[Told by Moses]
There was a boy named Ts?ak* and his old grandmother. They had a small house, and a small brook was running near by. There were salmon in the brook. Ts?ak* went down carrying a stick with a bone point, and speared the salmon. He got a great many. Then he made a rope of cedar twigs and strung them up. Then Ts?ak* went up the little river and caught many salmon. Then he returned, but he did not find the string of fish that he had placed in the water. He had lost it. Then he was sorry, because the great Grizzly Bear had eaten all the salmon which he had strung on the cedar twigs. He said: "Big drop-jaw Grizzly Bear has done this." Then the great Grizzly
[paragraph continues] Bear came down and said to Ts?ak*, "Why do you scold me?" Ts?ak* replied, "Why do you eat all the salmon I catch?" Then they began to scold each other, and the great Grizzly Bear said, "I shall snuff you in if you say 'Go ahead.'" Then Ts?ak* said, "Go ahead." At once the Grizzly-Bear snuffed him in, and Ts?ak* was in his stomach. Ts?ak* carried a strike-a-light, pitchwood, and tinder. He was in the stomach of the great Grizzly Bear, but he was not afraid. He struck his firestones and made a fire of pitchwood in the great Grizzly Bear. Now there was a great fire. The great Grizzly Bear ran about, and smoke came out of his mouth. Before long he fell
down dead. Then Ts?ak* came out at his anus. He ran about at the place where lay the great Grizzly Bear whom he had killed.
Then he returned. He strung up his salmon, and went to the little house of his grandmother. Ts?ak* said, "Grandmother, I killed a great Grizzly Bear. It is in the woods. Give me your little fish knife." His grandmother said, "You are a liar, slave! You are fooling me." Ts?ak* replied, "Grandmother, it is true." Then his grandmother gave him her little knife, and accompanied him toward the place where the great Grizzly Bear lay. He cut it, and she carried the meat all day long. Now they had brought it down and placed it on the drying sticks. Then Ts?ak* went into the woods to cut fuel. He carried a little stone ax. Then he cut firewood. He and his grandmother were very glad.
Now there was a town on the opposite side of the river. In the morning Ts?ak* rose and took some coals. He chewed some tallow and entered the house of the chief. It was full of people who were gambling. Ts?ak* spit into the fireplace. Then his saliva blazed up. One man said to Ts?ak*, "What are you chewing there?" Ts?ak* replied, "The penis of a little dog." The man then said, "Spit into the fire again." Ts?ak* spit into the fireplace, and the fire blazed up. The people took hold of Ts?ak*; they took a rope. There stood a tree to which they tied him. Now he was somewhat troubled. Then many people rushed to the house of his old grandmother and ate all the meat that was in it. Nothing was left. They ate all. They were the Wolves. Now they returned and untied Ts?ak*. They sent him out
of the house and he returned to his grandmother. When he entered their little house, all the meat was gone. Then they cried. Ts?ak* and his grandmother had no food. They were crying all the time.
In the evening Ts?ak*'s grandmother was fast asleep. Then he took his knife and cutout her vulva. He roasted it. When it was done, he roused her and said, "Grandmother, awake! Your meal is done. There was a little, of the meat left over, and I roasted it." His grandmother rose and ate it all. Then Ts?ak* ran out and made a song on his grandmother: "Grandmother ate her own little vulva! Grandmother ate her own little vulva!" Then his grandmother shouted to Ts?ak*, "Don't enter my house again, slave!"
Now Ts?ak* walked about outside. His grandmother did not let
him in again. She felt ill at ease because her vulva had been cut off. It grew dark. Then Ts?ak* took a stick and went down to the beach. It was low water. He walked about on the sand and looked for cockles, which he wanted to eat. He was crying because he had nothing to eat.
