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Louisiana Anthology

George A. Dorsey.
Traditions of the Caddo.


  1. The Creation and Early Migrations
  2. The Origin of Day and Night
  3. The Origin of Animals
  4. Coyote Regulates Life after Death
  5. Coyote and the Origin of Death
  6. The Second Man who came out of the Earth
  7. Snake-Woman distributes Seeds
  8. The Flood
  9. The Effeminate Man who introduced Strife
  10. The Origin of the Medicine-Men
  11. The Girl who married a Turtle
  12. The Man and the Dog who became Stars
  13. Evening-Star and Orphan-Star
  14. The Girl who married a Star
  15. The Girl who married a Star (2)
  16. Lightning and the People
  17. The Brothers who became Lightning and Thunder
  18. Splinter Foot Boy
  19. Medicine-Screech-Owl
  20. Medicine-Screech-Owl (2)
  21. The Orphan Boy who became a Wrestler
  22. The Dangerous Water Monster
  23. Slaying the Monsters by Fire
  24. Slaying the Monsters by Fire (2)
  25. How the Buffalo ceased to eat Human Beings
  26. The Girl who had power to call the Buffalo
  27. The Old Woman who kept all the Pecans
  28. The Coward, the Son of the Moon
  29. The First War Party
  30. The Power of the Cyclone
  31. How the Cannibal was destroyed
  32. The Young Men and the Cannibals
  33. Coyote and the Six Brothers
  34. The Death of the Cannibals
  35. The Man who made Arrows for Ghost
  36. The Lazy Boys who became the Pleiades
  37. The Lost Timber Spirits
  38. The Man who turned into a Snake
  39. The Woman who turned into a Snake
  40. How Owl fooled the Girls who wanted to marry the Chief
  41. The Poor Hunter and the Alligator Power
  42. The Boy who married a Mountain-Lion
  43. Buffalo Woman
  44. The Girl who married Wild-Cat
  45. The Woman who tried to kill her Son
  46. The Jealous Husband
  47. The Turtle who carried the People away
  48. Why Dogs have Long Tongues
  49. Why Hawks have Thin Legs
  50. The Power of Buffalo and Bear
  51. How Rabbit stole Mountain-Lion's Teeth
  52. Rabbit and the Dancing Turkeys
  53. Adventures of Coyote
  54. Coyote escapes an Imaginary Foe
  55. Coyote goes Fishing
  56. Coyote hunts Geese
  57. Coyote imitates his Host
  58. Coyote imitates his Host (2)
  59. Coyote, the Deer, and the Wind
  60. Coyote dives for Meat
  61. Coyote, the Geese, and the Woodpeckers
  62. Coyote and Rabbit kill a Buffalo
  63. Coyote, Mountain-Lion, and Rabbit
  64. Coyote becomes a Buffalo
  65. Coyote and the Turkeys
  66. Coyote's Eyes are replaced by Buckeyes
  67. Coyote and Turtle run a Race
  68. Coyote, Wild-Cat, and the Old Woman
  69. Coyote challenges the Snake
  70. Coyote turns into a Corn Mill


The Caddo tales here presented were collected during the years 1903-1905, under the auspices of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and form part of a systematic investigation of the religious system and ceremonial organization of the tribes of the Caddoan stock.

The Caddo, numbering 530 in 1903, are of Caddoan stock, and since 1859 have lived in western Oklahoma between the Washita and Canadian rivers, where they have been closely associated with the Wichita. They retain practically nothing of their ancient culture. Their early home was in Louisiana, on the lower Red River. Later they migrated toward the Texas border, and still later to Brazos River in Texas. They met the whites as early as 1540, and throughout their history have maintained a friendly attitude toward the whites. Like the Wichita, their early habitations were conical grass lodges, and they were agriculturists, hunting the buffalo only within comparatively recent times. The comparison of the Caddo tales with those of other tribes is deferred until the completion of the present investigation.

George A. Dorsey.

Chicago, July 31, 1905.



Told by White-Bread

In the beginning the sun, stars, moon, and earth did not exist as they are now. Darkness ruled. With the lapse of time came a man, the only living being. Soon after his arrival a village sprang into existence with many thousands of people, and the people noticed that the man seemed to be everywhere. For a time he disappeared, and when he came back he had all kinds of seeds. He called all the people together and told them that the seeds were for them to eat, and gave them to everyone. He told them that soon Darkness would go, and the people would see, for Darkness had promised that they should have a man by the name of Sun, and that he should be given power by the Great-Father-Above; that whenever his time should come to give them to the Sun he should be called or taken away from his mother, from our great mother Earth below ; that the direction where the Sun should come from should be called "east," and the way of its going down should be called "west." He also announced to the people that he was the first being created and that he had been given power by the same Great-Father-Above, and that he had to carry out his work. He then told the people that it was very necessary that they should have one man abler and wiser than any other man among them, to be their head man; that they should call him 'chief;' that whatever the chief should command should be done by the people ; that they should look upon him as a great father. The unknown man told the people to return to their homes, hold a council among themselves, and select a chief.

When they had returned and assembled there was in the council a man by the name of Coyote, who told the people that the unknown powerful man should be called Moon, because he was the first man created on earth. The people decided that the Moon should be their head man or chief. Finally the Moon called the people together again and asked them if they had selected their head man or chief. Coyote told him that they had decided that he should be their head man, and that they had named him Moon. After Moon came to be chief he selected another man, whom he called the Errand-Man, to be his helper, and to go around among the people to call them together whenever he might want them.

One time the errand-man was sent out to tell the people that the chief wanted them to assemble; that he had very important news to tell them, and that they should come as quickly as they could. When they had come together the chief told them that they would all have to move away from the world that they were living in to another and better world; that he was going to lead them through, for he knew the way. The village which they were going to leave was called Old- Home-in-the-Darkness. Before the people were ready to leave, the chief sent the errand-man around among them to tell them that they were to be divided into groups, because there were so many of them ; that each group must have a leader, and he would give each leader a drum. The people began to form in groups and select their leaders. After the groups were all formed and each selected their leader, the chief called all the leaders together and gave each a drum, and then they were ready to start. The chief told all the leaders that they must sing and beat their drums as they were moving along; that none of them should ever look back the way they came, lest the people should be stopped and have to stay where they were in darkness.

The people began moving westward, and they came out of the ground to another world. While they were yet coming out Coyote happened to be out. He began to look around, then told the chief that the world was too small for the people; then he turned around and looked back in the direction from which they had come. The people had not all come out, and so half of them went back, but the others kept on going westward. Finally the chief picked up some dirt and threw it in front of him and formed very high mountains. When the people came to the mountains they stopped and began to make their first homes and villages. Moon went to the top of the mountain and looked about and found that the people had not all come the way he had come, but had scattered and gone in different directions. At the time when the people were all together they spoke but one language, the Caddo; but after they had scattered out in groups each group spoke a different language. For this reason the many tribes of the present time speak different languages. When Moon came to his people, the few he had left, he told them the name of the place in the ground from which they had come. He told them that the direction to their right-hand side should be called north, or cold side, and the direction to their left-hand side should be called south, or warm side. While Moon was talking the Sun came up out of the east, passed them, and went down in the west. He went too fast to do them any good at all. Coyote announced that he was going to stop the Sun from going so fast. He started eastward early in the morning, and when he came to a good place to stop he waited for the Sun to come up. When the Sun came up he found Coyote waiting for him. Coyote told the Sun that he had come there for the purpose of seeing him; that he wanted to talk with him, for he was in trouble. The Sun said that he had not very much time to stop and talk. Coyote told the Sun that he would go with him and talk to him as they went along. They started on, walking very slowly. Coyote kept telling about things that had lately happened. When the Sun was nearing the west Coyote told him that he was going to defecate, and asked him to wait a while. He started out behind the bushes, and just as soon as he was behind them, where the Sun could not see him, he ran away from the Sun and the Sun stood there waiting for him to return. After a while the Sun grew tired of waiting and started on very slowly, looking back every little while and watching for Coyote to catch up with him, but Coyote did not appear. The Sun went down very slowly, still waiting for Coyote. This is the reason that the Sun lingers and goes down very slowly.

The people's first village in this new world was called Tall-Timberon-Top-of-the-Hill, for the place was in black-jack timber near the top of a high hill. There was the beginning of the real people. Moon called the people together for the first time in the new world and said: "Soon there will be a child born of a certain woman. He is on the way. He shall have more power than anyone else, for Great-Father- Above has sent him down to his mother, the earth, to be among the people and teach them right and wrong. When the child conies he shall name himself after the former chief, Medicine-Screech-Owl, and he shall have with him bow and arrows."

When the child came he had with him the bow and arrows. When his birthday came his father and mother were talking about what name should be given him; but before his mother or father could give him a name the young child spoke and named himself, saying, "My name shall be Medicine-Screech-Owl." He said to the people: "The bow and arrows are for the men only, to be used in killing game. The time is coming when we shall have to use these things, especially the bow and arrows." Later on the people began to learn that this child was going to be a powerful man. He went around among the people and taught them how to make bows and arrows. In those times the animals talked to human beings and the human beings could talk to the animals, and they understood one another. Time passed and some of the human beings began to turn into animals. Medicine-Screech-Owl knew that some of these people were not real human beings. He knew that if some of the people should turn into animals it would be very bad, as the people would be destroyed by them, and as he knew just what animals were the most ferocious he went and made them a visit in behalf of the people. Some of the animals were opposed to Medicine-Screech-Owl and hated him, and when he came to certain ones they would try to kill him, and that is how he came to kill some of them.

In those times the people had little to eat. There were two people, a man and a woman, known to the people as the Buzzards, who lived at the north end of the village, and the people noticed that they always had plenty of meat and other things to eat, and they wondered how they got it. Time passed until finally Coyote came among the people and told them that he was going over to visit the two people and find out where and how they got so much meat and so many other things to eat. In those times the animals that were living with the people had some magic powers, and Coyote had power. He said, "In order to find out where and how the Buzzard people get their food, I must scheme." After studying he resolved that he would imitate a dog, and so before he came to the Buzzard home he turned himself into a very small and fine-looking dog. He stayed away from the Buzzards and watched his opportunity to place himself where they would find him. One time the Buzzards had gone out some distance from their home for some purpose and were returning, when they found the little dog by the trail. The woman liked the dog, but the man said that it was not a real dog, but someone else. The woman did not believe him. The man allowed her to take the dog home with them. When they reached home he told her that they must find out whether this was a real dog or not. He told her to pinch the dog's ear and see if it would howl like a real dog. The woman pinched the dog's ear and it howled like a dog. Still the man did not believe that it was a dog. He told the woman to go and get some meat and give it to the dog, saying that if a dog it would take its time, but if it were not a dog it would eat fast; that then he would know whether or not to believe it was a dog. The woman gave some meat to the dog. Coyote took his time in eating it, and so Buzzard believed what the woman had said, and they kept the dog. Coyote stayed with them until their meat gave out, then he watched them very closely. Finally the Buzzards began to talk about going after more meat. Coyote listened. At length they started out and left their dog at home. They thought the dog would stay at home until they returned. But Coyote had a scheme, so he followed at some distance, so that they could not see him, and he watched them very closely. When they came to the place where they usually found their meat, Coyote found out all about how and where they got it, then ran back to their home and lay down, so that when the Buzzards returned to their home they found their little dog lying there fast asleep. Coyote stayed with them two days longer, and the third day he made up his mind that he must carry out his work. Early one morning he started out straight to the place where he had seen the Buzzards at work. It was a large cave or hole in the ground. The door of the place was a large rock. When he came to the place he opened it and out came thousands and thousands of buffalo. They came out so fast that before long they had spread over the western prairies before the Buzzards knew it. It was quite a time before Buzzard discovered what had happened. First he heard a strange noise like thunder. He went and looked for the little dog, but in vain, for the dog had already gone. He heard Coyote howling in the distance. Buzzard went out and found that nearly all the buffalo had escaped.

When Coyote went to his home he told the people to hurry and make some bows and arrows, for the buffalo were coming. He told them just what had happened and how he had schemed.

Buzzard was very angry at his wife and scolded her. He told her that she ought to know by this time that they were not the only ones that had powers, and that henceforth the only way that they could make a living was to go around and look for dead meat. In order to do this they turned into birds and became real buzzards. They flew around and looked for dead things to eat.

From that time on the people began to make bows and arrows, which were given to mankind for their use in killing game. Time passed on and the people noticed that their chief, Moon, paid no attention to them and seemed to have nothing to say. He did not call them together any more, but stayed at his home all the time. The people began to think there must be something wrong, and so there was, for Moon himself was doing very wrong things. He knew that he was setting his people a bad example, and he believed the people had already found out something about him. Medicine-Screech-Owl knew all about this, for he had more powers than Moon himself. Moon was living with his family near the center of the village; he was the chief, unmarried, and lived with his father and mother and one very young sister. Here was the beginning of his mistakes. Unknown to his father and mother, for a long time he kept going by night to see his own sister, not letting her know that he was her own brother. He abused her and treated her very meanly sometimes. For a long time she did not know who he could be, for she had no one to tell her. It finally occurred to her that it might be her brother. One night she made up her mind to find out who he was. She put some black paint on her fingers, and that night when the man came she passed her painted fingers across his forehead and made black marks, which the man knew nothing about until the next morning. In the morning, when he came in, she saw the marks on his forehead, and she knew that he was the man who had abused her. When he learned that the people were finding out about him he became so ashamed of himself that he wished to leave his people. He remembered that when he came into the world the Great-Father-Above had promised him that someday he should call him away from his people; that he should be placed where the people could see him at night, and that he should be with the people all the time. He knew that the time was now approaching when he should be called away from his people, and soon he was called away from them. Great- Father-Above took him away and placed him far above, where the people could see him and the shame-marks on his forehead.

Medicine-Screech-Owl grew to be a man, and after Moon was gone the people gathered again to select another chief, and they selected the powerful Medicine-Screech-Owl. His first announcement to the people was that they must move on farther west. The people began moving westward, climbing the mountains. When they had got on top of them they saw a large lake, and they wondered where the water came from. Medicine-Screech-Owl called the people's attention to it, and they all came and gathered along the banks of the lake. He then spoke to the people, saying: "These waters which are before you are the tears of your great chief, Moon, for before he was taken up into the heavens he came up to this mountain and shed tears for the wrongs he had done to his people. So we shall call this mountain Moon's-Tears-on-the-Mountain." The people kept on moving westward until they found a place where they wanted to locate their second village. They commenced making bows and arrows, which they used in killing game. They began to go out a long distance from their village to hunt buffalo and other animals. There were several kinds of dangerous animals in the country, and at one place near by the people dared not go, because there in the water was the most ferocious animal that ever lived. Medicine-Screech-Owl told the people that he had some power and that he was going to try to kill the animal. One day when he was alone he decided to go and destroy the animal. He went out, and when he came near the place where the animal was he stopped for a short time at the edge of the timber, for he could not locate the animal exactly. The name of the animal was Cannibal. The lake was large and all around were swamps and thickets. By the aid of his power and with a certain motion, Medicine-Screech-Owl made a narrow place like a road through the thicket, through which he could see the animal. He had brought with him from his village his bow, but no arrows, and some corn, which he was to use in killing the animal. When he made the opening in the thicket he took out two tall canes from the ground, with the roots and the dirt that was on them, to be used as arrows. The corn that he had with him he threw in the air, and it became blackbirds, which flew straight over the head of the animal. When the animal arose to draw the blackbirds down to him Medicine-Screech-Owl shot it with the cane arrows, first from the right side through the heart and out the left, then from the left side through the heart and out to the right. The animal fell near the edge of the water and died. Medicine-Screech-Owl went over to see the place where the animal was. He saw all kinds of bones lying around the place. Not long after this the lake dried up. When the people learned what had happened and what their chief had done, they were no longer afraid of the place.

Now Coyote became a very bad man. The people noticed that he had done to them several things that he had no right to do. He would go from place to place, sometimes very early in the morning and sometimes very late in the evening. He made all kinds of trouble among the people. Whenever he did anything that was wrong he would blame someone else, and in some way he would escape the consequences. Finally Medicine-Screech-Owl sent for Coyote and told him that he must leave the people and go on his way ; but Coyote, being a great schemer, told the chief that he was going to stop doing mean tricks among his people, and that he was not yet ready to leave. Medicine-Screech-Owl allowed him to stay with the people until he should be captured or killed at any time.


Told by Wing

In the beginning the people all lived in darkness. After a time they became dissatisfied and wanted light. They called a council to discuss how they could get light. Coyote was the first to speak, and he said: "We have had enough darkness; we must now have light. It is right that we should have both and not all darkness." There was a man at that time who was a prophet, and Coyote said that he appointed the prophet to investigate and see how the people might obtain light. The prophet thought over the question and then reported: "There are yellow, black, spotted, half-spotted, and white deer upon the earth. These deer are here for some purpose. If you kill the yellow deer, everything shall be yellow all the time. If you kill the white deer, everything shall be white all the time. If you kill the spotted one, everything shall be spotted and very bad. If you kill the black one, everything shall be black as it is now. But if you kill both the black and the white deer, then we shall have day and night. During the day everything will be white, and we can go about and hunt and visit, and during the night we can return to our homes and rest." The people accepted the prophet's words and started out and hunted until they killed the black and white deer, and from that time we have had day and night.


Told by Wing

The people and animals all lived together and were the same in the beginning of the world. After a time they became too numerous and there was not enough food for all. A council was held and the chiefs determined that some should become animals and live apart from the people and be hunted by them for food. Some of the people, who lived where the big fire had burned off the grass, were rolled about in the black ashes until they became black. Again they were rolled and then they took on the form of bears. Long pieces of white stone were put upon their feet for claws and in their mouth for teeth. They were given ten lives. When killed the first time, the second life was to arise from the blood that was spilled upon the ground, and so the third life was to arise from the blood that was spilled when the bear was killed for the second time, and so on through the other lives up to the tenth. During the first life the bear was not to be fierce, but as often as he was killed and passed to another life he was to become fiercer and fiercer, until, when he came to the tenth life, he would fight, and even eat, human beings.

Some other people who lived where the long grass grew were rolled upon the earth, and when they arose they had the form of buffalo, and the grass had stuck to them and hung all like a beard under their necks. They, too, were given ten lives and then put upon the prairie to live, where man could hunt them. The deer were then made in the same way, and after them all the other animals were made.


Told by White-Bread

The people had many councils from time to time. The errand man went all round to call the people to these councils. At one council Coyote arose and said: "First, we must change our rule about death, because all are not being treated alike. Now when some die they come back to their people, and then others die and never see their people again. I propose to make another rule, so that we may all be treated alike after death. This is the rule that I wish to propose: When any one dies let him be dead forever, and let no living person ever see him again. Our Great-Father-Above made a place there where every one of us may go after death. Now when any one dies he shall go from the living forever, but we shall still keep up the fire for six days." All the people were well pleased with Coyote's rule, and so from that time on, even to the present day, the same rule is kept, and when anybody dies he is gone forever, never to return again. The people are taken to the sky when they die and become the stars that we see at night. Morning Star, who freed the earth from bad animals, had three brothers, and he was the oldest one and the leader of all the tribe.

In the beginning he had been the errand man, and during war expeditions he had to get up early in the morning, hours before dawn, to go around the camps and wake the people, so that the enemy would not find them. That is the reason he gets up so early now. In the evening one of his brothers would go back a long distance to see if the enemy were coming on their trail, and so the man was named Evening Star. The other two brothers were named North Star and South Star, and these four brothers always had something to do. North Star always had to camp in the North and watch for the enemy lest they should approach from that direction; South Star had to camp in the South and watch lest the enemy should approach from that direction. Their father's name was Great Star, and he was the chief of the people. Now the people think that when any one dies he goes up to the sky, where he turns around and looks back and becomes one of the stars, and so they believe every one when he dies goes up to the sky.


In the beginning of this world there was no such thing as death. Every one continued to live until there were so many people that there was not room for any more on the earth. The chiefs held a council to determine what to do. One man arose and said that he thought it would be a good plan to have the people die and be gone for a little while, and then to return. As soon as he sat down Coyote jumped up and said that he thought that people ought to die forever, for this little world was not large enough to hold all of the people, and if the people who died came back to life there would not be enough food for all. All of the other men objected, saying that they did not want their friends and relatives to die and be gone forever, for then people would grieve and worry and there would not be any happiness in the world. All except Coyote decided to have the people die and be gone for a little while, and then to come back to life. The medicine-men built a large grass house facing the east, and when they had completed it they called all of the men of the tribe together and told them that they had decided to have the people who died come to the medicine-house and there be restored to life. The chief medicine-man said that he would put a large white and black eagle feather on top of the grass house, and that when the feather became bloody and fell over, the people would know that someone had died. Then all of the medicine-men were to come to the grass house and sing. They would sing a song that would call the spirit of the dead to the grass house, and when the spirit came they would cause it to assume the form that it had while living, and then they would restore it to life again. All of the people were glad when the medicine men announced these rules about death, for they were anxious for the dead to be restored to life and come again to live with them. After a time they saw the eagle feather turn bloody and fall, and so they knew that someone had died. The medicine-men assembled in the grass house and sang, as they had promised that they would, for the spirit of the dead to come to them. In about ten days a whirlwind blew from the west, circled about the grass house, and finally entered through the entrance in the east. From the whirlwind appeared a handsome young man who had been murdered by another tribe. All of the people saw him and rejoiced except Coyote, who was displeased because his rules about dead were not carried out. In a short time the feather became bloody and fell again. Coyote saw it and at once went to the grass house. He took his seat near the door, and there sat with the singers for many days, and when at last he heard the whirlwind coming he slipped near the door, and as the whirlwind circled about the house and was about to enter, he closed the door. The spirit in the whirlwind, rending the door closed, whirled on by. Death forever was then introduced, and people from that time on grieved about the dead and were unhappy. Now whenever anyone meets a whirlwind or hears the wind whistle he says: "There is someone wandering about." Ever since Coyote closed the door the spirits of the dead have wandered over the earth, trying to find some place to go, until at last they find the road to spirit land. Coyote jumped up and ran away and never came back, for when he saw what he had done he was afraid. Ever after that he ran from one place to another, always looking back over first one shoulder and then over the other, to see if anyone was pursuing him, and ever since then he has been starving, for no one will give him anything to eat.


Told by White-Bread

In the beginning, when the people first came out of the earth into the world, Moon was the first man to enter the world. The second man was Tonin, and he was even greater than Moon and more powerful. He was only about four feet high and rode a bay horse that was no bigger than a dog. He had the power to turn darkness into light, and to wish for anything and have his wish fulfilled at once. If he wished to go a long distance, no sooner did he wish than he was there, no matter how far, and if he wished to kill any kind of game, all he had to do was to point to it with his forefinger and it lay dead before him. From time to time he disappeared and the people did not know where he went, until one time they saw him going as though on wings up into the blue sky. He was able to tell what would happen in the future, and so one time he sent the errand man to go out and call all the people to come to the meeting place, for he had something that he wanted to say to them. When the people were all assembled, he came and talked to them for half a day. He talked to them about this world in which they were living, and then he told them that in six days he was going away, and that he would be gone six winters and seven summers. He told them that he did not know exactly where he would go, but that he wanted them all to come in six days and see him start on his journey. The people went home and on the sixth day came again, and after they were there a little while Tonin came. He began to sing a song, the song of death, and then he was gradually lifted from the earth and taken into the sky. All the people wept for fear he would not come back, but they remembered his promise to return, and so took courage.

Time passed and the people remembered Tonin and his words for about three summers and three winters; then they began to forget about him and his words. Time passed on and it was time for him to return; then the world began to change. The stars became brighter and larger. Tonin had several brothers, and one of these brothers had remembered what he promised the people, so he knew that it was time for him to return. When the day came this brother gave the sign to his people that Tonin was about to return by beating six times on the drum; but some of the people had so completely forgotten Tonin that they did not even know what the sign meant. Toward evening a large star came up and shone very bright in the east, and all the people came and gathered together to watch it. When Tonin came back to earth he was pleased to see the people all there to meet him, and he\ told them about the future. He told them that strange people were coming into the land, and that they would frighten away the buffalo, the deer, and the bear. He stayed on earth sometime, then called the people together and told them that he was going as he had gone before, but that this time he was not to return. Then he went up into the sky.


The Great Father gave the seeds of all growing things to Snake-Woman. He taught her how to plant the seeds and how to care for the green things that grew from them until they were ripe, and then how to prepare them for food. One time, when Snake-Woman had more seeds than she could possibly care for, she decided to give some to the people. She called her two sons and asked them to help her carry the seeds. Each put a big bag full of seeds on his back, and then they traveled all over the world, giving six seeds of each kind of plant to every person. As Snake-Woman gave each person the seeds she told him that he must plant them, and must care for the plants that grew from them, but must allow no one, especially children, to touch them or even point to them as they grew. She said that until the seeds were ripe they belonged to her, and if any one gathered them too soon she would send a poisonous snake to bite him. Parents always tell their children what Snake-Woman said, and so they are afraid to touch or go near any growing plants for fear a snake will come and bite them.


