-The-Sky."

he slept very soundly.

After awhile Mountain Sheep came along. He saw the bag and looked into it to see what was inside.

"The poor fool has come a long distance to get such a big load of red soil," he said to himself. "I do not know what he wants it for, but I will have fun with him."

Mountain Sheep dumped all the red soil out. He filled the lower part of the parfleche with white soil and the top with red soil. Then laughing, he ran back to his hiding place.

Soon Old-Man Coyote woke up. He tied the top of the bag shut, and hurried to Old-Man-In-The-Sky. When he arrived with it, the sun was going to sleep. It was so dark they could hardly see the soil in the parfleche.

Old-Man-In-The-Sky took the dirt and said, "I will make this soil into the forms of two men and two women."

He did not see that half of the soil was red and the other half white. Then he said to Old-Man Coyote, "take these to the dry land below. They are your people. You can talk with them. So do not come up here again to trouble me."

Then he finished shaping the two men and two women in the darkness.

Old-Man Coyote put them in the parfleche and carried them down to dry land. In the morning he took them out and put breath into them. he was surprised to see that one pair was red while the other was white.

"I think that Mountain Sheep came along while I was asleep and change the soil." "I can not keep these two colors together."

he thought for awhile. Then he carried the white ones to the land by the big salt hole. The red he kept in his own land so that he could visit with them.

And that is how the Indians and the white people came to the earth.

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

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Geow-lud-mo-sis-eg: Little People

In many native communities you will always find a person or tow who could tell either a personal story or would know someone who has met or made some kind of contact with the Geow-lud-mo-sis-eg.

Some people say that the Geow-lud-mo-sis-eg represent some kind of an omen, either good or bad, that can happen to the person who sees them.

A lot of this fear is based on a person's upbringing or personal convictions. If you happen to be a superstitious kind of person who always follows the straight and narrow order of spiritual leaning, the appearance of the Geow-lud-mo-sis-eg could touch off a shade of apprehension or intimidation which in turn could transform to negative outcomes.

These negative outcomes could possibly lead to a kind of personal imbalance or disharmony, because you unconsciously allow negativity to seep in. Whereas if the Geow-lud-mo-sis-eg should appear to a person who is positive, open-minded, receptive and less spiritually constricted, the results could be rewarding.

In other words, it all depends on the state-of-mind of the person who sees them. Fear of them could stir negative impulses, while openness and acceptance could work out quite pleasantly for a person.

 

 

 

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How Bear Lost His Tail

Back in the old days, Bear had a tail which was his proudest possession. It was long and glossy. Bear used to wave it around just so that people would look at it. Fox saw this. and as everyone knows Fox is a trickster and likes nothing better then fooling others. So it was that he decided to play a trick on Bear.

It was the time of year when Hatho, the spirit of Frost, had swept across the land, covering the lakes with ice and pounding on the trees with his hammer. Fox made a round hole in the ice, right near where Bear liked to walk. By the time Bear came by, all around Fox, in a circle were big trout and fat perch. Just as Bear was about to ask Fox what he was doing. Fox twitched his tail which he had sticking through the hole in the ice and pulled out a huge trout.

"greetings brother." said Fox. "How are you this fine day?"

"Greetings," answered bear, looking at the big circle of fat fish. "I am well Brother, May I ask what you are doing?"

"I am fishing," answered Fox. "Would you like to try it?"

"Oh yes," said bear, as he started to lumber over to Fox's fishing hole.

But Fox stopped him. "Wait brother," he said. "This place will not be good. As you can see, I have already caught all the fish. Let us make you a new fishing spot where you can catch many big trout."

Bear agreed and followed Fox to the new place where, as Fox knew very well, the lake was to shallow to catch winter fish.. which always stay in the deepest water when Hatho has covered their water. "Now," Fox said, "You must do just as I tell you. Turn your back to the hole and place your tail inside it. Soon fish will come and grab your tail and you can pull them out."

"But how will I know if a fish has grabbed my tail if my back is turned?" asked Bear.

"I will hide over here where the fish can not see me," said Fox. "when a fish grabs your tail. I will shout. Then you must pull as hard as you can to catch the fish. But you must be very patient. Do not move at all until I tell you."

Bear nodded, "I will do exactly as you say." he sat down next to the hole, placed his long tail in the icy water and turned his back.

Fox watched for a time to make sure that Bear was doing as he was told and then, very quietly, sneaked back to his own house and went to bed. The next morning he woke up and thought of bear. "I wonder if he's still there," Fox said to himself. "I'll go and check."

So Fox went back to the ice covered lake and what do you think he saw? he saw what looked like a little white hill in the middle of the ice. It had snowed during the night and covered Bear, who had fallen asleep while waiting for Fox to tell him to pull up his tail and catch a fish. And Bear was snoring. His snores were so loud that the ice was shaking. It was so funny that Fox rolled with laughter. But when he was done laughing, he decided the time had come to wake up poor Bear. He crept very close to Bears' ear. took a deep breath, and then shouted: "Now, Bear!!!"

Bear woke up with a start and pulled his tail as hard as he could. But his tail had been caught in the ice which had frozen over during the night and as he pulled, it broke off...

Whack... just like that. Bear turned around to look at the fish he had caught and instead saw his long tail caught in the ice.

"ohhh," he moaned. ohhh, Fox I will get you for this. "but Fox though he was laughing was still faster and he leaped aside and was gone.

So it is even to this day that Bears have a short tail and no liking at all for Fox. And if you ever hear a bear moaning, it is probably because he remembers the trick Fox played on him a long time ago and is moaning the lost of his tail.

 

 

 

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How Corn Came To The Earth

A long time ago giants lived on the earth, and they were so strong they were not afraid of anything. When they stopped giving smoke to the gods of the four directions, Nesaru looked down upon them and was angry. "I made the giants too strong," Nesaru said. "I will not keep them. They think that they are like me. I shall destroy them by covering the earth with water, but I will save the ordinary people."

Nesaru sent the animals to lead the ordinary people into a cave so large that all the animals and people could live there together. Then he sealed up the cave and flooded the earth so that all the giants drowned. To remind himself that people were under the ground waiting to be released after the floodwaters were gone, Nesaru planted corn in the sky. As soon as the corn ripened, he took an ear from the field and turned it into a woman. She was the Mother-Corn.

"You must go down to the earth," Nesaru told her, "and bring my people out from under the ground. Lead them to the place where the sun sets, for their home shall be in the west."

Mother-Corn went down to the earth, and when she heard thunder in the east she followed the sound into the cave where the people were waiting. But the entrance closed behind her, and she could find no way to lead the people out upon the earth. "We must leave this place, this darkness," she told them. "There is light above the ground. Who will help me take my people out of the earth?"

The Badger came forward and said: "Mother-Corn, I will help." The Mole also stood up and said: "I will help the Badger dig through the ground, that we may see the light." Then the long-nosed Mouse came and said: "I will help the other two."

The Badger began to dig upwards. After a while he fell back exhausted. "Mother-Corn, I am very tired," he said. Then the Mole dug until he could dig no more. The long-nosed Mouse took the Mole's place, and when he became tired, the Badger began to dig again. The three took turns until at last the long nosed Mouse thrust his nose through the ground and could see a little light.

The Mouse went back and said: "Mother-Corn, I ran my nose through the earth until I saw light, but the digging has made my nose small and pointed. After this all the people will know by my nose that it was I who dug through the earth first."

The Mole now went up to the hole and dug all the way through. The sun had come up from the east, and it was so bright it blinded the Mole. He ran back and said: "Mother-Corn, I have been blinded by the brightness of that sun. I cannot live upon the earth any more. I must make my home under the earth. From this time all the Moles will be blind so they cannot see in the daylight, but they can see in the night. They shall stay under the ground in the daytime.

The Badger then went up and made the hole larger so the people could go through. When he crawled outside the Badger closed his eyes, but the rays of the sun struck him and blackened his legs and made a streak of black upon his face. He went back down and said: "Mother-Corn, I have received these black marks upon me, and I wish that I might remain this way so that people will remember that I was one of those who helped to get your people out."

"Very well," said Mother-Corn, "let it be as you say."

She then led the way out, and the people rejoiced that they were now upon the open land. While they were standing there in the sunshine, Mother-Corn said: "My people, we will now journey westward toward the place where the sun sets. Before we start, any who wish to remain here--such as the Badger, Mouse, or Mole-- may do so." Some of the animals decided to return to their burrows in the earth; others wanted to go with Mother-Corn.

The journey was now begun. As they traveled, they could see a mountainous country rising up in front of them. They came to a deep canyon. The bluff was too steep for the people to get down, and if they should get down, the opposite side was too steep for them to climb. Mother-Corn asked for help, and a bluish-grey bird flew up, hovering on rapidly beating wings. It had a large bill, a bushy crest and a banded breast. The bird was the Kingfisher. "Mother-Corn," it said, "I will be the one to point out the way for you."

The Kingfisher flew to the other side of the canyon, and with its beak pecked repeatedly into the bank until the earth fell into the chasm. Then the bird flew back and pecked at the other bank until enough earth fell down to form a bridge. The people cried out their thanks. "Those who wish to join me," said the Kingfisher, "may remain here and we will make our homes in these cliffs." Some stayed, but most journeyed on.

After a while they came to another obstacle--a dark forest. The trees were so tall they seemed to reach the sun. They grew close together and were covered with thorns so that they formed an impenetrable thicket. Again Mother-Corn asked for help. This time an Owl came and stood before her, and said: "I will make a pathway for your people through this forest. Any who wish to remain with me may do so, and we shall live in this forest forever." The Owl then flew up through the timber. As it waved its wings it moved the trees to one side, so that it left a pathway for the people to go through. Mother-Corn then led the people through the forest and they passed onward.

As they journeyed through the country, all at once they came to a big lake. The water was too deep and too wide to cross, and the people talked of turning back. But they could not do this, for Nesaru had ordered Mother-Corn to lead them always toward the west. A water bird with a black head and a checkered back came and stood in front of Mother-Corn, and said: "I am the Loon. I will make a pathway through this water. Let the people stop crying. I shall help them."

Mother-Corn looked at the Loon and said: "Make a pathway for us, and some of the people will remain with you here." The Loon flew and jumped into the lake, moving so swiftly that it parted the waters, and when it came out on the other side of the lake it left a pathway behind. Mother-Corn led the people across to dry land, and some turned back and became Loons. The others journeyed on.

At last they came to a level place beside a river, and Mother- Corn told them to build a village there. "Now you shall have my corn to plant," she said, "so that you, by eating of it, will grow and also multiply." After they built a village and planted the corn, Mother-Corn returned to the Upper World.

The people, however, had no rules or laws to go by, no chiefs or medicine men to advise them, and soon they were spending all their time at playing games. The first game they played was shinny ball, in which they divided into sides and used curved sticks to knock a ball through the other's goal. Then they played at throwing lances through rings placed upon the ground. As time went on, the players who lost games grew so angry that they began killing those who had beaten them.

Nesaru was displeased by the behavior of the people, and he and Mother-Corn came down to earth. He told them that they must have a chief and some medicine men to show them how to live. While Nesaru taught the people how to choose a chief through tests of bravery and wisdom, Mother-Corn taught them songs and ceremonies. After they had chosen a chief, Nesaru gave the man his own name, and then he taught the medicine men secrets of magic. He showed them how to make pipes for offering smoke to the gods of the four directions.

When all this was done, Nesaru went away toward the setting sun to prepare a place for new villages. Mother-Corn led the people in his tracks across plains and streams to this country where Nesaru had planted roots and herbs for the medicine men. There they built villages along a river that the white men later called the Republican River, in Kansas.

On the first day that they came to this country, Mother-Corn told them to offer smoke to the gods in the heavens and to all animal gods. While they were doing this, a Dog came running into the camp crying, and he accused Mother-Corn of doing wrong by going away and leaving him behind. "I came from the Sun," he cried, "and the Sun-god is so angry because I was left behind that he is sending the Whirlwind to scatter the people."

Mother-Corn called on the Dog to save the people by appeasing the Whirlwind. "Only by giving up my freedom," the Dog replied, "can I do this. No longer can I hunt alone like my brother the Wolf, or roam free like the Coyote. I shall always be dependent upon the people."

But when the Whirlwind came spinning and roaring across the land, the Dog stood between it and the people. "I shall always remain with the people," he shouted to the Whirlwind. "I shall be a guardian for all their belongings."

After the wind died away, Mother-Corn said: "The gods are jealous. If you forget to give smoke to them they will grow angry and send storms.

In the rich earth beside the river the people planted her corn, and then she said: "I shall turn into a Cedar-Tree to remind you that I am Mother-Corn, who gave you your life. It was I, Mother- Corn, who brought you from the east. I must become a Cedar-Tree to be with you. On the right side of the tree will be placed a stone to remind you of Nesaru, who brought order and wisdom to the people."

Next morning a Cedar-Tree, full-grown, stood in front of the lodges of the people. Beside it was a large stone. The people knew that Mother-Corn and Nesaru would watch over them through all time, and would keep them together and give them long life.



 

 

 

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How Coyote Stole Fire

Long ago, when man was newly come into the world, there were days when he was the happiest creature of all. Those were the days when spring brushed across the willow tails, or when his children ripened with the blueberries in the sun of summer, or when the goldenrod bloomed in the autumn haze.

But always the mists of autumn evenings grew more chill, and the sun's strokes grew shorter. Then man saw winter moving near, and he became fearful and unhappy. He was afraid for his children, and for the grandfathers and grandmothers who carried in their heads the sacred tales of the tribe. Many of these, young and old, would die in the long, ice-bitter months of winter.

Coyote, like the rest of the People, had no need for fire. So he seldom concerned himself with it, until one spring day when he was passing a human village. There the women were singing a song of mourning for the babies and the old ones who had died in the winter. Their voices moaned like the west wind through a buffalo skull, prickling the hairs on Coyote's neck.

"Feel how the sun is now warm on our backs," one of the men was saying. "Feel how it warms the earth and makes these stones hot to the touch. If only we could have had a small piece of the sun in our tepees during the winter."

Coyote, overhearing this, felt sorry for the men and women. He also felt that there was something he could do to help them. He knew of a faraway mountain-top where the three Fire Beings lived. These Beings kept fire to themselves, guarding it carefully for fear that man might somehow acquire it and become as strong as they. Coyote saw that he could do a good turn for man at the expense of these selfish Fire Beings.

So Coyote went to the mountain of the Fire Beings and crept to its top, to watch the way that the Beings guarded their fire. As he came near, the Beings leaped to their feet and gazed searchingly round their camp. Their eyes glinted like blood stones, and their hands were clawed like the talons of the great black vulture.

"What's that? What's that I hear?" hissed one of the Beings.

"A thief, skulking in the bushes!" screeched another.

The third looked more closely, and saw Coyote. But he had gone to the mountain-top on all fours, so the Being thought she saw only an ordinary coyote slinking among the trees.

"It is no one, it is nothing!" she cried, and the other two looked where she pointed and also saw only a grey coyote. They sat down again by their fire and paid Coyote no more attention.

So he watched all day and night as the Fire Beings guarded their fire. He saw how they fed it pine cones and dry branches from the sycamore trees. He saw how they stamped furiously on runaway rivulets of flame that sometimes nibbled outwards on edges of dry grass. He saw also how, at night, the Beings took turns to sit by the fire. Two would sleep while one was on guard; and at certain times the Being by the fire would get up and go into their teepee, and another would come out to sit by the fire.

Coyote saw that the Beings were always jealously watchful of their fire except during one part of the day. That was in the earliest morning, when the first winds of dawn arose on the mountains. Then the Being by the fire would hurry, shivering, into the teepee calling, "Sister, sister, go out and watch the fire." But the next Being would always be slow to go out for her turn, her head spinning with sleep and the thin dreams of dawn.

Coyote, seeing all this, went down the mountain and spoke to some of his friends among the People. He told them of hairless man, fearing the cold and death of winter. And he told them of the Fire Beings, and the warmth and brightness of the flame. They all agreed that man should have fire, and they all promised to help Coyote's undertaking.

Then Coyote sped again to the mountain-top. Again the Fire Beings leaped up when he came close, and one cried out, "What's that? A thief, a thief!"

But again the others looked closely, and saw only a grey coyote hunting among the bushes. So they sat down again and paid him no more attention.

Coyote waited through the day, and watched as night fell and two of the Beings went off to the teepee to sleep. He watched as they changed over at certain times all the night long, until at last the dawn winds rose.

Then the Being on guard called, "Sister, sister, get up and watch the fire."

And the Being whose turn it was climbed slow and sleepy from her bed, saying, "Yes, yes, I am coming. Do not shout so."

But before she could come out of the teepee, Coyote lunged from the bushes, snatched up a glowing portion of fire, and sprang away down the mountainside.

Screaming, the Fire Beings flew after him. Swift as Coyote ran, they caught up with him, and one of them reached out a clutching hand. Her fingers touched only the tip of the tail, but the touch was enough to turn the hairs white, and coyote tail-tips are white still. Coyote shouted, and flung the fire away from him. But the others of the People had gathered at the mountain's foot, in case they were needed. Squirrel saw the fire falling, and caught it, putting it on her back and fleeing away through the tree-tops. The fire scorched her back so painfully that her tail curled up and back, as squirrels' tails still do today.

The Fire Beings then pursued Squirrel, who threw the fire to Chipmunk. Chattering with fear, Chipmunk stood still as if rooted until the Beings were almost upon her. Then, as she turned to run, one Being clawed at her, tearing down the length of her back and leaving three stripes that are to be seen on chipmunks' backs even today. Chipmunk threw the fire to Frog, and the Beings turned towards him. One of the Beings grasped his tail, but Frog gave a mighty leap and tore himself free, leaving his tail behind in the Being's hand---which is why frogs have had no tails ever since.

As the Beings came after him again, Frog flung the fire on to Wood. And Wood swallowed it.

The Fire Beings gathered round, but they did not know how to get the fire out of Wood. They promised it gifts, sang to it and shouted at it. They twisted it and struck it and tore it with their knives. But Wood did not give up the fire. In the end, defeated, the Beings went back to their mountain-top and left the People alone.

But Coyote knew how to get fire out of Wood. And he went to the village of men and showed them how. He showed them the trick of rubbing two dry sticks together, and the trick of spinning a sharpened stick in a hole made in another piece of wood. So man was from then on warm and safe through the killing cold of winter.

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How The Fly Saved The River

Many, many years ago when the world was new, there was a beautiful river. Fish in great numbers lived in this river, and it's water was so pure and sweet that all the animals came there to drink.A giant moose heard about the river and he too came to drink. But he was so big, and he drank so much, that soon the water began to sink lower and lower.

The beavers worried. The water around their lodges was disappearing. Soon their homes would be destroyed.

The muskrats were worried too. What would they do if the water vanished? How could they live?

The fish were very worried. The other animals could live on land if the water dried up, but they couldn't.

All the animals tried to think of a way to drive the moose from the river, but he was so big that they were afraid to try. Even the bear was afraid of him.

At last fly said that he would try to drive the moose away. All the animals laughed. How could a tiny fly frighten a giant moose? The fly said nothing, but that day, as soon as the moose appeared, he went into action.

He landed on the moose 's foreleg and bit sharply. the moose stamped his foot hard and each time he stamped, the ground sank and the water rushed in to fill it up. Then the fly jumped about over the moose biting and biting, until the moose was in a frenzy. He dashed madly about the banks of the river, shaking his head, stamping his feet, snorting, and blowing, but he couldn't get rid of the pesky fly. At last the moose fled from the river, and didn't come back.

The fly was very proud of his achievement, and boasted to the other animals, "even the small can fight the strong if they use their brains to think."

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How Raven Helped the Ancient People

Long ago, near the beginning of the world, Gray Eagle was the guardian of the sun and moon and stars, of fresh water and of fire. Gray Eagle hated people so much that he kept these things hidden. People lived in darkness, without fire and without fresh water.

Gray Eagle had a beautiful daughter, and Raven fell in love with her. At that time Raven was a handsome young man. He changed himself into a snow-white bird, and as a snow-white bird he pleased Gray Eagle's daughter. She invited him to her father's lodge.

When Raven saw the sun and the moon and the stars and fresh water hanging on the sides of Gray Eagle's lodge, he knew what he should do. He watched for his chance to seize them when no one was looking. He stole all of them, and a brand of fire also, and flew out of the lodge through a smoke hole.

As soon as Raven got outside, he hung the sun up in the sky. It made so much light that he was able to fly far out to an island in the middle of the ocean. When the sun set, he fastened the moon up in the sky and hung the stars around in different places. By this new light he kept on flying, carrying with him the fresh water and the brand of fire he had stolen. It fell to the ground and there became the source of all the freshwater streams and lakes in the world.

The Raven flew on, holding the brand of fire in his bill.

The smoke from the fire blew back over his white feathers and made them black.. When his bill began to burn, he had to drop the firebrand. It struck rocks and went into the rocks. That is why, if you strike two stones together, fire will drop out.

Ravens' feathers never became white again after they were blackened by the smoke from the firebrand. That is why Raven is not a white bird.

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How The Buffalo Were Released On Earth

In the first days a powerful being named Humpback owned all the buffalo. He kept them in a corral in the mountains north of San Juan, where he lived with his young son. Not one buffalo would Humpback release for the people on earth, nor would he share any meat with those who lived near him.

Coyote decided that something should be done to release the buffalo from Humpbacks' corral. He called the people to a council. "Humpback will not give us any buffalo," Coyote said. "Let us all go over to his corral and make a plan to release them."

They camped in the mountains near Humpback's place, and after dark they made a careful inspection of his buffalo enclosure. The stone walls were too high to climb, and the only entrance was through the back door of Humpback's house.

After four days Coyote summoned the people to another council, and asked them to offer suggestions for releasing the buffalo. "There is no way," said one man. "To release the buffalo we must go into Humpback's house, and he is too powerful a being for us to do that."

"I have a plan," Coyote said. "For four days we have secretly watched Humpback and his young son go about their daily activities. Have you not observed that the boy does not own a pet of any kind?"

The people did not understand what this had to do with releasing the buffalo, but they knew that Coyote was a great schemer and they waited for him to explain. "I shall change myself into a killdeer," Coyote said. "In the morning when Humpback's son goes down to the spring to get water, he will find a killdeer with a broken wing. He will want this bird for a pet and will take it back into the house. Once I am in the house I can fly into the corral, and the cries of a killdeer will frighten the buffalo into a stampede. They will come charging out through Humpback's house and be released upon the earth."

The people thought this was a good plan, and the next Morning when Humpback's son came down the path to the spring he found a killdeer with a crippled wing. As Coyote had foreseen, the boy picked up the bird and carried it into the house.

"Look here," the boy cried. "This is a very good bird!"

"It is good for nothing!" Humpback shouted. "All the birds and animals and people are rascals and schemers." Above his fierce nose Humpback wore a blue mask, and through its slits his eyes glittered. His basket headdress was shaped like a cloud and was painted black with a zig-zag streak of yellow to represent lightning. Buffalo horns protruded from the sides.

"It is a very good bird," the boy repeated.

"Take it back where you found it!" roared Humpback, and his frightened son did as he was told.

As soon as the killdeer was released it returned to where the people were camped and changed back to Coyote. "I have failed," he said, "but that makes no difference. I will try again in the morning. Perhaps a small animal will be better than a bird."

The next morning when Humpback's son went to the spring, he found a small dog there, lapping at the water. The boy picked up the dog at once and hurried back into the house. "Look here!" he cried. "What a nice pet I have."

"How foolish you are, boy!" Humpback growled. "A dog is good for nothing. I'll kill it with my club."

The boy held tight to the dog, and started to run away crying.

"Oh, very well," Humpback said. "But first let me test that animal to make certain it is a dog. All animals in the world are schemers." He took a coal of fire from the hearth and brought it closer and closer to the dog's eyes until it gave three rapid barks. "It is a real dog," Humpback declared. "You may keep it in the buffalo corral, but not in the house."

This of course was exactly what Coyote wanted. As soon as darkness fell and Humpback and his son went to sleep, Coyote opened the back door of the house. Then he ran among the buffalo, barking as loud as he could. The buffalo were badly frightened because they had never before heard a dog bark. When Coyote ran nipping at their heels, they stampeded toward Humpback's house and entered the rear door. The pounding of their hooves awakened Humpback, and although he jumped out of bed and tried to stop them, the buffalo smashed down his front door and escaped.

After the last of the shaggy animals had galloped away, Humpback's son could not find his small dog. "Where is my pet?" he cried. "Where is my little dog?"

