[Told by Moses]
There was a boy who had lost his father and his mother; only his mother's brother, the chief of the village, remained. One day this chief was purifying himself by drinking a decoction of devil's-clubs. He did so repeatedly because he intended to give a potlatch. One evening he went down to the beach; there he sat down and looked up to the sky. Behold, fire came down from the sky like a shooting star. It came right down. A tree was standing behind the house of the chief, and a branch was standing out from the tree. The fire came right down to it and hung on the end of the branch. The chief
saw it. He went up to the house and sent for his people. When they entered, he said, "Copper is hanging on the branch of a tree. The young people shall go and knock it down. If one of you young men hit it, he shall marry my daughter."
Early the next morning they went up behind the house of the chief. The old men also went to look. The young men took stones, and threw all day long until their hands were quite sore; then they stopped for a while and ate. Then they went up again and tried to knock the copper down, but they did not succeed. It grew dark. Then the poor little boy went down to the beach in front of the house and sat down near a canoe, where he urinated. Then he saw a man approaching who said, "What are the people talking about?" The boy replied,
[paragraph continues] "A copper hangs on a tree and the people tried to knock it down, but they did not succeed." "Go on and try to hit it yourself," said the man. Then he took up a stone and gave it to the boy. He took up another one and gave it to him, and still another one and gave it to him. Then he said, "You shall knock it down. Take first this white stone, then this black stone, then this blue stone, and finally this one." The poor little boy took them, and then the man said, "Do not show these stones to the people."
On the following morning the people went again and began to throw. The poor little boy went up with them and said he would throw too.
Then the young men rose and pushed him, but the wise men stopped them and said, "Let him throw too." Then the young men sat down. The poor little boy rose and took a stone. He swung it in his hands so that it whistled. It whistled four times, then he let it go. He almost hit the copper. He threw again and almost hit it. He threw the black stone first, then the white one, then. the blue one. He almost struck it. Finally he threw the red stone. It hit the copper right on its end. The poor little boy had hit it and it fell down. Then all the young men ran up to it, everyone claiming it. But the poor little boy did not mind. They took it along and ran with it into the house of the chief, intending to marry his daughter, but he who
had hit it was standing behind all these liars. Then the chief said, "Wait a while."
When it was evening, the growling of a white bear was heard behind the house of the chief. The chief said, "Whoever kills the white bear shall marry my daughter." Then all the young men rose and ran out very suddenly because the chief had said, "Whoever kills the white bear shall marry my daughter." The young men did not sleep because they wanted to pursue the white bear. In the evening the poor little boy again went down to the beach. He sat down there, and again a person approached him who asked, "What are the people talking about?" The poor little boy replied, "Last evening a white
bear appeared behind the town. Whoever catches it shall marry the daughter of the chief." Then the man, who was standing near the poor little boy, said, "Ask for a bow and arrow. You shall shoot it."
Then the poor little boy went up. When it grew dark, all the young men were in the house of the chief. The latter took down to the fire a quiver holding bows and arrows. He gave one bow and two arrows to each man. Then the poor little boy, the chief's own nephew, went down to the fire too. His father and his mother were dead, therefore he was poor. Only his old grandmother took care of him.
[paragraph continues] He also asked for a bow and two arrows. Then all the young men made fun of him; but the wise men said to the chief, "Give a bow to the poor little boy." The chief did so and he took it. It was evening, and a little before daybreak the white bear appeared again behind the town. All the young men ran out. A long time after they had left, the poor little boy ran out, too. It was as though a fly were flying. The wasp pitied him, and therefore the poor little boy was able to transform himself into a fly. Before the young men could reach the white bear, the poor little boy had passed them. He hit it and it lay there. His arrow passed right through it. Then he took the
arrow, and fat was seen right across the nock of the arrow. Then the poor little boy returned. Now all the young men reached the bear and took it, though the poor little boy had killed it. Then they rubbed their arrows with blood, intending to say that they had shot it. They lied because they wished to marry the daughter of the chief. Then they carried the white bear into the house of the chief. One young man went down to the fire and said, "Look at my arrow! I shot the white bear." The chief said, "Give me all your bows and arrows that I may examine them and discover who killed the white bear." They gave them to him and he examined them. Then he demanded the arrow of the poor little boy, and, behold, he had shot the white bear. Then they were all very much
ashamed; the chief also was much ashamed. He did not speak, because the poor little boy had first knocked down the copper that was on the tree behind the house of the chief, and then he had also shot the white bear. All the young men, and also the chief, were ashamed, because the poor little boy had accomplished this.