Told by Wing

One time a long, hot, dry season came and all the waters of the earth dried up. The people wandered from place to place, trying to find water, and after many days they became crazed and did many foolish things. They went to the dried-up river beds and there found many dead fish and turtles and animals that dwelt in the water, and the people cut them to pieces and threw them about, for they thought that these animals and fish were in some way responsible for the waters disappearing. While they were acting foolishly they looked up and saw a man in the sky coming toward them from the west. A wind blew, and the man approached and lighted on the ground before them. In his hand he carried a small green leaf. He told the people that they had not acted wisely and had abused him, and that he was angry with them. He motioned the leaf in four directions and drops of water fell from it. Soon the waters grew in volume and arose all over the world, even to the tree-tops, and the highest mountains except one. To this high mountain the man led a few of the people whom he chose, and they stayed on the mountain for four days, while the water rose higher and higher. As the waters rose the man caused the mountain to rise with them. He could do this because he had greater power than the spirit of Cold or Heat. After a time the waters began to go down, and green things appeared upon the earth again. Then he led the people down from the mountain. They found that many people who had been left in the water during the flood had not drowned, but had turned into alligators and other water animals.


One time there lived among the people a man who always did the women's work and dressed like the women and went with them, and never went with the men. The men made fun of him, but he did not care, and continued to work and play only with the women. A war broke out with some other tribe, and all of the men went to fight but this man, who stayed behind with the women. After the war party had gone, an old man, who was too old to go with them, came to him and told him that if he would not go to fight he was going to kill him, for it was a disgrace to have such a man in the tribe. The man refused to go, saying that the Great Father did not send him to earth to fight and did not want him to. The old man paid no attention to his excuse, and told him if he did not go to fight he would have the warriors kill him when they returned from battle with the enemy. The man said that they could not kill him, that he would always come to life, and would bewitch people and cause them to fight and kill one another. The old man did not believe him, and when the war party came home he told the men that they would have to kill the man because he was a coward, and they could not let a coward live in the tribe. They beat him until they thought he was dead, and were just ready to bury him when he jumped up alive. Again they beat him until he fell; then they cut off his head. He jumped up headless and ran about, frightening all of the people. They were just about to give up killing him when someone noticed a small purple spot on the little finger of his left hand. They cut that out; then he lay down and died. Soon after many people began to fight and quarrel, and some even killed their own brothers and sisters and fathers and mothers. The other people tried to stop the fighting, but could not, because the people were bewitched and could not help themselves. Then the old man remembered what the coward had said, and he told the people, and they were all sorry that they had killed him.


Told by Wing

In days of old people knew the animals and were on friendly terms with them. All of the animals possessed wonderful powers and they sometimes appeared to people in dreams or visions and gave them their power. Often when men were out hunting and were left alone in the forest or on the plains at night, the animals came to them and spoke to them in dreams and revealed their secrets to them. The man who had had a dream of this kind woke up and went home. There he remained several days in silence, refusing to talk to anyone, thinking only of the things that had been revealed to him. After a time he called some of his friends and the old men of the tribe to his lodge and told them of his powers and asked them if they would be taught his secrets. If they agreed the man taught them his songs and dances. After he had taught them all the necessary things they declared themselves ready to give a Medicine-Men's dance, and gave themselves the title of medicine men. Then if anyone was sick in the village and sought the aid of the medicine-men they prepared to hold the dance in behalf of that person that they might try their powers of healing on him. They built a large grass lodge, and the dance was held in this lodge for six days and nights. The first medicine-men ever to receive power and give the dance were two young brothers. These boys were brave hunters, and one time when they were out on the hunt night overtook them far from any habitation. They made a camp in the lonely woods and laid down to sleep, for they were very weary. In their sleep they both had a dream and in their dreams each met the other and they dreamed that they were walking together toward the east. On their way they saw a man coming toward them, and he was walking rapidly toward the west. They met him and he stopped and talked with them in their language. After they had talked long, the man revealed a bag that he carried and said, "Choose from this any kind of medicine that you want. If you wish to live long and be hard to kill, take this," and he handed them certain medicine. When the boys had accepted it he said, "Now that you have the same power that I have, I will show you how to use it." He spent a long time teaching them how to use the medicine and then he continued his journey toward the west. At break of day both boys woke up, and each remembered his dream, but said nothing to the other or to any one, but thought long on what the man had taught him. After many months each began to try his powers. After two winters war broke out with the Chickasaw people, and many were killed and yet many more were taken prisoners. The victorious Chickasaws marched home with their prisoners and booty, and every night when they made camp they held war dances and danced about their prisoners, who, bound, were placed in the center of the large ring of dancers. One night, after the dancing was over and the prisoners lay exhausted and cold, one of them, a young man, escaped. It was nearly morning and he had not gone far when the sun came up, and he heard the Chickasaws coming after him. He did not know what to do and was about to give up when he saw a hollow log. He crawled into it and the Chickasaws came to the log and went on by. He stayed in the log all day, and in the evening, after he had heard the Chickasaws return; he crawled out and went on toward his home. After two days he reached his village and there told his story. There were many men in the village who had been away when the Chickasaws made their attack, and among them were the two brothers who had received power in their dreams. By that time the Chickasaws were about five days on their way, but the men started to pursue them. The elder brother, whose name was Strong-Wind, was chosen to take the lead. After several days' marching they overtook the enemy. They came upon their camp at night, and they could hear the beat of the drums and the songs of victory before they found the camp. The night was very dark, and so the men had to wait until dawn before they could attack the camp. At the first light they rushed into the camp and killed many Chickasaws and rescued their prisoners. Strong-Wind and his brother were equal to ten men apiece, and so wonderful were their powers that they alone rushed into the midst of the enemy and killed many and took many women as prisoners. The Chickasaws were powerless before them, and even their own people stopped fighting to stare in wonder at the brave deeds of the two young men. The few Chickasaws who were left fled in terror and the party returned home rejoicing. After many years, during which time the brothers practiced their powers in times of war, they died and the tribe was left without any medicine-men. Finally there was a very young man, who became a medicine-man through powers given him by the Black-Mountain-Bear. One time while he was out hunting he wandered far in quest of game, and before he realized it the sun was down and it was growing dark. He thought of his home and knew that he could not reach it before night. He made a shelter, lay down to sleep, and dreamed that he was walking on a narrow trail leading eastward. He looked ahead and saw a man sitting by the wayside with his head down. As he approached, the man raised his head, looked at him, and said: "My boy, I want to give you some medicine, for I want you to have powers like mine." The old man took out many roots and told the boy to choose six of them. He took six of the roots; then the old man told him that he would have to go before six men, each of whom would explain the power of one medicine and how to use it. The boy did not want to go to so many men for fear he would not have time, and so he gave back four of the roots. Then he thanked the old man and started on his way. Soon he saw another old man sitting by the trail, and as he approached, the man arose, and when he came up to him he began to talk to the boy and explained the use of his medicine. While he was yet on the way, going toward the third man, he awoke. He returned to his mother's lodge, but kept silent, and spoke to no one for many days, thinking always about his dream and the things that had been taught him. He wandered about alone, looking always for the medicine roots he had seen in his dream. After many months he found the plant

Soon after there was a man in another village who was about to die, and when the young man heard of the sick man he determined to go and see him and try his powers. He called the medicine-men together and taught them the medicine dance-song that had been taught him in the dream; then they all went to the lodge where the sick man was. All the people wondered why the young man should call the men to sing medicine dance-songs for him, for they never thought of him as having power. He was with the sick man a long time before he could find out what was the matter with him. First, the dancers danced very slowly, and gradually increased the movement, as was their custom. So long was the young man in finding out what was the matter with the sick man that the dancers were dancing as fast as they possibly could before he decided. Thus they danced for six days and nights, and many of the dancers dropped to the ground exhausted. Finally the young man began to talk in a tongue no one understood, and he began to dance slowly. Then the others knew that he had discovered what ailed the man. He fell to the ground and began to crawl like a mad bear. He crawled up to the sick man and, placing his mouth on the place where the greatest pain was, drew the pain out by blowing his breath on the place, and the pain was gone. The people knew then that the boy was in truth a medicine-man, and by his actions they knew that the Black-Mountain-Bear had given him power. It was the Bear who had appeared to the young man as an old man in his dream. From that time he was called Black-Mountain-Bear-Medicine-Man. Then the chief of the medicine-men's society announced that all the medicine-men were going to hold a dance, and they wanted the young man to be present and show his powers, if he had any. The dance was held and every one attended. Black-Mountain-Bear-Medicine-Man sat and watched the dancers until the last, the sixth night of the dance; then he arose and joined in the dance. He danced faster and faster, and after a time went over and picked up a gun. He took the bullet out, then he showed it and the powder to all the people. Then he put them in the gun again and gave it to his helper. He continued dancing, and after he had danced a long time and very fast he fell to the ground. After a while he arose on his knees and spread out his arms. His helper shot him through the breast and he fell over in a faint. Soon he arose and began dancing again, and as he danced he showed the bullet to the people and also bared his breast, and they could see no marks. He had caught the bullet in his hands. After that he became a member of the medicine-men's society. After a time another young man appeared with wonderful power, also given him by the Mountain-Bear. He appeared at the medicine men's lodge one night, where they were having a dance, and he joined in and did many wonderful things. He had a bear's skin that he could cause to turn into a young bear, which would follow him about, and then he would turn the animal back into a piece of skin. There are two kinds of medicine-men. One kind has power to doctor and heal the sick; another has the power to prevent anyone from being hurt or harmed, and can charm away all danger. The latter are supposed to be more powerful than the first kind of medicine-men, for they can perform their magic without medicine and have power to bewitch people who are afar off, and thus make them lose their minds and not know what they are doing. They have a song of death, and when they sing the song before a dying person they frighten away death and the person lives. There are few people who ever receive this power, which is generally given by the sun, moon, stars, earth, or storm, but some very wild and ferocious animals can also give the power to people.


A girl lived alone with her two brothers. They were famous hunters and were away all day hunting. While they were gone the girl often played down by the water, and there she came to know Turtle. One day he came up to her and asked her if she would have him for her husband. She said that she would, and after that she met him whenever she went to the lake. Often her brothers wanted to carry the water for her, but she would never let them, but would always go herself and stay a long time with Turtle. One time her brothers went away to be gone many days. She told Turtle that they were gone and that she was going to take him to her house and keep him there. He was glad, for then he could be with her all of the time. She went home and built a high bed, and when she had finished it she carried Turtle home and put him in the bed. She asked him what he liked best to eat, and he said that he liked potatoes better than anything else. Every day she went out to hunt potatoes and prepared a big bowl full and put it up in the bed for him to eat. After several days her brothers came home, and so she thought she would take Turtle back to the river, but he begged so hard to stay that she yielded to him, though she knew that she took a risk. She told Turtle that he must always stay up in the bed where her brothers could not see him and must not move when they were about, for they would hear him and look for him and would surely kill him if they found him. The boys noticed the high bed when they returned, but their sister told them that she had made it because she felt safer in it while they were gone. Then they thought nothing more about it until they noticed that their sister regularly filled a large bowl with potatoes and put it in the bed and then took it out empty. They began to suspect something, but said nothing. One day they said that they were going to hunt. The girl watched them until they were out of sight; then she took her digging stick and started after more potatoes for Turtle. The boys only pretended to go hunting and soon came back. They slipped up to the house and peeped in. When they found that their sister was gone they went in and climbed up to the bed to see what was there. They found Turtle and killed him, then ran away. When the girl came home and found her husband dead, she knew at once that her brothers had killed him and she started after them.

The boys ran until they came to a river. There they met many white ducks playing on the water. In those days all birds were white. The boys offered to paint the ducks all different colors if they would carry them and their little bob-tailed dog that was with them across the river and not tell anyone that they had seen them or helped them across. The ducks agreed, and so the boys painted their feathers. Then the ducks took them on their backs and flew across the stream with them. Soon the girl came along and asked the ducks if they had seen anything of two young men and a white bob-tailed dog. They said that they had not seen them, and the girl was about to turn back when one white duck, whom the boys had forgotten to paint, flew up and told her that her brothers and their dog had just passed, and that the other ducks had lied to her, because the boys had painted their feathers if they would not tell her the truth. The white duck carried the girl across the river and she began again to pursue her brothers. They saw her coming and were afraid that she would overtake them, when they met three white doves. They asked the doves to take them and their dog on their backs and carry them to the sky. The doves agreed and flew to the sky with them and left them there. As the doves were flying down they flew through so much smoke that their white feathers became gray. The girl met the doves and asked them where her brothers and the little bob-tailed dog were. The doves pointed to three bright stars in the southern part of the sky. The girl looked, and when she saw that her brothers and their dog had become stars she fell dead.


A young man had a Dog which he always took with him whenever he went to hunt. When he was at home he did not pay much attention to the Dog, and the Dog acted like any other dog, but when they were off alone the Dog would talk to his master just as if he were a man. He had the power of a prophet and could always tell what was going to happen. One time, while they were out hunting, the Dog came running back to his master and told him that they were about to come to a very dangerous place. The young man asked where the place was, and the Dog said that he did not know just where it was, but that he knew it was not far away. In another instant the Dog scented a deer and started out on its trail, and the man followed. Soon they came upon the deer. The man shot it, but only wounded it, and it continued to run until it reached the lake, and then jumped into the water. The Dog jumped in after it and soon caught it, because he could swim faster than the wounded deer. He held it while the young man threw off his clothes and swam to his assistance. Soon they killed the deer, and then the man put it on his shoulders and started to swim to the shore. All at once the Dog cried out, "Look out!" There before them and all around them were all kinds of poisonous and dangerous water animals. The man thought that they would surely be killed, for the animals were so numerous that they could not possibly swim past them. He began to pray to the spirits to help him, and as he prayed the water leaped up and threw them on the shore. The young man felt so grateful to the spirits who had saved his and his Dog's lives that he cut some of the flesh from the deer and threw it into the water as a sacrifice. Then he and the Dog decided that they would not stay longer in this dangerous world, and so they went to the sky to live. There they can be seen as two bright stars in the south. The one to the east is the young man, and the one to the west is the Dog.


A poor orphan boy lived with a large family of people who were not kind to him and mistreated him. He could not go to play or hunt with the other boys, but had to do all of the hard work. Whenever the camp broke up the family always tried to steal away and leave the boy behind, but sooner or later he found their new camp and went to them because he had no other place to go. One time several families went in boats to an island in a large lake to hunt eggs, and the orphan boy went with them. After they had filled their boats with eggs they secretly made ready to go back to the mainland. In the night, while the orphan boy was asleep, they stole away in their boats, leaving him to starve on the lonely island. The boy wandered about the island, eating only the scraps that he could find around the dead camp fires, until he was almost starved. As he did not have a bow and arrows, he could not hunt, but he sat by the water's edge and tried to catch fish as they swam past him. One day as he sat on the lonely shore he saw a large animal with horns coming to him through the water. He sat very still and watched the animal, for he was too frightened to run away. The monster came straight to him, then raised his head out of the water and said: "Boy, I have come to save you. I saw the people desert you and I have taken pity upon you and come to rescue you. Get upon my back and hold to my horns and I will carry you to the mainland." The boy was no longer afraid, but climbed upon the animal's back. "Keep your eyes on the blue sky, and if you see a star tell me at once," the animal said to him. They had not gone far when the boy cried, "There in the west is a big star." The monster looked up and saw the star, then turned around at once and swam back to the island as fast as he could. The next day he came and took the boy again, telling him, as before, to call out the moment that he saw a star appear in the sky. They had gone a little farther than they had the day before when the boy cried out, "There in the west is a star." The animal turned around and went to the shore. The next day and the next four days he started with the boy, and each time he succeeded in getting a little farther before the boy saw the star. The sixth time they were within a few feet of the opposite shore when the boy saw the star. He wanted to reach the shore so badly that he thought he would keep still and not tell the monster that he saw the star, for he knew that he would take him back to the island at once if he did. He said nothing, and so the monster swam on until they were almost in shallow water, when the boy saw a great black cloud roll in front of the star. He became frightened and jumped off of the animal's back and swam to the shore. Just as he jumped something struck the animal with an awful crash and he rolled over dead. When the boy came upon the shore a handsome young man came up to him and said: "You have done me a great favor. For a long time I have tried to kill this monster, because he makes the water of the lake dangerous, but until now I could never get the chance. In return for what you have done, I will take you with me to the sky, if you care to go." The boy said that he wanted to go, as he was alone and friendless upon the earth. The man, who was Evening-Star, took him with him to the sky, and there he may be seen as Orphan-Star who stands near Evening-Star.


Told by Wing

One time a maiden slept in an arbor, and as she lay under the blue sky she watched the stars. One star especially she watched, and she wished that it would become a man and marry her, for she did not care for any of the young men of the village. She went to sleep wishing that the star would marry her. When she awoke she saw no stars, but an old man sitting by the fireside. "Where am I?" she asked. "Your wish is granted; you are the Star's wife. I am the Star." She began to cry, for the man was old and homely and she was young and beautiful, and so she had dreamed that her husband would be. The Star's sister was preparing something to eat, and she told the girl to stop crying and come and eat. After a while the two women went out to dig potatoes. They saw one big potato, and the girl asked the Star's sister what the big potato was for. She answered that it was the door of heaven, and that it covered the entrance to the world beneath. Then the girl cried again and begged the woman to let her go back to her people. She told her how unhappy she was and what a mistake she had made in wishing to marry the Star. The woman told the Star all that his wife had said, and so the Star agreed to let her return to her people in six days. The two women went out to gather bark from young elm trees to make a rope for the girl to climb down to earth on. After they had gathered the bark they began to make the rope and the Star helped them. After six days the rope was only half long enough, and so the old man said she would have to wait six more days until they could complete the rope. On the eleventh day the rope was finished, and the Star's sister cooked some corn meal for the girl to eat on the way and filled a squash vessel with water for her. The Star told her to start early the next morning, for it would take her ten winters and summers to get to the earth. They fastened her to the end of the rope and then removed the potato and let her through the hole and gradually let the rope slip out. At first she could see nothing but darkness; then after a long time she could see the earth. After she had traveled through many waves of warm and cold air, she knew she had been on her way many summers and winters. Her food was almost gone and still she was a long way from the earth. Suddenly the rope ceased to slip and she hung swinging back and forth. She had come to the end of the rope. It was not long enough. She hung there for a long time and was about to die from hunger and weariness when she saw Buzzard circling around below her. She called to Buzzard to come and help her. He came, and after she had told him her story he told her to get on his back; that he would take her down to earth. Buzzard flew for a long time and the girl was heavy, so that he nearly gave out. He saw Hawk flying below him, and he called Hawk and asked him to help him take the girl home. Hawk flew with the girl until they could see the mountains and the rivers; then he gave out. Buzzard took the girl on his back again, and thanking Hawk for his help, told him to go his way; that he could take the girl on to her home. Buzzard flew on and on until they could see the trees, and soon they were even with the tops of the highest trees. Then Buzzard told the girl to go into her lodge when she went home and not to let anyone but her father and mother see her. She was so thin that she was little more than skin and bones. Buzzard flew to the ground and lighted very gently just outside the girl's village. He pointed out her parents' lodge to her and then said good-bye and flew away. The girl rested for a while and then began to walk very slowly to the lodge, for she was weak and exhausted. On the way she saw a woman coming toward her. She hid behind a bush, but the woman saw her and screamed, for the girl was so thin that she frightened her. The girl told the woman not to be afraid and told her who she was. Then the woman recognized the lost maiden and helped her to her lodge. Her mother did not know her at first, but when she found that the girl was her daughter she threw her arms about her and wept. The news of the girl's return spread throughout the village, but her parents obeyed her wish and refused to let anyone see her until after the tenth day. Then they came to her tipi and she told them her story and especially about the kindness shown her by Buzzard. After that the people always left one buffalo for the buzzards after a big killing.


Told by Annie Wilson

Long ago there lived a large family — father, mother, and eight children, four girls and four boys. They were all beautiful children, especially one of the girls, who was exceptionally beautiful. The time came when three of the girls were married, but the youngest and most beautiful would not receive the attention of any one. The girl was peculiar in her tastes and roamed around alone. She wished to go away somewhere, for she was tired of her home. One time while she was walking alone she began praying to the spirits to help her, that she might go wherever she wished. That night she was outside the lodge watching the stars, and she found that the stars were not all alike; that some were bright and some were very dim. Finally she saw one, the North Star, that was very bright, and then again she began to pray to the spirits to help her, and she wished that she might marry the star and become his wife. She ceased praying and did not know where she was for a while, and the first thing she saw was a very old man sitting by the fireside with his head down. She stood for a long while watching him. At first she could not believe herself, and she thought that she was only dreaming, but finally the old man looked up at her and said: "You are the young woman who wished to marry me and you have your wish; you are now in my home as my wife, as you wished." She did not like the looks of the old man, and she wished that she might get away from him; but her wish was not granted and she had to stay. She tried many ways to get away, but all failed, and she was about to give up when she thought of a great big round stone that the Star had told her not to move, for it was very dangerous to move it. One time when the Star was away on a visit she thought she would go over and lift the stone and see what was there. She lifted the stone and found that she could look clear down to the earth, and then she began to wonder how she could get down to the earth. She put the stone back in its place, and when the Star came back he asked her where she had been, and she told him that she had been at home all the time. When night came she went to bed, and as she was wondering how to get down to the earth she thought about making a long rope out of soap weeds, for she had heard the old story about the people making such a rope long ago. When the Star went away for his nightly trip she would go out and cut soap weeds; but when he came back he would always find her at home, and so he never thought of her doing anything of the kind. Finally she had enough weeds cut, and then she began to make the rope. It took her a long while before she had the rope finished. One day she thought she had rope enough to reach down to the earth. She went and lifted the stone to one side and dropped the rope down just as fast as she could. She finally came to the end of the rope; then she fastened it to the rock and placed the rock over the hole again and went back home. When the man came she was at home, but the next time he went away she went to the hole and began to climb down. It took her a long while before she could see the land plainly, and before she came to the tops of the trees she came to the end of the rope, and she did not know what to do. She was getting very tired, but she hung there for some time, and after a while she heard a noise near her and she looked and saw a bird. The bird passed under her feet several times, and when he passed the fourth time he told her that he would take her down and carry her home if she would step on to his back. She stepped on the bird's back, and he asked her if she was ready, and she said that she was; then he told her to let go of the rope. She did so, and the bird began to fly downward very easily. The bird asked if she would let him take her on to her home, and she said that she would. The bird then took her to her home, and when they came near, the bird let her down and told her that he had to go back to his home; but before leaving her he told her that he was Black Eagle.


In the beginning Lightning lived upon the earth with the people, but he became so powerful and killed so many of the people that they feared and hated him. One time after he had become angry and killed a number of the people, the chiefs of the tribe called a council to determine what to do with him. They decided that he could no longer live with the people, but would have to go away. Lightning pleaded to stay, but the chiefs would not change their decision and told him that he would have to go. Not long after Lightning had gone a great monster that lived underground among the rocks began to carry away the people. They tried in every way to kill him, but could not, for he always disappeared under the ground where they could not reach him. Lightning appeared to them and told them that he would kill the monster if they would let him come back and live with them. He said that he wanted to come back to earth, and that he would kill all monsters and make the earth a safe place for the people to live on, and would not do any more harm himself if they would let him come back. The people decided to let Lightning come, because there was no one else powerful enough to kill the great monster.


