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> NATIVE AMERICAN TALES
tanith
post Feb 6 2011, 11:24 AM
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The Buffalo and the Field Mouse

Once upon a time, 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 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, squeaking 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 at last 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 to 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 upon him. He trampled thc grass clumsily and tore up the earth with his front hoofs. When he had ended, 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 half 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 own 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 beasts. This will show to all that I am master! "

Standing upon the body of the dead Buffalo, he called loudly for a knife with which to dress his game.
In another part of the meadow, Red Fox, very hungry, was hunting mice for his breakfast. He saw one and jumped upon him with all four feet, but the little Mouse got away, and he was terribly disappointed.
All at once he thought he heard a distant call: "Bring a knife! Bring 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 a knife!"Red Fox immediately set out again and ran as fast as he could.

By and by he came upon the huge body of the Buffalo lying upon the ground. The little Mouse still stood upon the body.

"I want you to dress this Buffalo for me and I will give you some of the meat,"commanded the Mouse.

"Thank you, my friend, I shall be glad to do this for you,"he replied, politely.

The Fox dressed 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. He 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 the poor Fox took the blood clots and even licked off the grass. He was really very hungry.

"Please may I take home a piece of the meat?"he begged. "I have six little folks 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!"

"Hi, hi! 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 upon the Mouse, who gave one faint squeak and disappeared. If you are proud and selfish you will lose all in the end.


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 bulrushes 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.

"Kerrump! kerrump! I'm chief of this pond!" croaked a very large bullfrog, sitting in the shade of a water lily leaf.

"Kerrump! kerrump! I'm chief of this pond!" replied a hoarse voice from the opposite bank.

"Kerrump! kerrump! 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 water's 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:

"Kerrump! kerrump! 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.
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:

"Kerrump! kerrump! 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 "Kerrump!" whe 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.



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 waming: "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 water's 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 Falcon's 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.



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 tail.

"Woo, woo!" snarled the Bear, and the accoon 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.



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 briers 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."



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 ven- 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 precipices, 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.



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 Bear's 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 borow 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.



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 teepees 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 bloodstones, 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.



How Glooskap Found the Summer

Long ago a mighty race of Indians lived near the sunrise, and they called themselves Wawaniki---Children of Light. Glooskap was their master. He was kind to his people and did many great deeds for them.
Once in Glooskap's day it grew extremely cold. Snow and ice covered everything. Fires would not give enough warmth. The corn would not grow. His people were perishing from cold and famine.
Glooskap set forth for the far north where all was ice. Here in a wigwam he found the great giant Winter. It was Winter's icy breath that had frozen the land.
Glooskap entered the wigwam and sat down. Winter gave him a pipe, and as they smoked the giant told tales of olden times when he reigned everywhere and all the land was silent, white, and beautiful. His frost charm fell upon Glooskap and as the giant talked on, Glooskap fell asleep. For six months he slept like a bear, then the charm left him. He was too strong for it and awoke.
Soon now Glooskap's talebearer, the Loon, a wild bird who lived on the lakeshores, brought him strange news. He described a country far to the south where it was always warm. There lived the all-powerful Summer who could easily overcome the giant Winter. To save his people from cold and famine and death, Glooskap decided to find her.
Far off to the southern seashores he went. He sang the magic song which whales obey and up came an old friend---a whale who served as his carrier when he wished to go out to sea.
This whale had a law for travelers. She always said: "You must shut your eyes while I carry you. If you do not, I am sure to go aground on a reef or sand-bar and be unable to get off. You could be drowned."
Glooskap got on the whale's back and for many days they traveled together. Each day the water grew warmer and the air softer and sweeter, for it came from spicy shores. The odors were no longer those of salt, but of fruits and flowers.
Soon they found themselves in shallow water. Down in the sand clams were singing a song of warning: "Keep out to sea, for the water here is shallow."

The whale asked Glooskap, who understood the lan- guage of all creatures: "What do they say?"

Glooskap, wishing to land at once, only replied: "They tell you to hurry, for a storm is coming."

The whale hurried on accordingly until she was close to land. Now Glooskap did the forbidden; he opened his left eye, to peep. At once the whale stuck hard on to the beach so that Glooskap, leaping from her head, was able to walk ashore on dry land.
Thinking she could never get away, the whale became angry. But Glooskap put one end of his strong bow against the whale's jaw and, taking the other end in his hands, placed his feet against the high bank. With a mighty push, he sent her out into the deep water.

Far inland strode Glooskap and found it warmer at every step. In the forest he came upon a beautiful woman, dancing in the center of a group of young girls. Her long brown hair was crowned with flowers and her arms filled with blossoms. She was Summer.
Glooskap knew that here at last was the one who by her charms could melt old Winter's heart. He leaped to catch her and would not let her go. Together they journeyed the long way back to the lodge of old Winter.
Winter welcomed Glooskap but he planned to freeze him to sleep again. This time, however, Glooskap did the talking. His charm proved the stronger one and soon sweat began to run down Winter's face. He knew that his power was gone and the charm of Frost broken. His icy tent melted away.
Summer now used her own special power and everything awoke. The grass grew green and the snow ran down the rivers, carrying away the dead leaves. Old Winter wept to see his power taken away.
But Summer said, "Now that I have proved I am more powerful than you, I give you all the country to the far north for your own, and there I shall never disturb you. Six months of every year you may return to Glooskap's country and reign as before, but you are to be less severe with your power. During the other six months, I will come back from the South and rule the land."
Old Winter could do nothing but accept this. So it is that he appears in Glooskap's country each year to reign for six months, but with a softer rule. When he comes, Summer runs home to her warm south land. When at the end of six months she returns to drive old Winter away, she awakens the north and gives it the joys that only she can bestow.



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.
Plup 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.

Plup 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.

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

"I will kick you harder," said Skunk and Plup he kicked with all of his strength with his 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 piņon 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 piņon 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.



The Origin of Summer and Winter

The Acoma chief had a daughter named Co-chin-ne-na-ko, called Co- chin for short, who was the wife of Shakok, the Spirit of Winter. After he came to live with the Acomas, the seasons grew colder and colder. Snow and ice stayed longer each year. Corn no longer matured. The people soon had to live on cactus leaves and other wild plants.
One day Co-chin went out to gather cactus leaves and burn off the thorns so she could carry them home for food. She was eating a singed leaf when she saw a young man coming toward her. He wore a yellow shirt woven of corn silk, a belt, and a tall pointed hat; green leggings made of green moss that grows near springs and ponds; and moccasins beautifully embroidered with flowers and butterflies.
In his hand he carried an ear of green corn with which he saluted her. She returned the salute with her cactus leaf. He asked, "What are you eating?" She told him, "Our people are starving because no corn will grow, and we are compelled to live on these cactus leaves."

"Here, eat this ear of corn, and I will go bring you an armful for you to take home with you," said the young man. He left and quickly disappeared from sight, going south. In a very short time, however, he returned, bringing a large bundle of green corn that he laid at her feet.

"Where did you find so much corn?" Co-chin asked.

"I brought it from my home far to the south," he replied. "There the corn grows abundantly and flowers bloom all year."

"Oh, how I would like to see your lovely country. Will you take me with you to your home?" she asked.

"Your husband, Shakok, the Spirit of Winter, would be angry if I should take you away," he said.

"But I do not love him, he is so cold. Ever since he came to our village, no corn has grown, no flowers have bloomed. The people are compelled to live on these prickly pear leaves," she said.