Then the chief made up his mind. He was ashamed, and therefore he sent his slave ordering the people to move away from the village. The great slave ran out, and with a loud voice ordered the people to move. They heard it, and early in the morning they moved. Not a single person stayed behind. They all went by canoe. Only the chief's daughter and the poor little boy were left, and with them his old grandmother. These three stayed behind. The old grandmother
had a few pieces of dried salmon, but the chief's daughter would not eat. She fasted. The poor little boy did the same.
The princess slept in the rear of the house, while the poor little boy slept near the fire. They lay down, and he thought of their poverty. It grew dark, and it grew daylight again. The poor little boy left the house. Near the end of the town there was a great river, and a trail led up the river. The poor little boy went along this trail. He went a long time and came to the shore of a large lake. A grassy opening extended to the water of the lake. There he stood and shouted. The water rose and, behold, the one that had charge of the lake emerged. When it saw the poor little boy standing near the
water, it came ashore quickly toward the place where the poor little boy was standing. It was a great frog. It had long claws of copper. Its mouth was copper, and so were its eyes and its eyebrows. It came near the poor little boy and almost caught him. Then the boy started to run. It almost caught him, but the boy escaped and the great frog returned. It could not overtake the poor little boy. The poor little boy ran right to the place where a large cedar tree stood. Then he went out of the woods to where the princess and the old grandmother were. Now they had almost nothing to eat. He went about among the empty houses, and there he found a stone ax; after a while he found a handle. Then he tied the ax to the handle. He sharpened
it on his whetstone, and in the evening he went to cut a tree. He worked at it the whole day. In the evening it fell. Then he cut up a small tree, making wedges. When he had finished them, he took them to the large tree. Then he found a stone hammer. He tied it to its handle, and split the heart of the large tree. He spread it out wide enough so that a man could pass through it. Then he split a small tree. He selected one that was not very tall. Then he placed these trees across the trail. There were two sticks that he had cut. These he put across the crack of the large tree. 1 Then he stopped. He went home and found the princess and the old grandmother.
[paragraph continues] He did not speak and did not eat. It grew dark, and before daylight be rose. He went and came to the shore of the great lake. He stood near the water and shouted four times, looking up to the sky. The water rose again and, behold, the great frog emerged. Its claws were copper. Copper was its mouth, its eyes, and its eyebrows. It went quickly toward the shore, but the poor little boy did not mind. When it had almost reached him, be ran away. The frog almost scratched his back. Now he arrived at the place where he had placed the tree across the trail, and he slipped through. Then the great frog also struggled to get through, trying to catch the poor little boy. It tried to squeeze through the crack of the
tree. When the poor little boy saw this, he returned, took his stone hammer, and struck the sticks with which he had spread the tree out of the crack. They flew out and the great tree closed, killing the great frog. It could not get out again. When the poor little boy saw that it was dead, he put in the wedges and opened the great tree. Then he took out the dead frog. He laid it on its back and skinned it. He left the claws on the skin. He finished, took the skin, and threw away the flesh. Then he took the skin in order to practice. He put his arms and his legs into it, and laced the chest. Then he went to the shore of the great lake and dived. He walked
on the bottom of the great lake and caught a trout. Then he returned. He went ashore carrying a small trout. Then he took the skin off. He took good care of it. There was a tree that had a long branch. He hung the skin of the great frog on it. Then he went home. The princess was still asleep. The poor little boy stepped very softly and entered the house. He laid down the little trout in front of the house. Then he entered secretly and lay down. Early in the morning the princess rose. She heard a raven crying on the beach. When she heard it, she said to the poor little boy, "See why the raven is crying on the beach." The poor little boy rose and went out. He went to the front of the house and, behold, a little trout
was lying on the sand. The poor little boy took it and went up with it, and he entered and spoke to the princess, "The raven found a little trout"; but he himself had caught it at the bottom of the lake. The poor little boy had acquired for himself supernatural power, but he did not want the princess to know it, and she did not know it. It was evening again, and the poor little boy made ready to go. But the princess did not eat the little trout, only the poor little boy and his grandmother ate what the raven had found in the morning. Then they lay down. The princess lay in the rear of the house, and the boy lay near the fire. In the evening the poor little boy rose and went
out again. Then he found the great skin of the frog and put it on. Again he went to the shore of the great lake and dived. He walked about on the bottom of the lake and caught a trout, a little larger one. Then he went ashore again. Again he put off the skin and hung it on the branch of the tree. He went home again and laid it on the sand in front of the house. The poor little boy entered secretly and lay down. When the day broke, a raven was crying on the beach. The princess heard it and said to the poor little boy, "Go and hear why the raven is crying on the beach." The poor little boy went down again, although he himself had caught in the lake what the raven found on the beach. He went down and took it. Then he returned again and entered. He
laid it before the old grandmother, who split it and roasted it; but the princess did not eat, only the old grandmother and the poor little boy ate of it. He did so every night. Then he finished catching trout in the lake.