"That was no dog," Humpback said sadly. "That was Coyote the Trickster. He has turned loose all our buffalo."

Thus it was that the buffalo were released to scatter over all the earth.



 

 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 

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How The Old Man Made People

Long ago, when the world was new, there was no one living in it at all, except the Old Man, Na-pe, and his sometimes-friend and sometimes-enemy A-pe'si, the Coyote, and a few buffalo. There were no other people and no other animals. But the Old Man changed all that. He changed it first because he was lonely, and then because he was lazy; and maybe be shouldn't have, but anyway, he did. And this was the way of it.

Na-pe was sitting by his fire one day, trying to think of some way to amuse himself. He had plenty to eat--a whole young buffalo; no need to go hunting. He had a lodge; no work to do; and a fire. He was comfortable, but he wasn't contented. His only companion, A-pe'si the Coyote, was off somewhere on some scheme of his own, and anyway he had quarreled with A-pe'si, and they were on bad terms; so even if he had been there, Old Man would still have been lonely. He poked some sticks in the fire, threw a rock or two in the river, Lit his pipe, and walked around. . . then sat down, and thought how nice it would be to have someone to smoke with, and to talk to. "Another one, like me," he thought. And he poked some more sticks in the fire, and threw some more rocks in the river.

Then he thought, "Why not? I am the Old Man! I can make anything I want to. Why shouldn't I make another like me, and have a companion?" And he promptly went to work.

First, he found a little still pool of water, and looked at his reflection carefully, so as to know just what he wanted to make. Then he counted his bones as best he could, and felt the shape of them.

Next, he went and got some clay, modeled a lot of bones, and baked them in his fire. When they were all baked, he took them out and looked at them. Some of them were very good, but others were crooked, or too thin, or had broken in the baking. These he put aside in a little heap.

Then he began to assemble the best of the clay bones into a figure of a man. He tied them all together with buffalo sinews, and smoothed them all carefully with buffalo fat. He padded them with clay mixed with buffalo blood, and stretched over the whole thing skin taken from the inside of the buffalo. Then he sat down and lit his pipe again.

He looked at the man he had made rather critically. It wasn't exactly what he had wanted, but still it was better than nothing.

"I will make some more," said Na-pe.

He picked the new man up and blew smoke into his eyes, nose, and mouth, and the figure came to life. Na-pe sat him down by the fire, and handed him the pipe. Then he went to get more clay.

All day long Na-pe worked, making men. It took a long time, because some of the bones in each lot weren't good, and he must discard them and make others. But at last he got several men, all sitting by the fire and passing the pipe around. Na-pe sat down with them, and was very happy. He left the heap of discarded bones where they were, at the doorway of his lodge.

So Na-pe and the men lived in his camp, and the men learned to hunt, and Na-pe had company, someone to smoke with, and they were all quite contented.

But the heap of left-over bones was a nuisance. Every time one of the men went in or out of Na-pe's lodge, they tripped over the bones. The wind blew through them at night, making a dreadful noise. The bones frequently tumbled over, making more of a disturbance. Na-pe intended to throw them in the river, but he was a bit lazy, and never got around to it. So the left-over bones stayed where they were.

By this time A-pe'si, the Coyote, was back from wherever he had been. He went around the camp, looking the men over, and being very superior, saying that he didn't think much of Na-pe's handiwork. He was also critical of the heap of bones at the door of the lodge. "I should think you would do something with them--make them into men," said A-pe'si, the Coyote.

"All right, I will," said Na-pe. "Only they aren't very good. It will be difficult to make men out of them!" "Oh, I'll help, I'll help!" said A-pe'si. "With my cleverness, we will make something much better than these poor creatures of yours!" So the two of them set to work. The discarded bones, clicking and tattling, were sorted out, and tied together. Then Na-pe mixed the clay and the buffalo blood to cover them. He fully intended to make the bones into men, but A-pe'si the Coyote kept interfering; consequently, when the job was done, the finished product was quite different. Na-pe surveyed it dubiously, but he blew the smoke into its eyes and nose and mouth, as he had with the men. And the woman came to life.

A-pe'si and Na-pe made the rest of the bones into women, and as they finished each one they put them all together, and the women immediately began to talk to each other. A-pe'si was very pleased with what he had done. "When I made my men," said Na-pe, "I set them down by the fire to smoke."

And even to this day, if you have one group of men, and another of women, the men will want to sit by the fire and smoke. But the women talk. And whether it is because they were made out of the left-over bones that clicked and rattled, or whether it is because A-pe'si, the Coyote --who is a noisy creature himself--had a part in their making, no one can say.

 

 

 

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Mashenomak, The Fish Monster

A fish water monster frequently caught Indian fishermen. He dragged them down into the lake and there devoured them. The people were in great fear and distress. They appealed to Manabush to help them. This he promised to do. He asked his grandmother to hand him his singing sticks. He told her he was going to allow himself to be swallowed by the giant fish. He was going to destroy him. He built a raft and floated out onto the lake. As he floated he sang, "Mashenomak, come and eat me; you will feel good." The monster saw Manabush and told his children to swallow him. One of the young Mashenomak darted to swallow the demi' god who said, "I want Mashenomk to swallow me," This made Mashenomak angry, and he swallowed Manabush. He became unconscious. When he recovered he found that his brothers, Bear, Deer, Porcupine, Raven Squirrel and others were also prisoners in the water monster's belly.

Manabush then sang his war song. He asked them to sing and dance with him. As the dancers passed around the belly of Mashenomak it made him reel. As Manabush passed he thrust his knife into his heart. This caused the monster to have convulsions. Manabush thrust his knife three times into his heart. After this he said, "Mashenomak, swim toward my wigwam." The monster's body quaked and rolled so violently that all again became unconscious. When Manabush returned to consciousness all was motionless and quiet. The monster was dead. he was lying on shore. Manabush cut a hole in the body and saw daylight. Then he took his singing sticks and began to sing. As he continued to sing his brothers recovered. He cut a larger hole and all emerged from the body. All thanked Manabush and went to their wigwams. Thus the fish monster, Mashenomak was destroyed.

 

 

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Monster Slayer And Ye iitsoh

Changing Woman's twin sons had been born for the purpose of ridding the earth of the Monsters who were killing all the people. When the boys were grown, a matter of 12 days, they told their mother that they wanted to visit their father.

Changing Woman tried to discourage them, not properly identifying their father, and when that failed, telling them how dangerous this trip would be, how many guardians there were at his house, and how he was without mercy.

But they also got advice from others, such as the Arrow People, and Winds' Child has been placed at their ear folds to advise them at all times. They overcame many hazards on their trip to their father's house and were given a white shell prayer plume by dawn to use to protect themselves when they were in the Sun's house.

They also received advice from Father Sky, Horn worm, Water Sprinkler and Spider Man. The twins then moved along the top of a rainbow to the house of their father, the Sun.

In the Sun's house, they underwent many trials to prove to the Sun that they were indeed his sons. The white shell prayer plume was essential for their survival during these tests. But, in the end, the Sun accepted them as his sons, clothed the older in turquoise and the younger in white shell, and inquired of them why it was they came to see him.

He opened doors in each of the cardinal directions, doors of turquoise, white shell, abalone, and jet, offering the boys jewels, livestock and game, plants and beautiful flowers, rain and rainbows.

But Winds' Child at their ear folds, advised them to answer each time, "We did not come for that, my father; that is not our purpose in being here." Then Winds' Child told them to say, "We two came for the pair of zigzag lightning that lie up there, and flint shoes, flint clubs, flint leggings, flint garnet, flint headgear, flint wrist guards, these we two came for. On account of the monsters there is just about one person left."

The Sun answered them slowly, telling them that they are brothers to the monsters they wish to kill, but that that is apparently no more. He then placed agate in them, making them immune to injury and gave them the garments and weapons they had asked for; the older got dark flint and the younger blue flint garments.

The Sun gave them prayer sticks and then told them that the younger of the two, Born for Water, would sit watching these prayer sticks while the older, Monster Slayer, went out to kill the monsters. If these prayer sticks began to burn, this would signal that his brother was in danger and that he should go to him to help.

He then took them to the sky opening, just over Mt. Taylor, and told them where to find Big God. Winds' Child then took word over to Hesperus Peak, to Yellow Wind, to spread the word that they were returning. The Sun placed the older one at the tip of a zigzag lightning and shot him to the center of Hot Spring, the home of Yé'iitsoh.

He placed the younger on on the tip of straight lightning and shot him to the center of Hot Spring. There they waited for Yé'iitsoh to come for water, as he did everyday, exactly at noon. Each day he drank all of the water. When Yé'iitsoh arrived, he approached from each direction, a little closer each time, inspecting the vicinity of the spring. He saw no one as the twins were concealed by a dark cloud.

After the fourth time he came all the way to the spring and began to drink. When almost all of the water was gone, when Yé'iitsoh was drinking for the fourth time, Winds' Child told them to step out and make themselves known.

They left the dark cloud and walked into plain sight where Yé'iitsoh saw them when he looked up. Then they exchanged taunts. Yé'iitsoh threw flint clubs at them, missing each time because Winds' Child was whispering advice in their ears. The spinning club he threw cut a path through the trees and stones, making a barren strip.

Then Yé'iitsoh had no more weapons. At that point a big storm began and Yé'iitsoh was wrapped in zigzag lightning. This lightning stripped off his flint armor. Winds' Child told the twins that this was their time now and to shoot into the sole of Yé'iitsoh's foot.

Monster Slayer used one of his zigzag lightning arrows to do this. He then shot a straight lightning into Yé'iitsoh's hip, which brought Yé'iitsoh to his knees, but he rose. Monster Slayer then shot a zigzag lightning into the small of Yé'iitsoh's back.

He fell to his knees but rose yet again.


Then Monster Slayer shot a straight lightning arrow into the back of Yé'iitsoh's head. This time Yé'iitsoh fell. At some distance away, from a place called Open-Mouth Bear, blood came pouring out. Yé'iitsoh had hidden his heart, nerves and breath there. The blood from the body and from the distant place moved toward each other.

Winds' Child pointed out that, should these streams meet, Yé'iitsoh would come to life again.

Monster Slayer immediately drew a zigzag line with his club between the streams, while giving his call, "ha ha."

Born for Water drew a straight line between the streams with his club while giving his call, "ha ha ha."

Then they repeated these actions and the blood stopped flowing there. The earth trembled and sounds filled the sky. The blood turned to the lava seen around Mt. Taylor today.

Monster Slayer removed the scalp of Yé'iitsoh and the two were overcome by the vapors from the body. They helped each other stagger over to a juniper where they recovered by chewing some of the juniper.

When they returned home, after an absence of only four days, they needed to convince their mother, Changing Woman, that they had actually been successful in killing Yé'iitsoh. She then danced outside with Yé'iitsoh's scalp between her teeth.

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Mooin, The Bears' Child

Now in the Old Time there lived a boy called Sigo, whose father had died when he was a baby. Sigo was too young to hunt and provide food for the wigwam, so his mother was obliged to take another husband, a jealous spiteful man who soon came to dislike his small stepson, for he thought the mother cared more for the child than for himself. He thought of a plan to be rid of the boy.

"Wife," said he, "it is time the boy learned something of the forest. I will take him with me today, hunting."

"Oh no!" cried his wife. "Sigo is far too young!"

But the husband snatched the boy and took him into the forest, while the mother wept, for she knew her husband's jealous heart.

The stepfather knew of a cave deep in the forest, a deep cave that led into a rocky hill. To this cave, he led his stepson and told him to go inside and hunt for the tracks of rabbit. The boy hung back.

"It is dark in there. I am afraid."

"Afraid!" scoffed the man. "A fine hunter you'll make," and he pushed the boy roughly into the cave. "Stay in there until I tell you to come out."

Then the stepfather took a pole and thrust it under a huge boulder so that it tumbled over and covered the mouth of the cave completely. He knew well there was no other opening. The boy was shut in for good and would soon die of starvation.

The stepfather left the place, intending to tell the boy's mother that her son had been disobedient, had run off and got lost, and he had been unable to find him. He would not return home at once. He would let time pass, as if he had been looking for the boy. Another idea occurred to him. He would spend the time on Blomidon's beach and collect some of Glooscap's purple stones to take as a peace offering to his wife. She might suspect, but nothing could be proved, and nobody would ever know what had happened.

Nobody? There was one who knew already. Glooscap the Great Chief was well aware of what had happened and he was angry, very angry. He struck his great spear into the red stone of Blomidon and the clip split. Earth and stones tumbled down, down, down to the beach, burying the wicked stepfather and killing him instantly.

Then Glooscap called upon a faithful servant, Porcupine, and told him what he was to do.

In the dark cave in the hillside, Sigo cried out his loneliness and fear. He was only six after all, and he wanted his mother. Suddenly he heard a voice.

"Sigo! Come this way."

He saw two glowing eyes and went towards them, trembling. The eyes grew bigger and brighter and at last he could see they belonged to an old porcupine.

"Don't cry any more, my son," said Porcupine. "I am here to help you," and the boy was afraid no longer. He watched as Porcupine went to the cave entrance and tried to push away the stone, but the stone was too heavy. Porcupine put his lips to the crack of light between boulder and hill side and called out:

"Friends of Glooscap! Come around, all of you!"

The animals and birds heard him and came--Wolf, Raccoon, Caribou, Turtle, Possum, Rabbit, and Squirrel, and birds of all kinds from Turkey to Hummingbird.

"A boy has been left here to die," called the old Porcupine from inside the cave. "I am not strong enough to move the rock. Help us or we are lost."

The animals called back that they would try. First Raccoon marched up and tried to wrap his arms around the stone, but they were much too short. Then Fox came and bit and scratched at the boulder, but he only made his lips bleed. Then Caribou stepped up and, thrusting her long antler into the crack, she tried to pry the stone loose, but only broke off one of her antler. It was no use. In the end, all gave up. They could not move the stone.

"Kwah-ee," a new voice spoke. "What is going on?" They turned and saw Mooinskw, which means she-bear, who had come quietly out of the woods. Some of the smaller animals were frightened and hid, but the others told Mooinskw what had happened. She promptly embraced the boulder in the cave's mouth and heaved with all her great strength. With a rumble and a crash, the stone rolled over. Then out came Sigo and Porcupine, joyfully.

Porcupine thanked the animals for their help and said, "Now I must find someone to take care of this boy and bring him up. My food is not the best for him. Perhaps there is someone here whose diet will suit him better. The boy is hungry--who will bring him food ?"

All scattered at once in search of food. Robin was the first to return, and he laid down worms before the boy, but Sigo could not eat them. Beaver came next, with bark, but the boy shook his head. Others brought seeds and insects, but Sigo, hungry as he was, could not touch any of them, At last came Mooinskw and held out a flat cake made of blue berries. The boy seized it eagerly and ate.

"Oh, how good it is," he cried. And Porcupine nodded wisely.

"From now on," he said, "Mooinskw will be this boy's foster mother."

So Sigo went to live with the bears. Besides the mother bear, there were two boy cubs and a girl cub. All were pleased to have a new brother and they soon taught Sigo all their tricks and all the secrets of thee forest, and Sigo was happy with his new-found family. Gradually, he forgot his old life. Even the face of his mother grew dim in memory and, walking often on all fours as the bears did, he almost began to think he was a bear.

One spring when Sigo was ten, the bears went fishing for smelts. Mooinskw walked into the water, seated herself on her haunches and commenced seizing the smelts and tossing them out on the bank to the children. All were enjoying themselves greatly when suddenly Mooinskw plunged to the shore, crying, "Come children, hurry!" She had caught the scent of man. "Run for your lives!"

As they ran, she stayed behind them, guarding them, until at last they were safe at home.

"What animal was that, Mother?" asked Sigo.

"That was a hunter," said his foster-mother, "a human like yourself, who kills bears for food." And she warned them all to be very watchful from now on. "You must always run from the sight or scent of a hunter."

Not long afterwards, the bear family went with other bear families to pick blueberries for the winter. The small ones soon tired of picking and the oldest cub had a sudden mischievous thought.

"Chase me towards the crowd," he told Sigo, "just as men do when they hunt bears. The others will be frightened and run away. Then we can have all the berries for ourselves."

So Sigo began to chase his brothers towards the other bears, whooping loudly, and the bears at once scattered in all directions. All, that is, except the mother bear who recognized the voice of her adopted son.

"Offspring of Lox!" she cried. "What mischief are you up to now?" And she rounded up the children and spanked them soundly, Sigo too.

So the sun crossed the sky each day and the days grew shorter. At last the mother bear led her family to their winter quarters in a large hollow tree. For half the winter they were happy and safe, with plenty of blueberry cakes to keep them from being hungry. Then, one sad day, the hunters found the tree.

Seeing the scratches on its trunk, they guessed that bears were inside, and they prepared to smoke them out into the open.

Mooinskw knew well enough what was about to happen and that not all would escape.

"I must go out first," she said, "and attract the man's attention, while you two cubs jump out and run away. Then you, Sigo, show yourself and plead for your little sister. Perhaps they will spare her for your sake."

And thus it happened, just as the brave and loving mother bear had said. As soon as she climbed down from the tree, the Indians shot her dead, but the two male cubs had time to escape. Then Sigo rushed out, crying:

"I am a human, like you. Spare the she-cub, my adopted sister."

The amazed Indians put down their arrows and spears and, when they had heard Sigo's story, they gladly spared the little she- bear and were sorry they had killed Mooinskw who had been so good to an Indian child.

Sigo wept over the body of his foster mother and made a solemn vow.

"I shall be called Mooin, the bear's son, from this day forwards. And when I am grown, and a hunter, never will I kill a mother bear, or bear children!"

And Mooin never did.

With his foster sister, he returned to his old village, to the great joy of his Indian mother, who cared tenderly for the she- cub until she was old enough to care for herself.

And ever since then, when Indians see smoke rising from a hollow tree, they know a mother bear is in there cooking food for her children, and they leave that tree alone.

 

 

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Mother Eagle And The Hunter

Once there was an Indian who was the most famous hunter for hundreds of miles around. This was because he had magic powers which enabled him to lure any wild animal into his clutches.

"The grass is sweeter here," he would call to a stage. And the stag would trust him and come, so that the hunter could put an arrow in it's ribs.

He even dared to lure down the fierce eagles who circled over the forests looking for prey.

"There's some tender meat for you here," he would call up to an eagle. "Come down and get it!" And when the eagle flew down to seize the meat in it's talons, the hunter would come out of hiding and send an arrow straight to it's heart.

It was a dangerous game. "Take care," people warned him. "Beware of the mother eagle's revenge." But the hunter just laughed.

One day he saw the mother eagle circling high in the sky. She was the biggest and strongest of all the eagles. The hunter waved up to her. "Come down, mother eagle," he shouted. "There's meat here for your little ones."

the mother eagle glided slowly down. Suddenly she dove at the hunted, ready to sink her talons into his body. Terrified, he fled and hid in a hollow tree. But the mother eagle followed him, dragged him from his hiding place and carried him off into the skies. Far through the air she flew, to her nest on a rock which no man could climb. Then she put the hunter down and flew off to seek other prey.

The children flapped their wings in excitement and began to peck at the hunter with their curved beaks. The hunter dodged, and gave them a morsel of dried meat he carried in his bag. Then he cut up the leather strap of the bag and tied strips around the children's beaks.

When mother eagle came back and saw what he had done, she was beside herself. "take those things off my children's beaks!" she screeched.

"Gladly." answered the hunter, "but only if you first promise to take me back to the ground."

"Never!" cried the mother eagle.

For two days she tried to feed her little ones, but in vain. She perched on the edge of the nest wondering what to do. Her little ones were weak now that they could hardly stand.

You'll die for this!" said the mother eagle to the hunter.

"Then your little ones will starve to death," answered the hunter. "But if you promise to take me back to the ground, I'll take off the straps."

For a long time they argued. AT last the mother eagle said. "If you promise to seek the consent of the spirits before you ever again kill an eagle or deer, I'll carry you back to the ground."

The hunter agreed. he untied the children's beaks, and the mother eagle bore him back to the ground.

The hunter kept his word, and so did his sons and grandsons, for they too felt bound by his promise. Now, when hunters kill deer, the eagles have the right to tale what humans can not eat, and no man may attack them.

"Come!" call the Indians to the eagles. "Come and get your share>" And so it will be fore ever.

 

 

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                 Origin Of Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La

(Yosemite)

Two young and curious Indian boys, long ago, lived in Yosemite Valley. They were always exploring faraway places, climbing ledges where later they needed rescue, yet they continued their adventures.

One day, they came upon a new lake and decided to swim across to a large rock. When they reached the opposite shore, they climbed to the top of the huge rock to rest in the sunshine, but soon they fell asleep. On and on they slept through that night, the next, and the next night, until many moons had come and gone.

Can you imagine what happened to that rock? It kept right on growing and growing, rising higher and higher, until the faces of the two Indian boys brushed the sky.

Of course their families were distraught in the beginning, but finally gave up hope of ever seeing their two lost sons again.

Now it happened that many animals had heard from their ancestors about what had happened to the two lost Indian boys. At a council gathering of the animals, they were wondering how they could help bring the boys down as the huge rock had grown into a giant granite mountain.

All of the animals decided to have a contest. Every creature would try to jump up to the mountain top. Poor little mouse only jumped a foot, larger rat leaped two feet, strong raccoon much higher, grizzly bear made a mighty leap, but he was too heavy, mountain lion took a long run and jumped, but he fell down flat on his back. None could jump high enough.

Insignificant little measuring-worm came late to the contest. Everyone explained to him their predicament. None could leap high enough to the top of the mountain to rescue the two boys.

Measuring-worm decided to try. Step by step, inch by inch, little by little he began measuring his way up the granite wall that reached to the sky. He went so high that he was out of sight!

Up and up he crawled through many sleeps and through many moons, almost through a whole snow. Measuring-worm kept on crawling and at last reached the top of the giant mountain, whose magic somehow allowed the boys to remain boys!

What fun they experienced on the way down! Measuring-worm led them on a continuous, circuitous slide around and around the slippery snowy sides of the mighty mountain. They laughed and screamed with delight at the adventure they were having.

At last, measuring-worm and the two Indian boys were safe on the ground again. Their animal friends gathered to welcome them down from the sky, as well as the elders and braves of the Yosemite tribe.

From that day on to this, the great granite mountain has been called by the Indians Tu-tok-a-nu-la, which means "measuring- worm." Later, the Spaniards named the mountain El Capitan, a name that now appears on most maps of the Yosemite National Park.

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Porcupine Hunts Buffalo

In olden days when mostly animals roamed this earth, a Porcupine set out to track some buffalo. He asked the buffalo chips, "How long have you been here on this trail?" He kept on asking, until finally one answered, "Only lately have I been here."

From there Porcupine followed the same path. The farther he went, the fresher the tracks. He continued until he came to a river; there he saw a buffalo herd that had crossed the ford onto the other side.

"What shall I do now?" thought Porcupine as he sat down. He called out, "Carry me across!" One of the buffalo replied, "Do you mean me?" Porcupine called again, "No, I want a different buffalo." Thus he rejected each member of the herd, one after another, as each asked. "Do you mean me?"

Finally the last and best one in the herd said, "I will carry you across the river." The buffalo crossed the river and said to porcupine, "Climb on my back." Porcupine said, "No, I'm afraid I will fall off into the water." Buffalo said, "Then climb up and ride between my horns." "No," replied Porcupine. "I'm sure I'll slide off into the river."

Buffalo suggested many other ways to carry him, but Porcupine protested. "Perhaps you'd rather ride inside of me?" offered the buffalo. "Yes," said Porcupine, and let himself be swallowed by the buffalo.

"Where are we now?" asked Porcupine. "In the middle of the river," said the buffalo, After a little while, Porcupine asked again. "We have nearly crossed," said the buffalo. "Now we have emerged from the water; come out of me!" Porcupine said, "No, not yet, go a little farther."

Soon the buffalo stopped and said, "We have gone far enough, so come out." Then Porcupine hit the buffalo heart with his heavy tail. The buffalo started to run, but fell down and died right there. Porcupine had killed him. Others in the herd tried to hook Porcupine, but he sat under the buffalo ribs, where he could not be hooked. Soon the herd tired and ran on their way.

Porcupine came out and said aloud, "I wish I had something to butcher this nice big buffalo with." Now, Coyote was sleeping nearby, and woke up and heard him. Coyote went to Porcupine and said, "Here is my knife for butchering." So they went together to the side of the buffalo.

