In early days the Indians lived in camps, and when they got tired of one place they moved off to another. The men would go out hunting and the women would go to dig mud potatoes. One time, while they were living this way, each clan encamped by itself, an old woman came to one of the camps and said, "I would like to warm myself on the other side of your fire." They said they had no place for her and added "Maybe they will give you a place at the next camp." But the, people at the next camp said the same thing, and so it was with all of them until she came to the last, which was the Alligator camp. 1 There they said to her "Why, there is plenty of room here. You can stay here." Next morning the men started out hunting and the women went for potatoes, leaving the children at home. Now this woman was Corn itself and, while they were away, she made hominy out of herself and fed the children with it. When the grown people came home the children said "My, this woman had plenty of food. She fed us all while you were gone." Then the leading man said "Tell her to have plenty of food and I will eat when I come back." So the children told her, and she made blue dumplings and all kinds of foods made from corn. The children said "Why, she shelled it off from those sores," but he answered "All right, I will be hungry and eat it." When he returned he feasted with the old woman and thought the new food good. Then she told him to build two cribs with an entry between them, and she said "At night, just at dark, put me at the door of one and push me in, and come right away." He did so and could hear a roaring that night. Next morning, when he went to the cribs, they were both filled with corn. It was
in this way that flour corn and flint corn originated. The same old woman also told the man not to drop the corn around or waste it.
One time some people were living in a certain place, and they noticed that the dripping from the eaves of the house (I do not know whether this was during a rainstorm or not) were red. So they picked up some old pieces of pottery which had been dripped upon (called paskī') and put them under the bed. During that night they heard something under the bed crying like a child, so they drew out what they had placed there and found it was a baby. The old woman who found him took care of him and nursed him until he grew up. When he got to be, about four feet tall, she made a bow and arrows for him, and he wandered about shooting. A long way off from where they lived was some rising ground, and the boy was told never to go to that and look beyond it. When the boy went out hunting for the first time he came in and said to the old woman, "Some things with blue beads came running." "Those were turkeys," she said; "We can eat them. Kill them. They are game." The next time he came in he said, "I saw some things with white tails." "We eat those. They are good," said the old woman. When he got back with these various things he would find the old woman with white dumplings and other corn foods, and he wondered how she got them. One time he came back and, instead of entering the house, peeked through a crack. Then he saw the old woman shake her body, and when she shook it the grain poured out of her.
By and by the young man went over to the rising ground which he had been warned not to cross and looked over. On the other side he saw people playing ball. When he came back the old woman offered him some food but he would not eat and she said, "You scorn me, then." He had seen men and women on the other side of the hill, and he did not care for her any more. Then the old woman told him to find a rattlesnake and a blue jay. Out of these she made him a fife (flute).
That was to be an ornament for the top of his head. Then she told him to kill the trees all about to make a field. "When you get through," she said, "take me and drag me all around over that place and burn me up, and after three months come over and look at me."
The boy did as the old woman had told him, and afterwards he put on the headdress she had made for him and crossed the rising ground again. There he met a Rabbit who made friends with him. They went on together and presently they came to a pond where there were turtles, and Rabbit said, "Let us go in and get some turtles." So they got ready, and when Rabbit said "Dive" they dived together under water. Rabbit, however, instead of remaining down there getting turtles, came out right away, seized the youth's headdress and ran away with it. Meanwhile the youth collected a number of turtles which he tied to a cord and brought ashore. He found that Rabbit
had disappeared with his headdress, but he took the turtles he had caught and went along until he came to a house. Putting his turtles into a hole which had been dug near by he went to the door and said to the old woman who lived there, "You had better make a fire and cook those turtles, and send round to invite all of your neighbors." She did so and had a feast. After the feast all met at the square ground. When Rabbit came there wearing his red coat (?) and headdress, the rattlesnake and jay called out, "The rumor is that Pasakola has stolen that man's cap." He struck them with his flute to make them stop, but they kept on calling just the same and trying to get to their true master, so the people took them away and gave them to him.
After that the youth took the old woman's daughter as his wife. One day he went down to the river with her and washed his head in the stream, and all of the fish floated up intoxicated. Then he said to his wife, "You had better tell your mother to come down and cook this fish." So the old woman went down to the creek and found lots of big fish there, and she told the young men to go all around the edge of the town and notify everybody to come to the feast. All did so. By and by the youth told his wife to comb her hair in the center, and when she had done it he seated her on the doorstep, took an ax, and with one blow cut her in two so cleverly that he made two women out of her.
After that Rabbit thought that he could do the same things. So he went down to the creek and washed his head and told his wife (who was sister to the wife of the other man) to tell her mother to go down and get the big fish there. She went down, but there was nothing there. Then Rabbit had his wife comb and part her hair, seated her on the doorstep and struck her on the head, killing her instantly.
By and by the youth recalled what the first old woman had told him about going back to see where he had dragged her about, and he did so. He found the whole place covered with red silk corn (probably yellow corn). Wormseed and cornfield beans were also growing in this field. So he used the wormseed as a "cold bath" (medicine) before he ate the corn and the beans, and that is why they now take it before eating corn in husking time. (Told by Big Jack of Hilibi.)
13:1 See Story 5. The Alligator, Tåmålgi, and Turkey clans were considered as practically identical.