"Well," he said. "Take this bundle of corn with you and do not throw away the husks outside of your door. Then come tomorrow and I will bring you more. I will meet you here." He said good-bye and left for his home in the south.

Co-chin started home with the bundle of corn and met her sisters, who had come out to look for her. They were very surprised to see the corn instead of cactus leaves. Co-chin told them how the young man had brought her the corn from his home in the south. They helped her carry it home.
When they arrived, their father and mother were wonderfully surprised with the corn. Co-chin minutely described in detail the young man and where he was from. She would go back the next day to get more corn from him, as he asked her to meet him there, and he would accompany her home.

"It is Miochin," said her father. "It is Miochin," said her mother. "Bring him home with you."

The next day, Co-chin-ne-na-ko went to the place and met Miochin, for he really was Miochin, the Spirit of Summer. He was waiting for her and had brought big bundles of corn.
Between them they carried the corn to the Acoma village. There was enough to feed all of the people. Miochin was welcome at the home of the Chief. In the evening, as was his custom, Shakok, the Spirit of Winter and Co-chin's husband, returned from the north. All day he had been playing with the north wind, snow, sleet, and hail.
Upon reaching the Acoma village, he knew Miochin must be there and called out to him, "Ha, Miochin, are you here?" Miochin came out to meet him. "Ha, Miochin, now I will destroy you."

"Ha, Shakok, I will destroy you," replied Miochin, advancing toward him, melting the snow and hail and turning the fierce wind into a summer breeze. The icicles dropped off and Shakok's clothing was revealed to be made of dry, bleached rushes.

Shakok said, "I will not fight you now, but will meet you here in four days and fight you till one of us is beaten. The victor will win Co-chin-ne-na-ko."

Shakok left in a rage, as the wind roared and shook the walls of White City. But the people were warm in their houses because Miochin was there. The next day he left for his own home in the south to make preparations to meet shakok in combat.
First he sent an eagle to his friend Yat-Moot, who lived in the west, asking him to come help him in his fight with Shakok. Second, he called all the birds, insects, and four-legged animals that live in summer lands to help him. The bat was his advance guard and shield, as his tough skin could best withstand the sleet and hail that Shakok would throw at him.

On the third day Yat-Moot kindled his fires, heating the thin, flat stones he was named after. Big black clouds of smoke rolled up from the south and covered the sky.
Shakok was in the north and called to him all the winter birds and four-legged animals of winter lands to come and help him. The magpie was his shield and advance guard.
On the fourth morning, the two enemies could be seen rapidly approaching the Acoma village. In the north, black storm clouds of winter with snow, sleet, and hail brought Shakok to the battle. In the south, Yat-Moot piled more wood on his fires and great puffs of steam and smoke arose and formed massive clouds. They were bringing Miochin, the Spirit of Summer, to the battlefront. All of his animals were blackened from the smoke. Forked blazes of lightning shot forth from the clouds.
At last the combatants reached White City. Flashes from the clouds singed the hair and feathers of Shakok's animals and birds. Shakok and Miochin were now close together. Shakok threw snow, sleet, and hail that hissed through the air of a blinding storm. Yat-Moot's fires and smoke melted Shakok's weapons, and he was forced to fall back. Finally he called a truce. Miochin agreed, and the winds stopped, and snow and rain ceased falling.
They met at the White Wall of Acoma. Shakok said, "I am defeated, you Miochin are the winner. Co-chin-ne-na-ko is now yours forever." Then the men each agreed to rule one-half of the year, Shakok for winter and Miochin for summer, and that neither would trouble the other thereafter. That is why we have a cold season for one-half of the year, and a warm season for the other.



Origin of Fire

Long, long ago, animals and trees talked with each other, but there was no fire at that time.
Fox was most clever and he tried to think of a way to create fire for the world. One day, he decided to visit the Geese, te-tl, whose cry he wished to learn how to imitate. They promised to teach him if he would fly with them. So they contrived a way to attach wings to Fox, but cautioned him never to open his eyes while flying.
Whenever the Geese arose in flight, Fox also flew along with them to practice their cry. On one such adventure, darkness descended suddenly as they flew over the village of the fireflies, ko-na- tcic-a. In midflight, the glare from the flickering fireflies caused Fox to forget and he opened his eyes--instantly his wings collapsed! His fall was uncontrollable. He landed within the walled area of the firefly village, where a fire constantly burned in the centre.
Two kind fireflies came to see fallen Fox, who gave each one a necklace of juniper berries, katl-te-i-tse.
Fox hoped to persuade the two fireflies to tell him where he could find a way over the wall to the outside. They led him to a cedar tree, which they explained would bend down upon command and catapult him over the wall if he so desired.
That evening, Fox found the spring where fireflies obtained their water. There also, he discovered coloured earth, which when mixed with water made paint. He decided to give himself a coat of white. Upon returning to the village, Fox suggested to the fireflies, "Let's have a festival where we can dance and I will produce the music."
They all agreed that would be fun and helped to gather wood to build up a greater fire. Secretly, Fox tied a piece of cedar bark to his tail. Then he made a drum, probably the first one ever constructed, and beat it vigorously with a stick for the dancing fireflies. Gradually, he moved closer and closer to the fire.
Fox pretended to tire from beating the drum. He gave it to some fireflies who wanted to help make the music. Fox quickly thrust his tail into the fire, lighting the bark, and exclaimed, "It is too warm here for me, I must find a cooler place."

Straight to the cedar tree Fox ran, calling, "Bend down to me, my cedar tree, bend down!"

Down bent the cedar tree for Fox to catch hold, then up it carried him far over the wall. On and on he ran, with the fireflies in pursuit.
As Fox ran along, brush and wood on either side of his path were ignited from the sparks dropping from the burning bark tied to his tail.
Fox finally tired and gave the burning bark to Hawk, i-tsarl-tsu- i, who carried it to brown Crane, tsi-nes-tso-l. He flew far southward, scattering fire sparks everywhere. This is how fire first spread over the earth.
Fireflies continued chasing Fox all the way to his burrow and declared, "Forever after, Wily Fox, your punishment for stealing our fire will be that you can never make use of it for yourself."

For the Apache nation, this too was the beginning of fire for them. Soon they learned to use it for cooking their food and to keep themselves warm in cold weather.




The Girl Who Climbed to the Sky

One morning several young women went out from their tepee village to gather firewood. Among them was Sapana, the most beautiful girl in the village, and it was she who first saw the porcupine sitting at the foot of a tall cottonwood tree. She called to the others: "Help me to catch this porcupine, and I will divide its quills among you."
The porcupine started climbing the cottonwood, but the tree's limbs were close to the ground and Sapana easily followed. "Hurry," she cried. "It is climbing up. We must have its quills to embroider our moccasins." She tried to strike the porcupine with a stick, but the animal climbed just out of her reach.

"I want those quills," Sapana said. "If necessary I will follow this porcupine to the top of the tree." But every time that the girl climbed up, the porcupine kept ahead of her.

"Sapana, you are too high up," one of her friends called from the ground. "You should come back down."