"Let him butcher who can jump over it," said Coyote. Porcupine ran and jumped, but only partway over the buffalo. Coyote jumped over it without touching the dead animal, so he began to butcher, cutting up the buffalo.

After a little time, he handed the paunch to Porcupine and said, "Go wash it in the river, but don't eat it yet." Porcupine took it to the river, washed it, then he bit off a piece. When Coyote saw what Porcupine had done, he became very angry with him and went after him, "I told you not to eat any of the paunch." Coyote picked up a club and killed Porcupine and placed him beside the buffalo, and went to his home. Then he told his family, "I have killed a buffalo and I have killed a porcupine. Let us go and carry them home."

Before Porcupine had come out of the buffalo, he said magic words, "Let a red pine grow here fast." Then at once red pine began to grow under the meat and under Porcupine. It grew very tall and fast. All of the meat and Porcupine rested at the top of the red pine tree, high in the air, Porcupine magically coming alive again.

Coyote and his family arrived and were surprised that all of the meat was gone. They began to hunt for it. "I wish they would look up," said Porcupine. Then the smallest child looked up and said "Oh!" The family looked up and saw Porcupine sitting on top of the meat in the tall red pine tree.

Coyote said, "Throw down a piece of the neck, we are very hungry."

"Yes," said Porcupine. "Place that youngest child a little farther away. "Yes," they responded and took him to one side.

"Now make a ring and all hold hands upward," said Porcupine. So the family joined hands and held them up. Porcupine threw down several pieces of the buffalo meat, killing Coyote and those in the ring. Porcupine then threw down the rest of the buffalo meat, and climbed down the tree.

He took charge of the young coyote and fed him all the meat he desired. Porcupine took all the meat he could carry to his home. He and the young coyote became good friends and helped each other hunt buffalo together for a long, long time.

 

 

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Puma And The Bear

One day Puma took his sun hunting with him. The Bear came to Puma's tent and saw his wife there, and immediately fell in love with her. "I wish to have her for my wife," he thought. Then he went to where she was sitting. In only a short time, he proposed that she run away with him. She consented and ran away with the Bear. When Puma returned, he could not find his wife.

"I wonder if she could have eloped with that Bear?" he mused. At first he and his son saw no tracks, but eventually they picked up the couple's trail.

Angry by now, Puma followed the tracks.

A high wind began to blow, obliterating most of the tracks.

The next day Puma found them again and followed on. "Perhaps they are in that ceder wood," he thought, as he moved closer, he heard the voices and recognized his wife's and the Bears'

He sent his son to circle the woods, approaching from the other side of the woods to force the Bear out toward Puma. the woman said "Puma is very strong," But I am stronger." said the Bear, seizing a ceder tree and pulling it from the ground."He is stronger then that," said the woman. the Bear had his moccasins off when Puma's son attacked. Quickly the Bear put on his moccasins, but in his haste he put them on the wrong feet. Then not knowing who was coming behind him, he ran forward into Puma. The two grappled and Puma threw Bear to the ground.

The bear rose up again and charged at Puma, who thrust the Bear down against a rock and broke the Bears' back.

Then Puma sent his wife away into the woods, letting her know that he did not want her for his wife again. Puma and his son left on another hunting trip to find a new wife and home for themselves.

 

 

 

 

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Rabbit And Fox

One winter Rabbit was going along through the snow when he saw Fox. It was too late to hide, for Fox had caught Rabbit's scent.

"I am Ongwe Ias, the one who eats you!" barked Fox. "Yon cannot escape me!"

Rabbit began to run for his life. He ran as fast as he could around trees and between rocks, making a great circle in the hope that he would lose Fox. But when he looked back he saw that Fox was gaining on him. "I am Ongwe Ias," Fox barked again. "You cannot escape."

Rabbit knew that he had to use his wits. He slipped off his moccasins and said, "Run on ahead of me." The moccasins began to run, leaving tracks in the snow. Then, using his magic power, Rabbit made himself look like a dead, half-rotten rabbit and lay down by the trail.

When Fox came to the dead rabbit, he did not even stop to sniff at it. "This meat has gone bad," he said. Then, seeing the tracks that led on through the snow he took up the chase again and finally caught up with Rabbit's old moccasins.

"Hah," Fox snarled, "this time he has fooled me. Next time I will eat the meat no matter how rotten it looks." He began to backtrack. Just as he expected when he came to the place where the dead rabbit had been, it was gone. There were tracks leading away through the bushes, and Fox began to follow them.

He hadn't gone far when he came upon an old woman sitting by the trail. In front of her was a pot, and she was making a stew.

"Sit down, grandson," she said. "Have some of this good stew."

Fox sat down. "Have you seen a rabbit go by?"

"Yes," said the old woman, handing him a beautifully carved wooden bowl filled with hot stew. "I saw a very skinny rabbit go by. There was no flesh on his bones, and he looked old and tough."

"I am going to eat that rabbit," said Fox.

"Indeed?" said the old woman. "You will surely do so, for the rabbit looked tired and frightened. He must have known you were close behind him. Now eat the good stew I have given you."

Fox began to eat and, as he did so, he looked at the old woman. "Why do you wear those two tall feathers on your head, old woman?" he asked.

"These feathers?" said the old woman. "I wear them to remind me of my son who is a hunter. Look behind you--here he comes now."

Fox turned to look and, as he did so, the old woman threw off her blankets and leaped high in the air. She went right over Fox's head and hit him hard with a big stick that had been hidden under the blankets.

When Fox woke up his head was sore. He looked for the stew pot, but all he could see was a hollow stump. He looked for the wooden soup bowl, but all he could find was a folded piece of bark with mud and dirty water in it. All around him were rabbit tracks. "So, he has fooled me again," Fox said. "It will be the last time." He jumped up and began to follow the tracks once more.

Before he had gone far he came to a man sitting by the trail. The man held a turtle-shell rattle in his hand and was dressed as a medicine man.

"Have you seen a rabbit go by?" asked Fox.

"Indeed," said the medicine man, "and he looked sick and weak."

"I am going to eat that rabbit," Fox said.

"Ah," said the medicine man, "that is why he looked so afraid. When a great warrior like you decides to catch someone, surely he cannot escape."

Fox was very pleased. "Yes," he said, "I am Ongwe Ias. No rabbit alive can escape me."

"But, Grandson," said the medicine man, shaking his turtle-shell rattle, "what has happened to your head? You are hurt."

"It is nothing," said the Fox. "A branch fell and struck me."

"Grandson," said the medicine man, "you must let me treat that wound, so that it heals quickly. Rabbit cannot go far. Come here and sit down."

Fox sat down, and the medicine man came close to him. He opened up his pouch and began to sprinkle something into the wound.

Fox looked closely at the medicine man. "Why are you wearing two feathers?" he asked.

"These two feathers," the medicine man answered, "show that I have great power. I just have to shake them like this, and an eagle will fly down. Look, over there! An eagle is flying down now."

Fox looked and, as he did so, the medicine man leaped high in the air over Fox's head and struck him hard with his turtle-shell rattle.

When Fox woke up, he was alone in a small clearing. The wound on his head was full of burrs and thorns, the medicine man was gone, and all around him were rabbit tracks.

"I will not be fooled again!" Fox snarled. He gave a loud and terrible war cry. "I am Ongwe Ias," he shouted. "I am Fox!"

Ahead of him on the trail, Rabbit heard Fox's war cry. He was still too tired to run and so he turned himself into an old dead tree.

When Fox came to the tree he stopped. "This tree must be Rabbit," he said, and he struck at one of the small dead limbs. It broke off and fell to the ground. "No," said Fox, "I am wrong.

This is indeed a tree." He ran on again, until he realized the tracks he was following were old ones. He had been going in a circle. "That tree!" he said.

He hurried back to the place where the tree had been. It was gone, but there were a few drops of blood on the ground where the small limb had fallen. Though Fox didn't know it, the branch he had struck had been the end of Rabbit's nose, and ever since then rabbits' noses have been quite short. Leading away into the bushes were fresh rabbit tracks. "Now I shall catch you!" Fox shouted.

Rabbit was worn out. He had used all his tricks, and still Fox was after him. He came to a dead tree by the side of the trail. He ran around it four times and then, with one last great leap, lumped into the middle of some blackberry bushes close by. Then, holding his breath, he waited.

Fox came to the dead tree and looked at the rabbit tracks all around it. "Hah," Fox laughed, "you are trying to trick me again." He bit at the dead tree, and a piece of rotten wood came away in his mouth. "Hah," Fox said, "you have even made yourself taste like a dead tree. But I am Ongwe Ias, I am Fox. You cannot fool me again."

Then, coughing and choking, Fox ate the whole tree. From his hiding place in the blackberry bushes, Rabbit watched and tried not to laugh. When Fox had finished his meal he went away, still coughing and choking and not feeling well at all.

After a time, Rabbit came out of his hiding place and went on his way.

 

 

 

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Rabbit And Otter, The Bungling Host

Many Native American tribes have legends in which various animals display their ways and means of obtaining food from others, sometimes using trickster methods. They return meal invitations and even attempt to provide food of a similar nature and in the manner of the previous host. Sometimes, this leads to trouble.

There were two wigwams. Otter lived in one with his grandmother, and Rabbit lived with his grandmother in the other. One day Rabbit started out and wandered over to visit Otter in his camp. When Rabbit entered Otter's wigwam, Otter asked if he had anything to eat at home. "No," replied Rabbit. So Otter asked his grandmother if she would cook something for Rabbit, but she told him she had nothing to cook.

So Otter went out to the pond directly in front of his camp, jumped in, and caught a nice long string of eels. Meanwhile, Rabbit was looking to see how Otter would catch his food. With Otter's great success, Rabbit thought he could do the same.

Rabbit then invited Otter to come over to his camp the next day. His grandmother had already told him that she had nothing to cook for their meal, but asked him to go out and find something. Then Rabbit went out to the same pond where Otter had found the string of eels; but he could get nothing, not one fish, as he could not dive no matter how hard he tried.

In the meantime, his grandmother was waiting. She sent Otter out to find Rabbit, who searched and finally found him at the same pond, soaked and with nothing to show for his efforts.

"What's the matter with you?" he asked.

"I'm trying hard to get us some food," he replied.

So friendly Otter jumped into the pond and again caught a string of fish, this time for Rabbit's grandmother to cook for their dinner. Then Otter went home.

The next day, Rabbit started out to visit Woodpecker. When he reached Woodpecker's wigwam, Rabbit found him at home with his grandmother. She got out her large pot to cook a meal, but said, "We have nothing to cook in the pot." So Woodpecker went out front to a dry tree-trunk, from which he picked a quantity of meal. This he took to his grandmother, and she made a good dinner for them.

Rabbit had watched how Woodpecker obtained his meal, so he invited Woodpecker over to visit him. The very next day Woodpecker arrived at Rabbit's wigwam for a visit. Rabbit asked his grandmother to hang up her pot and cook them some dinner.

"But we have nothing to cook," she replied. So Rabbit went outside with his birch-bark vessel to fill it with meal. He tried to dig out the meal with his nose, as he had seen Woodpecker do. Soon Woodpecker came out to see what caused the delay.

Poor Rabbit was hurt, with his nose flattened out and split in the middle from trying to break into the wood. Woodpecker left to return to his own wigwam without any dinner. Ever since then, Rabbit has had to carry around his split nose.

Another day, desperate for food, Rabbit thought he would go and steal some of Otter's eels. He got into the habit of doing this every second night. Toward spring, Otter began to wonder where his eels had gone as his barrel was getting low.

Otter thought he would keep watch and soon found Rabbit's foot tracks, and said to himself, "For that, I am going to kill Rabbit." Now Rabbit knew what was going on in Otter's mind, and when Otter reached Rabbit's camp, he fled.

Otter asked Rabbit's grandmother, "Where has Rabbit gone?"

"I don't know," she replied. "Last night he brought home some eels, then he went away."

"He has been stealing my eels," said Otter. "Now, I'm going to kill him."

So began Otter's search for Rabbit, who guessed Otter would be trailing him. Otter began to gain on Rabbit, who picked up a small chip and asked it to become a wigwam. Immediately, the chip became a wigwam and Rabbit became an old man sitting inside.

When Otter came along and saw the wigwam, he also saw the gray- headed old man sitting inside. He pretended to be blind. Otter did not know that this was Rabbit himself. Out of pity for him, Otter gathered some firewood for the old man and asked if he had heard Rabbit passing by. "No, I have not heard any one today." So Otter continued his search.

Later, Rabbit left his wigwam and started out on another road. Otter could not pick up Rabbit's trail, so he returned to the wigwam. Not only was it empty, but gone entirely. Only a chip remained in its place.

Otter then saw Rabbit's tracks where he had jumped out of the wigwam. This trick made Otter very angry and he cried out, "You won't fool me again." Otter followed the new trail.

When Rabbit sensed Otter was closing in on him, he picked up another chip and wished it to become a house, and there was the house, ready to live in. Otter came along and was suspicious as soon as he saw the house with a veranda across the front, and a big gentleman walking back and forth all dressed in white, reading a paper.

This, of course, was Rabbit himself, but Otter did not know it. He asked the big gentleman, "Have you seen Rabbit go this way?" The man appeared not to hear. So Otter asked again. The gentleman replied in Pidgin English a phrase that meant, "Never saw Rabbit." But Otter looked hard at him and noticed the man's feet, which were Rabbit feet. So Otter felt certain this was his prey.

The big gentleman gave Otter some bread and wine, and Otter left hurriedly to again track Rabbit back to the house. He came to the place, but the house was not there. Otter could see the tracks where Rabbit started running away.

"He'll never have a chance to trick me again, that's his last time!" declared Otter.

Rabbit soon came to the head of a bay where there was a very small island, so small that a person could almost jump over it. He jumped onto the island and wished it to become a man-of-war.

Otter came to the same shore and saw the big ship anchored there, and the big gentleman in a white suit walking the deck. Otter called to him, "You can't trick me now! You're the man I want."

Then Otter swam out toward the ship, to board it and to kill Rabbit. But the big gentleman sang out to this sailors, "Shoot him! His skin is worth a lot of money in France."



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Raven And His Grandmother

In her barrabara (a native home) at the end of a large village, lived an old grandmother with her grandson, who was a raven. The two lived apart from the other villagers because they were disliked. When the men returned from fishing for cod, the raven would come and beg for food, but they would never give him any of their catch. But when all had left the beach, the raven would come and pick up any leftover refuse, even sick fish. On these, raven and his grandmother lived.

One winter was extremely cold. Hunting was impossible; food became so scarce the villages neared starvation. Even their chief had but little left. So the chief called all his people together and urged them to use every effort to obtain food enough for all, or they would starve.

The chief then announced that he wished for his son to take a bride and she would be selected from the girls of the village. All the girls responded to the excitement of the occasion and dressed in their very best costumes and jewelry.

For a short time hunger was forgotten as the girls lined up for the contest and were judged by the critical eye of their chief, who selected the fairest of the fair for his son's bride. A feast was given by the chief following their marriage ceremony. But soon after hunger began again.

The raven perched on a pole outside his barrabara, observing and listening attentively to all that had happened. After the feast, he flew home and said to his grandmother, "I, too, want to marry." She made no reply, so he went about his work, gathering what food he could for his little home. Each day he flew to the beach and found dead fish or birds. He always gathered more than enough for two people. While he was in the village, he noted that the famine seemed worse. So he asked the chief, "What will you give me, if I bring you food?"

The chief looked at him in great surprise and said, "You shall have my oldest daughter for your wife." Nothing could have pleased raven more. He flew away in a joyful mood and said to his grandmother, "Let's clean out the barrabara. Make everything clean for my bride. I am going to give the chief some food, and he has promised to give me his oldest daughter."

"Ai, Ai, Y-a-h! You are going to marry? Our barrabara is too small and too dirty. Where will you put your wife?"

"Caw! Caw! Caw! Never mind. Do as I say," he screamed at his grandmother, and began pecking her to hurry.

Early next morning raven flew away, and later in the day returned with a bundle of yukelah (dried salmon) in his talons. "Come with me to the chief's house, grandmother," he called to her. Raven handed the fish to the chief and received the chief's oldest daughter for his bride.

Raven preceded his grandmother as she brought the bride to their little home. He cleared out the barrabara of old straw and bedding When the two women arrived, they found the little home empty, and the grandmother began to scold him and said, "What are you doing? Why are you throwing out everything."

"I am cleaning house, as you can see," raven curtly said.

When night came, raven spread wide one wing, and asked his bride to lie on it, and then covered her with the other wing. She spent a miserable night, as ravens' fish order nearly smothered her. So she determined she would leave in the morning.

But by morning, she decided to stay and try to become accustomed to him. During the day she was cheerless and worried. When raven offered her food, she would not eat it. On the second night, raven invited her to lay her head on his chest and seek rest in his arms. Only after much persuasion did she comply with his wish. The second night was no better for her, so early the next morning she stole away from him and went back to her father's house, telling him everything.

Upon waking and finding his wife gone, raven inquired of his grandmother what she knew of his wife's whereabouts. She assured raven that she knew nothing. "Go then to the chief and bring her back to me," called raven. Grandmother feared him and left to do his bidding. When she came to the chief's house, she was pushed out of the door. This she promptly reported to her grandson.

The summer passed warm and pleasant, but a hard winter and another famine followed. As in the previous winter, the grandmother and the raven had plenty of food and wood, while others suffered greatly from lack of food. Ravens' thoughts again turned to marriage. This time she was a young and beautiful girl who lived at the other end of the village. He told his grandmother about her and that he wanted to marry her. He asked, "Grandmother, will you go and bring the girl here, and I will marry her."

"Ai, Ai, Y-a-h! And you are going to marry her? Your first wife could not live with you because you smell strong. The girls do not wish to marry you.

"Caw! Caw! Caw! Never mind my smell! Never mind my smell! Go--do as I say."

To impress his commands and secure her obedience, he started pecking at her until she was glad to go. While his grandmother was gone, raven became restless and anxious. He hopped about the barrabara and nearby hillocks, straining his eyes for a sight of his expected bride.

Hurriedly he began cleaning out the barrabara, throwing out old straw, bedding, baskets, and all. The grandmother upon her return scolded raven, but he paid no attention to her.

The young bride, like her predecessor, was en-folded tightly in his wings, and likewise she had a wretched and sleepless night. But she was determined to endure his odor if possible. She thought at least with him she would have plenty of food to eat. The second night was as bad as the first, but she stayed on and secretly concluded she would do her best to stay until spring.

On the third day the raven, seeing that his wife was still with him, said, "Grandmother, tomorrow I will go and get a big, fat whale. While I am gone, make a belt and a pair of torbarsars (native shoes) for my wife."

"Ai, Ai, Y-a-h! How will you bring a big, fat whale? The hunters cannot kill one, how will you do it?"

"Caw! Caw! Caw! Be quiet and do what I tell you: make the belt and torbarsars while I go and get the whale," he angrily exclaimed, using his most effective method of silencing her.

Before dawn next morning the raven flew away to sea. In his absence the old woman was busily engaged making the things for the young bride, who watched and talked to her. About midday, they saw raven flying toward shore, carrying a whale.

The grandmother started a big fire, and the young woman tucked up her parka (native dress), belted it with her new belt, put on the new torbarsars, sharpened the stone knife, and went to the beach to meet her husband. As he drew near he called, "Grandmother, go into the village and tell all the people that I have brought home a big, fat whale."

She ran as hard as she could and told the joyful news. The half- dead people suddenly became alive. Some sharpened their knives, others dressed in their best clothes. But most of them just ran as they were and with such knives as they had with them to the beach to see the whale.

His sudden importance was not lost on the raven, who hopped up and down the whales' back, viewing the scene of carnage, as the people gouged themselves on the whale.

Every few moments raven would take a pebble out of his bag, then after some thought put it back. When the chief and his relatives came near, raven drove them away. They had to be content just watching the people enjoy their feasting, and carrying off blubber to their homes. Later, in the village, the people did share with the chief.

The ravens' first wife, the chief's daughter, had a son by him, a little raven. She had it in her arms at the beach and walked in front of raven, where he could notice her. "Here is your child, look at it," she called. But he ignored her. She called to him several times and continued to show him the baby. At last he said, "Come closer--nearer still." But when she could not stand his odor any longer, she left him without a word.

Death occurred as a result of the feast. Many of the people ate so much fat on the spot that they died soon after. The rest of the people had eaten so much and filled their barrabaras so full, that during the night they all suffocated. Of the entire village, only three were left--the raven, his new wife, and the grandmother. There they lived on as their descendants do to this day.

 

 

 

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Rock Monster Eagle And Monster Slayer

After killing Yé'iitsoh the twins were eager to continue their mission to rid the world of the monsters that were decimating the People. The next day they left to kill the Horned Monster [Déélgééd] who lived in the Jemez Mountains. As a by-product of this second success, chipmunk acquired his stripes when he was striped by the blood of the dead monster.

Their third challenge was to kill the Rock Monster Eagle [Tsé nináhálééh] who would swoop down and carry the People off to feed the nestlings on top of Ship rock [Tsé Bit'a'í]. As the sun was coming up, Monster Slayer [Naayéé neizghání] ran along the top of the Continental Divide with the colon of Horned Monster [Déélgééd], filled with blood, around his neck and the small intestines folded over his shoulders. He was seen by the Rock Monster Eagle [Tsé nináhálééh] who began flying toward him. He sang out, saying that he was Monster Slayer [Naayéé neizghání] and was coming to kill the monster.

As the Rock Monster Eagle [Tsé nináhálééh] flew over and past him, Wind's Child [nich'i biyázhí] whispered in his ear to allow the monster to pick him up. Monster Slayer [Naayéé neizghání] was carried to the top of Tsé Bit'a'í and thrown against the sharp rock which was black with the blood of the People. Monster Slayer [Naayéé neizghání] used his flint club to deflect his path and to avoid harm. He used some of the blood with which he had filled the intestines that he carried around his neck to create the appearance of great bleeding. The two children of the Monster rushed out from their cave to get their food. Their father flew off to find another victim. Monster Slayer [Naayéé neizghání] arose and asked the two children of Rock Monster Eagle [Tsé nináhálééh] what time their father usually returned. They replied that he returned at exactly noon and that male rain began over at Mountain-which-lies-elevated (the Lukachukai Mountains) (to the west) at about that time. He then asked when their mother would return. They said that she would return when the Sun [Jóhonaa'éí] began to drop a little and female rain began at Beautiful Mountain. Monster Slayer [Naayéé neizghání] then built a lookout on the east side of Tsé Bit'a'í from the rock there. Exactly at noon a dark cloud appeared at Mountain-which-lies-elevated (the Lukachukai Mountains) from which zig-zag lightning could be seen. Soon the Rock Monster Eagle [Tsé nináhálééh] appeared with a young Diné man and threw him to the rock where he lay motionless.

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Run, Rabbit, Run

It was late winter or very early spring, for snow still lay on the ground, when Ableegumooch the Rabbit entertained two friends at a maple syrup feast. The two friends were Keoonik

the Otter and Miko the Squirrel.

As they happily licked the last of the syrup off their paws, they exchanged news.

"Last night," said Miko, "the moon looked into my den and woke me, and I heard wolves talking outside. I heard them offer Lusifee the Wild Cat two strings of wampum to kill somebody!"

"Really?" asked the rabbit, with interest. "Who?"

"They didn't mention any name," said the squirrel, "but only spoke of him as a servant and friend of Glooscap, one full of tricks, who knows his way through the forest."

"Whoever he is," said Keoonik darkly, "he is as good as dead, for that Lusifee is a cunning tracker and absolutely cold-blooded."

"A friend of our Master's," mused Ableegumooch, "could be any of us."

"Someone full of tricks," remarked the otter uneasily. "It could even be me!"

"Hah!" snorted the rabbit, "you know very well that I am the one most full of tricks hereabouts." And Keoonik did not deny it, for he had suffered much in the past from the rabbit's mischief. Miko gave a little shiver.

"You know, when they spoke of one who knew his way through the forest, I couldn't help wondering if they meant me, for I can find my way through the trees better than most."

"Nonsense!" snapped Ableegumooch. "Anything a squirrel can do, a rabbit can do better. After all, I am Glooscap's official forest guide. And his very good friend," he added proudly.

"The thing is," said Keoonik, his eyes dwelling unconsciously on the rabbit, "to find someone who fits all three requirements-- someone full of tricks, one who knows the forest, and one who is a servant and friend of the Great Chief."