Told by Wing

When the world was new there lived among the people a man and his wife and one child, a boy of about twelve years. The people called the man "Medicine-Man." Now and then he went out on the hunt, and never was known to come home without killing a deer, and almost every time he came home with a big buck. One time when he was out hunting he killed a deer and then started back for home, and when he reached home he found his little boy there alone and not as usual, for he looked weary and frightened. When his father asked him where his mother was he began to cry and said he did not know; that all he knew was that she took a water bucket and went down toward the creek. He said that he had run over there two or three times calling his mother, but no answer came. Then both the little boy and Medicine-Man went down to the place where the woman usually went to get water, but they could not find her. They found foot-prints at the edge of the water, and then the Medicine-Man knew that his wife and the mother of his only child was dead and gone; that something had taken her life; so they came back to their home and mourned for her six days. They built a fire and watched it and stayed by it for six days and nights. The seventh day Medicine-Man told his son that he was going hunting, for their meat was about out. He went out to hunt and the little boy stayed at home alone. While his father was gone the boy would play around the house, shooting with his bow and arrows. When Medicine-Man came home he found his little son there waiting for him. Medicine-Man went out to hunt the second and the third time and found the boy safe on his return. The fourth time he went out. While he was gone the little boy went out to play. While he was shooting with his bow and arrows he saw someone coming toward him. He was not a man, but a boy of his own size, and had with him a bow and arrows. Medicine-Man's boy was afraid of him, and was about to run and cry when the unknown boy spoke to him, saying: "Don't be afraid of me, brother; I know you don't know me. I am your elder brother." The unknown boy looked queer to him. He had a rather long nose and very long hair, but Medicine-Man's boy was not afraid of him since he had spoken. He continued: "I know you are lonely; that is why I thought of coming down here to see you. Every time our father goes out for a hunt I will come to see you, but you must not tell him that I came to see you while he is gone. Say nothing to him about me. Now, brother, let us see who the best shot with the bow and arrows is." They began to play. Finally he said to his brother, "Father is coming and I must go," and he ran back to the woods. Medicine-Man was far from home when the boy saw him coming, and when he came the boy was gone, and his son did not say anything about his having been there. Again Medicine-Man went to hunt, the second time and the third and the fourth time. When he came home in the evening after he had been out the fourth time the boy seemed troubled. They ate and then went to bed. About midnight the boy woke up and thought of his secret brother, and he thought at once that he must tell his father about his brother. He woke his father and said: "Father, I have something to tell you, although I was told not to say anything about it to you." Medicine-Man gave very close attention. "Father, somebody comes here every time you go out to hunt, and he is not very big; he is about my size. When he first came he frightened me and I started to run, but did not know where to go, and I began to cry and the boy told me not to be afraid of him, for he was my brother. He has a long nose and wears long hair and has a bow and arrows, and we always play around here every time you go out to hunt and he treats me kindly. He seems to see you, no matter where you are, and when you start home he knows when you are coming, and then runs for the woods, and when you get here he is gone." "Well, my boy," said Medicine-Man, "we must capture the boy some way. You must go out there and play just as if I had gone away again, and whenever he asks you where I am, tell him I am out hunting. I will turn into a very small insect and stay behind the door." The little boy ran out next morning with the bow and arrows and began to play at the usual place. Finally the other boy came, but before he came near he spoke and asked Medicine-Man's boy where their father was, and the boy said that he had gone out hunting again. The boy began to look around, and finally he said: "Who is that man behind the door?" at the same time running back to the woods. Again the next day the boy went out to play; this time Medicine-Man placed himself at the edge of the roof of the grass house. When the boy came he asked his brother where their father was. He answered that he had gone out hunting, but the boy would not come near. He began to look around, and finally he said: "Who is that man under the roof?" and he ran back into the woods again. Then Medicine-Man said: "We must catch him some way. When he sits down near to you, tell him that something is crawling in his hair, and then he will let you look in his hair. Then catch hold of a small bunch of his hair and tie it up four times; then call me and I will be there just as soon as I can. You must not let him go until I get there." The little boy understood. The other boy had already run away twice and this was the third attempt. This time Medicine-Man placed himself in the middle of the fire. The boy went out and began to play. Soon the other boy came. He asked the boy where their father was and he told him he went out to hunt. The unknown boy began to look around, and finally he said: "Who is that man in the fire?" and then he ran back to the woods. The next day the boy went out and began to play and the unknown boy came again, and asked the boy the same question. The boy answered that their father had gone out to hunt. This time Medicine-Man had placed himself behind another door, and the unknown boy found him again and went back to the woods.

And so the fifth time came, and this time Medicine-Man placed himself in the air, and when the unknown boy came he found him again and went back to the woods. Medicine-Man tried once more. If he failed the sixth time he could do nothing more, for he would have used all his powers. He told his boy to go out again to play as usual, and this time his own boy did not see which way he had gone. Finally the other boy came and asked where their father was, and he told him that he was out hunting. This time the unknown boy believed him, and so he came near and sat down by him and the little boy got hold of his hair and said: "There is something crawling up in your hair, brother," and then the boy told him to get the bug out of his hair; and the boy began to do as he had been told, and when he got through he called out, "All ready, father." Medicine-Man jumped out from the grass house, and then they captured the boy and took him into the grass house and held him there for six days. At the end of the sixth day the little boy boiled some water and they washed the other boy, and Medicine-Man cut his nose off and made it look like a human nose. Medicine-Man said: "You have been coming here when I am absent and have been playing with my son and you call him brother. Now you may be his brother and stay with him and go out and play with him." The boys went out to play, and before Medicine-Man went to hunt again he went over to see the boys and told them he was going to hunt, and told them to stay at home and not to go to a certain place in the timber, where some very large squirrels lived, for they often killed little children. After their father was gone the unknown boy told his young brother they would go there and see the squirrels, and so they started. They could not find the place for a while, but finally they did, and they stood there for a good while watching the big hole in the tree. After a while one of the big squirrels came out, and sticking his tongue out like a snake, took the younger brother into the tree. The other boy stood there watching the squirrel take his brother into the hole. He did not try to help his brother, for he knew he could get him out of the hole whenever he wanted to. After the boy had disappeared he went back to their home, and when he got there he found their father already returned from the hunt. The father asked him where his son was, and the boy told him that his brother and he were making lots of arrows, and that he came home after fire to dry the arrows with it. He took the fire and carried it to the timber, where he placed it near the tree where the large squirrel was. Then he brought some hard, red stones and put them in the fire, and when the stones were very hot he took one of them and threw it into the hole, and then another one. While he was standing there watching the hole he saw the large squirrel come out from the hole and drop down on the ground dead. Then he went over and cut the squirrel's stomach open and found his brother in there, still alive. He took him down to the river and washed him and then they both went home. Sometimes these two boys would go out to make arrows. One time when they went out the unknown boy made two arrows for his young brother; one he painted black and the other he painted blue. They made a small wheel out of bark of the elm tree. One of the boys would stand about fifty yards away from the other, and they would roll this little wheel to each other and would shoot the wheel with the arrows. They played with the wheel every day until finally Medicine-Man's boy failed to hit the wheel, and the wheel kept rolling and did not stop until it went a long way from them, and they never found it again. The boy felt very bad, and he wanted to get the wheel back, and so the unknown boy said: "Don't worry, brother, for we can get the wheel back again." And so they started out, and they did not let their father know where they were going, nor how long they would be away from home. They went a long way and they could see the trace of the wheel all the way. Finally the unknown boy said: "Well, brother, we are about half way now, and we must stop for a rest." They began praying to the spirits to help them. The unknown boy had two pecan nuts, and he told his brother to watch, that he was going to put one of the nuts in the ground. Then they began to pray again, and while they were praying the pecan nut began to sprout, and it grew taller and larger. Finally the tree grew so tall that it went clear up into the sky, and then the unknown boy told his brother that he was going up on this tree, and that he must sit near to the tree, but must never look up to the sky, but down on the earth, and that he was going to be gone for a good while, until he dropped all the bones that he had in his body; that at the last he would drop his head, and then the boy must gather all the bones up, put them on a pile, cover them with buffalo calf's hide, take the black arrow and shoot it up just as hard as he could, and when he heard the arrow coming down to tell him to get out of the way, that the arrow was coming right on him, and that the pile of bones would get out of the way. Then he started climbing up the tree and the little boy sat on the ground looking down. After quite a while he saw one of the bones drop, and then another and another, and so on until all the bones had dropped, and then he gathered them up and piled them together and covered them with the buffalo calf's hide. Then he shot the black arrow just as he was told, and when he heard the arrow coming down he cried out: "Look out, brother, the arrow is coming down right on you. Get out of the way." His brother jumped out from the buffalo calf's hide, and the arrow struck right where the hide was. He said, "My father gave me very dangerous power, and so, brother, you must climb up the tree and he will give you power, too." The little boy climbed the tree, and he went clear up as far as the other boy had gone. He did not know where he was, and it seemed like a dream to him, and when the bones began to fall from his body he did not know it. All he remembered was that there was someone talking to him, but he did not see who it was, and the next thing he heard was, "Look out, brother, the arrow is coming right down on you. Get out of the way." He jumped out of the way and saw his brother standing there. His brother asked him what kind of a power he had received, and he told him that it was a great power. The boy told his brother to show him what kind of a power he had, and then the little boy began making a loud noise that sounded like thunder when it rains, and then the unknown boy let his tongue out and it looked like a flash of lightning.

They went on until they came to a large lake, and when they looked near to the edge of the water they saw the trace where the wheel had passed into the water, but they could not find any place to cross. They sat down on the bank of the lake and began to pray again, and the boy planted another pecan nut, and soon a large tree sprang up; but this time the tree did not grow upward, but bent over across the lake to the opposite bank, and so made a bridge for them to cross upon. They went across the lake, and when they got across they saw the trace of the wheel, and a little way from the landing place they saw a narrow road leading toward the east, and a little way from the end of the road they saw that the trace of the wheel was gone. A little way from there they saw an old man going toward the lake, and then the boy who had the power of lightning said: "We must kill this man, because we know he is a bad man; he is a cannibal." When they met this old man Lightning boy said to Thunder boy: "This is the old man who took our wheel, and he has it with him now, and it is in his right side." They killed the old man and found the wheel and took it, and then they went on and they saw, a long distance from them, a smoke, and they went there and found many people. The people did not know who they were at first; they thought they were the old man, for this old man whom they had killed was their head man; and so these two brothers killed all the rest of the people. They began to look all around and finally they came to a pile of human bones. They found the bones of the wife of Medicine-Man. Only one little finger was missing. They piled the bones together and covered them with the buffalo calf's hide, and Lightning boy shot the black arrow up, and when they heard the arrow coming down they said: "Look out, mother, the black arrow is coming right on you. Get out of the way "and the woman jumped out of the way. The boys greeted their mother, and then they all started back for their home, and when they came near to their home Lightning boy said that he was going on ahead. The other boy and his mother came on behind. Lightning boy got there first and found their father a very old man, and still weeping for his children. The yard around the grass house was overgrown with tall trees and weeds and grass, for the old man was not able to work anymore. Lightning boy told him that his son and his lost wife were coming. The old man was glad, and went out to meet them. They all lived happily for a number of years; then the father and mother died. The boys were lonely then, and so they decided to leave this world. They went up in the sky, and now when the clouds gather together for a storm Lightning and Thunder, which are these two boys who once lived on the earth and killed the monsters that lived here, are seen in their midst.


An orphan boy who lived alone with his grandmother was a famous hunter and often went out on a long hunt with his friends. One time, while they were a long way from home, the boy was wounded by a stick that pierced his leg and broke off inside of it. His leg festered and swelled up so that he could not walk and his friends had to carry him home. His leg continued to swell until it was as large as his body; then the skin broke, but instead of the stick coming out, a child came. The boy was angry and would not look at the child or have anything to do with it. His grandmother took pity upon the baby and cared for it. One day while she was away the boy took the child and carried it to the lake, where he left it to starve or be eaten by the wild animals. He was afraid to return to his grandmother's home for fear she would know that he had thrown his child away, and so he went far off and lived alone. The child lay on the shore of the lake for a long time, and as he lay there he grew to be a good-sized boy. Finally many birds flew over the lake, and when they were about half way across the lake, the water appeared to leap up to the sky and draw the birds down. Every day the boy saw the water leap up to the sky whenever any birds flew past, and one time he saw a big water monster in the water. He saw the monster draw so many birds into the water that he was afraid it would kill all the birds in the land, and he wished that he could kill it. While he was thinking about a way to kill the monster, he felt some one hit him on the back. He turned around and there behind him stood a boy about his own age. He was Medicine-Screech-Owl, but the boy did not know who he was or anything about him. Medicine-Screech-Owl asked the boy what he was thinking about, and the boy told him that he was thinking how he could kill the water monster that ate up all of the birds. Medicine-Screech-Owl told the boy that he would help him kill the monster. He showed him where the old woman, his grandmother lived, and then he told him to go to her house and get six arrows and a bow and six grains of corn from six kinds of corn and then return to the lake. When the boy went to the old woman's house she was surprised and happy to see him, for she had been very lonely since the orphan boy and his son had disappeared, and had given up all hope of ever seeing them again. The boy told her what he wanted, and she gave him all he asked for. Then he returned to the lake, where he found Medicine-Screech-Owl waiting for him. Medicine-Screech-Owl took three grains of each of the six kinds of corn and threw them into the air. They became birds and flew out across the water, and the water monster leaped up to draw them down. As he leaped up Medicine-Screech-Owl cried to the boy to shoot it. He shot the first arrow, but it did not go near the monster. The second went nearer, and so did the third, fourth, and fifth, and the sixth pierced it through. The great monster rolled over on its side and floated on the water, and then they could see how large it was. Medicine-Screech-Owl said that it was the largest water monster in the world. He told the boy to take his bow and pull the animal to dry land, but the boy knew that he could not move the monster with his little bow, and so did not try. To his surprise Medicine-Screech-Owl took his bow that was even smaller, and pulled the great monster to the bank. When he had done this he disappeared, and then the boy went back to his grandmother's house and told her about the boy he had met at the lake and how they had killed the big water monster. The old woman knew that the boy's companion was Medicine-Screech-Owl, and she also knew that he had given the boy wonderful power, though she said nothing. The next day the boy went to the lake again. He found the water very low, since the monster had been pulled out of the lake, and it was so clear that he could see many fish swimming about. He dived down to catch some of the fish, and a big sword-fish swam up to him and went right through him. The boy, though severely wounded, did not die, but shot the fish with his bow and arrow. The next day he again went to the lake to fish, but found that all the water had gone. In the mud he saw two large shells. He carried them home and cut them so that he could put them over the holes that the sword-fish had made when it cut its way through him. He wore one in front and one behind, so that no one could see the wounds that the fish had made. The shells had the power to hear any sound in the whole world, and whenever he wanted to hear anything he removed the shells from the holes and put them to his ears. With the power of hearing every sound in the world and the power given to him by Medicine-Screech-Owl, he became a great medicine-man and the people began to fear him and planned to kill him. When he heard that they were going to kill him he told his grandmother that they would leave the people, but that he would do them harm some time because they had planned to kill him, and so made it necessary for him and his grandmother to leave. They went to a high mountain near the village, and made their grass house on the very top of it. He found two fierce dogs and placed them at his door to guard the house. The boy knew who the people were who had planned to kill him, because he had heard them talking by means of his wonderful shells. Soon they died, one after another, until the people of the village began to suspect that the boy was bewitching them and causing them to die. Many of the warrior tried to steal up to his home on the mountain and kill him, but with the magic shells he could always hear them coming, and would set the dogs on them, so that they could never approach. He kept on bewitching so many people that finally Medicine-Screech-Owl decided that he would have to interfere. He started up the trail to the boy's house, but first he blew his breath so hard that it took the magic power of sound from the shells, so that the boy could not hear him coming. When he was almost at the top of the mountain he blew his breath again and the dogs rolled over asleep, and when he passed them they were so sound asleep that they did not wake up and bark or give any warning of approach. He passed the dogs; then he blew his breath again and the old woman fell over asleep. Again he blew his breath, and the boy fell down asleep. Medicine-Screech-Owl then entered the house and took the shells off of the boy. He walked around; looking at everything, then went away. When he was almost down the mountain he blew his breath and the boy woke up. He missed his shells at once and began to look everywhere for them. He called his grandmother to come and help him look, but she did not wake up. Finally he shook her so hard that he shook all of Medicine-Screech-Owl's breath out of her, and then she woke up and helped him look for his shells. He went outside and found the dogs asleep; then he knew that someone had been to his house and stolen his shells. He called the dogs, but could not wake them, and so he took a club and knocked the breath out of them. They woke up and at once scented Medicine. Screech-Owl's tracks and started after him. The boy followed, and they soon came to a big circle of fire. In the midst of the burning circle stood Medicine-Screech-Owl, and he was wearing the shells. The boy had no power that would take him through fire, and so he had to return without his shells. Medicine-Screech-Owl kept the shell for some time, and then he took then back to the boy, but before he gave them to him he made him promise that he would not bewitch the people any more.


Told by White House (Caddo Jack)

Medicine-Screech-Owl was born at Long-Timber-on-the-Top-of-the-Hill. His father and mother were very old and lived near the center of the village. When his first birthday came he was given bow and arrows. His father and mother were asking each other what name they should give to their child, but before they could name him he spoke and said, "My name shall be Medicine-Screech-Owl." His mother scolded him, because at this time there was also a man by the name of Medicine-Screech-Owl, and he was an ex-chief; but he said that he would have no other name, and so his parents named him Medicine-Screech-Owl. One night someone passed near the village and heard the child's mother calling him by the name of the ex-chief. When the man came to the ex-chief's place he told him that the child's name was the same as his. When the ex-chief heard this he was angry, and told the people that he was going to kill the boy if he did not do as he should tell him to do. He sent for him, and when the boy came to his lodge he gave him watermelon seed and said: "Go back and plant this watermelon seed this evening. In the morning go and bring to me a great big watermelon to eat." "All right," said young Medicine-Screech-Owl. He took the seed, went back to his village, and told his father and mother what the ex-chief had told him to do. That evening the boy went out a short distance from his lodge, threw the seeds upon the ground, and there sprang up a large watermelon plant. He then went back to the lodge and told his father and mother what had happened. Early in the morning he went out to his watermelon vine, and he found many large watermelons on it. He took one of the melons to the ex-chief, who was surprised, and he thought that surely the boy was going to be a wonderful man. He was so jealous of him that he determined to destroy him, for he thought that if he did not young Medicine-Screech-Owl would get ahead of him in every way, and that the people would no longer pay him any attention. The boy went back to his village and told his father and mother all about what had happened. The ex-chief sent for the boy the second time and the boy again went to his lodge. The ex-chief had brought the boy a large bull to milk. He told him to take the bull to his lodge and to bring the milk over the next morning. The boy took the bull over to his village, but instead of milking it when morning came he took an axe and went out near the ex-chief's lodge to chop some wood, and when the ex-chief saw him chopping wood he went to him and asked him if he had already milked the bull. The boy told the ex-chief that he had not milked the bull, but that he was in a hurry to cut some wood to take home. The ex-chief asked him why he was taking the wood home. "Well," said the boy, "my father is going to have a child." The ex-chief laughed at the boy and asked him if he ever had seen a man have a child. The boy said, "No; I never have." Then he asked the ex-chief if he ever had seen a man milk a bull or a bull give milk. The ex-chief was very angry. The boy returned to his lodge and told his father and mother what happened. The third time the ex-chief sent to have the boy come over to his lodge, informing him that he and some of his friends were going to have a fine time and a big dinner. In the meantime the ex-chief and the others were digging a big hole in the ground, in which they were going to throw the boy. They dug the hole about fifty feet deep and about four feet in diameter and covered it with a buffalo robe. When the boy came the ex-chief told him that he had already fixed a place for him to sit. Young Medicine-Screech-Owl never left his bow and arrows, but always had them with him everywhere he went. When he entered the ex-chief's lodge they told him to be seated. He laid down his arrows and bow and went and sat down on the hide, and down he went into the hole. The ex-chief was very glad, for he thought surely he had killed the boy. He commenced filling the hole with heavy stones and dirt until he supposed that the boy was dead. One evening the same person, who had passed the lodge and heard the boy's mother calling him by the ex-chief's name, passed again, and again heard her calling the same name, and he heard young Medicine-Screech Owl answering her. The man went to the ex-chief's lodge and told him that the boy was still living, because while he was passing by his lodge he had heard his mother calling him and had heard him answering. When the ex-chief heard this he became very angry, and said that he was going to try once more, and if he failed to kill the boy this time he would leave him alone. He sent for the boy the fourth time. He came, and found that they had built up a big fire. The ex-chief told the boy to go right into the middle of the fire and sit down, for he wanted to see if he had any powers at all; that if he had any powers he would not burn up. The boy went into the midst of the fire and sat down for a long time, until the fire burned out; then he arose unharmed. When he had come out of the fire he made another big fire and told the ex-chief that it was his turn to go into the fire, to show whether or not he had any power. The ex-chief went in and the fire burned him to death. From that time on the boy would go from place to place. Finally he grew to be almost a man in size. Many times he would run away from his father and mother, and when he returned his mother would scold him. Still he continued to go off wherever he pleased. The reason why his mother scolded him so much when he went anywhere was because she knew that there were many people who were envious of his power and would try to kill him; but the boy did not care for that. There was one place where three of his enemies were living, who were always talking about killing him. Medicine-Screech-Owl heard these men talking about him, and so one day he determined to visit them. He quietly stole away from his father and mother, for he dared not say anything to them about going, for fear they would not let him go. When he came to the place he found the three men at home, and when they saw him coming they all came out from their lodge and were very glad to see him, for they had been wishing for a long time that he would come. They asked him where he was going. He replied that he had come over for a visit to his friends. They asked him to go into the lodge. Young Medicine-Screech-Owl knew that he was to go in first and that all the others would come in and attempt to kill him. The door they had to enter was very small, although big enough for one man at a time to enter. When Medicine-Screech-Owl had entered he stood by the door and waited for the others to come in. His only chance was to kill them. He stood by the door waiting and ready to strike the first to enter. As the first man entered, he struck him on the head and killed him, then pulled him in just as quickly as he could, to make it appear that the man had entered without anything happening. Thus he killed the second and the third man. Then he returned home and told his mother and father all that had happened. Another time there was a man called Snow-and-Cold, living with his family far away in the north. When anybody went over there on a visit and happened to stay overnight, he would be frozen before morning. Medicine-Screech-Owl heard all about this man and made up his mind to go and visit him and his family. One day he started out. It took him a long time to reach the place, for he had to go across a large lake. When he came to the water he stood on the edge of the bank. He wore on his head an eagle feather, and he took the eagle feather off from his head and placed it on the water and placed himself on the eagle feather. The feather began to sail across the water. On the other side of the water were many geese, and when any one came across the water the geese would make so much noise that the people at the home of Snow-and-Cold would know at once that somebody was coming. When young Medicine-Screech-Owl went across to visit old man Snow-and-Cold the geese did not see him when he landed on the other side. He stepped off from his eagle feather and placed it on his head again and walked straight to the place where Snow-and-Cold lived. All this time nobody had seen him. Medicine-Screech-Owl went into the lodge where Snow-and-Cold was and found him lying down, asleep. Medicine-Screech-Owl spoke to him and asked him how he was getting along. When Snow-and-Cold awoke he looked around, but could see no one. Again Medicine-Screech-Owl spoke to him, and this time Snow-and-Cold arose from his bed and began to look around. He could find no one in the room. When he started to lie down again Medicine-Screech-Owl spoke to him and showed himself. Snow-and-Cold was surprised to see Medicine-Screech-Owl there and asked him what he wanted. Medicine-Screech-Owl replied that he had come over on a visit, because he had heard so much of the place. When evening came Snow-and-Cold told the boy to sleep right there, in a bed which had nothing but snow on it. After they had gone to bed Snow-and-Cold did not go to sleep, but kept watching the boy, for he thought he would surely freeze to death in a little while; but every time Snow-and-Cold looked over to see him he would see a light right next to his head. He wondered what it could be. Medicine-Screech-Owl had his feather sticking straight up on his pillow during the night. Snow-and-Cold arose, reached for the cane which he had placed at the foot of his bed next to a place that seemed like a fireplace. Medicine-Screech-Owl watched him all this time, but he did not know that he was being watched. Snow-and-Cold took the cane and punched the snow where it seemed like a fireplace, and the fire sprang out from the snow. When he had warmed himself he covered the fire and went back to his bed. Soon he saw Medicine-Screech-Owl get out of his bed, go for the cane, and punch the place, and out came the fire. When Medicine-Screech-Owl was through warming himself he walked back to his bed. Snow-and-Cold did not know what to think of Medicine-Screech-Owl. The next morning Snow-and-Cold called to Medicine-Screech-Owl to get up from his bed. He thought he had been frozen to death, but the boy jumped up and said that he had had a fine sleep. After he was through talking to Snow-and-Cold he said he would have to go back home; that his mother would not like it if he should stay out another day. He started back, and when he reached home he told his mother all about it.


Told by Wing

In a village there lived an old man, his wife, and one child, a beautiful girl. The girl had never been known to have a male acquaintance, and was always modest and well-beloved. Nevertheless, in some way she became pregnant. Her father and mother noticed this and called her attention to the fact, and asked her how it had happened and who was the father of the child. In those days it was the custom to find out all about such matters. The girl herself did not know how she had come to be in that condition and could not answer their questions. Her people were angry at her and much ashamed, but could not get her to answer any of their questions. She went as usual with the girls of the village to dig potatoes, but she could never find any and always returned without any. One time, after her mother had scolded her for never bringing home any potatoes, she was wandering slowly about trying to find some when she heard a voice cry, "Mother." She looked about, but could see no one. Again she heard the cry, and then she knew that it was the child in her womb that was crying. The voice told her to go to a certain place and dig. She obeyed and found many large potatoes. When the other girls saw them they wondered, for they knew that she was never successful in finding them. The child was born and, at his own request, was called Medicine-Screech-Owl. The mother and child lived apart from the others and were very poor and often hungry, for they had no one to hunt food for them, and all they had to eat was what people gave to them. The child grew rapidly and was soon large enough to play with the other little boys. There was a lake near the village where the men fished, and the children were accustomed to go to the lake and watch them. One time Medicine-Screech-Owl asked his mother if he could not fish too. She only laughed at him and told him that he was too little; but he begged so hard that she finally said he might go and try. He went, taking his little bow and arrows, and soon returned with a big fish. His mother was greatly surprised and gave her consent for him to go the next day. Again he came home with a big fish, and again and again, until his fame as a fisherman spread throughout the village. There were many who did not like the boy because they did not know who his father was, and when they heard about his success they began to fear him and decided to kill him. There was among the people a powerful Medicine-Man, and they asked him to use his powers against the boy and kill him.