One night he went out again and found the skin hanging on the branch. He put it on and went down the river, the outlet of the great lake, at the bottom of the water. He went down to the sea; then he walked about on the bottom of the sea and caught a salmon. Before daylight he laid it down in front of the house. Then he went up the river again under the water. He went ashore out of the great lake and took off the great frog's skin and hung it up. He went home and arrived before daylight. He entered secretly and lay down.
[paragraph continues] When the day broke, the princess rose. Again she heard the raven crying on the beach; there were even two ravens. She called the poor little boy, saying, "See why the ravens are crying on the beach." Again he rose and went down. There was the salmon that he himself had caught in the sea. He took it and went up. He entered, carrying it, and laid it down near the old grandmother. She split it and roasted one-half. When it was done, she addressed the princess, wanting her to eat of it, and she ate with them. The poor little boy and the old grandmother ate one end; the princess ate the other end. He did so every night. Then the princess noticed that the skin of the poor little boy began to be very clean. One night she did not sleep,
but she watched him until midnight. He was no longer a boy, but a youth. Now she saw that he was very clean. She saw that not long after dark the poor little boy rose. She was still watching when he reentered. She was unable to sleep, and a little before daylight the poor little boy entered the house. He lay down again, but the princess did not sleep. Now it was daylight, and the raven cried on the beach. Then the princess herself rose and went out. She went down to the beach. Behold, a large salmon lay in front of the house on the sand. The princess herself took it, and she entered, carrying it, while the poor little boy was still lying down. She said, "Rise!" Then the poor little boy rose. The princess said to him, "I wish to question
you." The poor little boy sat down near to her, and the princess said to him, "I know that you found the trout and the small salmon. The raven did not find them on the beach. Now I have found a large salmon. I know that you have got many trout. You killed them. My grandmother dried many salmon, and I have found this large salmon." Then the poor little boy said," It is true. My uncle treated us thus. He deserted you and me and my grandmother. We were without food, therefore I went into the woods. I came to a large lake. Then I shouted, and a great frog emerged. It swam ashore and I killed it. I skinned it, and I put on its skin. Then I caught trout and salmon and I became very clean. Now I am great. You
have taken notice of me." The princess replied," You shall marry me," and he agreed. He married her and he was now a man; he was no longer the poor little boy.
He caught many salmon, and the house was full. Then he filled another house. He went into the sea, and caught bullhead. He dried many. Then he went to catch halibut, and they dried many. He obtained every kind of fish, and caught a great many. Four houses were full of provisions. Then he went to catch seals, and he caught a very great number. He put them into another house. Now he went to catch porpoises, and placed them in another house. Then he went to catch sealions, and they obtained a great many large water
animals. Many houses were full of sealion grease, because the sealions are very large. Then he got whales. He obtained very many.
Now they had two children, and for a long time he caught animals with his hands. Suddenly he became very tired. He told his wife, and she began to worry, and rebuked her husband, saying, "Please stop"; but he caught four large whales and there was a smell of grease all along the beach in front of their houses. The butts of the trees where he had carried up the meat and the fat of whales were full of grease. Bones were lying about in front of his house, and the grease from the whales covered the water of the sea.