But the girl kept climbing, and it seemed to her that the tree kept extending itself toward the sky. When she neared the top of the cottonwood, she saw something above her, solid like a wall, but shining. It was the sky. Suddenly she found herself in the midst of a camp circle. The treetop had vanished, and the porcupine had transformed himself into an ugly old man.
Sapana did not like the looks of the porcupine-man, but he spoke kindly to her and led her to a tepee where his father and mother lived. "I have watched you from afar," he told her. "You are not only beautiful but industrious. We must work very hard here, and I want you to become my wife."
The porcupine-man put her to work that very day, scraping and stretching buffalo hides and making robes. When evening came, the girl went outside the tepee and sat by herself wondering how she was ever to get back home. Everything in the sky world was brown and grey, and she missed the green trees and green grass of earth.
Each day the porcupine-man went out to hunt, bringing back buffalo hides for Sapana to work on, and in the morning while he was away it was her duty to go and dig for wild turnips. "When you dig for roots," the porcupine-man warned her, "take care not to dig too deep."
One morning she found an unusually large turnip. With great difficulty she managed to pry it loose with her digging stick, and when she pulled it up she was surprised to find that it left a hole through which she could look down upon the green earth. Far below she saw rivers, mountains, circles of tepees, and people walking about.

Sapana knew now why the porcupine-man had warned her not to dig too deep. As she did not want him to know that she had found the hole in the sky, she carefully replaced the turnip. On the way back to the tepee she thought of a plan to get down to the earth again. Almost every day the porcupine-man brought buffalo hides for her to scrape and soften and make into robes. In making the robes there were always strips of sinew left over, and she kept these strips concealed beneath her bed.
At last Sapana believed that she had enough sinew strips to make a lariat long enough to reach the earth. One morning after the porcupine-man went out to hunt, she tied all the strips together and returned to the place where she had found the large turnip. She lifted it out and dug the hole wider so that her body would go through. She laid her digging stick across the opening and tied one end of the sinew rope to the middle of it. Then she tied the other end of the rope about herself under her arms. Slowly she began lowering herself by uncoiling the lariat. A long time passed before she was far enough down to be able to see the tops of the trees clearly, and then she came to the end of the lariat. She had not made it long enough to reach the ground. She did not know what to do.
She hung there for a long time, swinging back and forth above the trees. Faintly in the distance she could hear dogs barking and voices calling in her tepee village, but the people were too far away to see her. After a while she heard sounds from above. The lariat began to shake violently. A stone hurtled down from the sky, barely missing her, and then she heard the porcupine-man threatening to kill her if she did not climb back up the lariat. Another stone whizzed by her ear.
About this time Buzzard began circling around below her. "Come and help me," she called to Buzzard. The bird glided under her feet several times, and Sapana told him all that had happened to her. "Get on my back," Buzzard said, "and I will take you down to earth."

She stepped on to the bird's back. "Are you ready?" Buzzard asked.

"Yes," she replied.

"Let go of the lariat," Buzzard ordered. He began descending, but the girl was too heavy for him, and he began gliding earthward too fast. He saw Hawk flying below him. "Hawk," he called, "help me take this girl back to her people."
Hawk flew with Sapana on his back until she could see the tepee of her family clearly below. But then Hawk began to tire, and Buzzard had to take the girl on his back again. Buzzard flew on, dropping quickly through the trees and landing just outside the girl's village. Before she could thank him, Buzzard flew back into the sky.

Sapana rested for a while and then began walking very slowly to her parents' tepee. She was weak and exhausted. On the way she saw a girl coming toward her. "Sapana!" the girl cried. "We thought you were dead." The girl helped her walk on to the tepee. At first her mother did not believe that this was her own daughter returned from the sky. Then she threw her arms about her and wept.
The news of Sapana's return spread quickly through the village, and everyone came to welcome her home. She told them her story, especially of the kindness shown her by Buzzard and Hawk.
After that, whenever the people of her tribe went on a big hunt they always left one buffalo for Buzzard and Hawk to eat.




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 travelled, 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 behaviour 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.





The Origin of Medicine


At one time, animals and people lived together peaceably and talked with each other. But when mankind began to multiply rapidly, the animals were crowded into forests and deserts.
Man began to destroy animals wholesale for their skins and furs, not just for needed food. Animals became angry at such treatment by their former friends, resolving they must punish mankind.
The bear tribe met in council, presided over by Old White Bear, their Chief. After several bears had spoken against mankind for their bloodthirsty ways, war was unanimously agreed upon. But what kinds of weapons should the bears use?
Chief Old White Bear suggested that man's weapon, the bow and arrow, should be turned against him. All of the council agreed. While the bears worked and made bows and arrows, they wondered what to do about bowstrings. One of the bears sacrificed himself to provide the strings, while the others searched for good arrow- wood.
When the first bow was completed and tried, the bear's claws could not release the strings to shoot the arrow. One bear offered to cut his claws, but Chief Old White Bear would not allow him to do that, because without claws he could not climb trees for food and safety. He might starve.
The deer tribe called together its council led by Chief Little Deer. They decided that any Indian hunters, who killed deer without asking pardon in a suitable manner, should be afflicted with painful rheumatism in their joints.
After this decision, Chief Little Deer sent a messenger to their nearest neighbours, the Cherokee Indians.

"From now on, your hunters must first offer a prayer to the deer before killing him," said the messenger. "You must ask his pardon, stating you are forced only by the hunger needs of your tribe to kill the deer. Otherwise, a terrible disease will come to the hunter."

When a deer is slain by an Indian hunter, Chief Little Deer will run to the spot and ask the slain deer's spirit, "Did you hear the hunter's prayer for pardon?"
If the reply is yes, then all is well and Chief Little Deer returns to his cave. But if the answer is no, then the Chief tracks the hunter to his lodge and strikes him with the terrible disease of rheumatism, making him a helpless cripple unable to hunt again.
All the fishes and reptiles then held a council and decided they would haunt those Cherokee Indians, who tormented them, by telling them hideous dreams of serpents twining around them and eating them alive. These snake and fish dreams occurred often among the Cherokees. To get relief, the Cherokees pleaded with their Shaman to banish their frightening dreams if they no longer tormented the snakes and fish.
Now when the friendly plants heard what the animals had decided against mankind, they planned a countermove of their own. Each tree, shrub, herb, grass, and moss agreed to furnish a cure for one of the diseases named by the animals and insects.
Thereafter, when the Cherokee Indians visited their Shaman about their ailments and if the medicine man was in doubt, he communed with the spirits of the plants. They always suggested a proper remedy for mankind's diseases.
This was the beginning of plant medicine from nature among the Cherokee Indian nation a long, long time ago.



Why the Opussum's Tail Is Bare

In the beginning all living things - men, animals, plants and trees - spoke the same language and behaved in much the same way. Animals, like people, were organized into tribes. They had chiefs, lived in houses, held councils and ceremonies.
Many animals had characteristics which we would not recognize today. The rabbit, for example, was fierce, bold and cunning, and a great mischief maker. It was through Rabbit's tricks that the deer lost his sharp wolf-like teeth, the buzzard his handsome topknot of feathers and the opossum his long, bushy tail.
Opossum was very proud of his tail which, in those days, was covered with thick black fur. He spent long hours cleaning and brushing it and composing songs about its beauty and vigour. Sometimes, when he walked through the village, he carried his tail erect, like a banner rippling in the breeze. At other times, he swept it low behind him, like a train. It was useful as well as beautiful, for when Opossum lay down to sleep, he tucked it under him to make a soft bed, and in cold weather he folded it over his body to keep himself warm.
Rabbit was very jealous of Opossum's tail. He, too, had once had a long bushy tail but, during the course of a a fight with Bear, he had lost most of it and now had only a short fluffy tuft. The sight of Opossum strutting before the other animals and swirling his tail ostentatiously, filled Rabbit with rage and he made up his mind to play a trick on him at the first opportunity.
At this time, when the animals still lived harmoniously together, each had his appointed station and duty. Thus, Frog was leader in the council and Rabbit, because of his speed, was employed to carry messages and announcements to the others.