One day, while the boy was at the lake fishing, he saw the reflection of a big, black cloud in the water. He knew that the Medicine-Man was sending Thunder to try to kill him, but he did not fear. He walked into the water until it was up to his knees. Then came a peal of thunder and a shaft of lightning. He raised his bow over his head and the lightning rolled from it into the water. Again and again the lightning shafts struck at him, but every time he caught them on his bow and hurled them into the water. At last the Medicine-Man realized that the boy had more power over Thunder than he had, and so he gave up. That evening the boy returned home with a big fish and told his mother what had happened. Nothing more happened for a long time, but one day while the boy was lying in his lodge resting it occurred to him that something was going to happen to him. He arose from his bed, took his bow and arrows, went back to his bed, lay down and began to sing. Soon he heard a great noise, and he knew that the Medicine-Man was sending Cannibal monster to destroy him. He heard the monster's roar that sounded like thunder but he lay still and sang as though he had nothing to fear. As the monster came nearer he could feel its hot breath, but he did not move until it leaped upon his lodge and fell through with an awful crash. Then he arose and killed it. After that Medicine-Screech-Owl started out to travel, and he went from place to place, killing monsters and ferocious animals and healing the sick. Where he was, death could not come, and so powerful was his touch that people were healed if he placed his hand on the diseased place. Finally, after he had been with the people for a long time, he called them together and told them that he was going to leave them. He disappeared and has not been seen since.


Told by Wing

A boy lived alone with his old grandfather. His mother and father died when he was only a baby, and there was no one to care for him but his grandfather. They lived together, and the old man cared for the child as best he could until he had become old enough to play around. The grandfather was looking forward to the time when he could make bows and arrows for the boy and teach him to hunt, but before that time came the old man died and the boy was left alone. He went from lodge to lodge and begged, and whatever the people gave him he ate and was grateful. At night he returned to his lonely lodge and cried, for he was poor and alone and afraid. The boys of the village came to his lodge to see him, and they teased him and laughed at him because he was sad and did not know how to play as they did. He was brave and did not lose courage. When he was larger he made himself a bow and some arrows and went out to hunt. He brought back small game at first and was happy, because he no longer had to beg. One time when he was out alone far in the timber he heard a voice singing and calling to him to wait. He waited and a strange boy came running through the bushes. The stranger was homely, but so full of fun and energy that the poor orphan boy determined to make him his friend. They played together, and finally they tried to see which was the stronger. The stranger looked much stronger than the orphan, but, to his surprise, he found that he could easily throw him. The orphan boy could not understand how he could throw the strong looking boy so easily, for all the boys in the village made fun of him because they could so easily throw him. The strange boy arose and smiled and said: "I have given you my power. I am a wonderfully strong man. I have given that power to you. Now you can go back to your village and throw any one you please. I have been watching you and seeing how the boys teased you. I have decided to give you power. Now you are one of the strongest men in the world and can throw any one." The stranger disappeared. The boy lay down to rest, for it had grown dark and he could not find his way home. The sun arose and the boy waked and started on to hunt. He killed three deer and started home with them. His load was heavy and he could not go fast. When he was far from home darkness came again. He lay down on some soft grass to rest until daylight. Soon he heard a voice, and looking up he saw the same stranger who had appeared to him the night before. The stranger asked the boy if he would not go to the meeting place where he and all his friends met to wrestle. The boy said that he would go. The stranger helped him carry his meat, and soon they were at the place. There were many boys and men there. One stepped forward and asked the orphan boy to wrestle with him. The boy easily threw him. A second, third, fourth, and fifth came forward, and he threw one after another. Then the strong men began to fear the boy, and they all went away and left him alone with only the one who had given him the power. While they sat down to rest, the strong man told the boy more things about the wonderful power he had given him and how to use it. When the sun arose the strong man disappeared and the boy took up his meat and returned home. He had been home but a few days when it was noised about the village that the boys were going to have some wrestling matches. He went to watch the wrestling, but stood far out from the ring among the spectators. Soon a young man from the ring called him to come in, if he were not a coward. He only shook his head. Again the young man called, not thinking that he would come, but only to tease him. The boy at once threw off his blanket and ran into the ring. In a short time he threw the man and killed him. Then he asked for another to come and fight with him. None came. All were afraid of his great strength. The report of his deeds soon spread among the people, and it was not long before he had the respect and fear of all.


Told by Wing

When the world was new and not well known it was a dangerous place to live in. One time when there were many people camping near a small creek one of the men went down to the creek to get water. After he had finished drinking he looked into the water and saw a large animal that looked like a snake. It was slowly moving up the creek and he saw that it was very long. He ran up the creek to see how long it was, and he ran about two miles before he came to its head. Then he started for the camp, and when he arrived he went to his grandfather, who was always at home, because he was a very old man and could not hunt with the others. He told him what he had seen, and when he finished telling him the grandfather said: "You have seen some wonderful thing, my son that has been sent as a sign to our people." He did not know what the sign was and so he called for the errand man, and when he came the old man told him to call all the people together at his lodge, for he had something to tell them. When the people came in he told them about what his grandson had seen. Some of the men would not believe him, but most of them went down to the creek and there saw the water monster and knew that the man had told the truth. They all wondered why it had come and whether it was a good or evil omen. The old men tried to recall the past, to find out if the people had ever had a similar sign sent to them, but could not remember any. There was one man in the camp who was old and blind, and he knew many wonderful things; and so the people went for him, and when he came the chief asked him if he knew what the appearance of the water monster meant. The old man sat there for a while without a word, and everyone was very quiet. "Well," he said, finally, "the sign is a very bad one, for it signifies that the waters shall rise in a short time." It was not long until the waters rose and formed a large lake. The lake was very dangerous. When one crossed it he had to cross without saying a word to anyone. One time there were four men who went out hunting on the other side of the lake, and after they had killed much game they started back again. They crossed the lake without making any noise and were within a short distance of the opposite shore when one man, who was very brave, thought he would see what the water would do to them if he spoke. He began to talk very loud, and in a little while the water rose up in a cloud over their heads and they were all drowned but the one man who had told that the water was very dangerous and warned the man not to talk. He went home empty-handed, for his bow and arrows had been washed away. He called some other men together and told them what had happened and asked them to go with him to search for the bodies of the men. Two of the bodies were found, but the body of the man who made the noise could not be found.


Told by White-Bread

The following data is extracted from Traditions of the Caddo. In the olden time the world was full of all kinds of wild animals who ate people and tame animals. In those times Coyote called all the people together to a council to see what could be done with the wild animals, because they were getting so bad that the people could not go away from their homes to hunt food or to visit each other. At the council they decided to set fire to all the grass, which was as high as trees, and so burn the wild animals and everything on the earth. They chose White-Headed-Hawk and Crow, because they were the swiftest of all the people, to fly to some bright Star and tell the Star that they were coming to his home to live. The Star told them that there was room for the people in the heavens if they could get up there. The messengers returned and reported to the people. They decided to make a long rope out of soap weed and go to heaven on that. They began to gather the soap weed and twist it into a strong rope. The rope was finished; then White-Headed-Hawk and Crow took it and again flew to the heavens. They gave the end of the rope to the Star, who put one end of it under a big stone and let it hang down. It was so long that it reached the earth, and the people saw it hanging ready for them to crawl up when the time came. They appointed two men, Gray and Black Snakes, to carry the fire over the world. One was to carry the fire to the east, then to the south; the other was to carry it to the west, then to the north. Soon the people noticed a cloud of smoke, and then the sun began to fade and look dim, and a great noise of all the wild animals arose. The people saw the fire coming nearer, and so they began to climb the rope. After all the people were on the rope and had climbed up a little way the wild animals came and began to climb up. The people saw the animals coming up, and so they appointed Bat to cut the rope just above the wild animals, and they gave him sharp teeth to cut the rope with. Bat began to fly around as though looking for a place on the rope to stay. Finally he asked the first wild animal to let him in by him, and he did. After a while the animal noticed that Bat was eating something, and he asked him what it was, and Bat said that he was eating a parched grain of corn that his grandmother had given him. He kept on chewing the rope when the animal was not looking, and finally the rope broke and let all of the wild animals down and many were killed. Bat went down to make sure that all were killed or burned. He saw an immense animal on the ground and all the other animals crawling into it to escape the fire. Bat went into the animal's nose and pulled out some hairs. This made the animal sneeze and blow all of the other animals out and they burned to death. Bat flew up to tell the people that all the wild bad animals were killed, and so they all came down the rope again.


Told by Wing

In the beginning of the world there were animals that lived with human beings and were kind and friendly, but there were other animals that were very strong and dangerous. At that time, when the earth was new, the grass was taller than the highest trees are now, and many wild animals prowled through the high grass, and that was the reason why the world was so very dangerous. One time the people met in council to make plans to kill all the dangerous animals in the world, and Morning Star, who was one of the head men in the council, arose and said: "There is only one way to kill these animals and that is to burn the grass all over the world. I know how large the world is and what a big task we have, but we must do it." As everyone was willing to try Morning Star's plan, he told a man who was present at the council that most of the work would fall to him, but that he would appoint two men to help him carry out the work. The man's name was Fire, and the first man appointed to help Fire was the fastest runner in the world, and his name was Black Snake; the second man was the slowest in the world, and his name was Skunk. Fire took hold of Black Snake's tail and put fire on the end of it, and then took hold of Skunk's hind foot and placed fire between his toes. They both started out at the same time, the one going to the north, the other around to the south, so as to meet somewhere in the west, since they started in the east. While these two were on their way the people decided to make a long rope out of soap weeds that would reach up to the sky. Everybody helped make the rope, and as they worked Pigeon would go up into the blue sky to see how near the fire had approached. After a time the people could see that the sky was getting very dark on account of the smoke from the fire, and so they worked hard and fast to get their rope long enough. Finally they had the rope finished, and they appointed Crow to take it up to the sky. Crow took the rope and flew and flew until he was out of sight, and it was a long time before he returned, but when he came he assured the people that he had the rope firmly fastened to the sky. The fire was approaching rapidly, and so the people began climbing up the rope. After the people had climbed up, all kinds of animals came and began to get hold of the rope, and all the bad animals came, and then the rope began to move upward. After the people were high up they sent a man down the rope as far as the first bad animal. This man's name was Bat, and because he had very sharp teeth he was sent to cut the rope. The animal saw him chewing something and asked him what he was eating. Bat said that his grandmother had parched some corn for him and that he was eating it. He kept on cutting the rope, and finally it broke and let the bad animals fall down. When the animals dropped down to the ground Bat followed them down to see what would become of them. He saw a large animal and heard it call all the other animals to enter his body through his nose, ears, and mouth. These animals went in, and so large was the big animal that it had room inside of it for all the bad animals. After all the others were in, Bat slipped in and began to pull out some hair from the animal's nose. That made the animal sneeze, and he sneezed so hard that he threw all the other animals out through his nose. The animals were scattered every place and burned, for the fire was upon them. Bat flew up where the people were, but he was scorched a little before he could get there, and that is the reason bats are yellowish in color. After the bad animals had all been burned the people returned to the world again, and ever since the world has been a good place to live upon.


Told by White-Bread

When the world was new there were many wild and fierce animals, and the buffalo were among the fiercest, for they ate human beings. In those days the buffalo were many-colored and roamed the plains in great herds, and were so numerous that men could not go out on the plains alone for fear of being caught by them. There was one great man who received power from the Father, and he had the power to go right into the midst of these terrible animals and kill them without being hurt. That man was Buzzard, and he was the only man who possessed such power. All the other people had to live in villages together that they might protect each other and hunt together. One time some men went out in the timber alone to hunt turkey and deer. They wandered far, and when they started home they found that they had to cross a long stretch of lonely prairie. While they were hurrying across the vast stretch of country they saw a black cloud arise in the west and come nearer and nearer, until at last they knew that a great herd of buffalo was sweeping down upon them. They threw the game from their backs, threw away their bows and arrows, and ran as fast as the wind. The buffalo, dangerous as they were, were not good runners, and so the men reached the timber before them and ran into the dense thicket. After these men succeeded in escaping, the people took courage and ventured farther away from home. One time four men went out to hunt bear. They went into the timber that lay between two mountains and there they found the fresh tracks of a bear. They trailed it all through the timber and over the mountain, and found it at the edge of the timber at the foot of the mountain. The bear ran out to the open plain and the men pursued and killed it. While they were cutting it up to carry home they heard a great noise, like thunder, coming across the plains. They looked and saw that the buffalo were upon them. They tried to escape, but it was too late. The buffalo caught all but one man, who succeeded in gaining the timber and climbing a tall tree. All day the buffalo surrounded the tree and tried to butt it down, but could not. Night came on, then they returned to the plains and the man climbed down and ran to his home. He told all the people how the buffalo had surprised them and had killed his three companions. The people hastened to the place, but found nothing but a few bones scattered about. From that time on the buffalo ate many people, until Coyote came. Then the people left this dangerous country and went into another. They went through the gate to the new country, and Coyote went with them. He was the last to go through the gate, and as he went he shut the gate, so no dangerous animals could enter, and he let through only a few buffalo who had never tasted human flesh and so were not dangerous.


A girl who had power to call the buffalo lived with her six brothers. The brothers were stars, and every night they left the girl to travel through the sky. Every morning after they had returned from their nightly journey they put the girl in a swing of lariat rope that hung down from the sky and swung her through the air. As she swung through the air the buffalo saw her and came. The boys killed all that they wanted, and then the rest of the herd went away. In this way the girl called the buffalo for her brothers, and so they always had plenty to eat. One time Coyote came to visit them, and, finding that they always had meat, he decided to come and live with them. The brothers did not think much of Coyote, but they decided to let him stay. Every morning he watched the boys put their sister in the swing and swing her until the buffalo came. Before the brothers would let Coyote watch them swing her they made him promise that he would never try to do the same while they were gone, because if anyone else tried to swing the girl he would swing her too hard and she would swing to the sky and never return. Coyote promised, but one day while all of the brothers were gone he called the girl to come and get into the swing. She refused, but he threatened her and made her obey him. She climbed into the swing and Coyote pushed her. The buffalo did not come, and so he pushed her again and caused her to go higher and higher through the air until she disappeared. Coyote became frightened and called to her to come down, saying that if she did not come he would jump up and pull her down. The girl did not come, and he could not see her. When the brothers came home they missed their sister and asked Coyote where she was. He said that he did not know, but that he thought some monster had carried her away. The brothers knew that Coyote had lied, and that he had been the cause of her disappearance. They drove Coyote away, telling him that he and his children would always be hungry because he had disobeyed them. Then they held a council among themselves and decided to go to the sky and live there with their sister.


Told by Wing

There lived an old woman who was mother to all the pecan trees. She owned all of the trees and gathered all the nuts herself. When people went to her lodge she would give them a few pecans to eat, but would never allow them to take any away. The people were very fond of pecans and they wanted some for their own use, but the old woman would not let them have any. One time the people were very hungry and the old woman had everything in her lodge filled with pecans, but she would give them only a few when they went to see her and she made them eat them before going away. This made the people angry and they decided that something must be done.

There was in the village an old man who had four little sons who were very troublesome and meddlesome. The people--they were the field Rats--thought that these four little boys would be the right ones to go over to the old woman's house some night to try to steal some of the nuts. They chose the four boys both because they were small and quiet and sly and because they were such a nuisance around the village that they would be no great loss to the people if the old woman killed them. The Rats were willing to go because they were always glad to be meddling. They chose one to slip over and make sure that the old woman was asleep. He went to her lodge and peeped in through a small crack and saw that she was still at work. He waited until she finished her work and went to bed; then when he heard her snore he ran back home to tell his brothers to come. When he went inside his father's lodge he saw a stranger sitting there. The stranger was Coyote. He had come to tell the Rats not to trouble about stealing pecans from the old woman, for he was going over the next day and kill her. Coyote was afraid to trust the Rats. He wanted to go himself, so he could get the most of the pecans. The next morning he went over to see the old woman and acted very friendly. The old woman gave him some pecans and he sat down and ate them all up. Then he asked her for some more, and as she turned around to get them he pulled out his stone knife and struck her on the head. She died, and ever since then the pecan trees have grown everywhere and belong to all of the people.


Told by Caddo George

In the beginning, when the people first came out of the earth, a little boy was taken out with his grandparents, but his mother and father were left behind in the earth. The old people loved the child dearly and cared for him, but because they were old they were poor, and so the boy was often hungry. Sometimes other little boys took him to their lodges and fed him, and then the old people were happy; for they did not mind being hungry themselves, as long as their grandson had something to eat. He grew rapidly and soon became old enough to hunt game; then the old people always had plenty to eat, for he was successful on the hunt. One time, when he came home from a long hunt, he found his grandmother sick, and in a few days she died. The boy grieved for his grandmother, but remained with his grandfather to comfort and provide food for him. One day the grandfather, who was an old man, dropped dead. Then the boy, left all alone, gave up to his grief and spent days and nights in mourning. He wandered far away into the timber to mourn, and in his grief and loneliness he prayed that he might die. While he was praying one evening, just as the sun was going down, he heard someone calling him. He turned and saw a man coming, and when the man came near he opened out his arms to embrace the boy, and said: "I will be your father, and I will look upon you as my own son. One time you wished for me, and now I have come to claim you as my own. I am the Moon, who keeps watch over everything in this world. Go back to your people now and some time I will come for you. In the meantime remember that I will always watch over you and give you power."

The young man went back to his home and wept no more, for he did not feel so lonely and forsaken, now that he had a father. After a time a girl came to his lodge and asked to become his wife. He accepted her and they lived together. One time while they were at dinner he said: "Someone is coming with news for the chief." The person was then several days' journey from the village, and so his wife saw that her husband had great power. One time he was told by a mother to watch her child while she went out to get water. She told him that the child was asleep, and if it woke up to give it a buffalo bone to suck. When the mother was gone he woke the child up and cut its leg off. When the mother returned she saw her child lying dead upon the blankets, and saw the young man sitting beside it playing with its leg. She ran and called the people and they came and killed the young man. Soon after they heard that he was living with another family not far away. The people went to the place where they had buried him and saw that he had come out of the grave. Then they went to the family with whom it was reported he was living, and they found him there alive and looking just the same as before they had killed him.

One time the tribe went on the war-path and fought another tribe. All the men went except this man. The chief asked him why he did not go with the others to fight the enemy and kill a man instead of a little child. Coward, for so the people called him, said that his father had not told him to have trouble with people. The chief asked him who his father was, but he did not answer. He arose, took up a war club, and went out to fight. The enemy shot many arrows at him, but soon they saw that the arrows flew off from him, and they knew that he was wonderful and could not be killed. They turned to run, and as they ran he killed many with his war club. The next day he became sick and began to shake all over. Finally he vomited all the arrow heads that had pierced his body, then he bathed himself and was well. After that the people knew that he had some great power. Many years after he told his people that he was going away, and that evening when the Moon came up he pointed to it and said: "There is my father." Then he arose from the earth and went up to the Moon.


Told by Wing

When the people came into the world there were so many that they had to be divided into groups, and each group was given a different name, although they all belonged to the same tribe. After a time the tribes began to fight with each other and the Caddo fought the Kiowa and Comanche. The Caddo gathered one time in council and the chief told the errand-man to cry out for all the young men to come to the council. The young men came and the chief asked all of those who wanted to fight the other tribes to sit in a circle. After the circle was formed the chief brought the largest buffalo hide that he had and laid it upon the ground in the center of the circle. Then he gave each man a stick and they all beat the buffalo hide with the sticks and sang a war song. They began singing at sunset and continued until Morning Star drove the other stars away.

In the meantime the chief and his assistants went ahead to choose a good place with water nearby to make a camp. At dawn all the men arose and marched out to the place, continuing their war song as they went. They were not allowed to go back to their homes, but had to march all together out of the village. They waited until noon at the place the chief had chosen, so that others who decided late to join the party would have time to catch up with them. They all stopped their songs and ate, and, while they were eating, the chief made the following speech: "I want to make certain rules for you, my men, for if you are to become great warriors you must learn to obey. First, I want all to move forward in one body and want none to stop by the way. I will appoint two men who shall be water-carriers, and I want each man to drink only when water is brought by the water-carriers, and not to stop and drink at every spring or stream. A drink of water three times a day is enough for each man. We will also eat three times a day. March on, now, and remember to keep in one body, that we may overcome the enemy." They marched by day and made camp by night. The chief always camped about a hundred yards in advance of the others, facing the enemy's country. When the men were near the enemy's country the chief appointed four men to go on ahead as spies and to come back at night and report. They went out in all directions, but before going they arranged a meeting place, so that if any one saw the enemy he could go to that place, give the signal, and the other spies could join him and all race back to tell the leader that they had seen the enemy. When they reached camp they stood in line and waited for the water carriers to give them a drink before they began to speak. They went on until they found the enemy and fought them, but scalped only one, for that was enough to show that they had been victorious. When the battle was over the warriors were all left to do as they pleased. The chief sent word to their homes that they had defeated the enemy and were bringing back a scalp. The people decked themselves in paint and feathers and went out to meet the returning war party. When the people met the party the chief told the man who had the scalp to put it on a pole, and then all the young men raced for it, and the one who got it ran on until someone overtook him; then that one took the scalp and ran on until someone overtook him, and so they raced home. The people at home were waiting for them, and when they arrived they all joined in a big war dance. So it was with the first war party, and so it has been with all war parties since that time.


Told by Wing

A boy sat down on the banks of the river to rest after his morning bath, and as he sat there watching the sun come up and listening to the water and trees, a voice from some place spoke in his ear and said: "Boy, I have been watching you at your bath every morning. I know that your grandmother has sent you here every day in winter and in summer to plunge into the water, no matter how cold, that you might gain strength and become a strong man, hardened to endure. I have come to give you that strength that you desire, and even more."

The boy looked about him through the trees and in the water, but for a long time he saw nothing. After he had gazed into the water for a long time he saw slowly arising to the surface a man. The boy was not frightened, but sat still on the bank and waited. The man came close and spoke to him, saying: "Dive into the water four times, and as you dive always face the west." After the boy had dived four times and again sat on the bank, the unknown person said: "I am the power of the Cyclone. Once I was so strong and powerful that I held all the Winds in my control, and all people feared me, but now I am growing old and my strength is going from me. For some time I have been looking over the world to find someone to take my place and to whom I could entrust my powers. As I was looking and almost despairing of finding a worthy young man, I found you. From that time I have been watching you, and now at last I am come to give my power to you. Swing your arms about." The young man began to swing his arms, and soon a big, black cloud rolled up in the north. It passed to the west, and then, as the boy threw his arms about faster, the wind broke from the cloud and passed through the forest, tearing up trees by the roots and tossing the waters in fury as it went. At last the man cried in a loud voice that was barely heard above the roar of the winds, "Stand still!"

The boy dropped his arms at his sides and stood breathless and panting with the exertion. The man said: "You have received my power. Take care that you never abuse it, and send the cyclone only in the spring, when it is necessary. I give you the name 'Path-of-the-Cyclone' to be yours, and people shall know you by that name." Then the man disappeared. Years after the people came to know the power the boy possessed when they saw him carried through the air to the sky on the breast of the cyclone.


Told by Annie Wilson

In the beginning of this world there lived many kinds of fierce animals. Among these animals was one especially that was called by the people living in those times the cannibal.

One time there were three men who went out hunting. They went a long way from home and kept on going farther and farther in search of game. One day they came to a country timbered with many large trees. They came to one of these trees and saw that something had been climbing on the tree, and near the base there was a large hole. The men thought that a bear must have made the hole, and that the bear was in the hole. They gathered dry leaves and grass and made it up into a small bundle, and they set the bundle on fire and tied it to the end of a long pole and thrust the burning bundle into the hole. They kept on dropping bundles into the hole until they thought it about time the bear should come out. One of the bundles which was put into the hole dropped out from the hole, and then they knew that the bear was coming out. Finally some strange animal came and peeped out from the hole, and it was not a bear, but a cannibal.

