Topic: Legends

Tale of The Girl Who Married A Turtle

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...

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Tales of The Girl Who Married A Star

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...

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Tale of The Girl Who Had Power To Call The Buffalo

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 any one 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...

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Tale of The Flood

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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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Tale of Snake-Woman Distributes Seeds

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...

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