The rabbit jumped as if a bee had stung him.

"Oh my! It's me he's after!"

Keoonik tried to comfort the stricken rabbit.

"We'll stand by you," he said. "Won't we, Miko?"

"Y-yes," said the squirrel doubtfully, for he feared that even the three of them together would be no match for the ferocious cat.

"Thanks, my friends," said Ableegumooch, heartened by their loyalty, "but I may not need your help. I have a plan."

Miko asked what he had in mind.

"Strength and speed are on Lusifee's side, so I must rely on craft," said Ableegumooch and grinned mysteriously. "When a rabbit's skin falls short, he must borrow another's. Well, he's sure to come here to find me. I'm off!" And the rabbit sprang into the air, landing a long distance from his lodge, so as to leave no track near his home. Ableegumooch kept jumping in this way until he thought he was out of scent and sight, then scampered away like the wind.

Keoonik and Miko scurried to a hiding place nearby and waited to see what would happen. Presently, sure enough, Lusifee the Wild Cat appeared, slinking along with nose to the earth, his yellow eyes gleaming and his great paws padding silently over the snow.

Finding the rabbit's wigwam empty, he snarled with disappointed fury. However, taking the wigwam for a center, he kept going round and round it, making each circle a little wider than the one before, until at last he found the rabbit's scent. He kept on circling until he reached the spot where the rabbit had stopped jumping. Then, swearing by his tail to catch Ableegumooch and kill him, he set out swiftly on a clear trail.

As the day passed, Lusifee knew by the freshness of the track that he was overtaking the rabbit, but he did not catch sight of his prey while daylight lasted. As night fell, Lusifee came upon a wigwam all alone on the open marsh, and he poked his head inside. There sat a grave and dignified old fox, whose white hair stuck up oddly on either side of his head. When asked if he had seen Ableegumooch, the old fellow shook his head, but invited Lusifee to pass the night with him.

"You can continue your search in the morning," he said in a helpful manner. So, being tired and hungry, Lusifee accepted the invitation, and after a good supper, lay down by the fire and slept soundly.

Towards morning, however, he began to shiver and feel most uncomfortable. Waking at last, he looked around in amazement. He was no longer in the warm lodge but lying on the open marsh with snow blowing over him. Then Lusifee saw dimly the marks of a rabbit's feet and knew Ableegumooch had fooled him. The rabbit, artful at disguise, had masquerade as the fox and had removed himself and the wigwam while Lusifee slept.

Resuming the chase in a great rage, the cat swore by his teeth, as well as by his tail, that Ableegumooch would die before nightfall. But when darkness came again, he had still not caught sight of the rabbit.

Stopping at the first village he came to, which was that of a porcupine tribe, he asked the first young porcupine he met if he had seen a rabbit pass this way.

"Hush!" said the porcupine. "Can't you see we are listening to the storyteller?" Then Lusifee noticed that the whole tribe was gathered around the fire listening to an old porcupine with white whiskers and oddly-shaped ears. In the land of the Wabanaki, the storyteller is greatly respected, and it is considered most impolite to interrupt him. So the cat was obliged to wait until the stories were over. Then he turned once more to the young porcupine.

"But have you seen a rabbit?"

"Hundreds of them," answered the other impatiently, "are racing about in the cedar swamp near here. You can have as many as you want."

"Those aren't the ones I'm after," complained the cat. "I want Ableegumooch, Glooscap's forest guide."

The young porcupine said he knew of no other sort of rabbit save the wild wood ones, but perhaps the storyteller who was old and wise could tell him something.

So Lusifee went to the storyteller and asked if he had seen a rabbit pass by.

"Rabbit?" The storyteller rattled his quills as he thought, and the cat moved back prudently. "No, I've seen no rabbit. But, my friend, you look tired. You may pass the night with me, if you like, in my lodge outside the village."

The cat was glad of the invitation and went to sleep in a warm bed. Much later, he awoke, all a-shake and a-shiver in a wet cedar swamp, the wind blowing ten times worse than the night before, and all around him the tracks of a rabbit.

Lusifee sprang up more enraged than ever and, swearing now by his claws, as well as by his teeth and his tail, to be revenged on the rabbit, he set out again on the trail. He ran all day and at night came to another village, inhabited by a tribe of bears. He was so weary he could only gasp out:

"Have--you--seen--a rab--bit?"

The bears said they had not, but invited him to join in a feast with them, and when they had done eating, they politely asked him for a song. Now the cat was very vain about his voice, and right willingly he lifted up his voice in a song of hate against rabbits. The bears applauded and invited him to join in the dancing, but the cat begged to be excused on account of weariness and sat to one side, watching.

Now one of the bears was smaller than the others and his ears were somewhat longer than bears' are usually. How ever, he was a great dancer and leaped higher in the air than any other. As he passed by Lusifee he accidentally, it seemed, gave the cat a fierce kick, cutting his head and knocking him senseless.

When the cat came back to consciousness, he found him self in a wigwam outside the village. A medicine man of the bear tribe was bending over him and the cat noticed that he wore long white feathers on either side of his head. By now Lusifee was growing more suspicious and he looked at the medicine man with narrowed eyes.

"I was asking if any rabbits had been around here," said Lusifee, "and truly you look very much like one yourself. How did you get that split lip?"

"Oh, that is very simple," said the medicine man, who was no other than Ableegumooch, of course. "Once I was hammering wampum beads, and the stone on which I beat them broke in halves and one piece flew up and split my lip."

"But why are the soles of your feet so yellow, like a rabbit's?"

"Simple, again," said the medicine man. "I was once preparing some tobacco and as I needed both hands to work, I held it down with my feet--so the tobacco stained them yellow."

Then Lusifee suspected no more and allowed the medicine man to doctor his cuts with salve, after which he fell asleep. But, alas, once more the unhappy cat awoke in dreadful misery, his head swollen and aching, his wound stuffed now with hemlock needles instead of salve.

Now Lusifee swore by his body and soul, as well as by his teeth and his claws and his tail, to kill the next thing he met, rabbit, or any other!

Forgetting pain and cold, he rushed off, exulting when he found the track of Ableegumooch very fresh. Evidently the rabbit too was tiring from the race and could not be far off. Yes, there was the tricky follow just ahead! In fact Ableegumooch had been obliged to stop short as he came to the edge of a broad river. The cat grinned with triumph, for he knew that rabbits are no good at swimming. "You can't escape me now," he shouted. Poor Ableegumooch. He could run no further.

Far away on Blomidon's misty summit, Glooscap saw all that had happened and knew the rabbit had done all he could by himself. The Great Chief began to smoke his pipe very hard, puffing black rings into the blue sky, where they changed at once into birds.

Down in the forest, Ableegumooch had turned at bay and Lusifee was prepared to spring--when, suddenly, down from the sky hurled a great flock of giant hawks screaming their war cries. Lusifee snarled and turned to meet them, but they bore him down by force of numbers--picking at his eyes and beating him with their wings- -until at last, screaming with fear, the cat turned tail and fled into the forest, where if he is not dead he is running still!

Trembling with fright, Ableegumooch sank down to rest at last. He was not half so cocky as he had been when he started out, for he knew that but for the hawks he would have been a dead rabbit. A flute was playing far off, and the rabbit listened. Then he knew who had sent the hawks to him in the nick of time.

"Thank you, Master," he whispered. Glooscap, far off on Blomidon, nodded--and played a triumphant tune to the returning birds.

Now, kespeadooksit--the story ends.



 

 

 

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Seagull, Raven And The Daylight Box

When the world was created, everything was darkness. All the daylight was kept in one little box. That one little box was hidden in Seagulls' house, and Seagull kept it all for himself. Now Raven, who was Seagulls' brother, thought that this just wasn't fair. It was so dark and cold without any daylight. If only he could get that box. But how? Raven sat down and thought and thought.

Aha!! He had it... a plan, a great plan. That night, when the tide was low. Raven went down to the beach and picked up some sea urchins. A sea urchin has a hard shell with little sharp spines all over it. After he had eaten these sea urchins, he quietly tip-toed to Seagulls' house. Quietly he spread the sharp spiny shells all around the door step, then quickly he crept back home. Next morning, Raven strolled over to see his younger brother. Seagull was in bed. His feet were all swollen. Poor Seagull.

"Oh my! What happened to you?" Cried Raven. "Did you gather some sea urchins last night?" asked Seagull. "Why yes I did," replied Raven, looking surprised. "Well I guess those children of yours went and dropped their shells all around my front steps, I stepped on them and now look at my feet, just full of thorns." "Let me have a look," said Raven.

"Put your feet up here." seagull lifted up his feet. "Now how do you expect me to see in this darkness? Open up your daylight box a little, Seagull," Seagull opened up his box a tiny, tiny bit. Raven had a knife and kept jabbing Seagull with it, in the wrong place. "Ow! Ow! Ouch!" yelled Seagull. "Well if you give me a little more light I could see what I was doing," complained Raven. "Give me more light!" Seagull opened the box a bit more. Raven kept pricking Seagulls' foot with his knife. "Oh please, Raven, leave my feet alone. You can't take the thorns out; You're killing me." seagull brought the box closer. Quick as lighting, Raven threw off the lid and then..., the daylight escaped and spread all over the room. Then it went outside spreading it's lovely warm glow wider and wider till daylight spread all over the whole world. Seagull saw his beautiful daylight escaping him, and began to cry and cry. And he is still crying for his daylight today. Just listen sometime, you can hear him, too.

 

 

 

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Skunk Outwits Coyote

Coyote was going along one day, feeling very hungry, when he met up with Skunk.

"Hello, brother," Coyote greeted him. "You look hungry and so am I, If I lead the way, will you join me in a trick to get something to eat?"

I will do whatever you propose," said Skunk.

"A prairie dog village is just over that hill. You go over there and lie down and play dead. I'll come along later and say to the prairie dogs, "Come, let us have a dance over the body of our dead enemy."

Skunk wondered how they would ever get anything to eat by playing dead and dancing. "Why should I do this?" he asked. "Go on,' Coyote said. "Puff yourself up and play dead."

Skunk went to the prairie dog village and pretended to be dead. After awhile, Coyote came along and saw several prairie dogs playing outside their holes. They were keeping their distance from Skunk.

"Oh, look," cried Coyote, "our enemy lies dead before us. Come' we will have a dance to celebrate. Let everyone come out and then stop up the burrow holes."

The foolish prairie dogs did as he told them. "Now," said coyote. "let us all stand in a big circle and dance with our eyes closed. If anyone opens his eyes to look, he will turn into something bad."

As soon as the prairie dogs had began dancing with their eyes closed, Coyote killed one of them, "Well now," he cried out, "lets all open our eyes." The prairie dogs did so, and were surprised to see one lying dead. "Oh, deer." said coyote, "look at this poor fellow. He opened his eyes and died. Now, all of you, close your eyes and dance again, Don't look, or you will die."

They began to dance once more, and one by one Coyote drew them out of the dance circle and killed them. At last, one of the prairie dogs became suspicious and opened his eyes. "Oh Coyote is killing us! he cried, and all the survivors ran to unstop their holes and seek safety in their burrows.

Skunk then stood up and laughed at how easily Coyote had worked his trick.

He helped gather up some dry firewood and they began roasting the prairie dogs that Coyote had killed.

the cooking meat smelled so good that Coyote decided he wanted to eat the best of it himself. "Lets run a race," he said. "the one that wins will have his choice of the most delicious prairie dogs."

"No," replied Skunk, "you are too swift. I'm a slow runner and could never beat you."

"Well I will tie a rock to my foot," said Coyote.

"If you tie a big rock to your foot, I will race you." said Skunk.

They decided to race around the bottom of the hill. "While I am tying this rock to my foot," Coyote said, "you go ahead. I'll give you a head start and then catch up to you."

Skunk began to run and was soon out of sight around the hill. Coyote tied the rock to his foot and followed, slowly at first, but he soon kicked the rock loose and doubled his speed. Along the way, however, Skunk had found a brush pile, and he dashed in there and hid.

As soon as he saw Coyote go racing past, Skunk turned back to the fire. he raked all the roasted prairie dogs out of the coals, except for two small bony ones that he did not want. Then he cut off the tails and stuck them back in the ashes, and carried the meat away to the brush pile.

Meanwhile Coyote was still loping around the hill, confident that skunk was running just ahead of him. As he hurried along, he said to himself, "I wonder where that fool Skunk is? I did not know he could run so fast." He soon circled back to the cooking fire and saw the prairie dog tails sticking out of the ashes.

He seized one and and it slipped out. he tried another one. "Oh, but they are well cooked," he said. he tried another one. Then he suspected that something was wrong.

Taking a stick, coyote raked the coals. but he found only the two bony prairie dogs that skunk had rejected. "Someone must have stolen our meat," he said and then ate the two small tasteless ones.

Skunk by this time had feasted on the delicious meat, and had crept to the top of the hill and was looking down at Coyote. As Coyote began searching all around to see who might have stolen the meat, Skunk threw some prairie dog bones down upon him.

coyote looked up and saw him. "You took all the delicious prairie dogs!" he cried. "Give me some of them."

"No," Skunk answered. "We ran a race for them. I beat you. I'm going to eat all of them."

coyote begged and begged for some of the delicious prairie dogs, but while he was pleading, Skunk swallowed the last morsel of meat. Skunk was a better trickster than Coyote.

 



 

 

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Tatanka Hunkesi : The Wisdom Of Experience

Today it was warm and I went for a walk. I walked past the place where my father used to live. I thought back to another warm day when I walked this way to visit my father. I was a much younger man, but he was a very wise and old man by then. It was not long after that day before he joined with the Great Spirit. But that morning, I believed he would live forever. He was sitting at his front door, using an old fashion stick drill to make holes in small seashells he collected when we went on a trip to the beach. I asked him what he was doing. He said he was making necklaces in the old style as gifts for his granddaughters and great-granddaughters from the shells he collected.

I looked at him with surprise. The drill he used was a homemade drill made from a stick, and cross bar of wood, some string and a nail. It was just as the ones his father and his grandfather used to make holes in shells so many years ago. It was the same exact type of tool our people had used to drill holes in shells and rocks for generations before the white men came to this land. (In the past they used flint or another sharp rock rather than a nail at the end.)

I watched as his old and bony hands spun the string tightly around the shaft, then push the cross bar over and over again. Each time he pushed the crossbar, the string unwound and the drill spun. Then he let the crossbar go, and used his old fingers to spin the stick, rewinding the crossbar up again and then pushing the crossbar down. His old hands did this with such ease that the nail spun on the shell back and forth, making a hole in the center. Still, it was slow and hard work, especially for his old, tired hands.

I pulled up a chair next to him and sat down. I looked at the many shells that were waiting have a hole drilled in them sitting in a basket by his side. Then I looked at the handful that were sitting in another basket with small holes neatly drilled in each. Knowing my fathers habits, I knew he had been working on his drilling since the early morning. After a short time I asked him why he wasnt using a better, more modern drill to make the holes. I suggested he use my modern drill, or even use the old hand crank drill he had in his toolbox. They would both be faster than the old hand made one he was using. My father did not look up from his work. He kept moving the crossbar on his hand made drill as he worked. "This works as well as I need it to," he said.

"But," I argued with him, "there are many more ways that would be much quicker."

My father stopped his work and looked at me. "What benefit would quickness be?" he asked me.

I didnt understand. I answered him, "You would be done sooner."

My father looked deep in my eyes and said, "This is exactly why I use this old drill. Our people have been making this type of drill for hundreds of years. It always works in its own time. I could use a new type of drill and have all these shells drilled and strung by noon. But then what would I do?"

"I am making a gift for my granddaughters and their daughters. I am happy in making these gifts. Making the gifts is as much joy to me as giving the gifts. If I were to rush and make them with the tools you suggest, then I would be denying myself the joy that the effort gives me. If I rush, I will not have the time to become one with the things I make."

Though I wanted to, I did not understand him. I thought he was foolish, and maybe even a bit senile for taking all day, maybe longer, and putting in such an effort to drill the holes in the shells with an old stick drill. I believed my nieces and grandnieces wouldnt know the difference anyway.

Not long after that day, my fathers spirit joined with the Great Spirit, but not before he had finished the necklaces and gave them to his grandchildren and their daughters.

When it came to be time to clean his home, I found, in his personal effects, a small package with my name on it. I opened it up and found a hand made sheathe of leather. The stitching was less than machine perfect, made by my fathers brittle old hands. On it was beaded a bird of Thunder and a medicine symbol. Inside the sheathe was a blade of shinning, hand sharpened and polished metal. The handle was made from a deer horn. My name was carved on the base of the handle. Its rough cut and shaped beauty was amazing to behold.

When I held the knife, I could feel the spirit and energy of my father in every inch of the knife and sheathe. His being and his spirit were in this gift. Inside the sheathe, along with the knife, was a note. My father wrote, in his shaky hand, words that translate to: "My son. Now I am dead. An old piece of metal and a deer horn, like shells on the beach and a piece of string, tie this old mans heart to those he loves."

I could feel the wisdom of my father surround me. I could feel my own ignorance and shame well up in me. I knew then why my father used the old stick drill to work the shells. I also understood then, that the fastest way to do something is not always the best. Even if the end result looks the same, or better, it is the soul of the hands that make something that makes that item of value.

This day, when I walked past the place where my father lived, I am an oldman. I stopped and looked at the place where my father sat with the old drill and the shells, and I reached to my side to the sheathe and knife my father made which I wear on my belt every day of my life, and I remembered him and his wisdom.

 

 

 

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The Adventures Of Ictinike

One day Ictinike encountered the Rabbit, and hailed him in a friendly manner, calling him, grandchild, and requesting to do him a service. the Rabbit expressed his willingness to assist the god to the best of his ability, and inquired what he wished him to do.

"Oh grandchild." said the crafty one, pointing upward to where a bird circled in the blue vault above them, "take your bow and arrow and bring down yonder bird."

The Rabbit fitted an arrow to his bow, and the shaft transfixed the bird. which fell like a stone and lodged in the branches of a great tree.

"Now grandchild," said Ictinike. "go up into the tree and fetch me the bird."

This however the Rabbit refused to do at first, but at length he took off his clothes and climbed into the tree, where he stuck fast among the tortuous branches. Ictinike, seeing that he could not make his way back down, donned the unfortunate Rabbit's clothes, and highly amused at the animal's predicament, went to the nearest village. There he encountered a chief who had two beautiful daughters, the elder of whom he married, The younger daughter, regarding this as an affront to her personal attractions, wandered off into the forest in a fit of anger. As she paced angrily up and down she heard some one calling to her from above, and looking up she saw the unfortunate Rabbit, whose fur was adhering to the gum of the tree. The girl cut down the tree and lit a fire near it, which melted the gum and freed the Rabbit. The Rabbit and the chief's daughter compared stories, and discovered that the being who had tricked the Rabbit and affronted the girl was the same.

Together they proceeded to the chief's lodge, where the girl was laughed at because of the strange companion she had brought back with her.

Suddenly an eagle appeared in the air above them. Ictinike shot at and missed it, but the Rabbit loosed an arrow with great force and brought it down to earth. Each feather of the bird became another eagle. and each morning Ictinike shot and missed this newly created bird, which the Rabbit invariably succeeded in killing, This went on until Ictinike had quite worn out the Rabbit's clothing and was wearing very old pieces of lodge skin; but the Rabbit returned to him the clothes he had been forced to don when Ictinike had stolen his. Then the Rabbit commanded the Indians to beat drums, and each time they were beaten Ictinike jumped so high that every bone in his body was shaken, At length, after more than the usual series of loud beats, he leapt to such a height that when he came down it was found that the fall had broken his neck. The Rabbit was avenged.

 

 

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The Ancient One

Ancient one sat in the shade of his tree in front of his cave. Red People came to him and he said to Red People, "Tell me your vision."

And Red People answered, "The elders have told us to pray in this manner, and that manner, and it is important that only we pray as we have been taught for this has been handed down to us by the elders."

"Hmmmm," said the Ancient One.

Then Black People came to him and he said to Black People, "Tell me your vision."

And Black People answered, "Our mothers have said to go to this building and that building and pray in this manner and that manner. And our fathers have said to bow in this manner and that manner when we pray. And it is important that we do only this when we pray."

"Hmmmm," said the Ancient One.

Then Yellow People came to him and he said to Yellow People, "Tell me your vision."

And Yellow People answered, "Our teachers have told us to sit in this manner and that manner and to say this thing and that thing when we pray. And it is important that we do only this when we pray."

"Hmmmm," said the Ancient One.

Then White People came to him and he said to White People, "Tell me your vision."

And White People answered, "Our Book has told us to pray in this way and that way and to do this thing and that thing, and it is very important that we do this when we pray."

"Hmmmm," said the Ancient One.

Then Ancient One spoke to the Earth and said, "Have you given the people a vision?" And the Earth said, "Yes, a special gift for each one, but the people were so busy speaking and arguing about which way is right they could not see the gift I gave each one of them." And the Ancient One asked same question of Water and Fire and Air and got the same answer. Then Ancient One asked Animal, and Bird, and Insect, and Tree, and Flower, and Sky, and Moon, and Sun, and Stars, and all of the other Spirits and each told him the same.

Ancient One thought this was very sad. He called Red People, Black People, Yellow People, and White People to him and said to them. "The ways taught to you by your Elders, and your Mothers and Fathers, and Teachers, and Books are sacred. It is good that you respect those ways, for they are the ways of your ancestors. But the ancestors no longer walk on the Face of the Earth Mother. You have forgotten your own Vision. Your Vision is right for you but no one else. Now each of you must pray for your own Visions, and be still enough to see them, so you can follow the way of the heart. It is a hard way. It is a good way.



 

 



 

 

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The Beaver And The Frog Woman

Once in the log ago, Skel'aw' (beaver) had a large family of young men and not far from the beaver lodge, there lived a lone woman, Waxes was her name. It was during the wintertime so it was very cold and all the land was covered with snow. The ice was very thick on the waters.

Beaver called all his children and said to them, that they must go and gamble against the Iceman. I want you all to play hard and don't stop until you have defeated him. So, the young men went to gamble against Iceman. They continued playing very hard for two days and two nights without a break, so on the second night. Beaver went to the home of the Frog Woman. and told her that he wanted her for his wife.

She became very angry and she bitterly called him down. She struck him and told him to get out. Beaver becomes very sad and he began to cry, saying, "caha caha," and on his way home he could hear the voices of all of his boys singing over their gambling. The chorus of their song was, " ice break open." This they kept repeating as they continued playing and finally the ice began to crack. By morning the water opened and all the ice was gone.

When Beaver saw the open water, he dove into it and swam around and leapt like a salmon.

Soon the rains began to fall, increasing in violence as Beaver leaps and sings. In a short time the water rises and enters the lodge of Frog Woman, who becomes alarmed over her safety. In her fright, she calls out to Beaver, "I consent, I consent Beaver."

The only notice Beaver takes of her now is to call back, "Come!, Come! I am not such a bad fellow, after all hey! you would marry me now would you?"
Frog Woman tries to reach the roof of her lodge. As Beaver continues his plunging and leaping and singing. The water is just about to wash her off the top of the roof, when a drifting log comes by. She immediately grabs the log, and is carried away.

After drifting around for sometime, the log is finally beached and she sees a large lodge. She approaches the lodge and secretly peeks in. In the lodge she sees a man lying on the bed/ he has a very round head and a big face. This man was Moon Man.

She enters the lodge and seats herself on the side of the fire farthest away from the Moon Man. The Moon man says to her, "come and sit at the foot of my bed." She answers him by saying, "Do you think I came here to sit at the foot of your bed?" Then Moon Man says, "Come and sit on my lap." "Do you think I came here to sit on your lap?" she replied. He then said, "Come then and sit on my chest, perhaps this will satisfy you." "I never came here for that purpose either," was her reply to the invitation. "Well then come sit on my forehead," he said. And to that invitation she gladly responds and quickly she jumps on his forehead, where she has remained ever since.

So ends the story of the Frog Woman.

 

 

 

 

 

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The BOY And The Turtles

A boy went on a turtle hunt, and after following the different streams for hours, finally came to the conclusion that the only place he would find any turtles would be at the little lake, where the tribe always hunted them.

So, leaving the stream he had been following, he cut across country to the lake. On drawing near the lake he crawled on his hands and knees in order not to be seen by the turtles, who were very watchful, as they had been hunted so much.