As soon as they saw and knew what kind of animal it was, they ran. The smoke cleared away and the cannibal came down from the tree and smelled around until he scented the tracks of the men, and then he began to follow them. These men were on foot and the cannibal was very swift, and so it was not long until he overtook one of the men and killed him. Then the animal took the man back to the woods, to the large tree, and went back after the other two men. After running a long way he overtook the second man. He killed him and carried him back and placed him by the side of the first man. Then he returned for the third man. When the third man was almost overtaken, and was running with all his might, he saw something flat on the ground in front of him, but he did not stop. He saw that it was a mountain-lion, lying there watching and waiting for the approaching cannibal. The man ran on a way, then turned around and looked back to see what the mountain-lion would do. The cannibal did not see the mountain lion lying there, and before he knew anything the mountain-lion jumped upon him and seized him by the throat. Finally the cannibal was overpowered and killed, and then the man started on for his home. When he got home he told his people what had happened to the other two men. When they all heard this they started down where he last saw the cannibal, and when they got to the place they found nothing but many white and black wolves, which had already eaten the body, and there was nothing left but the bones of the cannibal. The men went on to the tree where the cannibal had lived. The tree was not burning, and so the men began to cut the tree down, and when it fell they found two bodies. They took the bodies out from the tree and buried them a short distance away.


Told by Wing

Ten boys lived with their grandmother. One day the oldest went out to hunt and did not return. The grandmother worried about him, and so the next day one of his brothers went to look for him. He did not return, and so the next brother went out to look for his brothers. He did not return and another went, and so on until the ninth boy went out, leaving his little brother at home with his grandmother. They waited long, but none of the brothers returned and no news came of them. They worried and grieved and became sadder each day, until at last the youngest boy declared that he was going to look for his brothers. His grandmother begged him not to go and leave her alone, for she felt that the same evil fate would befall him that had come to his brothers; but the boy was determined and prepared to go. He went out and prayed for help and put an eagle feather in his hair just before starting, thinking that it might have some hidden power. The boy traveled far, and after a time he saw a tipi. He approached the tipi, and as he went near he heard someone laugh and say: "Another one is coming. Cook some corn and we will soon have the meat." The boy understood the meaning of this, but he was so sad and weary that he thought he would as soon die as live, and so he went on to the tipi. An old man came out of the tipi and said to him: "Are you looking for your nine brothers?" "Yes," the boy answered. Then the man said: "I know where your brothers are and I will put you on the right path to find them, but first you must do some work for me. Lift that big log there and put it on the fire. I will give you four trials, and then if you cannot do it yon must lie down upon the log and let me lift it."

The boy did not believe anything the man said, but thought he would try to lift the log and see if some power would not come to his aid in answer to his prayers. He tried four times, but could not move the log; then he lay down upon it. The old man was just about to spear him with the iron nose of the mask he wore, when some unseen power pulled the boy off the log, and the iron nose of the mask caught in the log and held the old man fast. A voice said to the boy: "Run to the tipi and take the pounder away from the woman who is pounding corn, bring it here, and beat the old man to death." The boy obeyed, and when the old man was dead, the voice said: "Gather up all of your brothers' bones. I will help you, for I know the bones of each boy, and put them in nine piles." A strange man, the possessor of the voice, appeared and helped the boy gather up the bones. When they had them all piled up the man said: "Put your robe over them, shoot an arrow up in the sky, and then cry: 'Look out, brothers, the arrow will hit you!'" The boy obeyed, and as he cried "Look out, brothers, the arrow will hit you!" his brothers jumped out from under the robe. The man then told them to burn the tipi with the man and his wife in it and to scatter the ashes. After they had done all that, the man said: "Return now to your grandmother. I am the Sun and I have helped you destroy the cannibals." Then he disappeared. The brothers all returned to their grandmother, who had almost grieved herself to death. They told their story, and the youngest boy told how the Sun had taken pity on him and helped him; and from that time all the people knew that the Sun was their friend and always willing to help them in times of trouble.


An old woman lived alone with her seven sons. They were all good hunters and kept her busy preparing the game that they killed. One day the oldest son went out to hunt and did not return. After several days his dogs came back, but he did not come. The second son decided to go to search for his brother, and so he took the dogs and started out. After several days the dogs came back, but the second son did not come. The third son decided to go after his missing brothers. Again the dogs returned alone, and the brothers did not come. The fourth, the fifth, and the sixth sons in turn went to search for their missing brothers, but each time the dogs came back alone. The youngest son wanted to go, but his mother could not give him up, for she feared that he, too, would go, never to return. One day, after the brothers had been gone a long time, the little boy saw a raccoon in a tree. He asked his mother if he could not take his bow and arrow and kill it. She said that he could, and gave him his bow and arrow. He chased the raccoon from one tree to another until it had led him far into the thick timber. Finally it ran down a hollow tree and he climbed the tree to get it out. While he was in the tree he heard someone speak, and, turning around, he saw a little old woman standing by the tree. "Throw the raccoon down here, and I and the dogs will kill it," she said. He threw the raccoon down and the old woman killed it and one of the dogs. Then she said, "There is another raccoon in the tree." He pulled out another raccoon and threw it down. She killed it and another one of his dogs. He saw another raccoon in the tree and he pulled it out, and again she killed it and another dog. He continued to pull raccoons out of the tree until he had pulled six, and each time the old woman killed the raccoon and another dog. As the boy was about to pull the seventh raccoon out, it spoke to him and said: "Boy, when you get me out, throw me just as far as you can. I will run away and the old woman will chase me. While she is chasing me, you must jump and run home as fast as possible. She has already killed all of your dogs, and she will kill you next. She is a witch, and is the one who has killed all of your brothers. You must run from her." The boy said that he would, and then he threw the raccoon just as far as he could. While the old woman was chasing it he jumped out of the tree and started to run home. The old woman killed the raccoon, then returned to the tree, and when she found the boy gone she was angry, and started after him as fast as she could run, but he was too far ahead, and she could not catch him. When the boy reached home he told his mother all that had happened. That night he had a strange dream, in which he dreamed that he met Coyote, and Coyote told him that his brothers were not dead, but were with some bad people who made them work so hard that they would soon die if they did not get away, and Coyote promised to help him rescue his brothers. The next morning he told his mother his dream, and she told him that his dream would probably come true. That very afternoon the boy went out to hunt, and while he was walking along he met a man, and the man told him the same thing that the man in the dream had told him. The boy returned to his home and the man went on through the timber until he met Flying Squirrel. He was one of the bad people's slaves and had to work for them. Coyote, for he was the man, began to talk to Squirrel and asked him about the bad people. Squirrel told him that the bad people made slaves of all of the people that they could catch alive, and that they ate all that they killed. Coyote asked about the six brothers, and Squirrel told Coyote that they were slaves like himself and could not get away, but had to work. Coyote said that he would like to help them and that he thought he could, for he was very cunning and had a good deal of power. Squirrel told Coyote if he could only find some way to kill the wicked chief that there would be no more trouble. Coyote said that he thought he could plan to kill him if he could only get to him, but that he lived across the river and had no way of getting across. Flying Squirrel said that he would take him across if he thought he could hold on to his tail as he flew. Coyote said that he could, and so they started. When they were almost to the other bank Coyote let go Squirrel's tail and fell into the water. He hid in the tall grass until he thought of a plan. When he had made up his mind what he was going to do, he turned into a nice, new corn mill, and floated out on the water where he would be in plain sight. Soon a woman came down to the river to get some water. She saw the mill and tried to get it, but could not. She ran back and told the chief about the nice, new mill, and asked him to get it for her. He told her that he was afraid it was Coyote, or someone trying to play a trick on them, but the woman said that it could not be anything but a fine corn mill and that she wanted it. The chief sent someone to get it, and then all of the women came to pound their corn in the new mill. They used it for several days, and all thought it was the best mill they had ever had. One day someone put some fine sweet corn in it, and after she had ground a little while all of her corn was gone. She ran to the chief and told him. He said that the corn mill was Coyote, as he had feared, and he told the people to bring it to him. They brought it, and he placed it on the big log where he always speared people with his long, spiked nose. He raised his head high, then dropped it, and his nose stuck in the log so that he could not get loose. The corn mill had rolled off the log and turned into Coyote. He grabbed the chief by the head and held him there while he called all the slaves to come and kill him. With the others came the six brothers. After they had killed the chief, Coyote told all that they were free, and to go to their homes. The six brothers returned to their home, and ever after that whenever they killed any game they always left some for Coyote.


Told by Shorter

There was a village called Tall-Timber-on-Top-of-Hill, and the people decided to move from that village to another. They were all ready to go when a baby was born to a young woman whose husband had died. The woman could not make the long journey with the new baby, and the people were unwilling to wait for her, so they decided to go on and leave her to follow when she was strong enough to carry the child. The woman remained alone in the deserted village for many days. She was afraid to be there alone, and counted the days until she could start to the new village. One night as she sat with only her child in the grass lodge she heard someone outside, and a strange voice begged admission. She was frightened, but let the man in, and said: "Are you from my people?" "No," said he, "though I often go around their village at night. Do not be frightened, and I will tell you who I am. People call me Spotted-Wolf. I have come here to see you and your child and to beg you not to start too soon on your journey, for there are many dangerous animals on the way." The woman replied: "I know, but I want to go to my people. It is lonely here, and I am afraid." Spotted-Wolf said: "I am afraid something will happen to you if you go now. Take this tobacco, and if you meet danger and need help throw some of it to the four directions and call to me and I will come and help you." The woman took the tobacco; then Spotted-Wolf arose and went to his home. After a few days the woman decided to start on her journey. She put her child on her back and started. After she had traveled three days she saw in her way a strange-looking being. She went on, and as she came nearer she was not certain whether it was a wild animal or a person; but in a moment it dropped on the ground and rolled over twice, and then she saw that it was a wild animal. Again she looked and saw that it had taken the form of a person. Then she knew that it was a cannibal, for those creatures first appear as human beings; then they turn into wild animals and eat people. She was frightened so that she could not go on, for she thought that she and her child would be eaten by the cannibal. She thought of Spotted-Wolf and took some tobacco out of her bag and threw it to the south, the east, the west, and the north; and as she threw it she prayed that Spotted-Wolf would come and help her. Soon she heard the howl of a wolf in the south, then another in the east, another in the west, and another in the north. The cannibal stopped growling at her and looked frightened. In a moment big spotted wolves were coming from the four directions. They killed the cannibal, and the wolf from the south conducted the woman and her child in safety to the village of her people.

There is another kind of cannibal, though not so dangerous as the one who first appears as a human being, then turns to an animal. These cannibals live as human beings and eat people only after they are dead. Whenever they hear of anyone who is sick and about to die they pretend to be sick, too, and when they hear that the sick person is dead, they pretend to die, too, and are buried; but in the night they jump out of their graves and steal the dead person before the spirits can take him away. One time there was an old medicine-man and he had noticed how certain people got sick whenever they heard of anyone else being sick, and how they died when the sick person died, and then how they always came to life again. He watched one of these beings for a long time; then he pretended to be very sick and caused it to be rumored about that he was about to die. Soon he heard that the person he had been watching was sick. Then the medicine-man pretended that he was dead, but before he pretended to die he told his sons to put a bow and some arrows in his grave, and told them not to put much earth over him when they buried him. As soon as the person heard that the medicine-man was dead, he pretended to die also, and was buried. That night he jumped out of his grave and went to get the medicine man. The medicine-man heard him coming, and so he jumped out of his grave and shot an arrow through the cannibal and killed him, so that he never came back to life again. Then the medicine-man told the people what he had done, and ever since that bows and arrows are always put in the graves with the dead, that they may shoot the cannibal.


Told by Wing

Two men arose and went out to hunt before daybreak, and they were a long way from their village when the sun came up. They hunted all day and far into the evening, but did not find anything. They decided to stay in the timber and sleep that night, so they might hunt next day, for they hated to go home empty-handed. They threw themselves down on a soft, grassy place and slept soundly, for they were weary. After they had been asleep for a long time both awoke with a start and listened. Soon they heard a voice whooping, the same that had awakened them. One of the men was so frightened that he jumped up and ran for home through the dark. The other man was brave and was ashamed to run, for he had not run from anything in all his life. He arose and stood his ground. Soon a dead person stood before him. He asked the man if he could help him get into Spirit Land. He said: "I have been trying for a long time, but cannot get any farther, for my bowstring has a knot in it. Can't you give me a bowstring and make me two new arrows?" The man said that he would, and so he sat down to make the arrows. Then he put a new string on the dead person's bow. The dead person shot the arrows and went up in the air with them. Before going he told the man that he would whoop when he was high up in the air, to let him know that the arrows had carried him up all right, and he wanted the man to whoop back, to let him know that he had heard him. The man listened and soon he heard a whoop. He answered it, and then he heard nothing more, so he knew that the man had entered Spirit Land. The next day he returned to his people and told them the story, and ever since that time bows and arrows are always made and buried with the dead, so that they can go to Spirit Land at once and not have to wander about. But no one ever makes bows and arrows at night; because they are afraid some of the ghosts might come for them and cause a death in the family, for whenever a ghost appears it is a sign of death.


Told by Wing

Long, long ago, in the beginning of this world, there lived an old woman with seven children, who were all boys. The boys were full of life and fun and they would go away from the others and play all the day long, and would not work, nor take time to eat but twice a day-morning and evening. When they came home in the evening their mother would scold them, and one evening when they came home late for their supper their mother would not let them have anything to eat. The boys were very angry and went back to their play and determined on the morrow to go away where they would never trouble her any more. The next morning early they went down to their playground before breakfast and began to go round and round the house, praying to the spirits to help them. At last their mother noticed and heard what they were saying, and as she watched them she noticed that their feet were off the earth, and then she knew that something was wrong, and she ran out trying to get her children, but it was too late. With every round they rose higher and higher in the air, and were soon above the roof of the house. They circled higher and higher until they went up to the sky, where we can see them now as the Seven Stars. These seven boys who were taken to the sky were very indolent, and when the work time came they would always slip off and play. That is the reason that during the winter months the Seven Stars can be seen; but at the beginning of the spring months, at the work time, the Seven Stars are gone.


Told by Short-Man

When the world was new the old man, Coyote, decided that if a man, woman, or child died they should return to the earth again after ten days. Finally Coyote made another rule, and that was that when anybody died and was buried within six days he should stay under the ground, but if not buried by the seventh day he might escape. If caught before he succeeded in getting away he was to be brought back home. When the person was caught, a fire was kindled all around him; but finally he threw off the fire from him, and then was taken back to his home, where he was kept for six days and nights. At the end of the sixth day some old woman washed him, and then they let him go, and he became a real person again. When a person dies they dig a hole in the ground about four or five feet long and about three or four feet wide--according to the size of the person--and the body is laid head toward the west and feet toward the east. One of the family builds a fire at the feet of the person, and this fire should be kept up for six days and nights. Very often the person forgets to keep up the fire and lets it go out before the end of the sixth day, and when this happens they find that the grave is open and tracks are seen leading toward the east. They follow the tracks sometimes and overtake the dead person, but generally he gets away from them when they do overtake him. They build the fire all around the dead person; the wood for that purpose is cedar and mulberry trees, and the sparks from the fire get on the person. At first the dead person pays no attention, but the people keep on building up the fire until the dead person begins to look around and tries to escape the sparks from the fire. Then they know the dead person is coming to life again, for he is beginning to feel, and then they take hold of him and bring him back home, where he is kept for six days and nights. At the sixth day, in the early evening, some one of the family would bathe him, and then he would live again. When the dead person is not caught he becomes something like a very large monkey, and lives in the thickets and timber. Whenever the people meet a dead person he talks to them, and so the people think that dead people are crazy people. They do not know where their homes are or who their relatives are, and so they go off and stay in the woods or among the wild animals. That is the reason that large monkeys are called "the last people in the thickets." When any one or two people go out to hunt in the thickets or woods they always meet these monkeys, and monkeys always ask for a wrestling match. They are very strong little men, and if the people do not pay any attention to them, they bother them all night long. These creatures are still living, but they do not talk as they did when the world was new.


Told by Wing

One time two boys who were close friends went out hunting. They met a large snake, and one of the boys killed it and cooked it. The other boy begged him not to eat it, but to eat the buffalo meat that he had prepared; but the boy would not listen to him and ate the snake meat. That was in the evening. The next morning the boy who had eaten the snake meat began to turn into a snake. After another day and night he had completely turned into a snake. He told his friend to go to the mountain and find a hole for him to live in. The friend found a hole and carried the snake to it. The snake told him to go to their village and tell his people what had happened to him, and to tell them that whenever they went to hunt to stop and offer presents to him and he would help them in the hunt. The snake lived there for many years, until the lightning killed him.


Told by Annie Wilson

A long time ago there lived a man and his wife and a dog. At that time the animals talked like human beings, and so the dog talked to the man and woman. Every day the man went out to hunt, and as soon as he was gone his wife always went away and never returned until evening, just before her husband came. He did not know that she left home in his absence until one time his dog said: "I believe you ought to know that your wife goes away and stays all the time that you are gone." The man told his dog to follow her the next time she went away. Early the next morning the man started out hunting and the woman left home as usual. The dog followed her, but stayed a good distance behind, so that she did not know that he had followed her. She went to the large timber and stopped at one of the large trees and stood there looking up, and then after she had stood there for some time she whistled once, and then again and again. The third time she whistled the dog saw something moving out from a large hole in the tree, and finally the dog saw that it was a big snake. The snake came down to the ground and went straight to the woman, and began crawling up on her and coiling round and round her body. Finally the snake began to move away from her and crept back to the hole in the tree. That night the dog told the man what he had seen. The next day the man made many arrows and told his wife that he and the dog were going out fishing. Instead of going down to fish they went to the place where the snake was, and when they were there the man went near to the tree and whistled three times. The snake began to creep out, and when it had reached the ground the man shot it and killed it, and then cut it up in very small pieces, so that the pieces looked like pieces of fish. They went down to the river and began to fish, and they caught a few small fish and took them home. When they arrived at their home the man told his wife that he was going to cook the fish himself, and told her to go in the grass house until the dinner was brought to her. She went, and the man began to cook the fish and the snake flesh. When he was through he took the snake flesh to his wife for her dinner. He and the dog ate the fish. He sent the dog into the grass house to see what his wife was doing, and the dog saw that she was eating the snake. He was sent in the second time, and he saw that she was scratching herself all over her body. Every place she scratched herself the skin would turn the color of the snake skin, until she finally turned into a snake. She crept away from the grass lodge and went to find the snake, for she did not know that he was dead. Sometime after, the man went out hunting and he came to a large tree. He heard something making a noise inside of the tree and finally saw a large snake come out from the tree. He knew that it was his wife, but he passed on.


Told by Wing

One time there lived an old man and woman who had two beautiful twin daughters. These girls heard of a chief who lived in another village, and rumors of his great wealth and his fame as a great chief had traveled far. The girls asked their parents if they might not go to the chief and offer themselves in marriage. Their parents consented, and so the girls started to the chief's village. They did not know just where the village was, but they started in the direction that they thought it was, and decided to ask the first person they met to direct them. They traveled along for a time and then met a man with a turkey in his hand coming down the road. They stopped him and began to talk to him. "We want to marry this famous chief, for we hear that he is good and very wealthy, but we do not know him. We have never seen him, we have not even been to his village, and perhaps we would not know him if we should see him." The man grinned to himself and said: "I am the chief and I live just a little way from here; I have been away attending a council. Well, I must say that I am willing, but wait here while I run on home and tell my grandmother." The girls waited. They thought it strange that so great a chief should have to tell his grandmother, but they said nothing. The man, who was no other than Owl, ran on to his home, and calling his grandmother, said: "Clean up the lodge and put it in order. I am going to bring home two girls whom I am playing a joke on. They think I am the rich chief and want to marry me." After they had cleaned the lodge, for it was very disorderly, Owl said: "I am going to put this turkey which I have brought home over my bed; when you get up in the morning ask me which turkey you shall cook and pretend to point to one, and I will say, 'No, take this.' Then the girls will think that we have many turkeys and many good things to eat." Owl went back for the girls and brought them to his grandmother's lodge. They were pleased, for everything looked neat and nice, and so they married Owl. Every day Owl came in with a turkey, and he always pretended to have been out hunting. Really he had been at the council, and the chief gave him the turkey for allowing him to sit on his back. At all the councils the chief always sat on Owl's back, and so he gave Owl a turkey every time to repay him for his trouble and the pain of holding him so long. After many moons the twins grew weary of nothing but turkey and they began to suspect something, so one day they followed Owl when he went away. They followed and saw him go to a large grass lodge. They peeped through an opening, and there they saw Owl sitting in the middle of the lodge with the chief sitting on his head. They gave a scream. Owl recognized their voices and jumped up, throwing the chief off his head, and ran home. He gave his grandmother a terrible scolding for letting the girls follow him and find him out. The girls felt so ashamed when they discovered how they had been fooled, that they slipped off to their home and told their father and mother their experience. Owl sat in his lonely lodge and thought for a long time about the twin sisters, and the longer he thought the angrier he became, because he had been fooled at his own joke. Finally, he said to his grandmother: "We must kill the people, and in order to do that we must gather all the water, from the smallest to the largest rivers and the springs and the lakes. We will have to dig a big hole here, and when we finish the hole we will begin to dam the waters out from all the rivers, springs, and lakes." They worked long and hard, and the people did not notice that the creeks, lakes, and springs were getting low until they were dry. The water was gone and the people were dying of thirst, while Owl splashed and swam about in the water in the big hole where he had all the waters of the earth. Everyone went out to search for water, and Crow, who was snow white then, went with the others. He came to a field where the grass was all dried and withered for want of water, and big grasshoppers were jumping about in the grass. Crow ran after them and made such a loud noise in trying to catch them that all the people heard. They thought that he had found water, and so they ran in great haste. When they found that Crow had not found water they were all disappointed and angry at him for fooling them. Coyote jumped on Crow and rolled him about in the black earth until he was black, and ever since that time the crow has always been black as night. After that Coyote made a rule that if any one made a loud noise and aroused the people's expectations he must either lead them to water or take a hard whipping. Turtle was traveling along one day searching for water, as they all were. He went down to the river bed, where the water had been, and he fell into a large crack in the dried mud. He began to halloo for help. The people heard him and all ran down to the river bed, for they thought surely he had found water; but when they found he was only calling for help, Coyote took him out of the crack and gave him a hard whipping. He whipped him so hard that he cracked his shell, and to this day turtles bear the markings of the cracks on their shells.

One time someone was going along looking for water, when he heard a big splashing noise, and he knew that it was the sound of water. He went until he came to the hole where Owl sat playing in the water. He went back and told the people. They gathered in council to decide how they could get the water from Owl. They were about to give up when Flea said that he would go to Owl's lodge and try to free the water. He went, and as he entered the lodge Owl's grandmother was about to take a bath. She had a big jar full of water sitting in front of her. Flea slipped up to her, crawled up her leg, and bit her; she gave a big kick and upset the jar. When Owl saw the water running in every direction he opened his eyes wide in astonishment, and they have always looked that way ever since. All the people felt very grateful to Flea, and Coyote put him on his back that he might have a good warm home.


Told by White-Bread

One time the hunters went out on a two months' hunt. They took their wives with them. After they had gone a long distance from home they camped. Among these hunters was a poor man and his wife who were hungry and starving, while everyone else was killing plenty of game and having an abundance to eat. The poor man would go out to hunt from early in the morning till sundown and come home with nothing to eat. He continued to hunt day after day, expecting to find deer or some game, but always returned without anything. The people would not give him anything to eat and would make fun of the unfortunate man because he could not kill anything. One morning he arose early and started out and hunted all morning. About noon he heard someone calling him, and the person was a long distance away. He started to see who it was and what was the matter with him, and when he got there he asked the person why he called. "Well," said the person, "I want to find out where there is water." The hunter told him there was some water a short distance from where they were. He did not know who the man was, for there was no such person among his people. The unknown person asked the man to carry him to the water, so the hunter told him to get on his back and he would carry him. When they reached the water the unknown man told the hunter to take off his clothes, and so he did, and then the unknown man told him to get on his back, saying: "It is now my time to carry you on my back. Shut your eyes and do not open them until I say so." The man obeyed, and when the unknown person told him to open his eyes he did not know where he was. Then the unknown person told him that he wanted him to come and see what he had. The hunter looked and saw the heads of all kinds of animals. "Now," said the unknown person, "there is what I have killed, and I will tell you why I brought you here. I am going to give you some of my powers that you may kill game as I do. Point out the heads of the animals that you want to kill." The man pointed to the largest deer head, bear head, etc. "And now," said the unknown person, "you must not tell anyone how and where you obtained your powers. All people call me Alligator, and I will give you these powers as long as you are able to hunt." Alligator then told him to shut his eyes, and when he told him to open them he saw that he was upon dry land once more. Alligator told him to go hunting, and so after he put on his clothes he started out to hunt.