As was their custom from time to time, the animals decided to hold a great council to discuss important matters and Rabbit, as usual, was given the task of arranging the gathering and delivering the invitations. Councils were also occasions for feasting and dancing and Rabbit saw a way of bringing about Opossum's downfall.
When Rabbit arrived with the news of the meeting, Opossum was sitting by the door of his lodge engaged in his favourite occupation - grooming his tail.
'I come to call you to the great council tomorrow, brother Opossum,' said Rabbit. 'Will you attend and join in the dance ?'
'Only if I am given a special seat,' replied the conceited Opossum, carefully smoothing some untidy hairs at the tip of his tail. 'After all,' he went on, grinning maliciously at Rabbit, 'I have such a beautiful long tail that I ought to sit where everyone can see and admire it.'
Rabbit was almost beside himself with fury, but he pretended not to notice the jibe and said, 'But of course, brother Opossum! I will personally see to it that you have the best seat in the council lodge, and I will also send someone to dress your tail specially for the dance.'
Opossum was delighted by this suggestion and Rabbit left him singing the praises of his tail even more loudly than usual.
Next, Rabbit called on the cricket, whom Indians call the barber, because of his fame as an expert hair-cutter. Cricket listened with growing amazement as Rabbit recounted his conversation with Opossum. Like all the other animals, he found Opossum's vanity and arrogance very tiresome.
He began to protest, but Rabbit held up a paw and said, 'Wait a moment. I have a plan and I need your help. Listen...', and he dropped his voice as he told Cricket what he wanted him to do.
Early next morning Cricket presented himself at Opossum's door and said that he had been sent by Rabbit to prepare the famous tail for the council that evening. Opossum made himself comfortable on the floor and stretched out his tail. Cricket began to comb it gently.
'I will wrap this red cord round your tail as I comb it,' he explained, 'so that it will remain smooth and neat for the dance tonight.'
Opossum found Cricket's ministrations so soothing that he fell asleep, awakening just as Cricket was tying the final knot in the red cord which now completely swathed his tail.
'I will keep it bound up until the very last moment,' thought Opossum gleefully. 'How envious the others will be when I finally reveal it in all its beauty!'
That evening, his tail still tightly wrapped in the red cord, Opossum marched into the council lodge and was led to his special seat by a strangely obsequious Rabbit.

Soon it was time for the dancing to take place. The drums and rattles began to sound. Opossum stood up, loosened the cord from his tail and stepped proudly into the centre of the dance floor. He began to sing.

'Look at my beautiful tail!' he sang as he circled the floor. 'See how it sweeps the ground!'

There was a great shout from the audience and some of the animals began to applaud. 'How they admire me!' though Opossum and he continued dancing and singing loudly. 'See how my tail gleams in the firelight!'
Again everyone shouted and cheered. Opossum began to have just the merest suspicion that all was not quite as it should be. Was there possibly a hint of mockery in their voices ? He dismissed such an absurd idea and continued dancing.

'My tail is stronger than the eagle's, more lustrous than the raven's!'

At this the animals shrieked so loudly that Opossum stopped in his tracks and looked at them. To his astonishment and chagrin they were all convulsed with laughter, some leaning weakly on their neighbour's shoulders, others rolling on the ground in their mirth. Several were pointing at his tail.
Bewildered, Opossum looked down and saw to his horror that his tail, his beautiful, thick, glossy tail, was now balk and scaly like that of a lizard. Nothing remained of its former glory. While pretending to comb it, the wily Cricket had snipped off every single lair.
Opossum was so overcome with shame and confusion that he could not utter a sound. Instead he rolled over helplessly on his back, grimmacing with embarrasment, just as opossums still do today, when taken by surprise.




Falling-Star

One day in the long ago, two young Indian girls were lying on the grass outside their tepee on a warm summer evening. They were looking up into the sky, describing star-pictures formed by their imaginations.

"That is a pretty star. I like that one," said First Girl.

"I like that one best of all--over there," Second Girl pointed.

First Girl pointed to the brightest star in the sky and said, "I like the brightest one best of all. That is the one I want to marry."

That evening they agreed to go out the next day to gather wood. Next morning they started for the timbered area. On their way they saw a porcupine climb a tree.

"I'll climb the tree and pull him down," said First Girl. She climbed but could not reach the porcupine.

Every time she stretched her hand for him, the porcupine climbed a little higher. Then the tree started growing taller. Second Girl below called to her friend, "Please come down, the tree is growing taller!"

"No," said First Girl as the porcupine climbed higher and the tree grew taller. Second Girl could see what was happening, so she ran back to the camp and told her people. They rushed to the tree, but First Girl had completely disappeared!

The tree continued to grow higher and higher. Finally, First Girl reached another land. She stepped off the tree branch and walked upon the sky! Before long she met a kindly looking middle-aged man who spoke to her. First Girl began to cry.

"Whatever is the matter? Only last night I heard you wish that you could marry me. I am the Brightest-Star," he said.

First Girl was pleased to meet Brightest-Star and became happy again when she got her wish and married him. He told her that she could dig roots with the other star-women, but to beware of a certain kind of white turnip with a great green top. This kind she must never dig. To do so was "against the medicine"--against the rules of the Sky-Chief.
Every day First Girl dug roots. Her curiosity about the strange white turnip became so intense that she decided to dig up one of them. It took her a long, long time. When she finally pulled out the root, a huge hole was left. She looked into the hole and far, far below she saw the camp of her own people.
Everything and everyone was very small, but she could see lodges and people walking. Instantly she became homesick to see her own people again. How could she ever get down from the sky? She realized it was a long, long way down to earth. Then her eyes fell upon the long tough grass growing near her. Could she braid it into a long rope? She decided to try, every day pulling more long grass and braiding more rope.
One time her husband Brightest-Star asked, "What is it that keeps you outdoors so much of the time?"

"I walk a great distance and that makes me tired. I need to sit down and rest before I can start back home."

At last she finished making her strong rope, thinking by now it must be long enough. She tied one end of the rope to a log that she rolled across the top of the hole as an anchor. She let down the rope. It looked as though it touched the ground.
She lowered herself into the hole, holding onto the braided rope. It seemed to take a long time as she slowly lowered herself until she came to the end of the rope. But it did not touch the earth! For a long while she hung on dangling in midair and calling uselessly for help. When she could hold on no longer, she fell to the ground and broke into many pieces. Although she died, her unborn son did not die, because he was made of star-stone and did not break.
A meadowlark saw what happened and took the falling-star baby to her nest. There the lark kept him with her own baby birds. When they were older, Falling-Star crept out of the nest with the little birds. The stronger the birds grew, the stronger grew Falling-Star. Soon all of them could crawl and run. The young birds practiced their flying while Falling-Star ran after them. Then the young birds could fly anywhere they wished, while Falling-Star ran faster and faster to keep up with them.

"Son, you had better go home to your own people," said Mother Meadowlark. "It is time for us to fly south for the winter. Before long, the weather here will be very cold."

"Mother Meadowlark," asked Falling-Star. "Why do you want me to leave you? I want to go with you."

"No, Son," she replied. "You must go home now."

"I will go if Father Meadowlark will make me a bow and some arrows."