Peeping over the rock he saw a great many out on the shore sunning themselves, so he very cautiously undressed, so he could leap into the water and catch them before they secreted themselves. But on pulling off his shirt one of his hands was held up so high that the turtles saw it and jumped into the lake with a great splash.

The boy ran to the shore, but saw only bubbles coming up from the bottom. Directly the boy saw something coming to the surface, and soon it came up into sight. It was a little man, and soon others, by the hundreds, came up and swam about, splashing the water up into the air to a great height. So scared was the boy that he never stopped to gather up his clothes but ran home naked and fell into his grandmother's tent door.

"What is the trouble, grandchild," cried the old woman.

But the boy could not answer.

"Did you see anything unnatural?"

He shook his head, "no." He made signs to the grandmother that his lungs were pressing so hard against his sides that he could not talk. He kept beating his side with his clenched hands.

The grandmother got out her medicine bag, made a prayer to the Great Spirit to drive out the evil spirit that had entered her grandson's body, and after she had applied the medicine, the prayer must have been heard and answered, as the boy commenced telling her what he had heard and seen.

The grandmother went to the chief's tent and told what her grandson had seen. The chief sent two brave warriors to the lake to ascertain whether it was true or not. The two warriors crept to the little hill close to the lake, and there, sure enough, the lake was swarming with little men swimming about, splashing the water high up into the air. The warriors, too, were scared and hurried home, and in the council called on their return told what they had seen.

The boy was brought to the council and given the seat of honor (opposite the door), and was named "Wankan Wanyanka" (sees holy).

The lake had formerly borne the name of Truth Lake, but from this time on was called "Wicasa-bde"-- Man Lake.

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The Buffalo And The Field Mouse

Once when the Field-Mouse was out gathering wild beans for the winter, his neighbor, the Buffalo, came down to graze in the meadow.

this the little Field Mouse did not like, for he knew that the other would mow down all the long grass with his prickly tongue, and there would be no place in which to hide.

he made up his mind to offer battle like a man.

"Ho, Friend Buffalo. I challenge you to a fight! he exclaimed in a small voice.

The Buffalo paid no attention, thinking it only a joke.

The Mouse angrily repeated the challenge, and still his enemy went on quietly grazing.

Then the little Mouse laughed with contempt as he offered his defiance. The Buffalo finally looked at him and replied carelessly, "You had better keep still, little one, or I shall come over there and step on you, and there will be nothing left!"

"You can't do it!" replied the Mouse.

"I tell you keep still," insisted the Buffalo, who was getting angry. "If you speak to me again, I shall certainly come and put an end to you!"

"I dare you to do it!" said the Mouse, provoking him. Thereupon the other rushed at him, He trampled the grass clumsily and tore up the earth with his front hoofs. When he had finished, he looked for the Mouse, but he could not see him anywhere.

"I told you I would step on you, and there would be nothing left!" he muttered.

Just then he felt a scratching inside his right ear. He shook his head as hard as he could, and twitched his ears back and forth. The gnawing went deeper and deeper until he was wild with the pain. He pawed with his hoofs and tore up the sod with his horns.

bellowing madly, he ran as fast as he could, first straight forward and then in circles. but at last he stopped and stood trembling. Then the Mouse jumped out of his ear, and said:

"Will you know now that I am master?"

"No!" bellowed the Buffalo, and again he started toward the Mouse, as if to trample him under his feet. The little fellow was nowhere to be seen, but in a minute the Buffalo felt him in the other ear. Once more he became wild with pain, and ran here and there over the prairie, at times leaping high in the air. At last he fell to the ground and lay quite still. The Mouse came out of his ear, and stood proudly upon his dead body.

"Eho!" said he, "I have killed the greatest of all the beast. This will show to all that I am master!"

Standing upon the body he called loudly for a knife with which to dress out his game.

In another part of the meadow, Red Fox, very hungry was hunting mice for his breakfast. He saw one and jumped on him with all four feet, but the little Mouse got away, he was terribly disappointed.

Then all at once he thought he heard a distance call: "Bring me a knife! Bring me a knife!"

When the second call came, Red Fox started in the direction of the sound, At the first knoll he stopped and listened, but hearing nothing more, he was about to go back. Just then he heard the call plainly, but in a very thin voice, "Bring me a knife!" Red Fox immediately set out again and ran as fast has he could.

Finally he came upon the huge body of the Buffalo lying on the ground. The little Mouse still stood on the body.

Seeing Red Fox, little Mouse said, "I want you to dress out this Buffalo for me and I will give you some of the meat."

"Thank you, my friend, I shall be glade to do this for you, Red Fox replied, politely.

The Fox dressed out the Buffalo, while the Mouse sat upon a mound near by, looking on and giving his orders. "You must cut the meat into small pieces," he said to the Fox.

When the Fox had finished his work, the Mouse paid him with a small piece of liver. Fox swallowed it quickly and smacked his lips.

"Please may I have another piece?" he asked quite humbly.

"Why, I gave you a very large piece! How greedy you are!" exclaimed the Mouse. "You may have some of the blood clots, he sneered. So poor Fox took the blood clots and even liked off the grass. He was really very hungry.

"Please may I take home a piece of the meat?" he begged. "I have six little ones at home, and there is nothing for them to eat."

"You can take the four feet of the Buffalo. That ought to be enough for all of you!"

"Thank you, thank you!" said the Fox. "But, Mouse, I have a wife also. and we have had bad luck in hunting. We are almost starved. Can't you spare me a little more?"

"Why," declared the Mouse, "I have already overpaid you for the little work you have done. However you can take the head, too!"

Thereupon the Fox jumped on the Mouse who gave a little squeak and disappeared.

If you are proud and selfish you will loose all in the end.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 









 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 




 
 
 
 




 

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The Buffalo Rock

The buffalo rock, as called by the Blackfeet Indians, was usually a fossil shell of some kind, picked up on the prairie. Whoever found one was considered fortunate, for it was thought to give a person great power over buffalo. The owner put the stone in his lodge, near the fire, and prayed over it. This story reveals not only the use of such a rock, but also a common method of hunting buffalo before the Indians had horses.

There was once a very poor woman, the second wife of a Blackfeet. Her buffalo robe was old and full of holes; her buffalo moccasins were worn and ripped. She and her people were camped not far from a cliff that would be a good place for a buffalo drive. They were very much in need of buffalo, for they were not only ragged but starving.

One day while this poor woman was gathering wood, she heard a voice singing. Looking around, she found that the song was coming from a buffalo rock. It sang, "Take me. Take me. I have great power."

So the woman took the buffalo rock. When she returned to her lodge, she said to her husband, "Call all the men and have them sing to bring the buffalo."

"Are you in earnest?" her husband asked.

"Yes, I am," the woman replied. "Call the men, and also get a small piece of the back of a buffalo from the Bear Medicine man. Ask some of the men to bring the four rattles they use."

The husband did as his wife directed. Then she showed him how to arrange the inside of the lodge in a kind of square box with some sagebrush and buffalo chips. Though it was the custom for the first wife to sit next to her husband, the man directed his second wife to put on the dress of the other woman and to sit beside him. When everything was ready, the men who had been summoned sat down in the lodge beside the woman and her husband. Then the buffalo rock began to sing, "The buffalo will all drift back. The buffalo will all drift back."

Hearing this song, the woman asked one of the young men to go outside and put a great many buffalo chips in line. "After you have them in place, wave at them with a buffalo robe four times, and shout at them in a singsong. At the fourth time, all the buffalo chips will turn into buffaloes and go over the cliff."

The young man followed her directions, and the chips became buffaloes. At the same time, the woman led the people in the lodge in the singing of songs. One song was about the buffalo that would lead the others in the drive. While the people were chanting it, a cow took the lead and all the herd followed her. They plunged over the cliff and were killed.

Then the woman sang,

More than a hundred buffalo

Have fallen over the cliff.

I have made them fall.

And the man above the earth hears me singing.

More than a hundred buffalo

Have fallen over the cliff.

And so the people learned that the rock was very powerful. Ever since that time, they have taken care of the buffalo rock and have prayed to it.

 

 

 

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The Earth Diver

In the beginning, Prairie Falcon and Crow were sitting on a log which projected above the waters that covered the world. They asked Duck what number he dreamed of, and duck replied, "Two." Prairie Falcon assigned him the number three and told him to dive into the water and bring up some sand from the bottom. Duck dived to get the sand, but before he reached the bottom, the three days he was alloted expired. He awoke from his dream, died, and floated to the surface. Prairie Falcon brought him back to life however, and asked him what the trouble was. Duck said that he had come out of his dream, died and floated on the top.

Prairie Falcon then asked Coot what number he had dreamed of. Coot replied, "Four." Then Prairie Falcon assigned him the number two and ordered him to dive for the sand. Before Coot reached the bottom, two days elapsed, and he came out of his dream. He too died, and his body floated to the surface of the waters. Prairie Falcon saw the corpse. recovered it, and brought Coot back to life. he asked Coot what had been the trouble, and Coot replied that he had passed out of his dream.

Then Prairie Falcon asked Grebe what number he had dreamed of. Grebe replied he had dreamed of five. Prairie Falcon assigned him the number four and told him that was the number of days he had to bring sand from the bottom of the waters. Grebe was successful. he dove all secured some sand in each hand. As he was returning to the surface, he passed out of his dream, died. and floated to the surface. Prairie Falcon brought him back to life and asked if he had secured any sand. Grebe said he had, so Prairie Falcon wanted to know how he had done with it. Grebe explained that it had all slipped from his grasp when he died. Prairie Falcon and Crow both laughed at him and said that they didn't believe him. Then they looked at his hands and found sand under his fingernails. They took the sand and threw it in every direction. This is the way in which they made the world.

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The Falcon And The Duck

The wintry winds had already begun to whistle and the waves to rise when the Drake and his mate gathered their half- grown brood together on the shore of their far northern lake.

"Wife," said he, "it is now time to take the children southward, to the Warm Countries which they have never yet seen!"

Very early the next morning they et out on their long journey, forming a great "V" against the sky in their flight. The mother led her flock and the father brought up the rear, keeping a sharp lookout for stragglers.

All day they flew high in the keen air, over wide prairies and great forests of northern pine, until toward evening they saw below them a chain of lakes, glittering like a string of dark-blue stones.

Swinging round in a half circle, they dropped lower and lower, ready to alight and rest upon the smooth surface of the nearest lake.

Suddenly their leader heard a whizzing sound like that of a bullet as it cuts the air, and she quickly gave the warning: "Honk! honk! Danger, danger!" All descended in dizzy spirals, but as the great Falcon swooped toward them with upraised wing, the ducklings scattered wildly hither and thither. The old Drake came last, and it was he who was struck!

"Honk, honk!" cried all the Ducks in terror, and for a minute the air was full of soft downy feathers like flakes of snow. But the force of the blow was lost upon the well-cushioned body of the Drake, he soon got over his fright and went on his way southward with his family, while the Falcon dropped heavily to the waters' edge with a broken wing.

There he stayed and hunted mice as best he could from day to day, sleeping at night in a hollow log to be out of the way of the Fox and the Weasel. All the wit he had was not too much whereby to keep himself alive through the long, hard winter.

Toward spring, however, the Falcons' wing had healed and he could fly a little, though feebly. The sun rose higher and higher in the blue heavens, and the Ducks began to return to their cool northern home. Every day a flock or two flew over the lake; but the Falcon dared not charge upon the flocks, much as he wished to do so. He was weak with hunger, and afraid to trust to the strength of the broken wing.

One fine day a chattering flock of Mallards alighted quite near him, cooling their glossy breasts upon the gently rippling wave.

"Here, children," boasted an old Drake, "is the very spot where your father was charged upon last autumn by a cruel Falcon! I can tell you that it took all my skill and quickness in dodging to save my life. Best of all, our fierce enemy dropped to the ground with a broken wing! Doubtless he is long since dead of starvation, or else a Fox or a Mink has made a meal of the wicked creature! "

By these words the Falcon knew his old enemy, and his courage returned.

"Nevertheless, I am still here!" he exclaimed, and darted like a flash upon the unsuspecting old Drake, who was resting and telling of his exploit and narrow escape with the greatest pride and satisfaction.

"Honk! honk! " screamed all the Ducks, and they scattered and whirled upward like the dead leaves in autumn; but the Falcon with sure aim selected the old Drake and gave swift chase. Round and round in dizzy spirals they swung together, till with a quick spurt the Falcon struck the shining, outstretched neck of the other, and snapped it with one powerful blow of his reunited wing.

Do not exult too soon; nor is it wise to tell of your brave deeds within the hearing of your enemy.

 

 

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The First World

The First World, Ni'hodilqil, was black as black wool. It had four corners, and over these appeared four clouds. These four clouds contained within themselves the elements of the First World. They were in color, black, white, blue, and yellow.

The Black Cloud represented the Female Being or Substance. For as a child sleeps when being nursed, so life slept in the darkness of the Female Being. The White Cloud represented the Male Being or Substance. He was the Dawn, the Light-Which-Awakens, of the First World.

In the East, at the place where the Black Cloud and the White Cloud met, First Man, Atse'hastqin was formed; and with him was formed the white corn, perfect in shape, with kernels covering the whole ear. Dolionot i'ni is the name of this first seed corn, and it is also the name of the place where the Black Cloud and the White Cloud met.

The First World was small in size, a floating island in mist or water. On it there grew one tree, a pine tree, which was later brought to the present world for firewood.

Man was not, however, in his present form. The conception was of a male and a female being who were to become man and woman. The creatures of the First World are thought of as the Mist People; they had no definite form, but were to change to men, beasts, birds, and reptiles of this world.

Now on the western side of the First World, in a place that later was to become the Land of Sunset, there appeared the Blue Cloud, and opposite it there appeared the Yellow Cloud. Where they came together First Woman was formed, and with her the yellow corn. This ear of corn was also perfect. With First Woman there came the white shell and the turquoise and the yucca.

First Man stood on the eastern side of the First World. He represented the Dawn and was the Life Giver. First Woman stood opposite in the West. She represented Darkness and Death.

First Man burned a crystal for a fire. The crystal belonged to the male and was the symbol of the mind and of clear seeing. When First Man burned it, it was the minds awakening.

First Woman burned her turquoise for a fire. They saw each other's lights in the distance. When the Black Cloud and the White Cloud rose higher in the sky, First Man set out to find the turquoise light. He went twice without success, and again a third time; then he broke a forked branch from his tree, and, looking through the fork, he marked the place where the light burned. And the fourth time he walked to it and found smoke coming from a home.

"Here is the home I could not find," First Man said.

First Woman answered: "Oh, it is you. I saw you walking around and I wondered why you did not come."

Again the same thing happened when the Blue Cloud and the Yellow Cloud rose higher in the sky. First Woman saw a light and she went out to find it. Three times she was unsuccessful, but the fourth time she saw the smoke and she found the home of First Man.

"I wondered what this thing could be," she said.

"I saw you walking and I wondered why you did not come to me," First Man answered.

First Woman saw that First Man had a crystal for a fire, and she saw that it was stronger than her turquoise fire. And as she was thinking, First Man spoke to her. "Why do you not come with your fire and we will live together." The woman agreed to this. So instead of the man going to the woman, as is the custom now, the woman went to the man.

About this time there came another person, the Great-Coyote-Who-Was-Formed-in-the-Water, and he was in the form of a male being. He told the two that he had been hatched from an egg. He knew all that was under the water and all that was in the skies.

First Man placed this person ahead of himself in all things. The three began to plan what was to come to pass; and while they were thus occupied another being came to them. He also had the form of a man, but he wore a hairy coat, lined with white fur, that fell to his knees and was belted in at the waist. His name was Atse'hashke', First Angry or Coyote.

He said to the three: "You believe that you were the first persons. You are mistaken. I was living when you were formed."

Again the same thing happened when the Blue Cloud and the Yellow Cloud rose higher in the sky. First Woman saw a light and she went out to find it. Three times she was unsuccessful, but the fourth time she saw the smoke and she found the home of First Man.

"I wondered what this thing could be," she said.

"I saw you walking and I wondered why you did not come to me," First Man answered.

First Woman saw that First Man had a crystal for a fire, and she saw that it was stronger than her turquoise fire. And as she was thinking, First Man spoke to her. "Why do you not come with your fire and we will live together." The woman agreed to this. So instead of the man going to the woman, as is the custom now, the woman went to the man.

About this time there came another person, the Great-Coyote-Who-Was-Formed-in-the-Water, and he was in the form of a male being. He told the two that he had been hatched from an egg. He knew all that was under the water and all that was in the skies.

First Man placed this person ahead of himself in all things. The three began to plan what was to come to pass; and while they were thus occupied another being came to them. He also had the form of a man, but he wore a hairy coat, lined with white fur, that fell to his knees and was belted in at the waist. His name was Atse'hashke', First Angry or Coyote.

He said to the three: "You believe that you were the first persons. You are mistaken. I was living when you were formed."

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The Frogs And The Crane

In the heart of the woods there lay a cool, green pond. The shores of the pond were set with ranks of tall bullrushes that waved crisply in the wind, and in the shallow bays there were fleets of broad water lily leaves. Among the rushes and reeds and in the quiet water there dwelt a large tribe of Frogs.

On every warm night of spring, the voices of the Frogs arose in a cheerful chorus. Some voices were low and deep---these were the oldest and wisest of the Frogs; at least, they were old enough to have learned wisdom. Some were high and shrill, and these were the voices of the little Frogs who did not like to be reminded of the days when they had tails and no legs.

"Kerr-ump! Kerr-ump! I'm chief of this pond!" croaked a very large bullfrog, sitting in the shade of a water lily leaf.

"Kerr-ump! Kerr-ump! I'm chief of this pond!" replied a hoarse voice from the opposite bank.

"Kerr-ump! Kerr-ump! I'm chief of this pond!" boasted a third old Frog from the furthest shore of the pond.

Now a long-legged white Crane was standing near by, well hidden by the coarse grass that grew at the waters' edge. He was very hungry that evening, and when he heard the deep voice of the first Bullfrog he stepped briskly up to him and made a quick pass under the broad leaf with his long, cruel bill. The old Frog gave a frightened croak, and kicked violently in his efforts to get away, while over the quiet pond, splash! splash! went the startled little Frogs into deep water.

The Crane almost had him, when something cold and slimy wound itself about one of his legs. He drew back for a second, and the Frog got safely away! But the Crane did not lose his dinner after all, for about his leg was curled a large black water snake, and that made a fair meal.

Now he rested awhile on one leg, and listened. The first Frog was silent, but from the opposite bank the second Frog croaked boastfully:

"Kerr-ump! Kerr-ump! I'm chief of this pond!"

The Crane began to be hungry again. He went round the pond without making any noise, and pounced upon the second Frog, who was sitting up in plain sight, swelling his chest with pride, for he really thought now that he was the sole chief of the pond.

The Crane's head and most of his long neck disappeared under the water, and all over the pond the little Frogs went splash! splash! into the deepest holes to be out of the way.

Just as he had the Frog by one hind leg, the Crane saw something that made him let go, flap his broad wings and fly awkwardly away to the furthest shore. It was a mink, with his slender brown body and wicked eyes, and he had crept very close to the Crane, hoping to seize him at his meal! So the second Frog got away too; but he was so dreadfully frightened that he never spoke again.

After a long time the Crane got over his fright and he became very hungry once more. The pond had been still so long that many of the Frogs were singing their pleasant chorus, and above them all there boomed the deep voice of the third and last Bullfrog, saying:

"Kerr-ump! Kerr-ump! I'm chief of this pond!"

The Crane stood not far from the boaster, and he determined to silence him once for all. The next time he began to speak, he had barely said "Kerr-ump!" when the Crane had him by the leg. He croaked and struggled in vain, and in another moment he would have gone down the Crane's long throat. But just then a Fox crept up behind the Crane and seized him! The Crane let go the Frog and was carried off screaming into the woods for the Fox's supper. So the third Frog got away; but he was badly lamed by the Crane's strong bill, and he never dared to open his mouth again.

It is not a wise thing to boast too loudly.

 

 

 

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The Gift Of Corn

In a deep forest, far from the villages of his people, lived a hermit. His tent was made of buffalo skins, and his dress was made of deer skin. Far from the haunts of any human being this old hermit was content to spend his days.

All day long he would wander through the forest studying the different plants of nature and collecting precious roots, which he used as medicine. At long intervals some warrior would arrive at the tent of the old hermit and get medicine roots from him for the tribe, the old hermit's medicine being considered far superior to all others.

After a long day's ramble in the woods, the hermit came home late, and being very tired, at once lay down on his bed and was just dozing off to sleep, when he felt something rub against his foot. Awakening with a start, he noticed a dark object and an arm was extended to him, holding in its hand a flint pointed arrow.

The hermit thought, "This must be a spirit, as there is no human being around here but myself!"

A voice then said: "Hermit, I have come to invite you to my home."

"How (yes), I will come," said the old hermit. Wherewith he arose, wrapped his robe about him and followed.

Outside the door he stopped and looked around, but could see no signs of the dark object.

"Whoever you are, or whatever you be, wait for me, as I don't know where to go to find your house," said the hermit.

Not an answer did he receive, nor could he hear any noises as though anyone was walking through the brush.

Re-entering his tent he retired and was soon fast asleep. The next night the same thing occurred again, and the hermit followed the object out, only to be left as before.

He was very angry to think that anyone should be trying to make sport of him, and he determined to find out who this could be who was disturbing his night's rest.

The next evening he cut a hole in the tent large enough to stick an arrow through, and stood by the door watching.

Soon the dark object came and stopped outside of the door, and said, "Grandfather, I came to--," but he never finished the sentence, for the old man let go his arrow, and he heard the arrow strike something which produced a sound as though he had shot into a sack of pebbles.

He did not go out that night to see what his arrow had struck, but early next morning he went out and looked at the spot about where he thought the object had stood. There on the ground lay a little heap of corn, and from this little heap a small line of corn lay scattered along a path. This he followed far into the woods. When he came to a very small knoll the trail ended. At the end of the trail was a large circle, from which the grass had been scraped off clean.

"The corn trail stops at the edge of this circle," said the old man, "so this must be the home of whoever it was that invited me." He took his bone knife and hatchet and proceeded to dig down into the center of the circle. When he had got down to the length of his arm, he came to a sack of dried meat. Next he found a sack of Indian turnips, then a sack of dried cherries; then a sack of corn, and last of all another sack, empty except that there was about a cupful of corn in one corner of it, and that the sack had a hole in the other corner where his arrow had pierced it.

From this hole in the sack the corn was scattered along the trail, which guided the old man to the hiding place.

From this the hermit taught the tribes how to keep their provisions when traveling and were overloaded. He explained to them how they should dig a pit and put their provisions into it and cover them with earth.

By this method the Indians used to keep provisions all summer, and when fall came they would return to their cache, and on opening it would find everything as fresh as the day they were placed there.

The old hermit was also thanked as the discoverer of corn, which had never been known to the Indians until discovered by the old hermit.

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The Hunting Medicine

Eight Indians once went to seek Manabush. They wished to ask some favors of the demi-god.

They went to the shore of a great water. There they took canoes and paddled toward the rising sun. After a long journey they reached the rocky land where Manabush lived. Here they drew their canoes up on shore. They soon found his wigwam. In it they saw Manabush, who invited them to enter. The entrance moved up and down. Each time one of the Indians entered and closed the entrance. Then it raised to allow the next man to enter.

When all had entered and seated themselves. Manabush asked why they had traveled so great a distance to see him. All but one Indian replied that they wanted some hunting medicine. They wished to be able to supply their people with plenty of food. Manabush granted their request.

Manabush now asked the Indian, who had not joined in this request, what he desired. He said, "I do not desire hunting medicine. I wish you to give me everlasting life." Manabush was angry. He took this man by the shoulders and pushed him down, saying as he did this, "You shall be a stone. Thus you will be everlasting."

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The Magic Arrows

There was once a young man who wanted to go on a journey. His mother provided him with sacks of dried meat and pairs of moccasins, but his father said to him:

"Here, my son, are four magic arrows. When you are in need, shoot one of them!"

The young man went forth alone, and hunted in the forest for many days. Usually he was successful, but a day came when he was hungry and could not find meat. Then he sent forth one of the magic arrows, and at the end of the day there lay a fat Bear with the arrow in his side. The hunter cut out the tongue for his meal, and of the body of the Bear he made a thank-offering to the Great Mystery.

Again he was in need, and again in the morning he shot a magic arrow, and at nightfall beside his camp-fire he found an Elk lying with the arrow in his heart. Once more he ate the tongue and offered up the body as a sacrifice. The third time he killed a Moose with his arrow, and the fourth time a Buffalo.