Behold, he saw a man coming up to him who asked, "Why are you crying?" Ts?ak* replied, "The Wolves have eaten all the meat that we had for our food." The man said, "Oh, indeed! Why don't you take revenge?" Then the man put his hand under his blanket and pulled out a hollow bone. He said, "Now go across the river; there you will find a knothole. The daughter of the chief is in the
rear of the house. Put this tube through the knothole. Aim right at the heart of the chief's child. Then blow through it." Ts?ak* did so. The bone struck the heart of the chief's child. Then the chief cried, thinking that his child would die quickly. They sent for many shamans (they are the ones who cure disease), but they did not succeed. Then Ts?ak* said to his grandmother, "Go on, Grandmother, and tell them that I will cure her." But Ts?ak* was not a shaman. His grandmother left. She entered the chief's house and said to him, "That slave talks nonsense again. He says he will cure the child of the chief." Then the foolish people rushed up to her and threw her out of the house, because Ts?ak* was not a shaman. That was the reason why they did so. Ts?ak*'s grandmother went to the little house, and as soon as she saw Ts?ak*
she said, "They turned me out of the house!" But Ts?ak* repeated, "Go on, Grandmother. I really want to cure her." Then she went again and entered. She said again, "He wants to cure the chief's daughter." And two wise men said, "Let him do as he says"; and they agreed that he should cure her. Ts?ak*'s grandmother went out and returned. She told him that they had agreed. Then Ts?ak* rose and called the wren, the x-sk*īek*, the x-sg*a'nt, and all the little birds. Then Ts?ak* dressed himself. He carried one little bird named Rattlebox. They went in, and Ts?ak* sat down at the feet of the chief's daughter, who was very sick, and all the birds sat down. They
carried small sticks. Now the chief's great slave rose in the corner of the house. He was a giant, and his head reached up to the corner of the house. He had a big belly. Then one boy went toward the rear of the house, and stood near by in front of him. The boy took a stick and struck the slave's belly while Ts?ak* was performing his incantations. Therefore the people used to call the slave Drum-belly. Now Ts?ak* pulled out the sickness and saved her. He took all her father's elk-skins in payment. She gave herself to him in marriage, and he took all her grease boxes. Then Ts?ak* became a great chief, because he had saved the chief's child. He married her, and the chief gave with her his giant slave whose name was Drum-belly. Ts?ak* really married the daughter of the chief.
He stayed there a long time, and then he got tired of the woman. He heard that there was a woman on the other side of the mountain. He said he would go. Ts?ak* left his wife. Only his slave, the wren, and another bird accompanied him. They went a long time and arrived at the foot of the mountain. The trail led to it, but there was no way of going on. Then Ts?ak* caught a robin. He skinned it and put on its skin. He flew upward and nearly reached the top of the mountain. Then be came to a great fire, which was just like lightning. It burnt the robin's wings, and he fell back to the foot of the mountain. Then Ts?ak* took off his skin. He caught a bluejay, skinned it, and put on its skin. Again he flew upward and almost reached the top of the mountain. Again he came to the place where
it was burning all over. Then the bluejay fell down. He dropped down again to the foot of the mountain. Ts?ak* was very much troubled because there was no way to go on. He and his great slave, Drum-belly, lay down on the grass, and slept. It was almost daylight, and Ts?ak* was still asleep. Then he heard a voice: "My grandmother invites you in." He did not know who was speaking, and lay down again. He bit a hole in his blanket and looked through it. Behold, there was a little Mouse that came out of a bunch of grass and said, "My grandmother invites you in." Now he saw the little Mouse disappearing under the bunch of grass. He rose, went to the grass, and pulled it out. Behold, there was a house under it. A woman was sitting there. "Enter, my dear, if it is you who wants
to get a wife." Ts?ak* entered and sat down. The woman said to Ts?ak*, "Throw your earrings into the fire." He did so. He threw his earrings into the fire. Then the woman pulled them out of the fire by magic. She was the Mouse. Then she kept Ts?ak* and his great slave in the house, but she sent back the wren and the other bird. Ts?ak* finished eating. He was quite satiated. Then the woman stopped giving food to them. She said, "I myself am the trail leading through the mountain. I am not a shaman, but my sister on the other side is a great shaman. She will give you advice." Then she opened one corner of her house. Ts?ak* and his great slave went through it, under the mountain. The trail led that way. They passed through it; then they found another house and another woman. She was also a Mouse. Then he and the great slave entered, and the
woman said, "Throw your earrings into the fire." Ts?ak* did so. He threw his earrings into the fire, and she pulled them out by magic. Then the woman said to Ts?ak*, "All the princes from everywhere try to marry the daughter of the chief. The stone door of his house has killed a great many. It shuts rapidly. He uses it to kill the princes. You must count how often it opens. It will open four times. Then put this across the doorway. Wait a little while before you enter." Then the woman gave him a little carving of ice, not very long. Ts?ak* wore a marten robe and a dancing robe. He came near the house. Then he asked the great slave to sit down. He alone approached it. Now he came near the door. Then he did as the
woman had instructed him. He counted four, then he placed the carving of crystal across the door so that it was unable to close again. Ts?ak* entered. He was not killed by the door. He came in and stepped up to the place where the chief's daughter was lying. Then Ts?ak* lay down. The chief's daughter was very glad when she saw the beautiful man. They were playing all night. Then the chief heard it. Very early in the morning he said to his sister's sons, "Light the fire." His nephews did so. They started a great fire. Then the chief told them to take the skin of the great bear, and he ordered them to spread it out in the rear of his house. Then the chief said, "Let my son-in-law come to the middle of the house." Ts?ak* rose and stepped down to the middle of the house. Then he saw that the hair of the bear was very long. The chief intended to kill Ts?ak* with it. He was
to sit down on it, and then the hair would enter his anus, and thus he was to die. Thus thought the chief. But Ts?ak* placed the carving of ice under his feet, and he moved it over the skin. A noise was made by the breaking of the bear's hair. Ts?ak* sat down, and the hair did not enter his anus. Now the chief was ashamed because Ts?ak* was not dead. He said, "Walk to the middle of the house." Thus he spoke to his child. His daughter went down to the middle of the house and sat down beside Ts?ak*. He married her. Then they ate.