Father Meadowlark made a bow and pulled some of his own quills to feather the arrows. He made four arrows and a bow for Falling- Star. Then he started Falling-Star in the right direction toward his home, downstream.
Falling-Star travelled a long time before he reached the camp of his people. He went into the nearest lodge owned by an old grandmother.

"Grandmother," he said. "I need a drink of water."

"My grandson," she said to him, "only the young men who are the fastest runners can go for water. There is a water-monster who sucks up any people who go too close to it."

"Grandmother, if you will give me your buffalo-pouch and your buffalo-horn ladle, I will bring you water."

"Grandson, I warn you that many of our finest young men have been destroyed by the water-monster. I fear that you will be killed, too." But she gave him the things he asked for. He went upstream and dipped water, at the same time keeping watch for the monster.

At the very moment Falling-Star filled his bucket, the Water- monster raised its head above the water. His mouth was enormous. He sucked in his breath and drew in Falling-Star, the bucket, water, and the ladle. When Falling-Star found himself inside the monster's stomach, he saw all the other people who had ever been swallowed. With his Star-stone, he cut a hole in the animal's side. Out crawled all the people, and Falling-Star rescued his pouch and ladle for his grandmother, taking her some cool, fresh water.

"My grandson, who are you?" she asked, marvelling at his survival.

"Grandmother, I am Falling-Star. I killed the monster who has caused our people much suffering, and I rescued all the people who had been swallowed."

The old woman told the village crier to spread the good news that the monster was dead. Now that Falling-Star had saved the camp people there, he asked the grandmother, "Are there other camps of our people nearby?"

"Yes, there is one farther downstream," she said.

Falling-Star took his bow and arrows and left camp. The fall of the year had now arrived. After travelling many days, he reached the other camp. Again he went into an old woman's lodge where she sat near her fire.

"Grandmother, I am very hungry," he said.

"My son, my son, we have no food. We cannot get any buffalo meat. Whenever our hunters go out for buffalo, a great white crow warns the buffalo, which drives them away.

"How sad," he said. "I will try to help. Go out and look for a worn-out buffalo robe with little hair. Tell your chief to choose two of his fastest runners and send them to me."

Later, the old woman returned with the robe and the two swift runners. Falling-Star told them his plan. "I will go to a certain place and wait for the buffalo. When the herd runs, I will follow, disguised as a buffalo in the worn-out robe. You two runners chase me and the buffalo for a long distance. When you overtake me, you must shoot at me. I will pretend to be dead. You pretend to cut me open and leave me there on the ground."
When the real buffalo arrived, the white crow flew over them screaming, "They are coming! They are after you! Run, run!" The buffalo herd ran, followed by a shabby-looking bull.
The two swift runners chased the old bull according to plan. All kinds of birds, wolves, and coyotes came toward the carcass from all directions. Among them was the white crow. As he flew over Falling-Star in disguise, he called out shrilly, "I wonder if this is Falling-Star?"
Time after time the crow flew over the carcass, still calling, "I wonder if this is Falling-Star?" He came closer and closer with each pass. When he was close enough, Falling-Star sprang and grabbed the legs of the white crow. All of the other birds and animals scattered in every direction.
When Falling-Star brought the captive white crow home to the grandmother, she sent word for the chief.

"I will take the white crow to my lodge. I will tie him to the smoke hole and smoke him dead," said the chief.

From that moment on, the good Cheyennes were able to kill many buffalo and they had plenty of buffalo meat for all their needs.
The people in gratitude gave Falling-Star a lovely lodge-home and a pretty Indian maiden waiting there to become his wife. They remained all of their lives with the Northern Cheyenne Indian tribe.




Forsaken Brother

One summer evening, scarcely an hour before sunset, the father of a family lay in his lodge, dying. Weeping beside him were his wife and three children. Two of them were almost grown up; the youngest was but a small child. These were the only human beings near the dying man, for the lodge stood on a little green mound away from all others of the tribe.
A breeze from the lake gave the sick man a brief return of strength. He raised himself a little and addressed his family.

"I know that I will leave you soon. Your mother, my partner of many years, will not stay long behind. She will soon join me in the pleasant land of spirits. But, O my children, my poor children! You have just begun life. All unkindness and other wickednesses are still before you.

"I have contented myself with the company of your mother and yourselves for many years, in order to keep you from evil example. I will die content, my children, if you will promise me to love each other. Promise me that on no account will you forsake your youngest brother. I leave him in your charge. Love him and hold him dear."

The effort to speak exhausted the sick man. But taking a hand of each of his older children, he continued his plea. "My daughter, never forsake your little brother! My son, never forsake your little brother!"

"Never, never!" they both exclaimed.

"Never, never!" repeated the father. And then he died, happily sure that his command would be obeyed.

Time wore heavily away. Five long moons passed, and when the sixth moon was nearly full, the mother also died. In her last moments she reminded the two older children of their promise to their father. Willingly they renewed their promise to take care of their little brother. They were still free from any selfishness.
The winter passed away, and spring came. The girl, the oldest, directed her brothers. She seemed to feel an especially tender and sisterly affection for the youngest, who was sickly and delicate. The older boy, however, already showed signs of selfishness. One day he spoke sharply to his sister.

"My sister, are we always to live as if there were no other human beings in the world? Must I never associate with other men? I am going to visit the villages of my tribe. I have made up my mind, and you cannot prevent me."

"My brother," replied his sister, "I do not say no to what you wish. We were not forbidden to associate with others, but we were commanded never to forsake each other. If we separate to follow our own selfish desires, will we not be compelled to forsake our young brother? Both of us have promised to take care of him."

Making no reply, the young man picked up his bow and arrows, left the wigwam, and returned no more.
For many moons the girl took kindly care of her little brother. At last however, she too began to weary of their solitude and wished to escape from her duty. Her strength and her ability to provide food and clothing had increased through the years, but so had her desire for company. Her solitude troubled her more and more, as the years went slowly by. At last, thinking only of herself, she decided to forsake her little brother, as the older brother had already done.
One day, she placed in the lodge all the food she had gathered. After bringing a pile of wood to the door, she said to her young brother, "Do not stray far from the lodge while I am gone. I am going to look for our brother. I shall soon be back."
Then taking her bundle, she set off for the villages. She found a pleasant one on the shore of a lake. Soon she became so much occupied with the pleasures of her new life that her affection for her brother gradually left her heart. In time, she was married. For a long time, she did not even think of the sickly little brother she had left in the woods.
In the meantime the older brother had settled in a village on the same lake, not far from the graves of their parents and the solitary home of the little brother.
As soon as the little fellow had eaten all the food left by his sister, he had to pick berries and dig roots. Winter came on, and the poor child was exposed to its cold winds. Snow covered the earth. Forced to leave the lodge in search of food, he strayed far without shelter. Sometimes he passed the night in the crotch of an old tree and ate the fragments left by wolves.
Soon he had to depend for his food entirely on what the wolves did not eat. He became so fearless that he would sit close to them while they devoured the animals they had killed. His condition aroused the pity of the animals, and they always left something for him. Thus he lived on the kindness of the wolves until spring came. As soon as the lake was free from ice, he followed his new friends and companions to the shore.
Now it happened that his brother was fishing in his canoe, far out on the same lake, when he thought he heard the cry of a child. "How can any child live on this bleak shore?" he said to himself. He listened again, and he thought he heard the cry repeated. Paddling toward the shore as quickly as possible, he saw and recognized his brother. The young one was singing,

My brother, my brother! I am now turning into a wolf. I am turning into a wolf!