After the fourth arrow had been spent, the young man came one day out of the forest, and before him there lay a great circular village of skin lodges. At one side, and some little way from the rest of the people, he noticed a small and poor tent where an old couple lived all alone. At the edge of the wood he took off his clothes and hid them in a hollow tree. Then, touching the top of his head with his staff, he turned himself into a little ragged boy and went toward the poor tent.

The old woman saw him coming, and said to her old man: "Old man, let us keep this little boy for our own! He seems to be a fine, bright-eyed little fellow, and we are all alone."

"What are you thinking of, old woman?" grumbled the old man. "We can hardly keep ourselves, and yet you talk of taking in a ragged little scamp from nobody knows where!"

In the meantime the boy had come quite near, and the old wife beckoned to him to enter the lodge.

"Sit down, my grandson, sit down!" she said, kindly; and, in spite of the old man's black looks, she handed him a small dish of parched corn, which was all the food they had.

The boy ate and stayed on. By and by he said to the old woman: "Grandmother, I should like to have grandfather make me some arrows!"

"You hear, my old man?" said she. "It will be very well for you to make some little arrows for the boy."

"And why should I make arrows for a strange little ragged boy?" grumbled the old man.

However, he made two or three, and the boy went hunting. In a short time he returned with several small birds. The old woman took them and pulled off the feathers, thanking him and praising him as she did so. She quickly made the little birds into soup, of which the old man ate gladly, and with the soft feathers she stuffed a small pillow.

"You have done well, my grandson!" he said; for they were really very poor.

Not long after, the boy said to his adopted grandmother: "Grandmother, when you see me at the edge of the wood yonder, you must call out: 'A Bear! there goes a Bear!' "

This she did, and the boy again sent forth one of the magic arrows, which he had taken from the body of his game and kept by him. No sooner had he shot, than he saw the same Bear that he had offered up, lying before him with the arrow in his side!

Now there was great rejoicing in the lodge of the poor old couple. While they were out skinning the Bear and cutting the meat in thin strips to dry, the boy sat alone in the lodge. In the pot on the fire was the Bears' tongue, which he wanted for himself.

All at once a young girl stood in the doorway. She drew her robe modestly before her face as she said in a low voice:

"I come to borrow the mortar of your grandmother!"

The boy gave her the mortar, and also a piece of the tongue which he had cooked, and she went away.

When all of the Bear meat was gone, the boy sent forth a second arrow and killed an Elk, and with the third and fourth he shot the Moose and the Buffalo as before, each time recovering his arrow.

Soon after, he heard that the people of the large village were in trouble. A great Red Eagle, it was said, flew over the village every day at dawn, and the people believed that it was a bird of evil omen, for they no longer had any success in hunting. None of their braves had been able to shoot the Eagle, and the chief had offered his only daughter in marriage to the man who should kill it.

When the boy heard this, he went out early the next morning and lay in wait for the Red Eagle. At the touch of his magic arrow, it fell at his feet, and the boy pulled out his arrow and went home without speaking to any one.

But the thankful people followed him to the poor little lodge, and when they had found him, they brought the chief's beautiful daughter to be his wife. Lo, she was the girl who had come to borrow his grandmother's mortar!

Then he went back to the hollow tree where his clothes were hidden, and came back a handsome young man, richly dressed for his wedding.

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The Man Who Acted As The Sun

Once there lived a woman some distance up the river. she refused the offer of marriage from young men of her tribe, because she desired to marry the Sun. She left her village and went to seek the Sun. Finally she reached his lodge and they were married. After she had been there one day, she had a child. He grew very quickly, and on the second day of his life he was able to walk and talk. After a short time he said to his mother, "I should like to meet your mother and father," and he began to cry, making his mother homesick. When the Sun saw that his wife was downcast and that his son was longing to see his grandparents, he said, "You may return to earth to see your parents.

Descend along my eyelashes. His eyelashes were the rays of the sun, which he extended down to his wife's home . where they lived with th woman's parents

The boy was playing with the children of th village, who were teasing him,saying he had no father. He began to cry and went to his mother, whom he asked asked for a bow and arrows. His mother gave him what he asked for. He went outside and began to shoot his arrows towards the sky. The first arrow struck the sky and stuck in it, the second arrow hit the notch of the first arrow. Thus he continued until a chain of arrows was formed, extending from th sky down to the place where he was standing. He then climbed the chain. He found the lodge of th Sun, which he entered. He told his father that the boys had been teasing him and asked his father to let him carry the torches. But his father said, "You can not do it. I carry many torches, Early in the morning and late in the evening, I burn small torches, but at noon I burn large ones." The boy insisted on his request.

So his father gave him the torches, warning him at the same time to observe carefully the instructions that he was giving in regard to their use.

Early the next morning the young man began on the course of the sun, carrying the torches.

Soon he grew impatient and lit all the torches at once. Then it grew very hot. The trees began to burn and many animals jumped into the water to save themselves, but the water began to boil. Then his mother covered the people with her blanket thus she saved them.

The animals hid under rocks. The ermine crept into a hole, which however was not quite large enough. so the tip of it's tail protruded from the entrance. It was scorched and since that time the tip of the ermine's tail has been black.

The mountain goat hid in a cave, hence it's skin is perfectly white. All the animals that did not hide were scorched and therefore have black skins, but the skin on the lower side remained lighter.

When the Sun saw what was happening he said to his son, "Why do you do so? Do you think it is good that there are no people on the earth?"

The Sun took him and cast him down from the heavens, saying, "You shall be the mink and from now on the generations of man shall hunt you."

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The Origin of Light

In the early times, there was only darkness; there was no light at all. At the edge of the sea a woman lived with her father. One time she went out to get some water. As she was scraping the snow, she saw a feather floating toward her. She opened her mouth and the feather floated in and she swallowed it. From that time she was pregnant.

Then she had a baby. It's mouth was a ravens' bill. The woman tried hard to find toys for her child. In her father's house was hanging a bladder that was blown up. This belonged to the woman's father. Now the baby, whose name was tulugaak (Raven), pointed at it and cried for it. The woman did not wish to give it to him but he cried and cried. At last she gave in and took the bladder down from the wall and let the baby play with it. But in playing with it, he broke it. Immediately, it began to get light. Now there was light in the world, and darkness, too.

When the woman's father came home, he scolded his daughter for taking the bladder down from the wall and giving it to the child. And when it was light, tulugaak had disappeared.

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The Origin of the Buffalo Dance

When the buffalo first came to be upon the land, they were not friendly to the people. When the hunters tried to coax them over the cliffs for the good of the villages, they were reluctant to offer themselves up. They did not relish being turned into blankets and dried flesh for winter rations. They did not want their hooves and horn to become tools and utinesals nor did they welcome their sinew being used for sewing. "No, no," they said. We won't fall into your traps. And we will not fall for your tricks." So when the hunters guided them towards the abyss, they would always turn aside at the very last moment. With this lack of cooperation, it seemed the villagers would be hungry and cold and ragged all winter long.

Now one of the hunters' had a daughter who was very proud of her father's skill with the bow. During the fullness of summer, he always brought her the best of hides to dress, and she in turn would work the deerskins into the softest, whitest of garments for him to wear. Her own dresses were like the down of a snow goose, and the moccasins she made for the children and the grandmothers in the village were the most welcome of gifts.

But now with the hint of snow on the wind, and deer becoming more scarce in the willow breaks, she could see this reluctance on the part of the buffalo families could become a real problem.

Hunters' Daughter decided she would do something about it.

She went to the base of the cliff and looked up. She began to sing in a low, soft voice, "Oh, buffalo family, come down and visit me. If you come down and feed my relatives in a wedding feast, I will join your family as the bride of your strongest warrior."

She stopped and listened. She thought she heard the slight rumbling sound of thunder in the distance.

Again she sang, "Oh, buffalo family, come down and visit me. Feed my family in a wedding feast so that I may be a bride."

The thunder was much louder now. Suddenly the buffalo family began falling from the sky at her feet.

One very large bull landed on top of the others, and walked across the backs of his relatives to stand before Hunters' Daughter.

"I am here to claim you as my bride," said Large Buffalo.

"Oh, but now I am afraid to go with you," said Hunters' Daughter.

"Ah, but you must," said Large Buffalo, "For my people have come to provide your people with a wedding feast. As you can see, they have offered themselves up."

"Yes, but I must run and tell my relatives the good news," said Hunters' Daughter. "No," said Large Buffalo. No word need be sent. You are not getting away so easily."

And with that said, Large Buffalo lifted her between his horns and carried her off to his village in the rolling grass hills.

The next morning the whole village was out looking for Hunters' Daughter. When they found the mound of buffalo below the cliff, the father, who was in fact a fine tracker as well as a skilled hunter, looked at his daughter's footprints in the dust.

"She's gone off with a buffalo, he said. I shall follow them and bring her back."

So Hunter walked out upon the plains, with only his bow and arrows as companions. He walked and walked a great distance until he was so tired that he had to sit down to rest beside a buffalo wallow.

Along came Magpie and sat down beside him.

Hunter spoke to Magpie in a respectful tone, "O knowledgeable bird, has my daughter been stolen from me by a buffalo? Have you seen them? Can you tell me where they have gone?"

Magpie replied with understanding, "Yes, I have seen them pass this way. They are resting just over this hill."

"Well," said Hunter, would you kindly take my daughter a message for me? Will you tell her I am here just over the hill?"

So Magpie flew to where Large Buffalo lay asleep amidst his relatives in the dry prairie grass. He hopped over to where hunter's Daughter was quilling moccasins, as she sat dutifully beside her sleeping husband. "Your father is waiting for you on the other side of the hill," whispered Magpie to the maiden.

"Oh, this is very dangerous," she told him. These buffalo are not friendly to us and they might try to hurt my father if he should come this way. Please tell him to wait for me and I will try to slip away to see him."

Just then her husband, Large Buffalo, awoke and took off his horn. "Go bring me a drink from the wallow just over this hill," said her husband.

So she took the horn in her hand and walked very casually over the hill.

Her father motioned silently for her to come with him, as he bent into a low crouch in the grass. "No," she whispered. The buffalo are angry with our people who have killed their people. They will run after us and trample us into the dirt. I will go back and see what I can do to soothe their feelings."

And so hunter's daughter took the horn of water back to her husband who gave a loud snort when he took a drink. The snort turned into a bellow and all of the buffalo got up in alarm. They all put their tails in the air and danced a buffalo dance over the hill, trampling the poor man to pieces who was still waiting for his daughter near the buffalo wallow.

His daughter sat down on the edge of the wallow and broke into tears.

"Why are you crying?" said her buffalo husband.

"You have killed my father and I am a prisoner, besides," she sobbed.

"Well, what of my people?" her husband replied. We have given our children, our parents and some of our wives up to your relatives in exchange for your presence among us. A deal is a deal."

But after some consideration of her feelings, Large Buffalo knelt down beside her and said to her, "If you can bring your father back to life again, we will let him take you back home to your people."

So hunter's Daughter started to sing a little song. "Magpie, Magpie help me find some piece of my father which I can mend back whole again."

Magpie appeared and sat down in front of her with his head cocked to the side.

"Magpie, Magpie, please see what you can find," she sang softly to the wind which bent the grasses slightly apart. Magpie cocked his head to the side and looked carefully within the layered folds of the grasses as the wind sighed again. Quickly he picked out a piece of her father that had been hidden there, a little bit of bone.

"That will be enough to do the trick," said hunter's Daughter, as she put the bone on the ground and covered it with her blanket.

And then she started to sing a reviving song that had the power to bring injured people back to the land of the living. Quietly she sang the song that her grandmother had taught her. After a few melodious passages, there was a lump under the blanket. She and Magpie looked under the blanket and could see a man, but the man was not breathing. He lay cold as stone. So hunter's Daughter continued to sing, a little softer, and a little softer, so as not to startle her father as he began to move. When he stood up, alive and strong, the buffalo people were amazed. They said to hunter's Daughter, "Will you sing this song for us after every hunt? We will teach your people the buffalo dance, so that whenever you dance before the hunt, you will be assured a good result. Then you will sing this song for us, and we will all come back to live again."

Traditional Blackfoot story of How the Buffalo Dance was given to the people.

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The Origin of Yosemite

Early one spring morning, the chief started off with his spears in hand to hunt for trout in the nearby lake known as Sleeping Water.

Imagine his astonishment when he rounded a large boulder and came face to face with an enormous grizzly bear, probably just out of its winter hibernation!

Such an unexpected meeting caused both of them to rear back in stunned surprise. Immediately, however, all of the fighting spirit within each arose. They attacked one another furiously! The Chief realized his fighting power was not equal to the great strength of the grizzly.

"What can I do to help myself?" he wondered.

At that moment, he saw an oak limb within reach and grabbed it for a weapon.

"I must do everything possible to subdue this bear, even if it means my own death," he thought while he fought. "I am determined that future Ah-wah-nee children will always remember the proud and brave blood that flowed in the veins of their ancestors."

He pounded heavy blows, one after another, upon the head of the grizzly bear. In return, the young Chief received innumerable cuts from the bears' teeth and claws. They exchanged blows that could have been death blows to either one, if each had not been determined to survive. The grizzly bears' hunger drove him to attack; the Chief's pride, courage, and great height strengthened his defense.

On and on they fought. Then when the Chief saw the eyes of the bear glaze with a cold stare, he knew his great moment had come. With his club raised overhead, the Chief brought down a whopping smash upon the head of the bear, who then slowly slumped to the ground. The Chief charged in to finish the task, making sure the grizzly bear was dead.

Exhausted, the young Chief withdrew a short way to rest, but kept his eyes upon the grizzly bear in case it revived. After some time, when he was certain of the bear's death, the Chief stepped forward and skinned the animal.

Later, dragging the bearskin behind him, the Chief returned to his village and proclaimed his victory. Young and old braves gathered to welcome him and to praise his success. The young braves took off, following the trail where the bearskin dragged upon the ground. They found the grizzly bear before any other wild animal had a chance to claim it. Immediately, they set to work and butchered the bear and then carried the parts back to their camp.

In the meantime, the braves prepared a huge fire and sent young runners to the outlying camps, inviting all the people to an evening of feasting.

The victory of their young Chief over the enormous grizzly bear astounded all of the Ah-wah-nees. They cheered and cheered their admiration for their great Chief. They renamed their hero, Chief Yo Semitee, which means "Grizzly Bear."

Following the feast, the entire tribe gathered for a victory dance, attired in all their fine beads and fine feathers. Chief Yo Semitee sat and overlooked the celebration, smoking the peace pipe with his tribal council. More feasting and dancing continued most of the night, as Ah-wah-nees showed their affection for their young and strong Chief.

Yo Semitee's children, and finally all of the tribe, became known as Yo Semitees in honor of their brave Chief.

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The Rabbit And The With The Flint Body

The Rabbit and his grandmother were in dire straits, because the rabbit was out of arrows. The fall hunt would soon be on and his quiver was all but empty. Arrow sticks he could cut in plenty, but he had nothing with which to make arrowheads.

"You must make some flint arrowheads," said his grandmother. "Then\ you will be able to kill game."

"Where shall I get the flint?" asked the rabbit.

"From the old bear chief," said his old grandmother. For at that time all the flint in the world was in the bear's body

So the rabbit set out for the village of the bears. It was winter time and the lodges of the bears were set under the shelter of a hill where the cold wind would not blow on them and where they had shelter among the trees and bushes.

He came at one end of the village to a hut where lived an old woman. He pushed open the door and entered. Everybody who came for flint always stopped there because it was the first lodge on the edge of the village. Strangers were therefore not unusual in the old woman's hut, and she welcomed the rabbit. She gave him a seat and at night he lay with his feet to the fire.

The next morning the rabbit went to the lodge of the bear chief. They sat together awhile and

smoked. At last the bear chief spoke.

"What do you want, my grandson?" he said.

"I have come for some flint to make arrows," answered the rabbit.

The bear chief grunted, and laid aside his pipe. Leaning back he pulled off his robe and, sure enough, one half of his body was flesh and the other half hard flint.

"Bring a stone hammer and give it to our guest," he bade his wife. Then as the rabbit took the hammer he said, "Do not strike too hard."

"Grandfather, I shall be careful," said the rabbit.

With a stroke he struck off a little flake of flint from the bear's body. "Ni-sko-ke-cha? So big?" he asked.

"Harder, grandson; strike off bigger pieces," said the bear.

The rabbit struck a little harder. "Ni-sko-ke-cha? So big?" he asked.

The bear grew impatient. "No, no, strike off bigger pieces. I can't be here all day. Tanka kaksa wo! Break off a big piece."

The rabbit struck again--hard! "Ni-sko-ke-cha?" he cried, as the hammer fell. But even as he spoke the bear's body broke in two, the flesh part fell away and only the flint part remained.

Like a flash the rabbit darted out of the hut.

There was a great outcry in the village. Openmouthed, all the bears gave chase. But as he ran the rabbit cried: "Wa-hin-han-yo (snow, snow) Ota-po, Ota-po--lots more, lots more," and a great storm of snow swept down from the sky.

The rabbit, light of foot, bounded over the top of the snow. The bears sunk in and floundered about helpless. Seeing this, the rabbit turned back and killed them one by one with his club.

That is why we now have so few bears.

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The Raccoon And The Blind Men

There was a large settlement on the shores of a lake, and among its people were two very old blind men. It was decided to remove these men to the opposite side of the lake, where they might live in safety, as the settlement was exposed to the attack of enemies, when they might easily be captured and killed. So the relations of the old men got a canoe, some food, a kettle, and a bowl and started across the lake, where they built for them a wigwam in a grove some distance from the water. A line was stretched from the door of the wigwam to a post in the water, so that they would have no difficulty in helping themselves. The food and vessels were put into the wigwam, and after the relations of the old men promised them that they would call often and keep them provided with everything that was needful, they returned to there settlement.

The two old blind men now began to take care of themselves. On one day one of them would do the cooking while the other went for water, and on the next day they would change about in their work, so that their labors were evenly divided. As they knew just how much food they required for each meal, the quantity prepared was equally divided, but was eaten out of the one bowl which they had.

Here they lived in contentment for several years; but one day a Raccoon, which was following the waters' edge looking for craw fish, came to the line which had been stretched from the lake to the wigwam. The Raccoon thought it rather curious to find a cord where he had before observed one, and wondered to himself,What is this? I think I shall follow this cord to see where it leads. So he followed the path along which the cord was stretched until he came to the wigwam. Approaching very cautiously, he went up to the entrance, where he saw the two old men asleep on the ground, their heads at the door and their feet directed toward the heap of hot coals within. The Raccoon sniffed about and soon found there was something good to eat within the wigwam; but he decided not to enter at once for fear of waking the old men; so he retired a short distance to hide himself to see what they would do. Presently the old men awoke, and one said to the other, My friend, I am getting hungry; let us prepare some food. Very well, replied his companion, you go down to the lake and fetch some water while I get the fire started. The Raccoon heard this conversation, and, wishing to deceive the old man, immediately ran to the water, untied the cord from the post, and carried it to a clump of bushes, where he tied it. When the old man came along with his kettle to get water, he stumbled around the brush until he found the end of the cord, when he began to dip his kettle down upon the ground for water. Not finding any, he slowly returned and said to his companion, We shall surly die, because the lake is dried up and the brush is grown where we used to get water. What shall we do?

That can not be, responded his companion, for we have not been asleep long enough for the brush to grow upon the lake bed. Let me go out to try if I can not get some water. So taking the kettle from his friend he started off.

So soon as the first old man had returned to the wigwam, the Raccoon took the cord back and tied it where he had found it, then waited to see the result.

The second old man now came along, entered the lake, and getting his kettle full of water returned to the wigwam, saying as he entered, My friend, you told me what was not true. There is water enough; for here, you see, I have our kettle full. The other could not understand this at all, and wondered what had caused this deception.

The Raccoon approached the wigwam to await the cooking of the food. When it was ready, the pieces of meat, for there were eight of them, were put into the bowl and the old men sat down on the ground facing each other, with the bowl between them. Each took a piece of the meat, and they began to talk of various things and were enjoying themselves.

The Raccoon now quietly removed four pieces of meat from the bowl and began to eat them, enjoying the feast even more than the old blind men. Presently one of them reached into the bowl to get another piece of meat, and finding that only two pieces remained, said, My friend, you must be very hungry to eat so rapidly; I have had only but one piece, and there are but two pieces left.

The other replied, I have not taken them, but suspect you have eaten them yourself; whereupon the other replied more angrily than before. Thus they argued, and the Raccoon, desiring to have more sport, tapped each of them on the face. The old men, each believing the other had struck him, began to fight, rolling over the floor of the wigwam, upsetting the bowl and the kettle, and causing the fire to be scattered. The Raccoon then took the two remaining pieces of meat and made his exit from the wigwam, laughing Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha; whereupon the old men instantly ceased their strife, for they now knew they had been deceived. The Raccoon then remarked to them, I have played a nice trick on you; you should not find fault with each other so easily. Then the Raccoon continued his craw fish hunting along the lake shore.

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The Raccoon And The Bee-Tree

The Raccoon had been asleep all day in the snug hollow of a tree. The dusk was coming on when he awoke, stretched himself once or twice, and jumping down from the top of the tall, dead stump in which he made his home, set out to look for his supper.

In the midst of the woods there was a lake, and all along the lake shore there rang out the alarm cries of the water people as the Raccoon came nearer and nearer.

First the Swan gave a scream of warning. The Crane repeated the cry, and from the very middle of the lake the Loon, swimming low, took it up and echoed it back over the still water.

The Raccoon sped merrily on, and finding no unwary bird that he could seize he picked up a few mussel-shells from the beach, cracked them neatly and ate the sweet meat.

A little further on, as he was leaping hither and thither through the long, tangled meadow grass, he landed with all four feet on a family of Skunks---father, mother and twelve little ones, who were curled up sound asleep in a oft bed of broken dry grass.

"Huh!" exclaimed the father Skunk. "What do you mean by this, eh?" And he stood looking at him defiantly.

"Oh, excuse me, excuse me," begged the Raccoon. "I am very sorry. I did not mean to do it! I was just running along and I did not see you at all."

"Better be careful where you step next time," grumbled the Skunk, and the Raccoon was glad to hurry on.

Running up a tall tree he came upon two red Squirrels in one nest, but before he could get his paws upon one of them they were scolding angrily from the topmost branch.

"Come down, friends!" called the Raccoon. "What are you doing up there? Why, I wouldn't harm you for anything!"

"Ugh, you can't fool us," chattered the Squirrels, and the Raccoon went on.

Deep in the woods, at last, he found a great hollow tree which attracted him by a peculiar sweet smell. He sniffed and sniffed, and went round and round till he saw something trickling down a narrow crevice. He tasted it and it was deliciously sweet.

He ran up the tree and down again, and at last found an opening into which he could thrust his paw. He brought it out covered with honey!

Now the Raccoon was happy. He ate and scooped, and scooped and ate the golden, trickling honey with both forepaws till his pretty, pointed face was daubed all over.

Suddenly he tried to get a paw into his ear. Something hurt him terribly just then, and the next minute his sensitive nose was frightfully stung. He rubbed his face with both sticky paws. The sharp stings came thicker and faster, and he wildly clawed the air. At last he forgot to hold on to the branch any longer, and with a screech he tumbled to the ground.

There he rolled and rolled on the dead leaves till he was covered with leaves from head to foot, for they stuck to his fine, sticky fur, and most of all they covered his eyes and his striped face. Mad with fright and pain he dashed through the forest calling to some one of his own kind to come to his aid.

The moon was now bright, and many of the woods people were abroad. A second Raccoon heard the call and went to meet it. But when he saw a frightful object plastered with dry leaves racing madly toward him he turned and ran for his life, for he did not know what this thing might be.

The Raccoon who had been stealing the honey ran after him as fast as he could, hoping to overtake and beg the other to help him get rid of his leaves.

So they ran and they ran out of the woods on to the shining white beach around the lake. Here a Fox met them, but after one look at the queer object which was chasing the frightened Raccoon he too turned and ran at his best speed.

Presently a young Bear came loping out of the wood and sat up on his haunches to see them go by. But when he got a good look at the Raccoon who was plastered with dead leaves, he scrambled up a tree to be out of the way.

