Sacred Texts  Native American  Southeast  Index  Previous  Next 

p. 25


A man lived with his wife and a number of dogs. One time he got sick, and his wife would stay away all day, starving him and his dogs almost to death, and when she got back she would beat the dogs. One day the oldest Dog came to him and said, "Can't you go hunting?" "Oh, no," he answered, "I am really not able to." There was a creek close by and a boat there, so the old Dog asked him if he could manage to get down to the boat. "No," he said. "All of us together could take you on the bed and carry you down." "If you will do that, I will go," he answered. Then the dogs carried down his kettle, gun, shot pouch, etc., and put them on board. Afterwards they got him ready, took him down, and put him in the boat. Then the old Dog sat in the bow of the boat, and he sat in the stern and paddled, while the rest of the dogs ran along on the bank. When they got to the first camping place the dogs came up with lots of squirrels, terrapin, turkeys, etc., and they took him out of the boat and carried him up the bank. Then they brought his things to him and he cooked what they had brought, and all ate. At daybreak they carried him down to the boat and they went on down the river. They did this every day until he got stronger and able to sit up. By and by he was able to stand up and walk about. One day the old Dog said, "If you will go down this hollow a little piece, we will make a bear drive." When they heard the old bear at bay the Dog told his master to let it get on a little farther. It repeated this several times, and finally said, "This is about the place," upon which he fired and killed it. It was a fine animal and he skinned it and cut it up into smaller pieces, which the dogs carried to camp along with the hide. The chunks of bear fat were fried down to cracklings and they had plenty to eat. By this time he was able to go hunting himself.

One day the old Dog spoke up from the other side of the fire, saying, "Your wife was beating and starving you to death because she had another man. He was in the field house (tcåbofa tcuko) (in the cornfields). If you want anything done we might do it." He answered, "If you see what is best to do, do it." Then the old Dog spoke to the younger dogs, and they started off howling. He remained on the opposite side of the fire, however. About midnight he said, "They are nearly there." Then, "They have gotten there" "They have seized him." "They have done the work." The man said to himself, "If he says so I suppose it is so." By and by they could hear the dogs howling and about daylight all came in covered with blood. "We have done the work," they said to the old Dog, and he answered, "That is all right." Some time after this the old Dog said, "If you think it is time to go back, we will go." So they piled the meat and skins into the boat, the old Dog got in the bow, and they started on up

p. 26

the river. Then they came to a place where lived an old couple who had a girl, and the old Dog said, "That is the place where we will stop. When we get there tie the boat and take us up to the house." He did so, and the people in the house said, "Your wife found another man for herself, but the wolves came and killed him." The old Dog had also said to him, "They will give you a pan of sofki, but say, 'No; my dogs are hungry,' and they will give you a second dish. Say to the old woman, 'We have a little meat down at the boat. Go and fix and use that.'" When she started down to get it the young dogs all ran down and helped her stow away the meat in the cribs. She said, "Those are the smartest dogs I have ever seen. Your wife has gone. Take this girl here for your wife." So he married the girl. (Told by Big Jack of Hilibi.)

Next: 19. The Monster Lizard