He did not go very far until he saw four big deer coming toward him and he killed every one of them. He dressed them carefully and then left them while he went to his camp. When he reached his camp he found his wife there, but nothing to eat. He went out and led up two of his horses and asked his wife to go with him. They arrived at the place and found the four deer. The man put two of the deer on one horse's back and two on the other one and they started back to their camp. As they came into camp with their horses loaded with meat, everybody at the camp saw them and wondered, for they did not think the man could ever kill a deer. After that time he never failed to bring back much meat when out hunting. When the people started back to their homes they discovered that this man, whom the people had always made fun of, had been the most successful of all the hunters. He had killed the most deer, and besides he had killed the largest deer that was ever seen by the people, and he had killed the most bears and the most of every other kind of game.

The people named him Deer-Head, because of his braveness in killing big deer. Deer-Head lived with the people many years and was well known among his tribe, but one time he disappeared. It was but a short time until the people noticed that he was missing, and they wondered what had become of him.

Deer-Head had only one younger brother, and when the people would go and ask Deer-Head's wife where he was she could not tell, for she did not know where he was or what had become of him. Finally one of the men went where Deer-Head's little brother was, and he asked him if he knew where his big, brave brother was, and he replied that his brother had gone home; that someone came after him during the night and had taken him away that same night. Then they asked him if he knew which direction they took, and he said that he did not know where he went, but that he said he was going home.

While out hunting a long time after this one of the men found a large deer and the deer did not try to get away from him. When he came near he shot the deer, but the deer kept on walking very slowly and the man followed until the deer finally went over the hill where the man could not see him, and then he heard someone calling him to come on, and it was the deer that was talking. The man did not keep on, but turned and started back home. When he got home he told the whole story of the deer, and then the people thought the story of the deer was true, and that Deer-Head had changed into a deer.


Told by Wing

A little boy often told his parents that he was a red mountain-lion. No one believed him, but they called him Red-Mountain-Lion. When he grew to manhood he was a successful and famous hunter. He went off alone for days at a time and always brought back much game. One time it was noticed that he acted queerly when he returned from the hunt, and so the next time he went his brother followed him. He tracked him through the timber up the rocky side of a mountain. He heard voices among the rocks, but could not see any one. He climbed on until he saw just above him a cave in the side of a steep wall. He looked in and saw his brother in there with a female mountain-lion. He went home and told what he had seen. After a few days Red-Mountain-Lion came home and acted stranger than ever. One time he heard some men talking about going to the cave and killing a mountain-lion that some of them had seen there. The man started out at once and alone to hunt, and he went straight toward the cave. The men started out to hunt the next day, and when they came to the cave they saw the foot-prints of a man and a mountain-lion leading away from it. They tracked them down the mountain and up another, and then they gave up and returned to their homes. The man did not return to his people, but many years afterward he was captured by a hunting party and carried to his home. He decided to stay at his home then. One autumn he and his brother decided to form a war party. The brother was to be the leader, and so he went off to get some power before starting. He wandered about alone until he found a rattlesnake skin and a red mountain-lion's tail. He took them and then prayed to the rattlesnake and red mountain-lion for their powers. Then he returned home and hid the skin and mountain-lion tail, for he did not want his brother to know what he had. For some reason or another, the war expedition was given up. Then the man should have thrown away the skin and tail, for the animals always want their gifts returned if they are not used for the purpose they have given them. If they are not used or returned something always happens to the man who has received them or to some member of his family. A long time after the war party had been given up Red-Mountain-Lion awoke one morning and heard a turkey cackling. He slipped out to catch the turkey, and while he was slipping upon the turkey he heard a rattlesnake by the side of him. He moved away and heard another. Again he jumped aside and heard still another. The woman prepared the morning meal and waited a long time for Red-Mountain-Lion to return; then his brother was sent to look for him. His brother found him unconscious and called some men to help carry him to the lodge. Red-Mountain-Lion was scalped, but the only tracks that could be found were those of a mountain-lion, and they were only around his head, and did not come from or lead to any place. They sent for the medicine-man. He came and after he had examined Red-Mountain-Lion he asked his brother if he had not planned a war expedition and prayed for power and received gifts from the animals. The brother admitted that he had. The medicine-man told him to return the gifts to the woods where he had found them, and told him that his brother should have known better than to have kept them. The man obeyed, and then they took Red-Mountain-Lion to the creek and bathed him, and he recovered, but he was always foolish. He lived to be an old man, but someone had to kill him in his old age, because he became more foolish and did many evil things.


Told by White-Bread

In a village there lived a cannibal at that time and the people called him Snow-Bird-with-White-Wings. He had a handsome son, who would not marry any of his own tribe. The father named his son Braveness because he was very brave in hunting. Whenever he went out to hunt he brought home many kinds of game that he had killed. Many of the young girls tried to win him as a husband, but Braveness would pay no attention to any of them. One night he decided to go hunting the next day. Early the next morning he started out toward the west. While he was going along looking and watching for wild animals he saw some one sitting ahead of him under a small elm tree. He approached the person and saw that it was a woman. She called him to come where she was, and he obeyed and saw that she was very beautiful and very young. She told him that she knew he was coming there and so she had come to meet him. He listened eagerly to hear what she had to say. She asked him if she could stay with him, and if he would take her to his home and let her become his wife. He told her that he would take her to his home, but that she must ask his parents if she could stay with him. They started for his home at once, and when they arrived the girl asked the old people to let her become the young man's wife, and they consented. After that the young man had some one to love and they lived happily for a long time; but one time while they were alone she asked him if he would do whatever she said, and he finally said that he would. She asked him to go with her to her home and told him that they would return again some day.

A few days after, they started to her home and she led the way. After they had gone a long way they came to high hills, and all at once she stopped and turned around and looked at her husband and said: "You have promised me that you will do anything that I say." "Yes," said he. "Well," said she, "my home is on the other side of this large hill which is before us. I will tell you when we get to my mother. I know there will be many people coming there to see who you are, and they will bother you and try to get you angry, but do not get angry at any of them. The young men will try to kill you in some way. Listen to what I am about to tell you. I was just like you when I met you. I knew you, but you did not know me. I was the one who made you come there to find me. I have said that some of the young men will try to get you angry, and when they get you angry at them one of them will jump on you, and when they see that you are going to try to fight, they will all get after you and will not let you go until they have killed you. They are jealous of you. The reason is that I have refused many of them when they have asked me. I have told you what to do when we get there, and now I want you to lay down on the ground and roll over twice." The man did, and when he arose he had changed into a Buffalo. The woman sat there watching him for a moment; then she did the same thing and became a Buffalo. They started on climbing the high hill, and when they reached the top of the hill the Buffalo man looked down toward the west. He saw thousands and thousands of Buffalo. Then the woman told him that they were her people. When the herd saw these two coming they began to move to one certain place, as though to wait there and see who was coming. The woman kept on leading Braveness. He followed her until she came to an old Buffalo cow and then they stopped, and Braveness knew that she was the mother of his beautiful wife. They stayed there for a long time. Every now and then four or five of the young Buffalo would come around and bother Braveness, and so they decided to go back again to Braveness' home. On the way they stopped at the place where they had turned themselves into Buffalo. The Buffalo woman told him to do the same thing that he had done before, and so he rolled over twice and became as he was before, and then she did the same. While they were going she told him not to mention the transformation or her people to any one. When they reached home his father, Snow-Bird-with-White-Wings, asked him where he had been, and he told his father that he had been hunting and then had gone down to his wife's home, and his father did not ask him any more questions.

They stayed at home about one year, and then they made up their minds to go again and see the woman's mother. After they had been living with the Buffalo a long time his wife told him that the old people were talking about killing him; that they were going to have a foot race and that they intended that he should run in this foot race. When he heard all this he was worried and did not know what to do. That night he could not sleep, and he went out to take a long walk. He went a long way and walked very slowly. He heard some one calling, but could not see the person, for it was a very dark night. The unknown person said to him: "You are very young, but you must remember you cannot beat those Buffalo running without my help, and I know what they are going to do with you when the race is over. If they beat you running they are going to kill you, and so I am going to help you to win. If I do it there are others who will also help you. If you win the race they will let you have this woman all to yourself and will not bother you any more." Then the unknown person told Braveness to hold out his hand, and when he did this the unknown person placed a small medicine root in it and said: "At the start you will leave them a long way behind, but finally some one of them will catch up with you, but he will not stay with you long. Remember, whenever he comes up with you, to throw this medicine down behind you and you will leave him again a long way behind. Then some one else will catch up with you again, and here is another medicine to throw behind you when the second man overtakes you. This medicine is mud, and you must throw it down when they come too close to you. Soon after you have thrown the mud you will be near the stopping place; there I will meet you."

The next day was the day of the race. At about sunrise Braveness saw the Buffalo coming in from all directions to see the race. While he stood watching them, an old Buffalo came and told him that the young Buffalo would like to have him run in a foot race with them. He went with the old man to the place where the runners started. When the young Buffalo saw him coming they all made fun of him. When he joined them they lined up for the race. Braveness placed himself in their midst and they started. Braveness left the Buffalo a long way behind at the start, and they had to run long and hard before they could come near him. When he saw them gaining on him he threw the root behind him that the unknown person had given him. He was almost winded and thought he could not run any more, when he saw that he was far ahead of all of them again. The next time it took them longer to come up to him, but finally he gave out, and then one of the Buffalo began to gain on him. When the Buffalo was about to catch up, Braveness threw the mud, his last medicine, down behind him and soon he was far ahead again. He knew that he had used all of his medicine, and he knew not what would happen to him next, but he kept on running. When he was nearing the goal, he could hear the others coming close behind him, for some of them were gaining on him and he was giving out. He did not know what to do, but just as one of the Buffalo was about to catch up with him, a heavy wind came up and greatly assisted and kept the Buffalo far behind him until he crossed the goal and won the race. Because wind had helped him at the last moment, he knew that it was wind that had talked to him and had given him the medicine and thus saved his life. After the race he stayed with the Buffalo people for a long time and no one ever molested him again.

Finally he and his wife went back to live with his people. They had one child, and when it was about one year old they decided to go again to see the wife's people, so that her parents might see their grandson. They went and remained with the Buffalo three years, and then they returned to Braveness' home. The child's mother would not let him go out and play with the other boys, for she was afraid he might do things that he ought not to do; but one time, while she was cooking dinner, the boy slipped away from her and went down where the other boys were playing. When he joined them they began to play that they were Buffalo. The little boy began to play with them. He laid down to roll like a Buffalo, and when he rolled over twice he got up a real Buffalo calf, and the boys began to run from him. Just at this time his mother had missed him and she looked down where the boys were playing. She saw them running and thought something must be wrong. She went to see what the trouble was and there she found her son changed into a Buffalo calf. She took him and ran down the hill, and then she dropped down on the hill and became a Buffalo, and then ran away before her husband came back from hunting. When he came back he could not find his wife or his son, and then some one told him what had happened while he was gone. At first he could not believe what he heard, but soon he went down to the place where they had rolled and saw their tracks, and then he believed the story. He never heard of them again.


Told by Wing

A father and mother had three sons and a daughter. The girl was very beautiful, but very proud, and refused the attentions of the many young men who came to court her. One time a handsome youth came to their home and ate with them and talked to her father and brothers, but paid no attention to her. After he had spent the evening he arose and went home. The girl thought she had never seen so handsome a young man, and she wondered why he had not sought her as all the others had. She went to bed and thought of him for a long time ; then she fell asleep and dreamed of him. She dreamed that she saw him coming to her, and finally she awoke and lay still for a long time listening and waiting to see if her dreams were true. She heard a faint noise, and she closed her eyes and prayed that her dream would come true. When she opened her eyes the young man was bending over her begging her to go with him. She arose and followed him out into the darkness.

When they were a long way from home the man told her that he was not a real person, but an animal, the Wild-Cat, and he told her that if she wanted to go home he would take her back. She refused to go back, saying that she wanted to go with him, no matter what he was. Then he told her that her three brothers were already on their trail, and that they were very angry with him for taking her off. They hurried on until they came to the mountains. They climbed a high mountain, and then Wild-Cat told the girl to wait there for him. He went away and disappeared among the trees and rocks, but soon returned with another large Wild- Cat, who he said was his grandfather. While the three sat down to rest and talk they heard voices, and the girl knew that they were her brothers' voices. They arose and ran deep into the forest, but still they could hear the voices from the three brothers, who were gaining on them. At last they caught up with them and were very angry. They were going to fight the Wild- Cats,who,of course, were dressed like men, so the brothers did not know that they were Wild- Cats. The sister cried and promised her brothers that she would soon return to her home if they would go and leave them. The brothers at last yielded to her requests and went back home and told her father and mother all that had happened. The father became very angry and swore that he would find his daughter and kill her or the man. He went to the mountains and wandered about in search of her for many days, without food or drink or sleep, until he died.


Told by Annie Wilson

At the beginning of this world the people and animals could understand each other and visited each other. There lived in those times 9 man and wife and one child, a boy about seven years of age. The people called the man Hunter, because he was very fond of hunting and hunted from morning until evening. While he was out, his wife, who was a very cross woman, abused her own boy, as she always did, because she disliked him. She told the boy to stay at home while she went away for a short time. She went out and was gone for a long time. Finally she came back and told the boy to go along with her. While she was gone she had been working hard digging a deep hole in the ground, and when she went after the boy she took him to the hole and threw him in. The hole was so deep that it was impossible for the boy to get out. She put some brush over it to keep any one from finding him. When Hunter returned home he asked his wife where his son was, and she told him she did not know where he was; that she had been looking for him all day long. Then they both went out to look for the boy, but she would not take the man near the place where the hole was, and so they did not find him. They looked until night, and again the next day and the next.

In the meantime the boy was growing very hungry, and so he began to cry. Finally he heard someone making a noise at the edge of the hole, but he could not see who it was, and so kept quiet, for he was afraid. Someone spoke to him, saying: "Boy, you are weary and hungry and I have come down to help you out of this hole. Now, do not be afraid of me, but catch hold of my tail and climb up." The boy obeyed, and when he came out of the hole he found that the person was Coyote. Coyote asked the boy if he would go along with him and the boy said that he would, and so they went on to Coyote's home. He was kept there for three or four years and was kindly treated and was happy. One day he asked Coyote to let him go home and see his father. He said: "I do not want to see my mother; I am very angry at her, and I am going to try to kill her, but I want to see my father, for he loved me and was kind to me. I am going to tell my father how my mother treated me, and then he will help me kill her. I will take my father and mother on a buffalo hunt when I get home, and toward evening we will kill a buffalo. I want you and your children to come near and howl, and then I will tell my mother to come with me to give you some meat. When we go among you I will push her over, and then I want you and your children to jump upon her and kill her."

Coyote consented, and so the boy went to his home. He arrived one evening and his father was very glad to see him. He asked his father if they could go out buffalo hunting on the next day, and he told his father all about what he was going to do with his mother. The next day they went out buffalo hunting, and he and his father found a herd of buffalo and killed one that evening. They made a camp nearby, and while the woman was cooking their supper they heard the Coyotes howling. After they had eaten their supper the boy told his mother to get some meat and come with him to feed the Coyotes. He told her to carry the meat on her back. She put the meat on her back, and then they started out toward the Coyotes, and the boy walked behind his mother. The woman was afraid, for it was almost dark, but the boy told her not to be frightened, for there was no danger ahead of them and that nothing would hurt her. They kept on going until they came to the Coyotes. The boy told his mother not to be afraid, but to go among them and give them the meat. As she took another step forward the boy pushed her down, and then the Coyotes jumped upon her. The boy came back to his father and told him all that had happened. The father and son lived together for many years.


Told by Wing

One time the people decided to go on the war-path, and when they were about to start they selected one man to be their leader. They started out and they had to go a long way before they could find the enemy. After they had traveled several days, the head man selected from eight to twelve men to go ahead and spy and see if they could locate the enemy. When any of these men located any of the enemy they would go back and tell what they had seen, and then all the others would ride out to fight the enemy. The leader chose for spies two men who were very close friends and who would always go together from place to place. One of these two was married and the other was single. One day they went out for some distance, and after they had gone about two miles, climbing up and down the hills, they came to a high hill, almost like a mountain. They decided to climb up this mountain so they could look far out over the country. They found on top a big hole in the rock that looked like an old well, and when they looked down into the hole they saw water. The married man told his friend to go down in the hole to get some water, for they were very thirsty. They had a long buffalo-hide rope and on this he descended. When he got to the bottom, he cried out to his friend to pull him up. Instead of pulling him up he threw the rope down the hole and went away and left him. He started for the camp, and when he reached there he told the head man that some of the enemy pursued them and that his friend was killed. It was a custom for the war party to continue the journey until they met the enemy in open battle, but if anything happened to a member of the party, or if any member should die through sickness or be killed, otherwise than in open fight with the enemy, then the expedition was given up and the entire party returned home. When the man told the head man that his friend had been killed, the camp broke up and all prepared to start home. When they returned to their homes, the errand-man was sent by the chief to all the camps to call the people together. When the people came the chief told them what had happened. The man in the hole was starving, for he had been in there several days without food. Whenever any birds passed over him he would ask for help and pray them to take him out of the hole, but the birds did not seem to take any notice of him. One day, after he had been in the whole nine days, there was a certain kind of bird passed over the hole and the man asked it for help. The bird went on, but finally flew over the hole, and the man again asked for help. The bird passed on again, and yet again, but the fourth time it lit on the ground and came near to the edge of the hole and peeped over the rim and saw the man. This bird was Buzzard, and Buzzard told the man not to be worried, that he would help him out, but that he must wait until he went back home after some of his medicine which he required. Buzzard went away, but came back and flew down to the bottom of the hole. Then Buzzard spoke to the man, saying that he was going to take him to the home of the Buzzards until he was able to walk home. The man was told to shut his eyes and then take one step forward. When he did this he stepped on Buzzard's back. Then Buzzard began to fly upward and out of the hole. Then Buzzard told him to open his eyes, and he did so and saw that he was on land again. The man was not able to walk at all, and so Buzzard told him to shut his eyes again, and they began to fly away from the place. After a while the man tried to open his eyes a very little, but Buzzard knew what he was doing and told him not to do it again. In a short time they arrived at the home of Buzzard, and while he was there the young man was treated kindly. After he had been there several days Buzzard asked him if he would like to see his people, and the man told him that he would, and then Buzzard called the man over to where he was, and when he got there Buzzard opened a very small place which was near where he was sitting. The man looked down below him and could see many Buzzard people. Two days after this the man was able to walk around and to do anything, and then Buzzard told him that he was going to take him to his home to see his people once more. Then Buzzard told the young man that his friend was jealous of him, and that the reason he had maltreated him was that he had been told he was going to take his wife away from him. Buzzard said: "I am going to take you home, and we will reach your home about dark, and when we reach a place that is near to your home I will have to let you off. Then you will hear your friend singing in his lodge, which is near to yours. When you go into your lodge you will find all of your people there, and when they see you, tell them not to cry or make any kind of noise. Your own sister will be there and you must tell her to go after your friend's wife. She will not refuse your sister, but come right along with her." They started out and Buzzard told him to shut his eyes again. When Buzzard told him to open them he could hear his friend singing, and he knew it was he because he recognized his voice. When they came near to his home Buzzard told him to get off of his back. He did, and went straight to his lodge, and when he went in his sister was the first one to meet him. When she came to him she began to cry. He told her not to cry, but to keep quiet. He told them how his friend had treated him and how Buzzard had taken pity on him and rescued him. When he had finished he told his sister to go and tell the woman to come. She went and told the woman that she was wanted. She did not hesitate, but went along with the girl, and they both came in and the woman saw her husband's friend, whom she thought was killed, sitting with the others. The woman stayed with this man and did not care to go back to her former husband any more. The husband was very sorry that he had told the stories to the head man and the chief. Many times after this these men went out on the buffalo hunt, and some of the others always watched him closely to see that he did not harm anyone else. Finally they noticed that every time they went out he killed one buffalo first, and then did not take any of the meat, but would cut it up or dress it as though he were going to take it, and then would scatter the meat as though he were dividing it out to some people. The people began to wonder what he did that for. After he had prepared and scattered the meat of the first buffalo he had killed he would go on and kill another one, and then he would take his meat home. After people had seen him leave the meat of the first buffalo many times someone asked him why he did that. He would not tell, but one time his uncle came and asked him why he had done that so many times, and he told him all about it. He said he had lived with the woman many years, and when he should die his wife should drop dead, too.


Told by Wing

One time the people broke camp and were traveling about looking for a village site. They traveled far until they came near the big water, and there they saw what they thought was a large rock. They decided to make their village near the rock, so they could use it as a dancing place. They had several dances on the rock, but not all of the people were there. One time, after they had been at the village for some time, they sent the crier to announce a big dance. All the people came and danced on the smooth, flat rock. While they were dancing they noticed that the rock began to move. They watched it and soon saw a big head and legs appear from under it. Then they knew that they were not on a rock at all, but on a big turtle. They tried to get off, but found their feet stuck tight. They cried and called for help, but the turtle carried them down into the water and drowned them.


Told by Hinie

A long time ago, when the animals were like people, dogs were noted for telling everything that they knew. In those days there were not so many dogs as now, but the best families always had a few hounds to take with them on the hunt. A man, Running-Water, who was a great hunter, wanted a dog to help him hunt, but he would not have one, because he hated to have someone always tattling on him and telling everything that he did. One time he saw four little pups and he decided to take one of them and try to teach him not to talk so much. He took the pup home, and every day, when he played with him, he would talk to him and try to teach him not to be a tattler like other dogs. The pup grew and was soon big enough to be taught to hunt. Running-Water began to take him out to hunt rabbits and small game. Every time the man killed any game the dog would sneak home and tell; then he would return to Running-Water in a circuitous way and come up to him from behind, as though he had been hunting all the time. Running-Water knew that the dog was trying to deceive him, and he whipped and scolded him. After each whipping he would stop running off and tattling for a little while, but soon he would begin again.

After a time the dog was big enough to go far away into the high timber to hunt with his master. One day Running-Water told his mother to prepare a large quantity of food, for he and his dog were going to the mountains to hunt and would be gone many weeks. He loaded several horses with provisions and started out, with his dog for his only companion. After three days of traveling they came to the mountains and made camp. They hunted several weeks and killed many big animals, and then started home. After a day's journey Running-Water missed his dog. He called him and searched for him and then went back to camp, thinking that he had perhaps gone back. He could not find him there, and so he gave him up for lost and again started home. He did not think the dog had gone on home ahead of him, for he thought that he had broken him of the habit of running home and telling everything; but when he came home he found the dog there. He had been there a long time and had told many big stories about the number of bears, mountain-lions, deer, coyotes, and other animals that they had killed. Running-Water was angrier than ever before, and he said, "I will make that dog stop tattling so much." He caught the dog, gave him a hard whipping, and told him he would pull his tongue out the next time he came home and told everything. Then, being still angry, he caught hold of the dog's tongue and pulled it as hard as he could, and then he ran a stick across his mouth. Ever since then dogs have had long tongues and big mouths.


Told by White-Bread

The following data is extracted from Traditions of the Caddo. Chicken-Hawk was a poor hunter and never succeeded in bringing his family more than a little mouse or some game that he had begged from another hunter. One time he met Eagle and asked him if he would not help him kill an antelope that he had seen not very far away. Hawk pretended that he had killed many such big game before, and acted as if he were being kind to Eagle in asking him to help him. Eagle said he would if he could have half of the meat. Hawk said that he could, and so they agreed to go hunting for the antelope the next morning. Hawk went on home, and when he arrived he told his family that he had shot an antelope through the head, but that he could not kill him, and so he had run him into a place for the night, and that he would return in the morning and kill him. Hawk arose the next morning and went to the place where he was to meet Eagle. They started on the hunt and hunted half a day. They found the antelope in the mountain. Eagle killed it, and then Hawk came down and they divided the meat. Eagle took his meat and went away. Hawk took his meat and went straight home to show it to his family, for he was very proud of it. He told them that he had met a person who had never tasted antelope meat and who was a poor hunter, and so he had given him part of his meat, but that the person promised to pay him back some day. His family were so well pleased that they told everyone what a good hunter Hawk was. One time, after the antelope meat was gone, a friend, who had heard what a good hunter Hawk was, came to visit him, especially to see if the reports were true. Hawk hunted all one day, but returned with only a mouse. The friend refused to eat the mouse. Again Hawk hunted all day, but could not find anything. As he was returning home he felt so ashamed, that he cut some of the meat off of his legs to take home for his friend to eat, rather than admit that he had not found any game. For that reason hawks have no meat on their legs.