By this time the poor Raccoon was so frantic that he scarcely knew what he was doing. He ran up the tree after the Bear and got hold of his ta

"Woo, woo!" snarled the Bear, and the raccoon let go. He was tired out and dreadfully ashamed. He did now what he ought to have done at the very first---he jumped into the lake and washed off most of the leaves. Then he got back to his hollow tree and curled himself up and licked and licked his soft fur till he had licked himself clean, and then he went to sleep.

 

 

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The Redbird
Once, when time was not quite old enough to be counted, there lived a beautiful Indian maiden.
This was a special maiden. She could do all the work that needed to be done to keep her lodge in order and to satisfy her mate. But this maiden did not have what she longed for - her mate.

As she sat under the large tree one day, she heard the Redbird.
"Redbird, is it so strange for me to wish to have someone to care for, who will care for me?" asked the maiden. "If it is not so strange, why have I not found that one meant for me?"
The Redbird had no answer for the Indian maiden, but he sat and listened to her because he could hear the lonely in her voice.

Every morning for the passing of seven suns, the Redbird came and listened to the Malden's story. As each day passed, the loneliness felt by the maiden began to fill the Redbird.

One day in the Red bird's far travels, he came to a handsome Indian brave.
The brave saw the Redbird and called to him. As he began to talk, the Redbird felt the loneliness in his voice that the maiden had shown. Soon the Redbird began to see that these two lonely people had the same wish, to find another who would love and care for them as they would care for their mate.

On the fifth day of listening to the brave, the Redbird became as a bird that is sick. The brave became concerned, for the Redbird had become his friend.
As the brave walked toward the Redbird, the Redbird began hopping, leading the brave to the lodge of the Indian maiden.
Because the brave was wanting to see if the Redbird was all right, he did not notice that he was going from his home. The Redbird saw the Indian maiden sitting outside of her lodge and when he came very close to her (to where the brave would see the Indian maiden), he flew away.

The brave saw the Indian maiden and realized that he had wandered far from his home. He went to the Indian maiden to ask where he was.

The Redbird sat in the tree and watched the brave and the maiden. At first the brave was shy and the maiden would not talk, but they soon were talking and laughing like old friends.

Redbird saw this and thought that it was good. He had done as he could and now it would be up to the brave and maiden.
As Redbird flew to his home he thought of how Great Spirit had known that someday the two would find each other. Now it was good, thought Redbird, that Maiden had someone who would see for her and Brave had someone that would hear for him and that they finally had someone who would care.

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The Runaways

There was once a young man who had journeyed a long way from home in search of adventure. One day he came to a strange village on the border of a great wood, but while yet some distance from the lodges, he happened to glance upward. In the boughs of a tree just above his head he saw a light scaffold, and on the scaffold a maiden sitting at her needlework.

Instead of boldly entering the village, as he had intended, the youth walked on a little way, then turned and again passed under the tree. He did this several times, and each time he looked up, for the girl was the prettiest that he had ever seen.

He did not show himself to the people, but for several days he lingered on the borders of the wood, and at last he even- tured to speak with the maiden and to ask her to be his wife. She did not seem to be at all unwilling; however, she said to him:

"You must be very careful, for my grandmother does not wish me to marry. She is a very wicked old woman, and has thus far succeeded in killing every one of my suitors."

"In that case, we must run away," the young man replied. "Tonight, when your grandmother is asleep, pull up some of the tent-pins and come out. I shall be waiting for you!"

The girl did as he had said, and that same night they fled together and by morning were far from the village.

However, the maiden kept looking over her shoulder as if fearing pursuit, and at last her lover said to her:

"Why do you continue to look behind you? They will not have missed you until daylight, and it is quite certain now that no one can overtake us!"

"Ah," she replied, "my grandmother has powerful magic! She can cover a whole day's journey at one step, and I am convinced that she is on our trail."

"In that case, you shall see that I too know something of magic," returned the young man. Forthwith he threw down one of his mittens, and lo! their trail was changed to the trail of a Buffalo. He threw down the other mitten, and it became the carcass of a Buffalo lying at the end of the trail.

"She will follow this far and no farther," he declared; but the maiden shook her head, and ceased not from time to time to glance over her shoulder as they hastened onward.

In truth it was not long till she saw the old woman in the distance, coming on with great strides and shaking her cane and her gray head at the runaways.

"Now it is my turn!" the girl exclaimed, and threw down her comb, which became a thick forest behind the fleeing ones, so that the angry old woman was held back by the dense underbrush.

When she had come out of the forest at last and was again gaining upon them, the girl threw her awl over her shoulder and it became a chain of mountains with high peaks and sharp precipice, so that the grandmother was kept back longer than before. Nevertheless, her magic was strong, and she still struggled on after the lovers.

In the meantime, they had come to the bank of a river both wide and deep, and here they stood for a while doubting how they should cross, for there was neither boat nor ford. However, there were two Cranes near by, and to these the young man addressed himself.

"My friends," said he, "I beg of you to stand on the opposite banks of this river and stretch your necks across, so that we may cross in safety! Only do this, and I will give to each of you a fine ornament for your breast, and long fringes on your leggings, so that you will hereafter be called the handsomest of birds!"

The Cranes were willing to oblige, and they stood thus with their beaks touching over the stream, so that the lovers crossed on their long necks in safety.

"Now," exclaimed the young man," I must ask of you one more favor! If an old woman should come down to the river and seek your help, place your heads together once more as if to allow her to cross, but when she is half way over you must draw back and let her fall in mid-stream. Do this, and I promise you that you shall never be in want!"

In a little while the old woman came down to the river, quite out of breath, and more angry than before. As soon as she noticed the two Cranes, she began to scold and order them about.

"Come here, you long-necks, you ungainly creatures, come and help me over this river!" she cried.

The two Cranes again stood beak to beak, but when the wicked grandmother had crossed half way they pulled in their necks and into the water she went, screaming out threats and abuse as she whirled through the air. The current swept her quickly away and she was drowned, for there is no magic so strong that it will prevail against true love.

 

 

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The Second World

Because of the strife in the First World, First Man, First Woman, the Great-Coyote-Who-Was-Formed-in-the-Water, and the Coyote called First Angry, followed by all the others, climbed up from the World of Darkness and Dampness to the Second or Blue World.

They found a number of people already living there: blue birds, blue hawks, blue jay, blue herons, and all the blue-feathered beings. The powerful swallow people lived there also, and these people made the Second World unpleasant for those who had come from the First World. There was fighting and killing.

The First Four found an opening in the World of Blue Haze; and they climbed through this and led the people up into the Third or Yellow world.

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The Snake with the Big Feet

Long ago, in that far-off happy time when the world was new, and there were no white people at all, only Indians and animals, there was a snake who was different from other snakes. He had feet-big feet. And the other snakes, because he was different, hated him, and made life wretched for him. Finally, they drove him away from the country where the snakes lived, saying, "A good long way from here live other ugly creatures with feet like yours. Go and live with them!" And the poor, unhappy Snake had to go away.

For days and days, he traveled. The weather grew cold and food became hard to find. At last, exhausted, his feet cut and frostbitten, he lay down on the bank of a river to die.

The Deer, E-se-ko-to-ye, looked out of a willow thicket, and saw the Snake lying on the river bank. Pitying him, the deer took the Snake into his own lodge and gave him food and medicine for his bleeding feet.

The Deer told the Snake that there were indeed creatures with feet like his who would befriend him, but that some among these would be enemies whom it would be necessary to kill before he could reach safety.

He showed the Snake how to make a shelter for protection from the cold and taught him how to make moccasins of deerskin to protect his feet. And at dawn the Snake continued his journey.

The sun was far down the western sky, and it was bitter cold when the Snake made camp the next night. As he gathered boughs for a shelter, Kais-kap the porcupine appeared. Shivering, the Porcupine asked him, "Will you give me shelter in your lodge for the night?"

The Snake said, "It's very little that I have, but you are welcome to share it."

"I am grateful," said Kais-kap, "and perhaps I can do something for you. Those are beautiful moccasins, brother, but they do not match your skin. Take some of my quills, and make a pattern on them, for good luck." So they worked a pattern on the moccasins with the porcupine quills, and the Snake went on his way again.

As the Deer had told him, he met enemies. Three times he was challenged by hostile Indians, and three times he killed his adversary.

At last he met an Indian who greeted him in a friendly manner. The Snake had no gifts for this kindly chief, so he gave him the moccasins. And that, so the old Ones say, was how our people first learned to make moccasins of deerskin, and to ornament them with porcupine quills in patterns, like those on the back of a snake. And from that day on the Snake lived in the lodge of the chief, counting his coup of scalps with the warriors by the Council fire and, for a long time, was happy.

But the chief had a daughter who was beautiful and kind, and the Snake came to love her very much indeed. He wished that he were human, so that he might marry the maiden, and have his own lodge. He knew there was no hope of this unless the High Gods, the Above Spirits took pity on him, and would perform a miracle on his behalf.

So he fasted and prayed for many, many days. But all his fasting and praying had no result, and at last the Snake came very ill.

Now, in the tribe, there was a very highly skilled Medicine Man. Mo'ki-ya was an old man, so old that he had seen and known, and understood, everything that came within the compass of his people's lives, and many things that concerned the Spirits. Many times, his lodge was seen to sway with the Ghost Wind, and the voices of those long gone on to the Sand Hills spoke to him.

Mo'ki-ya came to where the Snake lay in the chief's lodge, and sending all the others away, asked the Snake what his trouble was.

"It is beyond even your magic," said the Snake, but he told Mo'ki-ya about his love for the maiden, and his desire to become a man so that he could marry her.

Mo'ki-ya sat quietly thinking for a while. Then he said, "I shall go on a journey, brother. Perhaps my magic can help, perhaps not. We shall see when I return." And he gathered his medicine bundles and disappeared.

It was a long and fearsome journey that Mo'ki-ya made. He went to the shores of a great lake. He climbed a high mountain, and he took the matter to Nato'se, the Sun himself.

And Nato'se listened, for this man stood high in the regard of the spirits, and his medicine was good. He did not ask, and never had asked, for anything for himself, and to transform the Snake into a brave of the tribe was not a difficult task for the High Gods. The third day after the arrival of Mo'ki-ya at the Sun's abode, Nato'se said to him, "Return to your own lodge Mo'ki-ya, and build a fire of small sticks. Put many handfuls of sweet-grass on the fire, and when the smoke rises thickly, lay the body of the Snake in the middle of it."

And Mo'ki-ya came back to his own land.

The fire was built in the center of the Medicine lodge, as the Sun had directed, and when the sweet grass smoldered among the embers, sending the smoke rolling in great billows through the tepee, Mo'ki-ya gently lifted the Snake, now very nearly dead, and placed him in the fire so that he was hidden by the smoke.

The Medicine-drum whispered softly in the dusk of the lodge: the chant of the old men grew a little louder, and then the smoke obscuring the fire parted like a curtain, and a young man stepped out.

Great were the rejoicing in the camp that night. The Snake, now a handsome young brave, was welcomed into the tribe with the ceremonies befitting the reception of one shown to be high in the favor of the spirits. The chief gladly gave him his daughter, happy to have a son law of such distinction.

Many brave sons and beautiful daughters blessed the lodge of the Snake and at last, so the Old ones say, his family became a new tribe-the Pe-sik-na-ta-pe, or Snake Indians.

 

 

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The Story of Jumping Mouse

Once there was a mouse. He was a Busy Mouse, Searching Everywhere, Touching his Whiskers to the Grass, and Looking. He was Busy as all Mice are, Busy with Mice things. But Once in a while he would Hear an odd Sound. He would Lift his Head, Squinting hard to See, his Whiskers Wiggling in the Air, and he would Wonder. One Day he Scurried up to a fellow Mouse and asked him, "Do you Hear a Roaring in your Ears, my Brother?"

"No, no," answered the Other Mouse, not Lifting his Busy Nose from the Ground. "I Hear Nothing. I am Busy now. Talk to me Later."

He asked Another Mouse the same Question and the Mouse Looked at him Strangely. "Are you Foolish in your Head? What Sound?" he asked and Slipped into a Hole in a Fallen Cottonwood Tree.

The little Mouse shrugged his Whiskers and Busied himself again, Determined to Forget the Whole Matter. But there was that Roaring again. It was faint, very faint, but it was there! One Day, he Decided to investigate the Sound just a little. Leaving the Other Busy Mice, he Scurried a little Way away and Listened again. There It was! He was Listening hard when suddenly, Someone said Hello.

Hello little Brother," the Voice said, and Mouse almost Jumped right Out of his Skin. He Arched his Back and Tail and was about to Run.

"Hello," again said the Voice. "It is I, Brother Raccoon." And sure enough, It was! "What are you Doing Here all by yourself, little Brother?" asked the Raccoon. The Mouse blushed, and put his Nose almost to the Ground. "I Hear a Roaring in my Ears and I am Investigating it," he answered timidly.

"A Roaring in your Ears?" replied the Raccoon as he Sat Down with him. "What you Hear, little Brother , is the River."

"The River?" Mouse asked curiously. "What is a River?"

"Walk with me and I will Show you the River," Raccoon said.

Little Mouse was terribly Afraid, but he was Determined to Find Out Once and for All about the Roaring. "I can Return to my Work," he thought, "after this thing is Settled, and possibly this thing may Aid me in All my Busy Examining and Collecting. And my Brothers All said it was Nothing. I will Show them. I will Ask Raccoon to Return with me and I will have Proof."

"All right Raccoon, my Brother," said Mouse. "Lead on to the River. I will Walk with you."

Little Mouse Walked with Raccoon. His little Heart was Pounding in his Breast. The Raccoon was Taking him upon Strange Paths and little Mouse Smelled the Scent of many things that had Gone by his Way. Many times he became so Frightened he almost Turned Back. Finally, they Came to the River! It was Huge and Breathtaking, Deep and Clear in Places, and Murky in Others. Little Mouse was unable to See Across it because it was so Great. It Roared, Sang, Cried, and Thundered on its Course. Little Mouse Saw Great and Little Pieces of the World Carried Along on its Surface.

"It is Powerful!" little Mouse said, Fumbling for Words.

It is a Great thing," answered the Raccoon, "But here, let me Introduce you to a Friend."

In a Smoother, Shallower Place was a Lily Pad, Bright and Green. Sitting upon it was a Frog, almost as Green as the Pad it sat on. The Frog's White Belly stood out Clearly.

"Hello, little Brother," said the Frog.

"Welcome to the River."

"I must Leave you Now," cut in Raccoon, "but do not Fear, little Brother, for Frog will Care for you Now." And Raccoon Left, Looking along the River Bank for Food that he might Wash and Eat.

Little Mouse Approached the Water and Looked into it. He saw a Frightened Mouse Reflected there.

"Who are you?" little Mouse asked the Reflection. "Are you not Afraid of being that Far out into the Great River?"

"No, answered the Frog, "I am not Afraid. I have been Given the Gift from Birth to Live both Above and Within the River. When Winter Man Comes and Freezes this Medicine, I cannot be Seen. But all the while Thunderbird Flies, I am here. To Visit me, One must Come when the World is Green. I, my Brother, am the Keeper of the Water."

Amazing!" little Mouse said at last, again Fumbling for Words."

Would you like to have some Medicine Power?" Frog asked."

"Medicine Power? Me?" asked little Mouse. "Yes, yes! If it is Possible."

"Then Crouch as Low as you Can, and then Jump as High as you are Able! You will have your Medicine!" Frog said.

Little Mouse did as he was Instructed. He Crouched as Low as he Could and Jumped. And when he did, his Eyes Saw the Sacred Mountains.

Little Mouse could hardly Believe his Eyes. But there they were! But then he Fell back to Earth, and he Landed in the River!

Little Mouse became Frightened and Scrambled back to the Bank. He was Wet and Frightened nearly to Death.

"You have Tricked me," little Mouse Screamed at the Frog!"

"Wait," said the Frog. "You are not Harmed. Do not let your Fear and Anger Blind you. What did you See?"

"I," Mouse stammered, "I Saw the Sacred Mountains!"

"And you have a New Name!" Frog said. "It is Jumping Mouse."

"Thank you. Thank you," Jumping Mouse said, and Thanked him again. "I want to Return to my People and Tell them of this thing that has Happened to me."

"Go. Go then," Frog said. "Return to your People. It is Easy to Find them. Keep the Sound of the Medicine River to the back of your Head. Go Opposite to the Sound and you will Find your Brother Mice."

Jumping Mouse Returned to the World of the Mice. But he Found Disappointment. No One would Listen to him. And because he was Wet, and had no Way of explaining it because there had been no Rain, many of the other Mice were Afraid of him. They believed he had been Spat from the Mouth of Another Animal that had Tried to Eat him. And they all Knew that if he had not been Food for the One who Wanted him, then he must also be Poison for them.

Jumping Mouse Lived again among his People, but he could not Forget his Vision of the Sacred Mountains.

The Memory Burned in the Mind and Heart of Jumping Mouse, and One Day he Went to the Edge of the Place of Mice and Looked out onto the Prairie. He looked up for Eagles. The Sky was Full of many Spots, each One an Eagle. But he was Determined to Go to the Sacred Mountains. He Gathered All of his Courage and Ran just as Fast as he Could onto the Prairie. His little Heart Pounded with Excitement and Fear.

He Ran until he Came to a stand of Sage. He was Resting and trying to Catch his Breath when he Saw an Old Mouse. The Patch of Sage Old Mouse Lived in was a Haven for Mice. Seeds and many things to be Busy with.

"Hello," said Old Mouse. "Welcome."

Jumping Mouse was Amazed. Such a Place and such a Mouse. "You are Truly a great Mouse." Jumping Mouse said with all the Respect that he could Find. "This is Truly a Wonderful Place. And the Eagles cannot See you here, either," Jumping Mouse said.

"Yes," said Old Mouse," and One can See All the Beings of the Prairie here: the Buffalo, Antelope, Rabbit, and Coyote. One can See them All from here and Know their Names."

"That is Marvelous," Jumping Mouse said. "Can you also See the River and the Great Mountains?"

"Yes and No," Old Mouse Said with Conviction. "I Know the Great River, But I am Afraid that the Great Mountains are only a Myth. Forget your Passion to See Them and Stay here with me. There is Everything you Want here, and it is a Good Place to Be."

"How can he Say such a thing?" Thought Jumping Mouse. "The Medicine of the Sacred Mountains is Nothing One can Forget."

"Thank you very much for the Meal you have Shared with me, Old Mouse, and also for sharing your Great Home," Jumping Mouse said. "But I must Seek the Mountains."

"You are a Foolish Mouse to Leave, there is Danger on the Prairie! Just Look up there!" Old Mouse said, with even more Conviction. "See all those Spots! They are Eagles, and they will Catch you!"

It was hard for Jumping Mouse to Leave, but he Gathered his Determination and Rand hard Again.

The Ground was Rough. But he Arched his Tail and Ran with All his Might. He could Feel the Shadows of the Spots upon his Back as he Ran. All those Spots! Finally he Ran into a Stand of Choke cherries. Jumping Mouse could hardly Believe his Eyes. It was Cool there and very Spacious. There was Water, Cherries, and Seeds to Eat, Grasses to Gather for Nests, Holes to be Explored and many, many Other Busy Things to do. And there were a great many things to Gather.

He was Investigating his New Domain when he Heard very Heavy Breathing. He Quickly Investigated the Sound and Discovered its Source. It was a Great Mound of Hair with Black Horns. It was a Great Buffalo. Jumping Mouse could hardly Believe the Greatness of the Being he Saw Lying there before him. He was so large that Jumping Mouse could have Crawled into One of his Great Horns. "Such a Magnificent Being," Thought Jumping Mouse, and he Crept Closer.

"Hello, my Brother," said the Buffalo. "Thank you for Visiting me."

"Hello Great Being," said Jumping Mouse. "Why are you Lying here?"

"I am Sick and I am Dying" the Buffalo said.

"And my Medicine has Told me that only the Eye of a Mouse can Heal me. But little Brother, there is no such Thing as a Mouse."

Jumping Mouse was Shocked. "One of my Eyes!" he Thought. "One of my Tiny Eyes." He Scurried back into the Stand of Choke cherries. But the breathing came Harder and Slower.

"He will Die." Thought Jumping Mouse. "If I do not Give him my Eye. He is too Great a Being to Let Die."

He Went Back to where the Buffalo Lay and Spoke. "I am a Mouse." he said with a Shaky Voice. "And you, my Brother, are a Great Being. I cannot Let you Die. I have Two Eyes, so you may have One of them."

The minute he Said it, Jumping Mouses' Eye Flew Out of his Head and the Buffalo was Made Whole. The Buffalo jumped to his Feet, Shaking Jumping Mouses' Whole World.

"Thank you, my little Brother," said the Buffalo. "I Know of your Quest for the Sacred Mountains and of your Visit tot he River. You have Given me Life so that I may Give-Away to the People. I will be your Brother Forever. Run under my Belly and I will Take you right to the Foot of the Sacred Mountains, and you need not Fear the Spots. The Eagles cannot See you while you Run under Me. All they will See will be the Back of a Buffalo. I am of the Prairie and I will Fall on you if I Try to Go up the Mountains."

Little Mouse Ran under the Buffalo, Secure and Hidden from the Spots, but with only One Eye it was Frightening. The Buffalos' Great Hooves Shook the Whole World each time he took a Step. finally the Came to a Place and Buffalo Stopped.

"This is Where I must Leave you, little Brother," said the Buffalo.

"Thank you very much," said Jumping Mouse. "But you Know, it was very Frightening Running under you with only One Eye. I was Constantly in Fear of your Great Earth-Shaking Hooves."

"Your Fear was for Nothing," said Buffalo, "For my Way of Walking is the Sun Dance Way, and I Always Know where my Hooves will Fall. I now must Return to the Prairie, my Brother, You can Always Find me there."

Jumping Mouse Immediately Began to Investigate his New Surroundings. There were even more things here than in the Other Places, Busier things, and Abundance of Seeds and Other things Mice Like. In his Investigation of these things, Suddenly he Ran upon a Gray Wolf who was Sitting there doing absolutely Nothing.

"Hello, Brother Wolf," Jumping Mouse said.

The Wolves' Ears Came Alert and his Eyes Shone. "Wolf! Wolf! Yes, that is what I am, I am a Wolf!" But then his mind Dimmed again and it was not long before he Sat Quietly again, completely without Memory as to who he was. Each time Jumping Mouse Reminded him who he was, he became Excited with the News, but soon would Forget again.

"Such a Great Being," thought Jumping Mouse, "but he has no Memory."

Jumping Mouse Went to the Center of his New Place and was Quiet. He Listened for a very long time to the Beating of his Heart. Then Suddenly he Made up his Mind. He Scurried back to where the Wolf Sat and he Spoke.

"Brother Wolf," Jumping Mouse said. ....

"Wolf! Wolf," said the Wolf ....

"Please Brother Wolf," said Jumping Mouse, "Please Listen to me. I Know what will Heal you. It is One of my Eyes. And I Want to Give it to you. You are a Greater Being than I. I am only a Mouse. Please Take it."

When Jumping Mouse Stopped Speaking his Eye Flew out of his Head and the Wolf was made Whole.

Tears Fell down the Cheeks of the Wolf, but his little Brother could not See them, for Now he was Blind.

"You are a Great Brother," said the Wolf, "for Now I have my Memory. But Now you are Blind. I am the Guide into the Sacred Mountains. I will Take you there. There is a Great Medicine Lake there. The most Beautiful Lake in the World. All the World is reflected there. The People, the Lodges of the People, and All the Beings of the Prairies and Skies."

"Please Take me there," Jumping Mouse said. The Wolf Guided him through the Pines to the Medicine Lake. Jumping Mouse Drank the Water from the Lake. The Wolf Described the Beauty to him.

I must Leave you here," said Wolf, "For I must Return so that I may Guide Others, but I will Remain with you as long as you Like."

Thank you, my Brother," said Jumping Mouse. "But although I am Frightened to be Alone, I Know you must Go so that you may Show Others the Way to this Place."

Jumping Mouse Sat there Trembling in Fear. It was no use Running, for he was Blind, but he Knew an Eagle would Find him Here. He Felt a Shadow on his Back and Heard the Sound that Eagles Make. He Braced himself for the Shock. And the Eagle Hit! Jumping Mouse went to Sleep.

Then he Woke Up. The surprise of being Alive was Great, but Now he could See!

Everything was Blurry, but the Colors were beautiful.

"I can See! I can See!" said Jumping Mouse over again and again.

A Blurry Shape Came toward Jumping Mouse. Jumping Mouse Squinted hard but the Shape Remained a Blur.

