Two men went to war, but after they had had some encounters with the enemy one of them fell sick and they decided they had better return home. While they were camping about on their way back the one who was sick said that he wanted something very much. "What is it?" asked his companion. "Fish," he replied. Later, when his companion was away from camp, the sick man found a place where a tree had been uprooted, leaving a hollow filled with water, and in this was a fine fish. He cooked this, ate as much as he wanted of it, and saved some for his friend. When his friend returned he said to him, "You know how much I wanted some fish. I found one and have eaten a part but I saved some for you. I discovered it in some water at the root of that tree that is blown over." But his friend answered, "It might not be good, but as long as you have eaten some take the rest." So the sick man finished it.
Soon after this night came on and they lay down on opposite sides of the fire. But some time in the night the sick man called out to his friend repeatedly until he awoke him. "What is the matter?" said his friend. "I have a curious feeling," replied the other. "Look at me and see what is wrong." So the well man lighted a pine knot and examined his companion and he found that he had turned into a snake from the hips down.
The snake man said, "Do not be afraid of me. There is a spring over yonder and when it is morning you must accompany me thither. Take along two pine knots. I will call out when I get tired." By morning the sick man had turned completely into a serpent which hung from one tree to another above him. When his friend struck the two pine knots together he came down and the other led the way toward the spring. About noon the Snake called out and his human companion stopped. After a rest they again set out and, sure enough, they arrived presently at a nice little spring. Telling his companion to remain where he was, the Snake went down into the water and as he did so the sides caved in all about so that the spring expanded into a big water hole in which the man stood ankle deep.
After that the man went home and when the mother and sisters of his friend saw him come alone they thought that the other had been killed in the war. "He has not been killed," he said, "but has
turned into a snake and made for himself a water hole. If you wish we will go to see him." So all of them set out. There was now a big blue water hole at the place, and when they arrived their guide got his knots, which he had placed somewhere for safe-keeping, and struck them together in the water, making a great wave. Then the Snake came out in the middle of the pond. He had blue horns. After circling about in the water he came to land near them and laid his head in his mother's lap. They hung the belt and other ornaments he had used on his horns. Then he circled the pond again and when he came back seized his youngest sister and carried her down into the water with him. Ever after people avoided that pond. It was a fearful place and about it were snakes of all sorts.