At the end of his song, he howled like a wolf. His brother, approaching, was shocked to find him half a wolf and half a human being. Leaping to the shore, the older brother tried to catch him in his arms. Soothingly he said, "My brother, my brother, come to me!"
But the boy fled, still singing as he ran, "I am turning into a wolf! I am turning into a wolf!" And at the end of his song he howled a terrifying howl.

Conscience-stricken, feeling his love return to his heart, his brother called to him, "My brother, O my brother! Come back to me!"

But the nearer he came to the child, the more rapidly the change to a wolf took place. Still the younger brother sang his song, and still he howled. Sometimes he called on his brother, and sometimes he called on his sister. When the change was complete, he ran toward the wood. He knew that he was a wolf. "I am a wolf! I am a wolf!" he cried, as he bounded out of sight.
The older brother, all the rest of his life, felt a gnawing sense of guilt. And the sister, when she heard what had happened to her little brother, remembered with grief the promise she had solemnly made to their father. She wept many tears and never ceased to mourn until her death.




Father of Indian Corn

In the long, long ago, a poor Ojibwa Indian lived with his wife and children in a remote part of the present state of Wisconsin. Because he was such a poor hunter, he was not very expert in providing food and supplies for his family.
His children were too young to give him much help. But he was a good man with a kind and contented disposition. He always was thankful to Chief of the Sky Spirits for everything he received to share with his family.
His good disposition was inherited by his eldest son, who had just reached the age when he wanted to pursue his Guardian Spirit Quest. Each young Indian boy looked forward to the time of finding the secret Spirit that would be his guide through his life. Each boy sought to learn his spirit name and what special power would be given him by his Guardian Spirit.
Eldest son had been obedient since early childhood. He seemed pensive, thoughtful of others, mild in manner, and always a joy to his family and to his tribe. At the first indication of spring, tradition told him to build a hut somewhere in an isolated place. There, he would not be disturbed during his dream quest. He prepared his hut and himself and went immediately to begin his fast for seven days.
For the first few days, he amused himself walking in the woods and over the mountain trails. He examined trees, plants, and flowers. This kind of physical effort in the outdoors prepared him for a night of sound sleep. His observations of the day filled his mind with pleasant ideas and dreams.
More and more he desired to know how the trees, plants, flowers, and berries grew. Seemingly they grew wild without much help from the Indians. He wondered why some species were good to eat, while others contained poisonous juices. These thoughts came back to him many times as he retreated to his lodge at night. He secretly wished for a dream that would reveal what he could do to benefit his family and his tribe.

"I believe the Chief of Sky Spirits guides all things and it is to him I owe all things," he thought to himself. "I wonder if Chief Sky Spirit can make it easier for all Indians to acquire enough food without hunting animals every day to eat."

"I must try to find a way in my dreams," he pondered. He stayed on his bed the third day of fasting, because he felt weak and faint. Sometimes he thought that he was going to die. He dreamed that he saw a strong, handsome young man coming down from the sky, advancing toward him. He was richly dressed in green and yellow colours. He wore a plume of waving feathers on his head. His every movement was graceful.

"I have been sent to you," said the sky-visitor. "The Sky Chief who made all things in the sky and upon the earth intends for me to be your Guardian Spirit and I have come to test you.

"Sky Chief has observed all that you have done to prepare yourself for your Quest. He understands the kind and worthy secret wish of your heart. He knows that you desire a way to benefit your family and your tribe. He is pleased that you do not seek strength to make war. I have come to show you how to obtain your greatest wish. First, your spirit name shall be Wunzh."

The stranger then told Wunzh to arise and wrestle with him. This was the only way for him to achieve his sacred wish. As weak as he was from fasting, Wunzh wondered how he could ever wrestle the stranger.
He rose to the challenge--determined in his heart to die in the effort if he must. The two wrestled. After some time when Wunzh felt nearly exhausted, the Sky Stranger said, "It is enough for today. I will come in tomorrow to test you some more." Smiling, the visitor ascended in the same direction from which he came.
Next day at the same time, the stranger appeared. Again the two wrestled. While Wunzh felt weaker than the day before, he set his mind and heart to his task. His courage seemed to increase, however, in reverse proportion to his waning physical strength. The stranger stopped just in time before Wunzh dropped to the ground.

"Tomorrow will be your last chance. I urge you to be strong, my friend, as this is the only way for you to achieve your heart's sacred wish," said the sky-visitor.

Wunzh took to his bed with his last ounce of energy. He prayed to the Sky Chief for wisdom and enough strength to endure to the end of his Quest.

The third time they wrestled, Wunzh was so weak that his arms and legs felt like rubber. But his inner determination drove him forward with the kind of endurance necessary to win. The same length of time passed as in the first two wrestling bouts. Suddenly the stranger stopped and declared himself conquered by Wunzh!
Then the sky-visitor entered the lodge for the first time. He sat down beside Wunzh to instruct him in the way he should now proceed to achieve his secret wish.

"Great Sky Chief has granted your desire. You have wrestled manfully. Tomorrow will be your seventh day of fasting. Your father will come to see you and bring you food. As it is the last day of your fast, you will be able to succeed.

"Now I will tell you what you must do to achieve your final victory. Tomorrow we will wrestle once more. When you have prevailed over me for the last time, then throw me down and strip off my clothes. You must clean the earth of roots and weeds and make the ground soft. Then bury me in that very spot, covering me with my yellow and green clothes and then with earth.

"When you have done this, leave my body in the earth. Do not disturb it. Come occasionally to see if I have come to life. Be careful to see that no grass or weeds cover my grave. Once a month, cover me with fresh earth. If you follow what I have told you, you will succeed in your Guardian Spirit Quest. You will help your family and all the Indians by teaching them what I have now taught you," the Sky Stranger concluded as they shook hands and the visitor left.

On the seventh morning, Wunzh's father came with some food.

"My son, how do you feel? You have fasted long enough. It is seven days since you have eaten food. You must not sacrifice your life. The Great Spirit does not require that of you."

"My father, thank you for coming and for the food. Let me stay here alone until the sun goes down. I have my own special reasons."

"Very well. I shall wait for you at home until the hour of the setting sun," replied the father as he departed.

The Sky Stranger returned at the same hour as before. The final wrestling match began. Wunzh had not eaten the food his father brought. But already he felt a new inner power that had somehow been given to him. Was it Spirit Power from his Guardian Spirit?

Wunzh grasped his opponent with supernatural strength and threw him to the ground. Wunzh removed the beautiful clothes and the plume. Then he discovered his friend was dead.
He remembered the instructions in every detail and buried his Guardian Spirit on the very spot where he had fallen. Wunzh followed every direction minutely, believing his friend would come to life again,
Wunzh returned to his father's lodge at sundown. He ate sparingly of the meal his mother prepared for him. Never for a moment could he forget the grave of his friend. Throughout the spring and into summer he visited the grave regularly. He carefully kept the area clean of grass and weeds. He carefully kept the ground soft and pliable. Soon he saw the tops of green plumes emerging through the earth. He noticed that the more care he gave the plants, the faster the green plumes seemed to grow.
Wunzh concealed his activity from his father. Days and weeks passed. Summer was drawing to a close. Then one day, Wunzh invited his father to follow him to the site of his Quest. He showed his father the graceful-looking plants growing there. They were topped with yellow silken hair and waving green plumes. Gold and green clusters of fruit adorned each side of the stalks.

