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Tale of The Turtle Who Carried The People Away

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...

Tale of The Second Man Who Came Out Of The Earth

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...

Tale of The Power Of The Cyclone

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 some one to take my place and to whom I could entrust my powers. As I...

Tale of The Power Of Buffalo And Bear

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 near by 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 some one 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...

Tale of The Poor Hunter And The Alligator Power

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 every one 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 some one 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...

Tale of The Orphan Boy Who Became A Wrestler

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...

Tale of The Origin Of The Medicine-Men

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 any one, 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 any one 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...

Tale of The Origin Of Day And Night

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...

Tale of The Origin Of Animals

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 food enough 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...

Tale of The Old Woman Who Kept All The Pecans

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...
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