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Some Indians crossed a big river and hunted on the other side. A poor orphan went with them and kept watch of the camp. They camped at a certain place and spent the night there. Next morning they scattered about hunting. The orphan remained in camp and presently one of the hunters came with a deer over his shoulder. He skinned it, cut the meat up, dressed it, and told the orphan to roast it, and he went back hunting.

Then the orphan roasted the meat and walked about watching it. At noon all of the Indians came back and ate the cooked meat. When they were going back to hunt the orphan wanted very much to go with them. So they gave him an old gun they had brought. When all were gone, he picked up the old gun, put it over his shoulder, and started off. He went straight west and on the way he saw a Bear in its den. Then he pointed his gun at it prepared to shoot, but the Bear said "Don't shoot me." He called to the orphan, "Come and sit down!" So he went and sat down and the Bear talked to him. He took him home and the orphan stayed with him, but the other Indians hunted for him. When he did not return they hunted for him but could not find him. He lay still for a long time, and afterwards the Bear took him along with himself. By and by the Bear said, "Are you hungry?" and the orphan answered "I am hungry." Upon this the Bear reached under his armpit, drew out a persimmon--a good, ripe persimmon--and gave it to him to eat.

In that way they traveled on and presently the Bear said, "A male person better than I comes to meet me. Take a good pine knot along." So the orphan took a good pine knot and they went on. When they saw a fellow coming to meet them the Bear said, "There now, he is coming; when he throws me down, hit him, but don't hit him too hard. When I say 'Enough,' stop." Then the one who was coming toward them jumped upon the Bear, they wrestled together, and the Bear was thrown down. The orphan took his stick, ran upon the conqueror and struck him upon the head, "båk." So the other became dizzy and fell down. When he hit him the second time the Bear said, "Don't whip him too much," and he stopped. Then they started on. They went on and reached his home.

p. 192

Then the Bear said to the orphan, "Now I must leave you. The hunters are coming after me and want to kill me." And the Bear said to the orphan, "When they kill me, they will take you back, but don't eat of my flesh. If the people say 'Eat!' do not eat of me! After they have killed me, cut off leaves and put them under me and leave me, but, when they are gone, come back here, pile the leaves up, set them on fire, and return. When four days are passed come here to look at the place. You will see a young pokeweed standing there, which you must cut off and split in two. Look into it and you will see something inside. Take it with you, and with it you can kill anything you desire. Don't kill me! (i. e., bears?)" But the orphan was very sad. 1


192:1 There Is a little more to this story which my informant had forgotten.

Next: 29. The Bear's Revenge