"Father, these plants are from my dream friend," explained Wunzh. "He is my Guardian Spirit, a friend to all mankind, named Mon- daw-min, meaning 'corn for all Indians.' This is the answer to my Quest, my secret heart's wish. No longer will we need to hunt animals every day for our food. As long as we take care of our corn gift, the earth will give us good food for our living."

Wunzh pulled off the first ear of corn and give it to his father.

"See, my father. This corn is what I fasted for. The Chief of Sky Spirits has granted my Quest. He has sent us this wonderful new food of corn. From now on our people need not depend entirely upon hunting and fishing to survive."

Wunzh talked with his father, giving him all of the instructions he had received from his Guardian Spirit. He showed his father how the corn husks should be pulled off the stalks, and how the first seed must be saved for future plantings. He explained how the ears of corn should be held before the fire only long enough for the outer leaves to turn brown, so that the inside kernels remained sweet and juicy.
The entire family gathered for Wunzh's feast of corn. The father led a prayer of thanksgiving for the bountiful and good gift from the Chief of Sky Spirits. Wunzh felt happy that his Guardian Spirit Quest was successfully completed. This is how Wunzh became known as the father of Indian corn by the Chippewa and Ojibwa Indian tribes.




The Hummingbird

Not far from Rainbow Cave on the Sacred Mountain in what is now New Mexico, Hummingbird Hoya lived with his beloved grandmother long ago.

"I think I will go to Kiakima to see what their clansmen are doing," Hoya said one day to his beloved grandmother.

Because he was so small and wanted to be sure that people could see him, Hoya dressed himself in his colourful hummingbird coat and flew far away. Below him, he saw a lovely spring and decided to stop, taking off his beautifully feathered coat.
Before long, Kia, the daughter of Chief Kya-ki-massi, arrived to fill her jar with the cool spring water. Many young men of the Zuni Indian tribe longed to marry Kia, but were afraid to ask her father, the Chief.
Kia began to fill her water jar without speaking to the attractive young man nearby.

"May I have some of your water to drink?" Hoya asked.

Kia handed him a cupful. When he returned the cup to her, a small amount of water remained. Playfully, she tossed it to him and giggled.
Some young Zunis watching from the brush wondered why she laughed. They also wondered about the stranger. Then they heard the princess say, "Let's go to my home."
Hoya followed Kia to her house, and they talked for some time at the bottom of her ladder, which led to the lodge roof. Then Hoya said, "I think it is time for me to start home."

"I hope to see you at the spring tomorrow," Kia said. She then climbed to the roof of her lodge. Hoya put on his magic feathered coat, flying away invisibly. The young men of the village did not see Hoya vanish, which aroused their curiosity.
When Hoya arrived back at his beloved grandmother's house, she met him with a bowl of honey combined with sunflower pollen. The next day, he carried some of the delicacy to the spring as a gift for the princess. Again, he walked Kia home and they conversed at the bottom of her ladder. He gave her the honey and pollen to share with her family.

"Um-m-m good, we like this kind of food," her parents said. "You should marry this young man."

Next day, when Hoya walked Kia home from the spring, she invited him to come into her lodge to meet her family.

"No, thank you, Kia, I cannot marry you yet," said Hoya. "I do not have deerskins, blankets, or beads for you."

"But I do not need these things," she replied. "I like the good food you brought to me, that is enough."

"Then, if I may, I will come to your lodge tomorrow evening," said Hoya. He then put on his magic coat and flew away instantly as Kia ascended the ladder to her roof.

Hoya reported to his beloved grandmother all that had taken place. He told her the Chief's daughter wanted him for her husband.

"No, not now," she replied. "You do not have enough things to give her; you cannot marry her yet."

"But, Grandmother, the daughter of the Chief wants nothing except our delicious honey food."

"If you are sure of her parents' approval, then I give you my permission to marry Kia."

At dawn next day, Hoya and his beloved grandmother, dressed in their hummingbird coats, zoomed away southward to the land of the sunflowers.
All that day, they gathered pollen and honey. Later, when they returned, they placed a deerskin on the floor. Onto this, they shook the pollen from their feathers. Into a large shell, they deposited the honey. Hoya's beloved grandmother mixed the pollen and honey together, much the same way as kneading bread dough. She then wrapped a large ball of the mixture in a deerskin, which Hoya took to Kia that very evening.
Village youths gathered and watched from a distance as Hoya climbed Kia's ladder to her lodge roof. There Hoya secretly hid his magic coat under a rock before lowering himself into Kia's lodge.

"How sad for us that Kia will marry a stranger," the youths repeated among themselves.

The young men of Zuni village gathered in a Kiva, a ceremonial lodge saying to the Bow Chief, "Please announce that in four days we will go on a parrot hunt. Say, also, that anyone who does not join us will lose his wife."
Later, Kia's brother returned home and reported, "In the village, they are saying that on the hunt for young parrots, the young hunters will throw my new brother-in-law from the mesa and kill him. they will then claim his wife."

"They are just loud-mouth talking," said Chief Kya-ki-massi.

But Hoya believed that when he heard from younger brother. He quickly put on his hummingbird coat and flew away to Parrot Woman's Cave.

"What have you to say?" she asked.

"I wish to warn you to protect your young parrots from harm. I also ask your help for myself," Hoya said, telling her of the plot to kill him. In a few minutes, he returned to Kia's home.

Next day, the parrot hunt began, with Hoya bringing up the rear. He secretly wore his magic coat beneath his buckskin shirt. At the high mesa, a yucca rope was let down toward the parrot's cave.
Hoya was instructed by the group to go down the rope to the nest of the young parrots. When he was halfway down, the village hunters let go of the rope. Parrot Woman was waiting for him, spreading her large fanlike tail outside her cave entrance. She caught Hoya in time.
Upon returning to the village, the young men reported that the rope broke, letting hoya fall to his death. In Kia's lodge, there was much sadness at the loss of Kia's new husband.
Parrot Woman took her two young birds and, with Hoya in his magic coat, flew up to the mesa.

"Please keep my two children with you," she said. "But bring them back to me in four days."

Hoya took the two young parrots to his new home and, from the roof he heard Kia crying inside.

"I hear someone on our roof," her father said. "Perhaps, it is your new husband."

"Impossible," said his son. "Hoya is dead. But Kia ran up the ladder and to her great joy, she discovered her husband with the two parrots.

At dawn, Hoya placed the two young parrots on the tips of the ladder poles. A village youth came out of the Kiva and saw the birds. He ran back inside calling, "Wake up everyone! Hoya is not dead. He has come back to his home with two young parrots!"
When the Zuni villagers saw the two parrots, they decided to make another plan to rid themselves of Hoya.

"Please, Bow Chief, give us permission to hunt the Bear's children. If anyone does not come along with us, he will lose his wife."

Hoya heard the terrible news, so he went to the cave of the Bear Mother.

"What do you wish of me?" she asked Hoya.

"The young hunters of Zuni village are going on a hunt for your children. I have come to warn you and to ask you for your help in protecting me," replied Hoya. Then he told her of the plot to kill him.

