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Tale of The First War Party

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 near by 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...

Tale of The Effeminate Man Who Introduced Strife

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...

Tale of The Death Of The Cannibals

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 some one 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...

Tale of The Dangerous Water Monster

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 at once 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...

Tale of The Creation And Early Migrations

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 every one. 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...

Tale of The Coward, The Son Of The Moon

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, so 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 some one 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....

Tale of How Rabbit Stole Mountain-Lion’s Teeth

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...

Tale of The Brothers Who Became Lightning And Thunder

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...

Tale of The Boy Who Married A Mountain-Lion

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...

Tale of Splinter Foot Boy

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...
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