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p. 289


Among some people bathing for strength was a man named Kâhâ's!î. He was very poor. The people bathed continually in preparation for war. He, however, was very miserable. When the others came out of the water they always laughed at him. He kept urinating in his sleep. He was always turned over on one side. It was when all were asleep that he went down to the water. When he got very cold he came ashore and went to sleep. And when daylight was coming on he threw his urine under him. Then it always ran out from under him. They kept bathing for strength in war. His friends used to whip each other in the water with boughs. They tried their strength on a big tree having a dead branch growing out from it which they called the tree-penis. And when they ran ashore out of the water they always kicked him (Kâhâ's!î) out of their way. "When will this man break off the tree-penis?" [they said].

p. 290

The man went into the water the last time he was going to enter it. At that very time he heard some one down in it from whom he was going to get his strength. Strength was his name. Then the person came out behind him. He had a large head covered with curly hair. He held boughs. "Now," he (Strength) said to him, "come up to me." Then he went to him. He knocked him into the water. Twice he called him. At once he whipped him hard. "I am Strength. I come to help you," he said to him. "Break off the thing the people are trying their strength on. Put it back again along with some urine." Then he ran therein the night. His friends did not know it. After day had begun to dawn his friends ran thither. It was not known that he had broken it off. Why had it never been broken off before? The very first one now broke it off. Then they inquired, "Who broke off the tree-penis?" and people said, "It was Kâhâ's!î who broke it off." They laughed at him because [they thought] he was not strong. Then they started off with the strength they had waited for. At that time [the

p. 291

[paragraph continues] Indians] had no fighting ammunition. This is why they always bathed for ammunition, sitting in the water. The strong men had nothing at all with which to kill the sea lions. At once the head man said as follows, "Take him also." They said, "Take him there." They had nothing with which to kill the sea lions. Then they told him that they would take him along. They said, "Take Kâhâ's!î there." It was at that time that they gave him his proper name. They took him out to the sea-lion island. Then he caught up two sea lions. The one on the left he threw upon a flat rock, but the one on the right he tore in pieces. All kinds of strength came to the poor man to help him, and his friends never beat him afterward. He never put on clothes in time of war. His strength continued for a long time. It came to be known even down to this day. People always use his strength with which to surprise other people, and they always imitate his strength. a

This is all.


289:a For a longer version see story 31, pp. 145-150.

291:a That is, it is used as a crest and imitated at feasts.

Next: 94. The L!ê'nAxxî'dAq