Four days later, the young hunters charged toward Bear Mother's cave. Hoya again secretly wore his magic hummingbird coat beneath his buckskin shirt. He was forced by the young men to lead the attack at the cave entrance. Then the others pushed him inside the Bear's cave!
Mother Bear grabbed him but she shoved him behind her. She chased the young Zuni hunters, killing a few of the young tribesmen. Later, Hoya flew home with two bear cubs and at dawn he placed them on the roof. When the villagers discovered the bears on Kia's roof, they knew that Hoya was still alive.
Hoya decided to fly to his beloved grandmother's home near Rainbow Cave to seek her wisdom about a new plan of his. She helped him paint a bird cage with many colours and they filled it with birds of matching colours. Back to Zuni village he flew, carrying the cage, which he placed in the centre of the plaza. Around it, he planted magic corn, bean, squash, and sunflower seeds.
That very evening welcome rains came down gently. Next morning the sun shone brightly and warmly. When the Zuni villagers came out of their hogans, they were amazed at the sight before them! In the plaza centre, growing plants surrounded the beautiful cage of colourful, singing birds!
From that moment on, all of the happy, dancing Zuni tribe accepted Hoya and his gifts. They learned to love him as one of their own. His wife they called Mother, and they called him Father of their tribe for many contented years.




Coyote's Salmon

Long ago on the Sanpoil River that flows southward into the Columbia River, Old Man and old Woman lived with their tribe, the Sanpoils. They were so stooped that it appeared they were walking on their knees and their elbows. Their very pretty granddaughter lived with them.
One day Coyote came along and saw the old couple with the beautiful girl. Immediately, he decided that he wanted the girl for his wife. But he knew better than to ask for her then. He thought he would wait until evening. So during the day he sat around, becoming better acquainted with the family.
The old couple watched him, noting that his long hair was braided neatly and his forelocks were carefully combed back. They noticed too that he was tall and strong. Old Man and Old Woman talked between themselves about Coyote, wondering if he could be a Chief.
In the late afternoon, Coyote asked Old Man, "What is that thing down in the stream?"

"Why, that is my fish trap," Old Man replied.

"A fish trap? What is that? What do you do with it?" asked Coyote, pretending he did not know.

"Oh, occasionally I catch a few bullheads and sunfish," Old Man said.

"Is that what you eat? I never heard of them. Are they big enough for a meal?" asked Coyote.

"They are not much, but what else can we eat?" replied Old Man.

"I think I will go up the hill and look around," said Coyote. It was then about an hour before sunset.

On top of the hill, Coyote saw some grouse roosting in a tree. He threw some stones at them, killing five. He carried the grouse back to Old Man and said, "Let's eat these for supper."
After removing the feathers, Old Man roasted the game over the fire and when they were done, everyone sat down to eat the wonderful meal. To Old Man and his family, it seemed like a feast.

"Is this the kind of food you eat every day?" the Old Man asked Coyote.

"Sometimes I eat berries, roots, and I catch some real big fish, as long as your arm," Coyote said.

Later, Coyote announced that he would like to stay there if they wanted him, otherwise he would move on.

"What do you mean?" asked Old Man.

"Well, it is like this. I would like to marry your granddaughter," said Coyote.

Old Man and Old Woman looked at each other but said nothing. Coyote went for a little walk to allow the old couple to talk privately.
While Coyote was gone Old Man said to his wife, "What do you think of this fellow? You saw what he did, bringing good food for our supper. If we let him marry our granddaughter, maybe they will stay here and we will have such good food always. Surely our girl will marry someone soon, perhaps some man not as good as this young fellow."

"Well, husband, I'll leave it entirely up to you."

Soon Coyote returned. He decided to let Old Man open the conversation. Old Man held his pipe in one hand and said, "How I wish I had a smoke. My tobacco ran out some time ago."

"Have some of mine," said Coyote, reaching into his jacket pocket. He pulled out a large bunch of tobacco and gave it to Old Man, who filled his pipe, feeling very much surprised that Coyote would have real tobacco.

After a while Old Man spoke, "My wife and I have talked over your proposal and she left the decision up to me. I have decided to let you marry our granddaughter and live here. If you go away, we want you to take her with you. How are we to know that you will do this?"

"You need not worry," said Coyote. "I am tired of travelling. I want to settle down here for the rest of my life, if you wish."

Old Man was pleased with Coyote and believed what he said. So Coyote took the pretty granddaughter for his wife.
Early that evening Coyote stayed with his wife and later said, "I am going out for a few minutes and when I return we will go to bed."

"All right," answered his wife.

Coyote went downstream to where Old Man had his fish trap. He changed it into a basket-type trap, piling rows of rocks to guide fish into the basket. When finished he called out, "Salmon, I want two of you in the basket trap tomorrow morning, one male and one female." Then he returned to his bride.
Next morning Coyote asked Old Man to go to his fish trap early. "I think I heard a noise in the night that sounded like fish caught in a trap," he said.
Old Man went downstream to see his fish trap. Sure enough, he saw two big fish in the trap. Old Man was so excited, he stumbled up the trail toward Coyote.

"You were right, there are two great fish in the trap bigger than I have ever seen," reported Old Man.

"You must be dreaming," said Coyote.

"Come down with me and see for yourself," Old Man said.

When the two reached the trap, Coyote exclaimed, "You are so right. These are salmon, chief among all fish. Let us take them over to that flat place, and I will show you what to do with them."
When they reached the open field, Coyote sent Old Man up the hill to gather sunflower stems and leaves.

"Those are salmon plants," Coyote explained. "Salmon must always be laid on sunflower stems and leaves."

Old Man spread the sunflower plants upon the ground. Coyote placed the salmon on them, and proceeded to show Old Man how to prepare the salmon.

"First, put a stick in the salmon's mouth and bend it back to break off the head. Second, place long sharp poles inside the salmon lengthwise to hold for roasting over your campfire," said Coyote.

"Now remember this," he continued. "The first week go down to the trap and take out the salmon every day. But when fixing it, never use a knife to cut it in any way. Always roast the fish over the fire on sticks, the way I have shown you. Never boil salmon the first week. After the salmon is roasted, open it carefully and take out the backbone without breaking it. Also, save the back part of the head for the sacred bundle-never eat that.

"If you do not do these things as I have told you, either a big storm will come up and you will be drowned, or you will be bitten by a rattlesnake and you will die.

"After you have taken out the salmon's backbone, wrap it and the back of the head carefully in tules, the marsh grasses, to make a sacred bundle, then place it somewhere in a tree, where it will not be bothered. If you do as I tell you, you will always have plenty of salmon in your trap.

"I am telling you these sacred things about the salmon because I am going to die sometime. I want you and your tribe to know of the best way to care for and use your salmon. After this, your men will always place their fish traps up and down the river to catch salmon. The man having the first trap will be Chief of the Salmon, and the others should always do anything he tells them to do.

"After the first week of the salmon season, you can boil your salmon or cook it any way you wish. But remember to always take care of the bones, wrapping them in a sacred bundle--never leaving them where they can be stepped upon or stepped over."

For the next few days each time Old Man went down to his fish trap in the morning, he found twice as many salmon as on the day before. Coyote showed him how to dry fish to prepare them for winter use. Before long they had a large scaffold covered with drying fish.
People of the Sanpoil tribe saw the fish and noticed how well Old Man and Old Woman were doing. They went to their hogans and told others about the big red fish called salmon, and about the tall young stranger who taught Old Man about caring for the salmon.
Soon thereafter, all the people came to see for themselves. Old Man and Old Woman invited them to feast on their roasted salmon. The old couple explained how their new grandson-in-law had shown them how to trap the salmon and dry them for winter food.
To this day, the Sanpoils say their tribe harvests the salmon in exactly the way that Coyote taught their ancestors long, long ago.




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