When Ts?ak* had finished eating, the chief said to his nephews, "Make a large pyre and place stones on it." His nephews did so. They built a large pyre of wood and placed stones on it. When the stones were hot, the chief ordered a large box to be taken down to the
fire, and water to be poured into it. It was done. Then one man took a pair of tongs; another took another pair of tongs; These two persons took the stones and put them into the box, which was half full of water. Now the water began to boil. When it was boiling over, the chief said to Ts?ak*, "Rise and jump into this hot water." Ts?ak* did so. He jumped into it and sat down. His body was covered by the water. Only a little of his hair was visible. Now the water boiled violently, and Ts?ak*'s wife cried when she saw how he was being cooked. Then a person went down to the box and pulled at Ts?ak*'s hair. It came out, and the person said, "He is well done." Now the chief told them to pour out the water. When they had done so, Ts?ak* rose. Then he went to the rear of the house and said to
his wife, "Your father will not be able to kill me with all his arts." Then the woman was glad, but the chief was ashamed.
The next morning the chief said, "Come, Son-in-law. Fetch some fuel. One of my nephews and two slaves shall accompany you." Ts?ak* rose. The slaves took stone axes such as the people used in olden times. Ts?ak* felled a great tree. It fell and he split it. Then one of the slaves made wedges. They also carried a large stone hammer, which was fastened with thong to a handle. They put the wedges into the end of the tree. They struck them with the hammer and the tree split. Then they pushed Ts?ak* into it and knocked out the wedges. The tree snapped together, and Ts?ak* was in it. The slaves saw
blood coming out of Ts?ak*'s mouth, and they left him, saving, "Now you have been put to shame!" They went home. But Ts?ak* kicked the great tree, so that one half fell to one side and the other half to the other. He carried one half on his shoulder and went home. He threw it into the house, and the whole house front was broken. Then the chief was ashamed, and he worried because he was unable to kill Ts?ak*, who was a great supernatural man.
The chief did not know what to use next, but after a while it occurred to him what to do. One morning he said to Ts?ak* that he should go and spear a seal that he wanted to eat. His nephew and two slaves were to go along, so there were four in the canoe. They started, and found a place where seals were. It was at the edge of a great whirlpool. They asked Ts?ak* to stand in the bow of the canoe, to
hold the harpoon and spear the seal. One of the great slaves stood near. He intended to push Ts?ak* into the water, that he should die. While the slave was intending to do so, Ts?ak* threw him into the water and he died. The whirlpool swallowed him. Then Ts?ak* began to spear seals and filled his canoe. He returned and landed in front of the house. The chief had lost one slave, and they told him that he had been drowned. Then Ts?ak* carried the seals up and they cooked them. When they were done, he called the whole tribe, and they ate the seals. Now the chief gave up trying to kill Ts?ak*.
Ts?ak* now thought of returning to his grandmother whom he had left, and to his first wife. Then he went back, accompanied by his
new wife, and by his great slave Drum-belly, who had stayed alone in the woods far from the town. They called him, and they returned. Then they came to the place where the Mouse woman lived. She said to Ts?ak*, "Did you succeed in your attempt?" Ts?ak* replied, "I did succeed." Then she gave them to eat until they had enough. They started again and went through the mountain. When they had passed through, they entered the house of the other Mouse. The Mouse women watch both ends of the trail that leads through the mountain. Ts?ak* went on, and reached his own house. That is the end.