"Hello, Brother," a Voice said. "Do you Want some Medicine?"

"Some Medicine for me?" asked Jumping Mouse. "Yes! Yes!"

"Then Crouch down as Low as you Can," the Voice said, "and Jump as High as you Can."

Jumping Mouse did as he was Instructed. He Crouched as Low as he Could and Jumped! The Wind Caught him and Carried him Higher."

"Do not be Afraid," the Voice called to him. "Hang on to the Wind and Trust!"

Jumping Mouse did. He Closed his Eyes and Hung on to the Wind and it Carried Higher and Higher. Jumping Mouse Opened his Eyes and they were Clear, and the Higher he Went the Clearer they Became. Jumping Mouse Saw his Old Friend upon a Lily Pad on the Beautiful Medicine Lake. It was the Frog.

"You have a New Name," Called the Frog. "You are Eagle!"




 


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The Wolf Dance

I wanted to give something of my past to my grandson. So I took him into the woods, to a quiet spot. Seated at my feet he listened as I told him of the powers that were given to each creature. He moved not a muscle as I explained how the woods had always provided us with food, homes, comfort, and religion. He was awed when I related to him how the wolf became our guardian, and when I told him that I would sing the sacred wolf song over him, he was overjoyed. In my song, I appealed to the wolf to come and preside over us while I would perform the wolf ceremony so that the bondage between my grandson and the wolf would be lifelong. I sang.

In my voice was the hope that clings to every heartbeat. I sang.

In my words were the powers I inherited from my forefathers. I sang.

In my cupped hands lay a spruce seed -- the link to creation. I sang.

In my eyes sparkled love. I sang.

And the song floated on the sun's rays from tree to tree.

When I had ended, it was if the whole world listened with us to hear the wolves' reply. We waited a long time but none came. Again I sang, humbly but as invitingly as I could, until my throat ached and my voice gave out.

All of a sudden I realized why no wolves had heard my sacred song. There were none left! My heart filled with tears. I could no longer give my grandson faith in the past, our past.

At last I could whisper to him: "It is finished!" "Can I go home now?" He asked, checking his watch to see if he would still be in time to catch his favorite program on TV. I watched him disappear and wept in silence. All is finished!

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Turtle's Race With Bear

It was an early winter, cold enough so that the ice had frozen on all the ponds and Bear, who had not yet learned in those days that it was wiser to sleep through the White Season, grumbled as he walked through the woods. Perhaps he was remembering a trick another animal had played on him, perhaps he was just not in a good mood. It happened that he came to the edge of a great pond and saw Turtle there with his head sticking out of the ice.

"Hah," shouted Bear, not even giving his old friend a greeting. "What are you looking at, Slow One?"

Turtle looked at Bear. "Why do you call me slow?"

Bear snorted. "You are the slowest of the animals. If I were to race you, I would leave you far behind." Perhaps Bear never heard of Turtle's big race with Beaver and perhaps Bear did not remember that Turtle, like Coyote, is an animal whose greatest speed is in his wits.

"My friend," Turtle said, "let us have a race to see who is the swiftest."

"All right," said Bear. "Where will we race?"

"We will race here at this pond and the race will be tomorrow morning when the sun is the width of one hand above the horizon. You will run along the banks of the pond and I will swim in the water."

"How can that be?" Bear said. "There is ice all over the pond."

"We will do it this way," said Turtle. "I will make holes in the ice along the side of the pond and swim under the water to each hole and stick my head out when I reach it."

"I agree," said Bear. "Tomorrow we will race."

When the next day came, many of the other animals had gathered to watch. They lined the banks of the great pond and watched Bear as he rolled in the snow and jumped up and down making himself ready.

Finally, just as the sun was a hands width in the sky, Turtle's head popped out of the hole in the ice at the starting line. "Bear," he called, "I am ready."

Bear walked quickly to the starting place and as soon as the signal was given, he rushed forward, snow flying from his feet and his breath making great white clouds above his head. Turtle's head disappeared in the first hole and then in almost no time at all reappeared from the next hole, far ahead of Bear.

"Here I am Bear," Turtle called. "Catch up to me!" And then he was gone again. Bear was astonished and ran even faster. But before he could reach the next hole, he saw Turtle's green head pop out of it.

"Here I am, Bear," Turtle called again. "Catch up to me!" Now bear began to run in earnest. His sides were puffing in and out as he ran and his eyes were becoming bloodshot, but it was no use. Each time, long before he would reach each of the holes, the ugly green head of Turtle would be there ahead of him calling out to him to catch up!

When Bear finally reached the finish line, he was barely able to crawl. Turtle was waiting there for him, surrounded by all the other animals. Bear had lost the race. He dragged himself home in disgrace, so tired that he fell asleep as soon as he reached his home. He was so tired that he slept until the warm breath of the Spring came to the woods again.

It was not long after Bear and all to other animals had left the pond that Turtle tapped on the ice with one long claw. At his sign it a dozen ugly heads like his popped up from the holes all along the edge of the pond. It was Turtle's cousins and brothers, all of whom looked just like him!

"My relatives," Turtle said, "I wish to thank you. Today we have shown Bear that it does not pay to call other people names. We have taught him a good lesson."

Turtle smiled and a dozen other turtles, all just like him, smiled back. "And we have shown the other animals," Turtle said, "that Turtles are not the slowest of the animals."

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Tutokanula And Tisayac

The vast ravine of Yo Semite (Grizzly Bear), formed by tearing apart the solid Sierras, is graced by many water-falls raining down the mile-high cliffs. The one called Bridal Veil has this tale attached to it. Centuries ago, in the shelter of this valley, lived Tutokanula and his tribe--a good hunter, he, a thoughtful saver of crops and game for winter, a wise chief, trusted and loved by his people. While hunting, one day, the tutelary spirit of the valley--the lovely Tisayac--revealed herself to him, and from that moment on he knew no peace, nor did he care for the well-being of his people; for she was not as they were: her skin was white, her hair was golden, and her eyes like heaven; her speech was as a thrush-song and led him to her, but when he opened his arms she rose lighter than any bird and vanished in the sky.

Lacking his direction Yo Semite became a desert, and when Tisayac returned she wept to see the corn lands grown with bushes and bears rooting where the huts had been. On a mighty dome of rock she knelt and begged the Great Spirit to restore its virtue to the land. He did so, for, stooping from the sky, he spread new life of green on all the valley floor, and smiting the mountains he broke a channel for the pent-up melting of the snows, and the water ran and leaped far down, pooling in a lake below and flowing off to gladden other land. The birds returned, the flowers sprang up, corn swayed in the breeze, and the people, coming back, gave the name of Tisayac to South Dome, where she had knelt.

Then came the chief home again, and, hearing that the spirit had appeared, was smitten with love more strong than ever.

Climbing to the crest of the rock that spires three thousand feet above the valley, he carved his likeness there with his hunting-knife, so that his memory might live among his tribe. As he sat, tired with his work, at the food of the Bridal Veil, he saw, with a rainbow arching around her, the form of Tisayac shining from the water. She smiled on him and beckoned. His quest was at at end. With a cry of joy he sprang into the fall and disappeared with Tisayac. Two rainbows quivered on the falling water, and the sun went down.

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Two Fawns And A Rabbit

Two Fawns sat on the ground talking about their condition. They were two boys without a mother. "We used to have a deer for a other," they said. Rabbit came to them and said "I'm hungry. I've traveled without eating, and I've come a long way."

The Fawns said, "We have nothing to eat here; our food is not here." "Where is it?" asked Rabbit. "It is not here, I say to you again," said one Fawn.

Rabbit said, "Tell me where it is, I am hungry and I want to eat." He continued talking about the Fawns' food for a long time. But they concealed from him how they obtained it.

Then the Rabbit said, "I think you are both too lazy to get food. Show me the path and I will go after it; I will cut off enough for all of us and bring it here."

"But we never eat here," the Fawns said. Rabbit said, "You boys do not know me. I am your grandfather. You did not recognize me; that is why you hid your food from me." The one boy nudge the other and whispered to him, " I think he is our grandfather; I will tell him where we eat."

For a while, the other boy said nothing. Then he spoke up and said, "What we eat is not on the ground; our food is far up in the sky; and we eat at a certain time.

When we ask for our food. something always comes down from the sky; it is white like a cloud. At the end of the cloud it's like a person; it has an eye, a mouth, and it watches us. It comes only at a certain time. If we ask before that time, it will think someone else wants our food. But when it's time for us to ask for it, we will hide you out of sight. " Then they hid him.One ran toward the East, the other West; then they ran toward each other. When they met, they circled like young animals at play. They circled about meeting each other again, crying, and gradually came nearer to the lodge. Something white came down from the sky. Rabbit saw it coming. It looked like a cloud with a face above it; like a man sitting on their food.

The boys took up dull knives, and when the food arrived, they cut off a piece. They cut more then usual, so there would be enough for their grandfather. Then the cloud flew upward as fast as lightning.

The Fawn boys cut up their food and called Rabbit to come out and eat with them. The food tasted good and sweet, and Rabbit wanted more and asked the boys to make the thing come again. The Fawns said, "But it only comes at certain times." Rabbit replied. "I will live with you, for your food is very good." He made a burrow in the nearby brush and watched.

The food did come again. The person riding on it looked around like an antelope watching. Rabbit took a bow and arrow from his quiver. Just before the boys cut off another piece of the food, Rabbit shot at the manlike object on the cloud, The white object fell down in a heap.

"I thought that was what it would do," said the older brother to the younger, as if blaming him. Rabbit said to them, "Well my grandchildren, I will leave you now. You have something to eat and it will last you a long time. After you have consumed all of it, you will go to the mountains and eat grass and become Deer."

 



 

 

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White Plume

There once lived a young couple who were very happy. The young man was noted throughout the whole nation for his accuracy with the bow and arrow, and was given the title of "Dead Shot," or "He who never misses his mark," and the young woman, noted for her beauty, was named Beautiful Dove.

One day stork paid the happy couple a visit and left them a fine big boy. The boy cried "Ina, ina" (mother,mother) "Listen to our son." said the mother, he can speak, and hasn't he a sweet voice?" "Yes", said the father, "it will not be long before he will be able to walk." He set to work making some arrows, and a fine hickory bow for his son. One of the arrows he painted red, one blue, and the other yellow. The rest he left the natural color of the wood. When he completed them, the mother placed them in a fine quiver, all worked in porcupine quills, and hung them up over where the boy slept in his fine bed of moose hide.

At times when the mother was nursing her son, she would look up at the bow and arrows and talk to her baby, saying: "My son, hurry up and grow fast so you can use your bow and arrows. You will grow up to be as fine a marksmen as your father." The baby would coo and stretch his little arms up toward the bright colored quiver as though he understood every word his mother uttered. Time passed and the boy grew to good size, when one day his father said: "Wife, give our son the bow and arrows so that he may learn how to use them." The father taught his son how to string and unstring the bow, and also how to attach the arrow to the string. The red, blue and yellow arrows, he told the boy, were to be used only whenever there was any good extra shooting to be done, so the boy never used these three until he became a master of the art.

Then he would practice on eagles and hawks, and never and eagle or hawk continued it's flight when the boy shot one of the arrows at him.

One day the boy came running into the lodge, exclaiming: "Mother, mother, I have shot and killed the most beautiful bird I ever saw!" "Bring it in, my son, and let me look at it." He brought the bird and upon examining it she pronounced it a different type of bird from any she had ever seen.

it's feathers were of varied colors and on it's head was a topknot of pure white feathers. The father, returning, asked the boy with which arrow he had killed the bird with. "With the red one,"

answered the boy. "I was so anxious to secure the pretty bird that, although I know I could have killed it with one of my common arrows, I wanted to be certain, so I used the red one." "That is right my son," said the father. "When you have the least doubt of your aim, always use one of the painted arrows, and you will never miss your mark."

the parents decided to give a feast in honor of their son killing the strange, beautiful bird. So a great many elderly women were called to the lodge of Beautiful Dove to assist her in making ready for the feast. For ten days these women cooked and pounded beef and cherries, and got ready the choicest dishes known to the Indians. Of buffalo, beaver, antelope, moose, bear, quail, grouse, duck and all kinds of geese and plover meats there was an abundance. Fish of all kinds, and every kind of wild fruit were cooked, and when all was in readiness, the heralds went through the different villages, crying out: "Ho-po-, ho-po" (now all, now all), Dead Shot and His wife Beautiful Dove, invite all of you, young and old, to their lodge to partake of a great feast, given by them in honor of a great bird which their son has killed, and also to select for their son a good name which he will bear through life. So all bring your cups and wooden dishes along with your horn spoons, as there will be plenty to eat. Come, all you council men and chiefs, as they have also erected a great lodge for you to hold your council."

The gust soon arrived, In front of the lodge was a pole painted red, stuck in the ground, and at the top of the pole was fastened the bird of different colors; it's wings stretched out to their full length and the beautiful white waving so beautifully from it's topknot, it was the center of attraction. Half way up the pole was tied the bow and arrow of the young marksman. Long streamers of fine bead and porcupine work waved from the pole and presented a very striking appearance.

The bird was faced towards the setting sun. The great chiefs and medicine men pronounced the bird "Wakan." (something holy).

When the people finished eating they all fell in line and marched in single file beneath the bird, in order to get a closer view of it. By the time this vast crowd had fully viewed the bird, the sun was setting clear in the west, when directly over the rays of the sun appeared a cloud, and the head medicine man said that it was a sign that the boy would grow up to be a great chief and hunter, and would have a great many friends and followers.

This ended the feast, but before dispersing the chief and councilmen bestowed upon the boy the title of white Plume.

One day a stranger came to the village. who was very thin and nearly starved. So weak was he that he could not speak, but made signs for something to eat. Luckily the stranger came to dead Shot's lodge, and as there was always a plentiful supply in his lodge, the stranger soon had good meal served him. After he had eaten and rested he told his story.

"I came from a very great distance," said he. "The nations where I came from are in a starving condition. There is no place where they can find buffalo, deer nor antelope. A witch or evil spirit in the shape of a white buffalo has driven all the large game out of the country. Every day this white buffalo comes circling the village, and any one caught outside of their lodge is carried away on it's horns.

In vain the best marksmen of the tribe tried to shoot it. Their arrows fly wide and off the mark, and they have given up trying to kill it as it bears a charmed life. Another evil spirit in the form of a red eagle has driven all the birds of the air out of our country. Every day this eagle circles above the village,and so powerful is it that anyone being caught outside is descended on and his skull split open to the brain by the sharp breastbone of the eagle. Many a marksmen has tried his skill on this bird, all to no purpose.

Another evil spirit in the form of a white rabbit has driven out all the animals which inhabit the ground, and destroyed the fields of corn and turnips, so the nation is starving, as the arrows of the marksmen have also failed to kill the white rabbit. Any one who can kill these three witches will receive as his reward, the choice of two of the most beautiful maidens of our nation.

the younger one is the best looking of the two and has also the sweetest disposition. Many young, and even old men, hearing of this (our chief's) offer, have traveled many miles to try their arrows on the witches, but all to no purpose. Our chief, hearing of your great marksmanship. sent me to try to secure your services to have you come and rid us of these three witches."

The hunter gazed long and thoughtfully into the dying fire. Then slowly his eyes raised and he lovingly looked at his wife who sat opposite him. gazing on her beauty he slowly dropped his gaze back to the dying fire and answered his visitor.

"My friend, I feel very honored by your chief having sent you such a distance for me, and also for the kind offer of his lovely daughter in marriage, if I were to succeed, but I must reject the great offer, as I can spare none of my affections to any other woman than my queen whom you see sitting there."

White Plume had been listening to the conversation and when his father had finished speaking, said: "Father, I am a child no more. I have arrived at manhood. I am not so good a marksman as you, but I will go to this suffering tribe and try to rid them of their three enemies. If this man will rest for a few days and return to his village and inform them of my coming, I will travel along slowly on his trail and arrive at the village a day or two after he reaches there."

"Very well, my son," said the father, "I am sure you will succeed, as you fear nothing, and as to your marksmanship it is far superior to mine, as your sight is much clearer and aim quicker than mine."

The man rested a few days and then one morning started off, after having instructed White Plume about the trail. White Plume got together what he would need on the trip and was ready for an early start th next morning. That night Dead Shot and his wife sat up way into the night instructing their son on how to travel and warning him as to the different kinds of people he must avoid in order to stay out of trouble. "Above all," said the father, "keep a good look out for Unktomi (spider); he is the most tricky of all, and will get you into trouble if you associate with him."

White Plume left early, his father accompanying him for several miles. On parting, the father's last words were; Look out for Unktomi, my son, he is deceitful and treacherous." "I'll look out for him, father;" so saying White Plume disappeared over a hill. On the way he tried his skill on several hawks and eagles. he did not need to use his painted arrows to kill them, he was so skillful that he could bring down anything that flew, with his common arrows. He was drawing near to his destination when he had a large tract of timber to pass through. When he had nearly gotten through the timber he saw an old man sitting on a log, looking wistfully up into a big tree, where sat a number of prairie chickens.

"Hello, grandfather, why are you sitting there looking so downhearted?" asked White Plume. "I am nearly starved, and just wishing some one would shoot one of those chickens for me, so I could make a good meal of it," said the old man. "I will shoot one for you," said the young man.

He strung his bow, placed an arrow on the string, simply seemed to raise the arrow in the arrow in the direction of the chicken and twang went the bow and the arrow zipped out and a chicken fell off the limb, only to get caught on another in it's descent. "There is your chicken, grandfather." "Oh my grandson, I am too weak to climb up and get it. Can't you climb up and get it for me?" The young man, pitying the old fellow, proceeded to climb the tree, when the old man stopped him saying: "Grandson, you have on such fine clothes, it is a pity to spoil them: you had better take them off so as not to spoil the fine porcupine work on them." The young man took off his fine clothes and climbed up into the tree, the old man said: Iyashkapa, iyashkapa," (stick fast, stick fast). Hearing him say something, the young man asked, "What did you say grandfather?" The old man answered, "I was only talking to myself." The young man proceeded to descend, but he could not move. His body was stuck fast to the bark of the tree. In vain he begged the old man to release him. The old Unktomi, only laughed and said: "I will go now and kill the evil spirits, I have your wonderful bow and arrows and I can not miss with them. I will marry the chief's daughter, and you can stay up in that tree and die there."

So saying, he put on White Plumes' fine clothes, took his bow and arrows and went to the village.

As White Plume was expected at any minute, the whole village was watching for him, and when Unktomi came into sight the young men ran out to him with a painted robe, sat him down on it and slowly carried him to the lodge of the chief. So certain were they that he would kill the evil spirits that the chief told him to choose one of his daughters at once for his wife. (Before the arrival of White Plume, and hearing that he was so handsome, the two girls quarreled over which should marry him, but upon seeing him (Unktomi) the younger one was not so anxious to marry him,) So Unktomi chose the older one of the sisters, and was given a large lodge in which to live. The younger sister went to her mother's lodge to live, and the older was very proud, as she was married to the man who would save the nation from starvation. The next morning there was a great commotion in camp. and there came a cry that the white buffalo was coming. "Get ready, son-in-law, and kill the buffalo," said the chief.

Unktomi took the bow and arrows and shot as the buffalo passed, but the arrow went wide off its mark. Next came the eagle, and again he shot and missed. Then came the rabbit, and again he missed.

"Wait until tomorrow, I will kill them all. My blanket caught in my bow and spoiled my aim."

The people were very disappointed, and the chief, suspecting that all was not right, sent for the young man who had visited Dead Shot's lodge. When the young man arrived, the chief asked:

"Did you see White Plume when you went dead Shot's village?"

"Yes I did, and ate with him many times. I stayed in his father's lodge all the time I was there." said the young man. "Would you recognize him if you saw him again?" asked the chief. "Any who had but one glimpse of White Plume would surely recognize him when he saw him again, as he is the most handsome man I ever saw," said the young man.

"Come with me to the lodge of my son-in-law and take a good look at him, but don't say what you think until we leave." The two men went to the lodge of Unktomi and when the man saw him he knew it was not White Plume, although it was White Plumes' bow and arrows that hung at the head of the bed, and he also recognized the clothes belonging to White Plume. When they had returned to the chief's lodge, the young man told what he knew and what he thought. "I think this is some Unktomi who has played some trick on White Plume and taken his bow and arrows

and also his clothes, and hearing of your offer, is here impersonating White Plume. Had White Plume drawn the bow on the buffalo, eagle and rabbit today, we would have been rid of them, so I think we had better scare this Unktomi into telling us where White Plume is," said the young man.

"Wait until he tries to kill the witches again tomorrow," said the chief.

In the meantime the younger daughter had taken an axe and gone into the woods in search of dry wood. She went quite a little distance into the woods and was chopping a dry log. Stopping to rest a little she heard some one saying: " Whoever you are, come over here and chop this tree down so that I may get loose." Going to where the big tree stood, she saw a man stuck onto the side of the tree. "If I chop it down the fall will kill you," said the girl. "No chop it on the opposite

side of me and the tree will fall that way. If the fall kills me, it will be better than hanging up here and starving to death," said White Plume.

The girl chopped the tree down and when she saw that the fall had not killed the man, she said: "What shall I do now?" "Loosen the bark from the tree and then get some stones and heat them. Get some water and sage and out your blanket over me." She did as told and when the steam rose from the water being poured upon the heated rocks, the bark loosened from his body and he rose. When he stood up, she saw how handsome he was. "You saved my life," he said. "Will you be my wife?" "I will,"she said. He then told her how the old man had fooled him into this trap and took his bow and arrows, and also his clothes, and had gone off, leaving him to die. She, in turn, told him all that had happened in her village since a man, calling himself White Plume, came there and married her sister before he shot the witches, and when he came to shoot at them he missed every shot. "Let us make haste, as the Unktomi may ruin my arrows."

They approached the village and while White Plume waited outside, his promised wife entered Unktomi's lodge and said: Unktomi, White Plume is standing outside and he wants his clothes, bow and arrows." "Oh yes, I borrowed them and forgot to return them; make haste and give them to him."

Upon receiving his clothes, he was very angry that they were wrinkled and his bow and arrows were twisted out of shape. He laid the stuff down and passing his hand over them, they returned to their right shape again. he dressed. Then the girl took him to her father's lodge and on hearing the story, the chief, at once sent for his warriors and had them form a circle around Unktomi's lodge, so if he attempted to escape. The chief had decided to punish him for what he had done to White Plume and the deception used to gain his eldest daughter. About midnight a guard noticed something crawling along close to the ground, and seizing him found it was Unktomi trying to escape. They tied him to a tree. "Why do you treat me this way?" cried Unktomi, " I was just going in search of medicine to rub on my arrows, so I can kill the witches." "You will need medicine to rub on yourself when the chief gets through with you." said the young man who had discovered Unktomi was impersonating White Plume.

In the morning the herald announced that the real White Plume had arrived, and the chief desired the whole nation to witness his marksmanship. Then came the cry: "The white buffalo comes."

Taking his red arrow, White Plume stood ready. When the buffalo came near him, he let the arrow fly. The buffalo bounded high in the air and came down with all four feet drawn together under it's body, the red arrow having passed clear through the animal, piercing the heart. A loud cheer went up through out the village.

"You shall use the hide for your bed," said the chief to White Plume. Next came the cry, " the eagle, the eagle." from the north came an enormous red eagle. So strong was he, that as he soared through the air his wings made a humming sound, like distant thunder. On he came, and just as he circled the lodge of the chief, White Plume bent his bow, with all his strength drew the arrow back to the flint point, and sent the blue arrow on its mission of death. So swiftly had the arrow passed through the eagle's body that thinking White Plume had missed, a great wail went up from the crowd, but when they saw the eagle stop in his flight, give a few flaps of his wings, and then fall with a heavy thud into the center of the village, there was a greater cheer then before.

"The red eagle shall be used to decorate the seat of honor in your lodge," said the chief.

Last came the rabbit, "Aim good, so-in-law-to-be," said the chief. "If you kill him you will have a rug." Along came the white rabbit and White Plume sent his arrow in search of the rabbit's heart. which the yellow arrow found, and stopped the rabbit's tricks forever.

The chief then called all the people together and before them took a hundred willows and broke them one at a time over Unktomi's back. Then turned him loose. Unktomi, being so ashamed, ran off into the woods and hid in the deepest and darkest corner he could find. This is why Unktomis (spiders) are always found in dark corners, and anyone who is deceitful or untruthful is called the descendant of the Unktomi tribe.

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