There were two brothers by the same mother living together. After some time a woman came to them and they left it to each other who would take her. Finally the younger brother took her. These brothers were always going about fishing, and one time they found a big fish which they wanted to catch. Then the elder brother said to the other, "If we get hickory bark and plait it into a rope and you tie it about your waist, I can throw you into the water, and you can pull the fish out." They did so, but when the younger brother was thrown into the water he jerked about so much that the rope broke and the big fish swallowed him. Then the big fish began going round and swam up the creek. The remaining brother began running around asking everything he could see to help him, such as the wolf, opossum, polecat, etc. Meanwhile he could hear his brother singing inside of the fish. All of the things he asked to help him would get scared when they saw the fish coming toward them. Finally he came to the Kingfisher and asked him, and the Kingfisher replied, "That is my trade." Then the Kingfisher perched on a limb over the water and the fish came toward him, shooting about as he came. The Kingfisher would dart toward him and then go back to the limb, shaking himself and shouting. Finally the fish drifted a little way off, turned over on its side, and drifted about until it came up to the bank of the creek. Now, the elder brother seized the fish, dragged it ashore, and cut open its big belly with a mussel shell. Inside he found his brother's head still singing, but his body had been ground entirely up. Then his brother's head spoke up, saying, "Wash me and place me on a log." After this was done it said, "Go home and tell your sister-in-law that we never can go together and be the way we were before. I will be there in the early daylight." He added that he would sing most of the time, and talk only a short time.
After the elder brother got home he and the woman talked all night about what had happened, and about dawn they heard the younger brother coming singing. He was flying through the air and he alighted upon the top of the house. He said, "Is my sister-in-law 1 lying there?" His brother answered, "She is lying there." "Ho" he said. Then the head began to sing. After a time he spoke again, "I wonder what I could do to kill you." And he added, "If we go over yonder we shall find a lot of palū's (a wild fruit like grapes, perhaps the muscadine). I thought my sister-in-law could eat some of that." So after daylight they went with him, and when they arrived there the head climbed up into the tree and began eating this fruit itself. He would throw nothing down except the skins
which were left. Every now and then the head asked, "Is my sister-in-law eating them?" and the brother replied, "Yes, she is eating them." After awhile a Crow came to the two standing below and said, "This head up in the tree will kill you. Let me fool him while you run off. There is a dirt-dauber (Natchez, melola) living near by. Go to him and he will help you," So the two ran off to the dirt-dauber's while the crow remained in their places, answering the head. After some time the head said, "There is a voice that I do not know. I guess these berries are so sour that they make our voices sound differently." Upon this he looked down and saw the Crow beneath, upon which the Crow flew up, crying "Ha ha ha ha." Then the head started off on the trail of the man and woman, saying as he went, "Dīx dīx dīx dīx dīx." Just as the fugitives had reached the door of the dirt-dauber's house the woman had stumbled and fallen full length on the ground. When the head came there he asked if the man and woman had arrived, and the dirt-dauber answered, "I have not seen any woman." "Why, I see the print of where the woman fell. Verendorum suorum imaginem humo impressam video." "Well, you can hunt for her," said the dirt-dauber, and the head entered.
Now the dirt-dauber had turned the woman into a man who lay on a bed on one side of the house while the real man lay on a bed on the other side. The head of the younger brother looked first at one and then at the other. First he spoke to the woman, saying, "Miror an mane e lectulo surgens super domus tectum mingere possis," ac dicebat Pelopaeus lunatus (dirt-dauber) "Permitte ut ille te hoc facientem videat." Foras exibant, atque ad hoc faciendum ea se praeparabat dum caput appropinquat intenteque observat. Deinde plane super tectum ea mingebat. Postea domum ingrediebantur, atque caput alterum rogabat ut idem faceret. Deinde hic alter exibat atque caput intente uti antea observabat. Quum vero mingeret urinam usque ad mediam tantum altitudinem parietis ejaculabatur, et caput cachinnabatur. The dirt-dauber had a number of pottery vessels which he had made, sitting in a row. The head now asked the man who had been a woman, "Could you shoot an arrow through four of those jars?" and the dirt-dauber said, "Let him see you shoot through them." So the man who had been a woman shot at them and her arrow passed through all four. Then the head asked the other man to do the same thing, and the dirt-dauber said, "Shoot them; let him see you." But when this man shot he made a hole through only one. The head laughed at him. Then the head began wandering about. Finally he spoke out and said to the former woman, "Can you go hunting and kill something for me to eat?" The dirt-dauber said, "Hunt for him," and the woman went hunting, followed by the head. She killed a deer for him and said, "Here it is," but after examining it
he started off after her without touching it. Then she killed another deer and the head acted as before. By and by they came to a creek, and the man's head said to his companion, "Let us swim." So she stepped into the water, and the head also jumped in. Then she dived under water and came out on the other side. As she did so she made a noise under water and said to the human head, "That is your home." As soon as the man reached the other side he turned back into a woman, upon which the head began to shout and tumble around, but it could not follow her out.
The woman, however, walked out of the water and started on westward. On the way she came to be with child by something and gave birth to several children which she put into a hollow cane. Presently she came to a place where lived a chief who had several wives, and she became his wife also. She soon became the chief's favorite, and the others became angry and began talking about her. "She is shaming us a great deal," they said. So they determined to have a corn parching contest, and set a time for it. The day having come the favorite wife took a humming bird, which was one of the children she had borne on the way, out of her cane and sent it to the dirt-dauber after popcorn. It went to the dirt-dauber and brought back the sharp point of a grain of corn. Meanwhile the other women were all busy carrying corn back and forth in baskets to parch it. "When you are all through," said the favorite wife, "I will use your pots to parch mine in." When she put this piece of grain into the pot it began popping and swelling, and the house was finally filled with the popcorn which ran outside and covered up all that the other women had parched. They said, "Where has this woman come from that has shamed us so?" Deinde dicebant mulieres, "De pilis verendorum nostrorum contendemus." Mulier inde iteram ad Pelopaeum lunatum (dirt-dauber) suum Trochilum colubrem (humming bird) mandabat qui pilum unum verendis ejus imponendum reportabat. Ad tempus uxores omnes ordine ante principem stabant qui ad domus portam stabat, de certamine arbitrium acturus. Quum omnes mulieres vestitus suos elevassent pili uxoris quae in maxima gratia erat usque infra genua pertinere videbantur. Itaque iterum ea vincebat, atque aliae mulieres mirabantur ubinam ille hanc quae tantam eis infamiam adferret mulierem invenisset. Now they thought of contesting by means of a ball game. So the favorite wife again sent her humming bird to the dirt-dauber, and the dirt-dauber said to the humming bird, "You must tell your mother that she must take all of her children out of the cane to help her." The other women had planned, as soon as the game was under way, that they would all jump upon this woman and kill her. When the day came and the ball was thrown up to begin the game the favorite wife opened her cane and let out all
of her children. One of her children was Thunder and Thunder struck all of the other women and killed them. She and her children were then left and her children scattered from her while she herself went westward. 1
215:1 The woman has now become the wife of the elder brother.
218:1 "Went westward" are favorite words with which to end Natchez stories.