Now, many of the people who, with his uncle, had deserted him
were dead. His uncle was a very great chief. Now his uncle thought that his daughter, the poor little boy, and the grandmother were dead, and he spoke to his people. The chief had lost many of his people, because there was no food. Many of them and all the children were dead. One day, early in the morning, some people started to look after the princess, the poor little boy, and the grandmother. They were traveling in four canoes. They were approaching the place. When they were still far from the shore, they saw grease on the surface of the water. They noticed it. When they approached the town, they saw several houses full of dried salmon, trout, halibut, and bullhead, and others in which was the grease of
seals, of porpoises, of sealions, and of whales. He had very much, because he had caught four whales. He had caught very much with his hands. Then his uncle's people landed. They told him that many of the tribe were dead. They entered his house and he fed them. Then they ate dried salmon, fat of the seal, and fat of the porpoise and of the whale. Then he presented them with dried halibut, bullhead, and trout. He gave presents to those whom he had invited in. He gave them fat of the seal, porpoise, sealion, and whale. Then they started and left him. They landed at the place where the chief was living. Then the people came to the beach and told him that the
town of the young man was full of dried trout, salmon, halibut, and bullhead, and of fat of the seal, porpoise, sealion, and whale, that the butts of the trees smelled of meat of the whale, sealion, porpoise, and seal that was lying about, and that four houses were full of dried trout, halibut, and bullhead. When the chief heard this, he was very glad, and he was also glad when he heard that his daughter had two children. He said to his people, "Let us move again." The great slave went out and ordered the people to move back to the place where the princess and the poor little boy were living. The old grandmother had died. Then the people moved, and they stayed at the place
that they had once left. Then the boy gave them much dried trout, salmon, halibut, and bullhead. He did what was just right. Then his uncle's people were glad. They were saved, because they now ate dried trout, salmon, halibut, and bullhead, and he also gave them a little fat of the seal, porpoise, sealion, and whale; and his uncle's people were very glad, because they were saved. And all the people said that the poor little boy, when grown up, should be their chief.
The boy always went out to sea to catch seals for his uncle's people, and he always told his wife that it was very hard to take off the frog blanket. Then his wife worried and cried when she lay down. Now
the people brought many elks and slaves. They brought enough elks to fill two houses. And he bought them with trout and dried halibut and salmon and bullhead; he bought many slaves. Then he gave a potlatch. He invited all the people from other places. Then he accomplished what he intended to do. The people went into his house, and he placed the elks and all his other goods and his slaves in the middle of the house. Then he said to his uncle, "You shall distribute them." His uncle agreed, and told him to put on the skin of the white bear. He also wore the great copper that he had thrown down from the tree when he still was the poor little boy. He placed the great copper on his head. Then he walked to the middle of the house and stood near the pile of elk skins; then he sang. When the song was ended, the chief said, "Now I will
call your name"; and he named him Growing-up-like-one-who-has-a-grandmother. When he had finished, he put off the great copper that he had used, and he put off the skin of the white bear, and he gave away the slaves to all his guests, and he gave them elk skins. When he had finished, they started away.
After he had finished, he again put on his frog blanket, intending to catch seals for food for the people. He found it very difficult to take off his frog blanket. Then he went to bed and told his wife, and she began to cry. He said, "When I put it on again, I shall not be able to take it off, and if I do so, I may not return; I shall only bring seals and halibut and place them in front of the town. I shall not
come ashore again, and I shall stay in the sea. All the year round I shall secretly put ashore seals, halibut, salmon, porpoises, sealions, and whales as food for my children." He said so every day.
One morning his wife went down to the beach in front of the town, and he was lost. He did not come ashore again. He stayed at the bottom of the sea. Therefore the woman, every morning when she rose, went down to the beach and cried, accompanied by her two children. They saw two halibut, and they took them up to the house. One morning she went out again, crying, and she looked seaward, crying, because her husband was lost in the sea. Then she
saw two seals. Growing-up-like-one-who-has-a-grandmother had given them as food to his children. Another morning she went down. She went down, crying, every morning. She saw a porpoise. She carried it up. Another morning she went down with her two children, and she saw a sealion. She went down and carried it up. Thus her children had always enough. Another morning she went down, and when she ceased crying she saw a great whale. Then she did not go down again, because she could not carry the whale. She said to her father's people "Fasten this whale to the house. The father of these children sent it here. He also sent the sealions, the
porpoises, the seals, and the halibut. He told me what he was going to do, because he could not get off his frog blanket, and now he really lives in the sea."
148:1 He split a large tree and opened the crack, which he spread apart by means of two short sticks, placing the whole on the trail which led up to the lake.