Told by White-Bread

One time when the animals spoke many languages, and yet understood one another, Bear and Buffalo met. They commenced telling each other about the powers that each received from the Father and when these powers should be used. Said the Bear: "Once upon a time I was a human being and lived like a human being, and went with the people from place to place. When they camped in the open, my family always made a camp nearby in the timber or mountains, for we liked to climb the trees and play among the rocks. One night I had a dream. I dreamed that I was as you see me now, and I heard someone telling me of the many things that I had within my power to do. I was shown the place where I should stay, and I was given the paws and claws and the sharp teeth which I now possess. Then I dreamed that a human being was pursuing me and shooting at me with his arrows, and I knew that he was trying to kill me for food, as he does any other animal. I awoke from sleep and found that all I had dreamed was true, and from that time I have been as I am now. I left the people and began a new life in the mountains and woods, and from that time the people have hunted me and have tracked me with dogs. Now they call me Bear, meaning 'the mountain animal.' I have told you all." Buffalo began to speak: "I, too, was like a human being and my ways were like their ways when we first came to dwell upon the earth. My people were called the Buffalo people because our oldest chief was named Buffalo. One time our chief was taken away from us and we never knew what became of him, though we were told that the Great-Powerful-One had taken him to another world, and that someday we were all going to that other world, and that we would meet our chief there. We lived with the people and traveled with them, going behind them. The people began to enter this world, but we were forbidden to enter because someone had made a mistake that caused us to stay back where we came from. We found out that the person who had made this mistake was Coyote, and so our people began at once to pray that the Father would give him powers and teach him so that he might enter the world and take us along, that we might be with the people. We do not know how we came to be as we are now, but we know that in order to be in the same world as the people are we had to change into wild animals and that for the love of the people we had to be their game, and we were to be killed and eaten by them. Then we were given powers to be dangerous, and these horns on our heads were given to us to fight with."

Then Bear asked Buffalo if he could show just what he did when he was very angry or when he wanted to hurt or kill anyone. Buffalo began to throw up the earth and strike the ground with his sharp horns. Bear sat watching him, and all at once, before he knew what had happened, he was falling to the ground and Buffalo was coming at him again. When he had fallen to the ground a second time Buffalo asked him if he saw him when he first started after him. "No," said Bear. "Well," said Buffalo, "I think you ought to show me how you use your powers when you get angry." Bear began to go through his movement, and Buffalo sat watching him. Bear began to walk back and forth and look at Buffalo with angry eyes. Finally he began to move very slowly toward a small tree which was nearby, and when he reached the tree he grabbed hold of it and with his sharp teeth cut it down. Before Buffalo knew what had happened Bear was upon him and he was trying to get up from the ground, but Bear held him down until he was ready to give up. Finally Bear let him go, saying, "That is the way I do when I get very angry, but I would treat you worse than that if I wanted to kill you." Bear and Buffalo parted and went to their homes.


Told by Wing

One time when Rabbit's grandmother had gone off and left him alone he decided to wander about and see what he could see. He went along until he came to the home of Mountain-Lion. Mountain-Lion was not at home, so Rabbit went in and hunted about. He finally found Mountain-Lion's teeth and he took them and ran home with them. He was glad to find them, for the other animals were afraid of Mountain-Lion on account of his sharp teeth. Rabbit showed the teeth to his grandmother when he reached home, and said: "Now, grandmother, Mountain-Lion will soon be after his teeth, and we must fool him some way or he will kill us." Rabbit thought for a while; then he said: "Build a fire just outside the door, put a big kettle of water on the fire, and then put some stones into the water and boil them. When Mountain-Lion comes he will ask what you are going to do with those stones. Tell him that I have a guest in the lodge who is going to eat them. I will talk to myself in the lodge as though I were entertaining a friend, and when Mountain-Lion asks who my friend is, say 'Chief of all the beasts.'" The grandmother made a big fire and put the stones on to boil. Finally they heard a big noise, and Mountain-Lion came tearing through the bushes and came straight to the old woman. He asked her if Rabbit was at home, and she told him that he was inside talking to his friend and guest.

Then he asked what she was going to do with the stones, and she told him what Rabbit had told her to say. He asked who the friend was, and she told him, "Chief of all the beasts." "Oh, yes, I know him," he said, and at the same time backed off a little, and then he turned on his heels and ran as fast as he could.


Told by Wing

One time while Wild-Cat was out hunting he came upon Rabbit in the tall grass. Rabbit and Wild-Cat were enemies, and so they began to fight. Soon Wild-Cat had Rabbit down and was about to kill him, when Rabbit said: "How would you like some nice Turkeys to eat?" "That is just what I have been looking for," said Wild-Cat. "Well, I know where there are some, and I was just about to catch some when I met you. Now, if you kill me they will all get away. You had better spare my life until I show you how to catch the Turkeys; then you may do what you please with me." Wild-Cat agreed, and so Rabbit told him to stand still while he sang the Turkey dance song. After he had sung a little, he told Wild-Cat to lie down and pretend to be dead; that he would tell the Turkeys that he had killed Wild-Cat, and wished them to dance around him with closed eyes. While they danced, Wild-Cat was to jump up and grab all he wanted. Soon the Turkeys heard the song and came to see what it was about. Rabbit told them that he had killed the great turkey-eater, Wild-Cat, and that he wanted them to dance a victory dance around him. Rabbit continued his song, and as he sang the Turkeys danced. Wild-Cat peeped and saw one big one dancing near him. He jumped to get it, and as he grabbed the Turkey, Rabbit ran away through the grass, and so escaped from Wild-Cat.


Told by Moon-Light

In the beginning of the world there were many, many people, and the people held councils to decide how things should be. There was one man, named Coyote, who always had something to say on every subject. At one council this question came up: "How and what kind of rain should be in the world?" One of the men said that it should rain in the form of lead balls, which would be very dangerous, and so when the rain came the people would have to stay at home. Then Coyote arose from his seat and said: "If it should rain nothing but lead it would be very dangerous for my people, because they do not stay at home very much, and as for myself, I might be carrying a big deer to my family to eat when the rain begins to fall and I would certainly be killed. I say, let it rain in drops of water. Then we can be caught out in the rain and get very wet, but we will soon be dry again, and the wetting will be good for us." The people accepted Coyote's suggestion, and so it is that it rains in the form of water.

When the council was all over and the people went to their homes, Coyote made up his mind to go out and visit some of his friends. He traveled until he came to the mountains. He saw smoke coming up among the mountains, as though some one was making up a big fire, and he thought he would go up and see who was living there. When he came near to the place he saw some one sitting by the fire. It was the great, powerful Bear. Coyote went closer, and Bear asked him if he was the person who was called Coyote, and Bear told him that if he was that he was going to kill him, for he had heard many bad things about him. Coyote told Bear he was not the person, but that he was the son of a great and powerful medicine-man. Bear did not believe him and decided to kill him. When he was about to kill him, Coyote told him to wait until his father saw him, for he might have something to say to him before he died. This happened at sunrise, and when the sun was just peeping over the hilltops Coyote said to Bear: "Now you may kill me or do as you please with me, because my father is watching me." Then Bear began to back away, and as he did so, Coyote began to go nearer and nearer to Bear. Finally he began to push him with his elbow, at the same time saying: "Now kill me while my father is watching me." Bear thought that he must be a great man, if he was the son of the Sun, and he wondered how he received his powers from the Sun. He became frightened and gave Coyote many things to eat, and then Coyote told Bear to come and make him a visit some time, whenever he felt like going anywhere. A long while after this, Bear found out that the person who made a visit to him was not the son of the Sun, but that he was the man Coyote, whom he wanted to kill. Bear was more angry at him than ever, and so he thought he would fool Coyote some way by going and visiting him and killing him if he could find his home. Bear did not find his home, because Coyote was always moving from place to place, for he knew that Bear was after him, and that he would kill him if he could catch him.

While Coyote was moving from one place to another he came down to a large lake of clear, cool water, and after he had been there for some time he started off a little way from the lake. While gone he saw some one coming up toward him and, as he was very cowardly, he started to run away. The person was not his enemy, but a friend of his, Mountain-Lion. He called Coyote back, and so he came, and he told his friend that he was very hungry, for he had had nothing to eat for a long while. Mountain-Lion asked him to go along with him, saying that he would find something for him to eat soon. They both went to the lake, and when they came down to the water Mountain-Lion told Coyote that he was going to kill a young horse. In those times there were many herds of wild horses, and at the lake there was a certain place where the wild horses drank. Near the place where the road led to the water there was a large tree, and the horses passed under the tree as they went down to the water. Every day at about noon Mountain-Lion would climb the tree and then pounce down on a young horse and kill him. As Mountain-Lion and Coyote drew near to the tree Mountain-Lion told Coyote to place himself where the wild herd of horses could not see him, and so he did, and Mountain-Lion climbed the tree. Soon Coyote saw dust rise up from the ground and he heard something like thundering, and later he saw many hundreds of horses coming down to the water. As the horses were passing under the tree, Coyote saw Mountain-Lion jump out of the tree and pounce upon a young horse and kill it. Then Mountain-Lion and Coyote both had a fine dinner. That day, after they had eaten, Mountain-Lion told Coyote to continue on his way; but Coyote did not want to leave his friend, and so he asked Mountain-Lion if he could give him power so that he could kill a horse, too, and eat it when he was hungry. Mountain-Lion told him he would. They stayed there until the next day, and at about noon they both went down to the lake again, and went to the tree, and then Mountain-Lion showed Coyote how and what to do when the horses should come. He taught him how to climb the tree, and then he went out to place himself where the horses could not see him.

Soon they began to come from different directions, and as they filed down to the water Coyote picked out a fat young horse, and as they were coming up from the water he jumped on it and killed it. They had another fine dinner, and then Mountain-Lion said to Coyote: "Do not try to kill a three or four year old horse. If you jump on one that is three years old you cannot kill him and you may lose your own life. Try to kill one that is one or two years old and you will succeed every time." Coyote left his new friend and went on his way. The next day, while he was alone, he began to get very hungry, and so at about noon he went down to the lake to kill a horse. While he was on the tree he said to himself: "I wonder if it would be dangerous for me to kill one of the large horses. I may be stronger than Mountain-Lion, and so I will try to kill the largest horse and I will show Mountain-Lion that I am not so small as I look to him." The horses began to go down to the water, and Coyote waited and waited for the chance to jump upon the largest horse in the herd. Finally a large horse came, and when he was right under the tree Coyote jumped upon him. It was but a short time until the horse threw Coyote off from his back, and when Coyote was down on the ground the horse kicked him under the jaws and went off. As Coyote was about to die, Mountain-Lion, who had been watching Coyote all the time, came up to see what was the matter with him, and when he came up to him he saw his jaws to one side. Mountain-Lion asked Coyote what he was laughing about, and asked him if he was able to kill another five-year-old horse. Coyote lay there for a long time before he was able to move. Finally he arose and decided to leave the place, never to return to it. As he was going along a small stream he heard some one up in a persimmon tree, and so he thought that he would go over and see who it was. He found Opossum in the persimmon tree eating persimmons. Coyote went under the tree and asked Opossum to throw down some persimmons to him. Opossum refused and laughed at Coyote and began to play with him. Opossum would take one persimmon and eat it, and then he would throw the seeds down to Coyote. Finally Coyote became angry at Opossum and wished he could get him down from the tree. Sometimes Opossum would get on a small limb of the tree, and then drop down as though he was going to fall to the ground, but he would always catch himself by wrapping his tail around the limb. He kept on doing this to torment Coyote for a long time, until he climbed out on a dry limb. He threw himself off the limb again and said to Coyote: "I am falling off, sure. I am coming down," and just as he let himself off of the limb it broke off and down came Opossum. Coyote was upon him and gave him a good beating, and then he left him to die. Opossum fooled Coyote, for he was not hurt at all, and when Coyote went away Opossum jumped up and climbed the persimmon tree again. After a while Coyote looked back to see if Opossum was dead. He could not see him, and so he went back and found that Opossum was gone. He looked up in the tree, and there he saw him laughing at him again.


Told by Wing

One time Coyote went out hunting buffalo. While he was going through the timber he found Turkey up on the top of a tall tree. He told Turkey that he was going to kill him if he did not get down from the tree. He said: "If you don't come down I will climb the tree. If you fly to another tree, I will break it down at once, and will certainly kill you; but if you fly toward the prairie I cannot harm you, for I have no powers to kill anything on the prairie. "Turkey believed all that Coyote said and started out toward the prairie. Coyote was right under Turkey all the time. At first Turkey flew up so high that Coyote thought he was going to lose him, but after a long flight Turkey kept coming down lower and lower, and finally came down on the ground. Then Coyote was not very far behind and he caught up with him and killed him. While Coyote was eating Turkey, he happened to look around to make sure that no one was watching him. He thought that he saw somebody standing behind him making motions as if trying to strike him. He started to run without learning who it was. Every now and then he would look back to see if he were out of his reach. Every time he looked back he thought he saw the man right after him, ready to hit him. He ran with all his might, trying to get away from him. Coyote had been given power at the beginning of the world to run without decreasing his running powers. Coyote began to think that some great, powerful man was behind him and that he had to die. He had run eight times. The ninth time he thought he would run farther than usual. Again he looked around, right and left, and thought he saw the man just about to hit him. He started to run his best again, but his running powers were decreasing continually. He was then running for the tenth time; but it was all in vain, for the man seemed to be right up with him. Then Coyote thought he would fool the man, so he kept dodging right and left, but the man seemed to be near him all the time. When he started to run the twelfth time he had not gone far when he gave out. He rolled and turned over on his back and begged not to be killed. He fell over on his face, then heard something crack, and he thought it was one of his teeth, but it was only a turkey feather which had stuck between two of his upper teeth, and it stuck up nearly straight and level with his head back of his right eye. At first when he looked back he had thought surely that someone was standing behind him ready to strike him. When he found that he had been fooled by only a turkey feather, and had been running himself almost to death for nothing, he was very angry. Ever since, Coyote has looked wild, and when he runs he starts out very slowly for fear he may have to run a long distance, and when he runs he first looks around to the right and then to the left to see if anybody is near him. Most often he looks to his right side while running. When Coyote reached home he told his family and others that he had been running after a great big mountain-lion, and that he had killed it. He said: "If there had not been so many trees I would have brought it home."


Told by Wing

One time Coyote went out hunting along the river and saw someone walking along its banks, carrying something on his back. When he came nearer he saw that it was a man carrying a fish. Coyote came to him, and said: "How do you do, my friend? Where are you going? Where have you been? Where did you get that big snake?" "Well," said the man, "I have been out fishing nearly all night, and finally I caught this fish. I was so tired that I did not care to catch another." "What!" said Coyote, "do you call that a fish? How did you get hold of it?" "Well," said the man, "I will tell you how to get them. When evening comes go down along the edge of the river and break a place in the ice just big enough to put your tail in, and stay there until I come to see you again." That same evening Coyote went to the place and found the man waiting for him. It was getting dark. The man told Coyote to sit down by the edge of the water, while he was breaking the ice. Coyote did as the man told him. He did not know that this was a man whom he had tricked some time before and that he was trying to get revenge. The man left Coyote sitting by the bank fishing all that cold night. Toward the middle of the night the water began to freeze on Coyote's tail, and toward morning the ice got thicker and thicker, and when morning came Coyote tried to get up from his seat, for he was very tired, but he could not. There he was, trying in every way to get free, but he could not move. When the man came he said to Coyote: "How are you getting along? Are you catching any fish?" Coyote replied: "I think I have caught two or three of them, but can you help me to get them out on dry land?" "Yes," said the man, "of course I will, although I want to talk to you before we get the fish out of the water. You remember that a long time ago you were one of my best friends, but finally you tricked me, and now I am getting even with you. You will have to die, for I am going to kill you." "My friend," said Coyote, "I think you are mistaken. I do not think I am the man who played the mean trick on you. You know very well that I never betray my friends while I am able to see. If you will let me go this time I will go and bring the man you are looking for, and I will come back to-morrow evening and assure you that I am your friend." "But," said the man, "I do not see how you are going to get loose to go, do you? I will look for the other man myself, and I will do to him just as I am going to do to you." The man went back to his lodge to get his bow and arrows. When he returned to Coyote he took one of the arrows out and showed it to him and said, "You see this?" He began to sing the song that warriors sing just before they kill their enemies. When he had finished the song he shot and killed Coyote.


Told by Wing

Coyote was once a man and lived with the people. His great-grandfather named him Coyote, but because he did wrong the people came to dislike him and began to call him coward. The reason the people did not like him was because he was always scheming and trying to cheat someone. One time he went out to visit his best friend, and when he arrived at his friend's lodge he found that his friend had been feasting on white geese. "Where did you get these white geese?" "Well," said his friend, "I catch them every evening near the lake. Would you like to go with me this evening to catch a few of them?" "Yes," said Coyote. His friend then said: "You go on home and come back this evening. We will then go together and I will show you where the geese always come in the evening, and I will see that you have a good time, too. "Oh, you do not have to show me how to get them; I can get them all right. All you have to do is just to show me where they are," said Coyote. "All right," said his friend, and Coyote was pleased, for he thought he was going to have a very fine, fat bird for supper that evening. He danced all the way from his friend's home to his own. As soon as Coyote was out of sight the friend began to carry out ashes from the fire and place them near the lake, where he formed them in the shape of white geese. Just before it was evening he went out and put some coals under the ashes, and in a little while the coals burned up, but the fire could not be seen from the outside. When Coyote came to his friend he found him laughing and feeling in high spirits. "Well," said Coyote, "are you ready to go and catch a few white geese? I am ready to make a long jump and I think I can get two at once." "Well," said the friend, "I am ready, too. We will go now." They started out, and as they approached the place the friend began to go slowly, taking the lead, and when they came to the place he pretended not to see the first pile of ashes. Finally Coyote saw the first pile, came closer to his friend and began punching him in the back. Both stopped and Coyote said: "I guess I will have to kill this first one, and if I catch him I will take him for my supper." "All right," said the friend. Coyote began to get down next to the ground, going nearer and nearer to the pile of ashes. When he was about to jump, the friend began to laugh. Coyote paid no attention, but jumped on the pile of hot ashes and burned himself. He began to run from the place. He was burned so badly that he ran until he killed himself.


Told by Wing

In the days of old, when animals were like people and talked and visited each other, Coyote and Raven were great friends. One day after Coyote had grown weary of hunting for game and finding none, he went up to the top of the mountain to see his friend Raven. Raven had control of the buffalo and was always seen with the herds. (Now, since the buffalo has gone from the earth, Raven has disappeared and is seldom seen any more.) Raven invited Coyote to enter, and when he saw Coyote weary and sad and silent he arose, took an arrow, shot it up into the air, and then stood waiting for it to come down. It came down and pierced him under the right arm. He drew the arrow out and with it came buffalo meat and fat. He gave the meat to Coyote, who ate heartily. Then Coyote smacked his mouth, arose, and said that he must be going, but before he went he gave Raven an urgent invitation to come over and make him a visit, and Raven promised to come. When Coyote went home he began making a bow and arrow, and when he had finished them he put them away until Raven should visit him. One day Raven bethought himself of his promise, and so he left his home in haste to pay Coyote a visit. Coyote received him with joy. After they had talked about many things Coyote said: "I have no meat, for I did not expect you, but if you will wait I will soon have some for you." Coyote took his bow and arrow and shot the arrow into the sky, then stood waiting for it to come down. Raven watched him and said never a word. The arrow came down and struck in Coyote's thigh. He ran away screaming with pain and left his guest alone. Raven waited a while and then went home without any meat, but in very high spirits notwithstanding, for Coyote's performance amused him greatly and he chuckled to himself as often as he thought of it. Coyote continued to run until he pulled the arrow out of his thigh; then he took the arrow and broke it to pieces. He never went back to see Raven, and time passed on and none of Coyote's friends saw him, and they all wondered what had become of him. At last he grew so hungry that he had to go out for food. He found none, and so he went to visit another one of his friends, for he had many. Black-Mountain-Bear received him graciously when he came to his home and asked him in. Bear said: "I regret that I have no meat to offer you." As he spoke he leaned against a persimmon tree that was weighted down with many ripe persimmons, and as he leaned against the tree the ripe fruit fell to the ground. Bear smiled and asked his friend to eat. Coyote ate many, for he was very hungry. When he had finished he thanked Bear and said that he must be going, but before he went he insisted that Bear come to see him, and Bear promised to come soon. Coyote wandered all about looking for a persimmon tree. He could not find one with any fruit on it, and so he decided to take one without fruit. He cut the tree down and carried it to his home, where he set it up; then he went out to look for persimmons. He had stolen some from Bear's home, but he had not stolen enough. When he found more persimmons he took them home, and climbing the tree he placed the persimmons all over the tree, so that they looked as though they had grown there. Black-Mountain-Bear was out hunting one day, and as he was near Coyote's home he remembered his promise to visit him, and so he ran over to see him. Coyote was glad to see him and asked him in. "I am so sorry I have no meat for you," he said, "but if you will wait I will try to get you something to eat." Coyote began to bump against the tree with his head. He hit harder and harder, but the persimmons would not fall. Finally he arose and shook the tree with his hands, though it embarrassed him to have to do this. He gave the tree a big shake and over it fell, hitting him on the head. He pretended that it did not hurt and went about gathering up the fruit for Bear, though he could hardly see for pain. Bear ate, though he could hardly swallow for laughing, for Coyote's head kept getting bigger and bigger. After a little while Bear said that he must be going, for he was afraid to stay longer for fear Coyote would see him laugh. After he had gone Coyote sat down and held his sore head, but he felt happy notwithstanding, for he had furnished food for Bear.


Told by Wing

One morning while Coyote was out looking for something to eat he came to a grass lodge. Thinking that there might be food inside, he decided to go in and pay his respects to its owner if he should be there; if not, help himself to food. He entered and saw a man walking about with a light on his head. At once Coyote called out: "Say, friend, your head is on fire, and you and your house will burn up if you don't look out." The man smiled and replied in a calm voice: "I have always worn this light on my head. It was given to me in the beginning. It will not burn anything." Then the man, who was Woodpecker, gave Coyote something to eat. After Coyote had eaten all he could, he arose and said that he must go. He asked Woodpecker to come over and make him a visit, and Woodpecker promised that he would. Sometime later Woodpecker remembered his promise and so started out to find Coyote's lodge. He found it, and Coyote, much pleased, invited him to come in and be seated. Woodpecker entered and was surprised to see a big bunch of burning straw on Coyote's head. "Ah, take that off. You will burn your head." Coyote only smiled, and replied in a calm voice: "Oh, no; that will not burn my head. I always wear it. I was told in the beginning that I would wear a light on my head at nights so that I can do whatever I like to while others are in darkness." He had no more than finished speaking when the hair on his head caught fire. He began to scream and try to put it out, but could not. He ran out of his lodge screaming for help. Woodpecker waited for him to return, but he did not come.


Told by White-Bread

One time when Coyote was out hunting something to eat he met Deer. Deer asked Coyote where he was going, and Coyote told him that he was going out hunting. Deer asked Coyote how he killed his game, for he noticed that he carried no bow and arrows. "I can kill anything I can get my hands on," said Coyote. "But how do you get close enough to get your hands on your game?" Deer asked. "Sometimes I run the game down, sometimes I catch them asleep." Deer said: "I am considered good food; even the human beings are very fond of my flesh. If you can catch me I will let you kill me and eat me." Deer started to run, and Coyote started after him, but soon lost sight of him and gave out. He went on home, but he could not help thinking of Deer's offer, and wondering how he could catch him. He wandered about trying to find him asleep, but never did. One time, after Coyote had been out searching to find Deer asleep, he grew very tired and lay down in the tall grass to take a nap. When he awoke he heard someone singing nearby. He was badly frightened and sat up straight and rubbed his eyes and peeped about. He saw no one, but as he sat still and listened again he heard his name mentioned in the song. He jumped up and ran as fast as he could; yet he always heard the voice singing in his ears, just as near as when he woke up. He ran as fast and far as he could; then he dropped down to die. While he was panting, he heard the voice again, and it was so near that he heard these words: "If Coyote ever kills a Deer he shall be as fleet as he, and I who am singing am going to give him power to catch a Deer. I am the Wind." Coyote's fear vanished, and he arose and barked at the Wind in a loud voice, to give thanks. His weariness left him and he started out to find Deer. He traveled all day, but could not find him. At night he came to a camp, where he stole a buffalo robe. He put the robe over him and then went on to look for Deer. Down by the river he thought he saw him. He went another way and slipped round a bend in the river until he came close to Deer. He reached out his hands to grab him and said, as he caught hold of him: "I have you; I thought you said I could not get you." To his surprise he found that he did not have Deer, but the man whose robe he had stolen. The man took Coyote home with him and made him work for him and his sister, and treated him very cruelly, because he had stolen his robe. One time while the man was out hunting, Coyote went into the lodge and said to the sister in a loud, angry voice: "Pack up your clothes; I am going to take you to my home as prisoner, and you will have to work there as I have worked here. Your brother is killed and now you must come with me." The girl was frightened and obeyed. They started toward Coyote's home. Coyote went behind the girl with a long stick in his hand, and whenever she stopped or fell he hit her with the stick. The girl went on, though she was so tired and frightened that she could hardly move, and as she went she prayed that her brother was not dead, but would come and help her. In the meantime the man returned home and found his sister and Coyote gone. He knew at once what had happened and started after them and soon caught up with them; for he had the power to travel as fast as the fleetest arrow, though Coyote did not know it. When he was almost up with them he shot an arrow in front of his sister. She saw it and knew that her brother was coming to help her; then she began to cry the more from joy. Coyote whipped her for crying and made her travel faster. The man saw Coyote strike his sister and heard the cruel words that he spoke to her. He went on a hill and then shot another arrow. Coyote looked up and saw him and became frightened even more than the girl had been. He dropped his stick and ran to the girl and begged her to let him carry her bundle of clothing, and begged her not to cry. The man came down from the hill and asked Coyote where he was going with his sister. Coyote said that the people had treated them so badly he had decided to take the girl to another village, where the people would be kind to her. He said that he was helping her along the way and had been kind to her. The brother of the girl did not believe Coyote, for he had seen his treatment of her. He told Coyote to take the bundle of clothes and put it on his back; then he told his sister to sit on the bundle. He put his bow-string through Coyote's mouth and gave the ends to the girl. She sawed the strings back and forth and the man ran along by the side of Coyote, whipping him, and thus they returned to their home. This man was the Wind, who had become angry at Coyote for stealing his robe and trying to catch Deer with it, instead of waiting for him to give him power.


Told by Wing

One time when Coyote was out hunting she killed a big deer. She cut the deer up and hid it in a tree while she went home to get her children to come and help her carry the meat home. Wild-Cat saw her kill the deer and hide it, and as soon as Coyote was gone he stole the meat and climbed a tree on the bank of the river, where Coyote could not see him. After a little while Coyote returned with all of her happy and hungry children. They looked every place for the meat. The children were angry at their mother and said that she had lied to them. While they were abusing her, she saw the reflection of the meat in the water, and, thinking that it was the meat, she told her children to sit still while she dived for it. She told them that it had fallen into the water, but that she could very easily get it if they would only be quiet and wait. She dived and struggled in the water, reaching for the meat, but never getting it. Finally she sat down upon the bank to rest, wondering how she could dive deep enough to get the meat. After she had rested she told the little Coyotes to bring her some stones. She tied the stones about her neck and dived again. The Coyotes waited a long time for their mother to come up, but she did not come. After a while they saw some excrement on the water, and they laughed, for they thought it was the meat their mother had thrown up. When they laughed Wild-Cat laughed at their foolishness. They looked up in the tree, and there saw Wild-Cat and all of the meat. Wild-Cat told them that their mother was drowned. Then they began to cry, but Wild-Cat told them not to cry, that he was going to come down and take care of them. He climbed down and brought the deer meat with him. He gave the little Coyotes all they wanted and then took them home. After that, whenever he killed any game he always took some over to the Coyote children, and fed and cared for them until they were grown.


Told by Wing

Coyote was returning home after an unsuccessful hunt. He was going along sad and discouraged, when he heard someone laughing and playing. He listened for a while, then decided to go and enter into the fun, so that he might be cheered up. He ran over a little hill, and there on the other side was a big lake, and on the surface several white Geese were playing. He sat down behind some brush to watch them. They were trying to see which was the strongest. One would get on the back of another and fly, trying to see which could fly the farthest. Coyote decided not to enter into their play, but to try to catch them and take them home to his family. The Geese had seen Coyote coming, for they have power to see a long distance, but they pretended that they had not seen him and did not know that he was hiding behind the brush. Coyote watched them for a long time, trying to think of some plan whereby he could catch all of them. Finally he began to grin to himself, for he had thought of a plan that he thought would work splendidly. He limped out from the bushes, pretending that he had been hurt and was almost dead. The Geese, hearing him crying, turned and saw him come limping toward them, and they all began to swim out into the water. When they were out far enough for safety one turned and asked Coyote what was the matter with him. He answered: "I am going to be killed if I do not get across the water. I must get across, not so much on my own account as others, for if I am killed all the rivers and lakes will dry up and there will be no water for any one. I should hate to die and cause all of this to happen." The Geese thought for a while, and then decided to take Coyote and throw him into a deep hole; for the Geese were very smart people in those days and they knew that Coyote was lying to them. One old Goose, who was very strong, went to the bank and told Coyote to get on his back if he wanted to go across the water. Coyote said that he was too heavy for one to take him across; that he would not trust himself to one. The Goose told him to get on if he wanted to go across the water; that they did not have much time to fool away with him. There was nothing else to do, so Coyote got on the old Goose's back. The Goose flew up in the air so quickly that Coyote did not know what had happened until he was away up in the air. All the other Geese flew up, and they all took turns in carrying him. They flew over a timbered country back from the lake, and when they were directly over a large hollow trunk of a tree they dropped Coyote. He fell into the hollow trunk and could not get out. He began to pray for power, and asked everything all around for help; for he was frightened almost to death and thought he would never get out. A Fly flew into the hollow tree, and he prayed to him to give him any power that he had which would help him out of the tree. The Fly said that his power was too weak to help Coyote, but that he would go to a friend of his and bring him to help Coyote. The Fly flew away and soon returned, saying that his friend was coming. Finally he heard a bird on a tree nearby, and he peeped out of a small hole in the tree and saw that the bird was a Woodpecker. The Woodpecker called to Coyote and asked him if he really wanted to get out. Coyote answered in a weak voice that he did. The Woodpecker said that he had to go and get someone to come and help him. Soon Woodpecker returned with some of his brothers, and they began to peck a hole in the hollow tree. At last the hole was big enough for Coyote to get out. He told them to stick their heads in and see if they thought he could get out all right. They stuck their heads in and Coyote bit their heads off. After he had eaten all the Woodpeckers who had worked to make the hole for him, he escaped.


Told by Wing

Rabbit and his grandmother lived by themselves, and Rabbit often went out to hunt to get something for them to eat. He began to go pretty far from home, and his grandmother scolded him and told him not to go so far, but to remember that he was little and might be killed. Rabbit did not pay any attention, for he knew that he was a good runner. One time he went far away, but could not find any game, and so he turned around to go home. As he went he played along the way and sang to himself. Coyote was out the same day looking for something to eat. He was just about to give up and go home when he heard some one singing. He looked all about and saw Rabbit. He grinned to himself and quietly slipped up behind Rabbit. When he knew that he was so close that Rabbit could not get away, he yelled "Bo!" at Rabbit and made a grab for him. Rabbit was badly frightened, but he determined not to give up. He said: "Coyote don't kill me yet and I will tell you how to kill some good game. I cannot do it alone, and I have just been wishing that you would come and help me with my scheme." "What is it?" asked Coyote, very much interested. "I know where there is a big fat buffalo that we can kill if you will go with me." Coyote went, first telling Rabbit that if he lied to him he would kill him at once. Rabbit led the way to a place where an old buffalo stood. They went up to the buffalo, and Rabbit told Coyote to climb into its anus. Coyote obeyed and Rabbit followed. When inside, Rabbit told Coyote to begin to bite and eat the buffalo's sides. They both began and soon the buffalo fell dead. Then an old man ran up to the buffalo and began to butcher it. Rabbit told Coyote to hide in an intestine, and he hid in the bladder. When the man had cut up the buffalo he placed the intestines to one side, but threw the bladder away in the bushes. Rabbit crawled out of the bladder and escaped, but Coyote was discovered and killed.


Told by Wing

One time, when Coyote was out hunting for something to eat, he heard something crying like a child. He ran to some rocks from whence the sound came, and there he found Mountain-Lion's den and her young left there alone. He determined to devour them, for he wasvery hungry, but he hesitated because he feared Mountain-Lion. At last hunger got the better of his judgment, and, saying to himself that he was not afraid of old Mountain-Lion, he killed and ate all of her children.

When the mother came back from the hunt with food for her young ones, she could not find them. She looked every place, and soon discovered Coyote's foot-prints. She knew at once what had happened. She started out to find Coyote, but he always escaped her. After she had followed him many days, she .sat down on the bank of the river to rest. Not far away she saw some one and she at once recognized Rabbit. She determined to call Rabbit and ask him to help her catch Coyote, for he was the enemy of both. Mountain-Lion called to him in a gentle voice so as not to frighten him, and asked him to come to her, for she wanted to speak to him. Rabbit was afraid at first, but when Mountain-Lion told him that she wanted him to help capture Coyote, Rabbit came. They started along the river together. Soon they found a deer. Mountain-Lion told Rabbit to wait while she killed the deer. She followed the deer into the thicket, killed it, and then called Rabbit to come and help her cut it up. When they had butchered it, Mountain-Lion told Rabbit to cover her face with fat so that she could not be recognized ; then to put the deer on her back. After Rabbit had done that, Mountain-Lion told him to get on top of the deer and to drive her around until they met Coyote. While they were crossing the prairie they heard some one calling, "Rabbit, where did you get your fine horse ?" But Rabbit did not answer, and went on as though he had not heard the voice. Again the voice called, "Rabbit, did not you hear me? Wait, I say, I want to see your horse." Rabbit went on until Coyote, for it was he, had caught up with him ; then he said,"This fine horse was given to me. "Coyote said :"Get right off. That horse is mine. I lost it and you have found it. Get right off." Rabbit pretended to be afraid and jumped off. Just as Coyote was about to get on the horse, he stopped to bite a piece of fat off of its face. Then he recognized Mountain-Lion and started to run for his life, but it was too late. Mountain-Lion sprang upon him and killed him.


Told by White-Bread

While Coyote was out hunting something to eat he met Buffalo, who was very powerful among his tribe. He was eating grass and looked fat and well fed. Coyote asked him if he would give him power to turn into a Buffalo and eat grass as he did. Buffalo said: "Yes, I will give you the power which was given to me by the Great-Father-Above, but when I give you the power you must not use it every chance you get, but only when very necessary." He told Coyote to stand facing the other way and not to move, but to be brave as he was. Coyote stood still, wondering what was going to happen to him. Buffalo began to throw up dirt with his hoofs and to act very angrily. He told Coyote to keep his eyes closed. Then he made a plunge toward him, and when he was about to strike him with his horns, Coyote jumped out of the way, and Buffalo passed him without touching him. He did this the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth times, but the seventh time he stood there without moving. He could hear Buffalo coming at him, but he stood there awaiting what would happen to him. Buffalo struck him and rolled him under his stomach with his horns and threw him up into the air. When he came down on his feet he was turned into a very young Buffalo. He began to eat green grass at once. Then the old Buffalo told him that if he wanted to turn into a Coyote again, he must find a Buffalo wallow, roll himself over two or three times, and then he would arise a Coyote. Again Buffalo cautioned him not to use his power too often, telling him that the power was good for only seven times, and he also told him that he must not give the power to anyone else, especially to any of his own race. Before they parted the real Buffalo told Coyote to change back into a Coyote, and he did so, and then they both went on their way. Before Coyote had gone far from Buffalo, he wanted to try his power to see if he could use it alone. He did, and became a Buffalo. During that same day he tried his power three or four times, and before he had met anyone he had tried it six times, and had turned himself into a Buffalo for the seventh time. While he was a Buffalo he met one of his own people, a famous Coyote, and so he went up to him and said: "Do not you want me to give you some of my power, so that you can eat grass as I do? You look as though you were very hungry." "Yes," said Coyote. "Well, all right," said Coyote-Buffalo. "Go off a short distance from me and stand there and face the other way. Do not run, but be brave as I am. Close your eyes. Now, I am ready," and so he started at him, but the other Coyote jumped out of the way every time until the last time came. Then Coyote stood his ground, and Coyote-Buffalo rolled him under his stomach, and they both went up in the air and came down on their feet. They were both Coyotes, and they stood looking at each other for a time; then they separated and went off.


Told by White-Bread

Coyote was looking for something to eat, for he was hungry as ever. Finally, on his way, he heard a noise. He thought to himself, "Some people must be having lots of fun," so he made up his mind to go and enjoy himself with them. He went in the direction of the noise and he found many Turkeys. They were having fun by getting into a large sack and rolling down a steep hill. When the Turkeys saw him coming they said that they were going to put him in too. Coyote came and wanted to take part in the fun, for he thought it a good chance to kill some of the Turkeys. He let the Turkeys roll him down the hill two or three times; then he thought that his time had come to carry out his plan. He told all the Turkeys to get into the sack and he would roll them down the hill. Every one of them crawled into the sack, and then Coyote tied it fast at each end, so that they could not get out, and put it on his back and started for home. He had four young sons at home, and calling them to him he opened the sack and took out one of the Turkeys, saying: "You see this. I have that sack full of Turkeys. Build a big fire and we will have a feast." They built a fire, but did not have enough wood to make a big, hot fire. "We will go to the timber for wood, and you," speaking to his youngest son, "stay here and watch the sack." "Be careful not to untie the strings," said Coyote. Then he and his three sons started for the wood. After they had been gone a little while young Coyote thought he would look into the sack and see what the Turkeys were doing. He untied the strings, and just as soon as he untied the strings the Turkeys all ran out and flew away. Young Coyote did not know what to do, but finally he decided to put some dirt in the sack and fool his father that way. He went to work and filled the sack with dirt. His father returned and said, "Now, children, we will have a fine feast," and went to the sack to kill three or four more of the Turkeys; but when he opened the sack he found nothing but dirt in it. Coyote was very angry at his son, and he asked him how he had let the Turkeys get away, and the boy told him all about it. Coyote killed his young son and ate him in place of the Turkeys.


Told by White-Bread

One time Coyote was out hunting something to eat, and on his way he heard a noise and he said to himself, "I think those are some Turkeys that escaped from me some time ago. They will not get away this time, for I will kill them before I get home." And so he made up his mind to go and see what they were doing, and to catch them. When he went to the place, he found Ducks playing about in the water. When they saw Coyote coming they knew him at once, for they had often heard about him. They came out of the water and stood on the bank, and when he came up they asked him if he would like to play with them. He said, "Yes, that is just what I want to do, and I will show you some of my tricks after you show me some of yours." They debated what to play, and one of the Ducks spoke up and said: "We will play in the water. We will take one man and take his eyes out and let him dive into the water just as long as he can hold his breath, and as soon as he goes under the water we will throw his eyes into the water after him, and when he comes out from under the water his eyes will be in their place. How do you like that?" the Duck asked Coyote. "That is all right," said Coyote. "Well, we will commence now." The first Duck had his eyes taken out, and then he dived into the water and his eyes were thrown in after him, and when he came up he had them in their place. Then another took his turn, and so on until every one of the Ducks had tried, and then Coyote's turn came. His eyes were taken out and thrown into the water after him, and he came out with his eyes in their place. The Ducks were given power to do most anything that they wanted, but they had the power to do each thing only once. Coyote wanted to try the trick once more, but the Ducks did not want him to try it again, for they knew that their power was limited to one time. Coyote kept begging them, and finally the Ducks let him try the trick again, and so they took his eyes out and he dived into the water. The Ducks knew that they could not put the eyes in place again, and so they flew away and left Coyote. While he was going along he was talking and crying. He was asking someone who had greater powers than he to help him out of his trouble and to give him eyes again. Finally a man found him and he told him that he would help him all he could, and told him to wait there until he returned. He went off to find something with which to make Coyote some new eyes. He was gone for a while, and when he returned he had some green buckeye balls.

He told Coyote to be brave once more, that he was going to hit him where the right eye was with the buckeye ball, and then where the left eye was with another ball, and then he would be able to see; and so he did, and thus Coyote's eyes were restored.


Told by Wing

One time, as Coyote was returning from a long and unsuccessful hunt for game, he passed the home of his old friend Turtle. Being weary and hungry and in no hurry, he decided to stop and make Turtle a visit. Turtle invited him in and offered him something to eat, as Coyote had hoped that he would. While Coyote ate, Turtle stretched himself out to rest, saying, "I am tired out. I have just come back from the races." Coyote asked "what races." "Our people have been having foot races down by the river. Have not you heard of them?" Coyote smiled at the thought of Turtle's racing and said that he had not heard of the races, and if he had he surely would have been there. "Who won?" he asked. "I did," said Turtle. "I have never yet been beaten in a race with my people." Coyote answered, "I have never been beaten either. I wonder how a race between us would come out." "The way to find out is to have a race," Turtle said. "I am willing, if you are. When shall we have it?" Coyote answered. They determined to run the race two days hence. In the meantime Coyote had finished eating, and so, promising to come on the second day to run the race, he departed. When he arrived home Coyote sent his son to call all of the Coyote people and announce to them that his father was going to run a race with Turtle, and that he wanted them all to come and bet heavily on the race, for of course he would defeat Turtle. As soon as Coyote had gone Turtle sent his son out to announce that his father was going to run a race with Coyote, and that he wanted all of the best runners to come to his lodge. They all came and listened to Turtle's plan to beat Coyote in the race. Turtle arose when they came in and said: "We all know that Coyote is a good runner, but he is also a cheat. He has cheated us in many ways. Let us now cheat him out of this race. Will you help me do it?" Every one present agreed to help him. Then he continued: "This is my plan. I want each one of you to put a white feather in your hair just like the one I wear, and paint yourselves to look just like me. Then station yourselves at intervals along the course. Coyote will run with his head down, as he always does. One of you will start with him, but when he has left you far behind drop down in the grass. Then the next one will jump up and run. Coyote will look up and see you ahead, then he will run until he passes you. Then the next one will jump up and run, and so on until the last one. I will be the last, and beat him over the goal." The Turtles talked over the plan, then arose and went home to prepare for the race. The first day passed, and then the day came when they had to run the race. Early in the morning the Turtles stationed themselves along the way in the tall grass, and soon Coyote came. They began to discuss the distance they should run. Turtle wanted to run a long distance, but Coyote did not want to go a very long distance; he thought that he could beat Turtle in a short distance just as easily as in a long distance, and he did not care to tire himself. Turtle insisted, and so Coyote said that he would agree to any distance that he would mention. Many Coyotes came and began to bet on Coyote. They started to run and all the Coyotes began to laugh, for their man was far ahead, but soon to their surprise Turtle was ahead. Coyote overtook Turtle, and then they began to laugh again. Soon they heard the Turtles cheering, and to their amazement Turtle was far in the lead. Again Coyote overtook Turtle, and again Turtle came up far in the lead. The Coyotes cheered one moment and the Turtles the next. Just as Coyote had passed Turtle and was near the goal, Turtle crossed the line, and all the Turtles set up a loud cheer. Coyote ran off in the grass, and is wondering yet how Turtle beat him in the race, and all the other Coyotes are angry at him because he lost the race and caused them to lose so many bets.


An old, blind woman lived all alone. Her home was far away, and no one ever came to see her and few people even passed by. Though she was blind and old she somehow always had plenty to eat and seemed to get along as well as anyone else. She always had her pot full of meat, and those who passed could smell it cooking, and they wondered who brought the meat to her. Whenever she sat down to eat she would always say, "All ready for dinner," just as though she were calling someone to come and eat with her; then she would say, "Orphan, I was only talking to myself." One day Wild-Cat happened to come to her house while he was out looking for something to eat. He smelled the cooking meat, and so decided to stop a while. When he went in he saw that the old woman was blind. He slipped quietly to a corner and sat with one eye on the boiling pot and the other on the old woman while he tried to make a plan to steal the meat. After a while the old woman took the pot off of the fire and sat down to eat, but first she called, "All ready for dinner. Orphan, I was only talking to myself." Wild-Cat sprang up ready to run, for he thought that she saw him and was talking to him. When she did not say anything more, but began to eat, he forgot his fright and slipped over and began to eat, too. He ate very quietly, being careful not to crack any bones or to make any noise in chewing or swallowing. He ate until there was only a little left in the pot; then he slipped quietly out. After that he came there every day and ate so much that he grew slick and fat. One day Coyote met Wild-Cat and said: "You always seem to have plenty to eat, and yet I never see you kill any game. Where do you get so much to eat?" Wild-Cat told Coyote how he went to the old woman's home and ate from her pot every day. Coyote wanted to go along, and so Wild-Cat agreed to take him, but first he made him promise to keep very quiet and to do only what he was told. Coyote promised, and so they started to the old woman's place. When they came near Coyote smelled the cooking meat and started to run on ahead, but Wild-Cat pulled him back. They slipped inside and sat near the door while the meat was cooking. When the old woman took the pot off of the fire and called, "All ready for dinner," Coyote jumped up, and it was all Wild-Cat could do to hold him back. When the old woman began to eat, Wild-Cat and Coyote slipped up and quietly stole meat out of the pot. Coyote put a big piece in his mouth and began to chew so hard that he forgot all about keeping quiet. His jaw came down on a bone and it cracked so loud that the old woman jumped up. Wild-Cat saw his jaw coming down on the bone and was out of the house by the time the old woman jumped up. She ran to the door and closed it, and then took a long spear that stood in the corner and began to poke around in the room. Coyote slipped about for some time, but finally the spear pierced him and he cried out with pain. Then the old woman knew for sure that someone was in the house, and so she kept on poking until she killed him. Wild-Cat came back next day and found Coyote dead. He was sorry, not because he cared for Coyote, but because he was afraid to go in the old woman's house again to eat, for fear she would kill him.


Told by Annie Wilson

One time while Coyote was out hunting something to eat he decided to go where Snake lived. He started in the direction he thought Snake lived and went to many places, but he could not find him. He went along talking to himself, saying, "I thought so; Snake is not as poisonous as people think, and if I ever find him I will show him my power." He kept going from place to place. Finally he came to one place and thought he would stop and rest for a while. He was not there very long when he heard someone calling him. He arose and looked around and saw Snake coming toward him. When Snake came up to him, Coyote asked him how he was getting along in the world, since he had been made so small. "You look so small that I do not think you can do very much harm to any one, though I have heard many times that you have much poison. They say that you are more dangerous than I, and so that is the reason I have gone from place to place looking for you. Now that I have met you I want you to show me in what way you are more powerful and dangerous than I am." Snake said: "Yes, I look very small to you, but you know that although I am small I am given power by our Father, and by his aid I have done many things in this world. I have killed many animals, large and small. Now you have come to see me, and whatever you want me to do I will do it; but first tell me what you want me to do." "Well," said Coyote, "I want to see which of us has the most power." "All right," said Snake, "you may bite me just once anywhere you like, and I will bite you, too, and in that way we will see who has the more power." "But you have to bite me first," said Coyote. "All right," said Snake, and went up to Coyote and bit him on the top of his nose, and then said: "That is all I can do." Coyote stood there as though he was not hurt at all. He asked Snake if that was all he could do, and Snake said: "That is the best I can do to show you my power." Coyote said: "Well, it is my time to show you my power." "Yes," said Snake, and so Coyote came up to Snake and bit him nearly in two. Snake cried out and begged Coyote to let him go. "Now," said Coyote to Snake, "you lie there and I will lie here. We will call to each other every now and then, so that we can see who will live the longer." Snake went a little way off and laid down, acting as though he were about to die. Coyote also went off a little way and lay down. He was thinking Snake would die in a little while, and so he called out to him. Coyote could just hear him answer in a weak voice, as though he was almost dead. After a while he heard Snake calling him and he answered with a big voice. They kept on calling to one another all night. Toward daylight Snake called Coyote, but no answer came from him. He called again, but still no answer. The third and fourth times he called, but there was no answer. Snake went over to see what the matter was, and when he got there he found Coyote all swollen and dead. Snake was more dangerous than Coyote.


Told by Wing

The women made their corn mills from the trunk of an old tree. They cut a piece about two feet through and three or four feet high and hollowed it about twelve inches deep in one end. There they placed their corn and ground it to meal with a pounder. There were many of these mills, but one that was very old and smooth the women liked best. One day a woman went to use the old corn mill, and as she pounded her corn she saw that it was diminishing too fast, and when she had it ground she saw that she had only a little. She gathered up her meal and said nothing, but watched the next woman pound her corn. It disappeared in the same way, and so did the corn of the third and the fourth women who came to use the mill. They all wondered what could be the matter with the mill, and they examined it carefully and saw that it was not the old mill that they had always used. One of the women cried out to get an axe and cut it and see where their corn had disappeared. As one of the women ran to get an axe the mill fell over and began to roll about, and Coyote jumped up from the place where the mill had been and ran away. Coyote had turned into a corn mill and hidden the old one so that he could get all he wanted to eat.

Prepared By


Dorsey, George A. "Traditions of the Caddo." Carnegie Institution of Washington, Number 41. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1905. Internet Archive. Web.7 Nov. 2013. <https:// archive.org/ details/ traditions ofcadd 00dorsrich>.

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