A young man named Idzogon'ciya was out hunting and met a young woman named Micu'x. He would shoot birds with his arrows and she would pick the arrows up, but, when he asked her for them, she was at first afraid to come near. Finally, however, she came to him.
Then he asked to go home with her. Finally she agreed, but as they were going along she told him that her mother was a cannibal, and whenever her daughter got a man her mother would kill him. But she told the man she would help him. As they were going along they found the feathers of different kinds of birds, such as the crane, shitepoke, duck, etc., which they collected. Afterwards they reached a creek and, taking mud from it, they made it into balls, one of which they stuck on the end of each feather. The woman said, "When we
get to my home my mother will offer you something to eat, but you must not eat it. Eat this parched corn instead. Fool her." When they reached the house the old woman was away, but presently they heard her coming, her feet sounding ki
lki lki l. When she came in she threw herself down on the bed opposite to that on which the two others lay and said hå'hux hå'hux. After some time she got up again, saying, "Håhu'x, why am I lying like this? I wish I would soon smell," meaning that she wished she would soon eat. She began cooking something which she ate and afterwards threw herself over on the bed, again saying as before, "håhu'x." By and by she sat up and said, "Where did my son-in-law come from?" Then she got up and prepared some food for him, saying, "Eat." He got up out of bed with some parched corn in one hand which he ate, after which he lay down again. Then the old woman put away her cooking vessels and food and lay down on the bed uttering the same ejaculation. At that time she began to snore, but her daughter said that she never did this when she was really asleep. After a time she again got up, saying, "I want to smell again." That meant that she wanted to kill her son-in-law and eat him. When she found him awake, however, she said, "I always dream. Sometimes I wake up lying by the door." Again she lay down on the bed. By and by she got up again with the same remark as before, upon which the young man raised up and cleared his throat. Then she said, "I am an old woman and sometimes not just right. Sometimes when I wake up I am out in the yard." She again fell over on the bed, and presently she fell asleep in reality. When she did so her daughter took the feathers with balls of mud attached and placed them all around her mother's head. Immediately there came to be a lake full of wild fowl under the bed on which she was lying. Finally she jumped up, and the first thing she knew she was bobbing about in a lake. The ducks, snipes, and cranes were scared by her and began calling out. She became tired after a long time and wading across the doorstep where the water was up to her breast, went to sleep. Then her daughter rose, gathered up the feathers and mud, and, wrapping them together, took them out of the house and put them away.
Next morning the old woman woke up and ran out into the woods. Her daughter said, "When she comes back she will say, 'There are raccoons out there in a tree. If my son-in-law will kill them I will smell them.'" By and by they heard her coming ti
l ti l ti l. She said, "There are seven raccoons out in a tree here. I want my son-in-law to shoot them." His wife said, "Kill them for her." He went out and shot them all, but if he had missed his mother-in-law had determined to kill and eat him. Then she said to herself, "Son-in-law is all right in shooting," and she began crying, "hiii."
[paragraph continues] After that she began picking up acorns which she pounded in a mortar and afterwards carried to the creek to wash. Her daughter said, "When she comes back from the creek she will say this: 'There are drumfish feeding about where I was washing my acorns. If son-in-law will catch them for me I will smell them.'" She did as her daughter had foretold. Then her daughter said to her husband, "You must shoot the biggest one. When you do that you must turn around and run and not let the water touch you. If the water touches you it will knock you down." The young man did so, and when he had shot the biggest drumfish the water pursued him up the hill. About halfway up a little water touched his heel and he fell down. He lay there for seven days. Meanwhile some cannibals came and looked at him, but they said, "He is extremely lean. In three or four days his flesh might be much better." So they went away. As he lay there the youth sang, and he heard a song in reply up in the air just like his own song. He thought to himself, "When that person comes he will surely kill me." It was his wife's voice, however, and when she arrived she began doctoring him, so that he got up.
When they returned to the house his wife told him that her mother was over on the other side of the creek. "When she comes back," she said, "she will want you to kill some white haxt (birds called in Cherokee umu'
lî or umi' lî, which are like sandhill cranes)." She did as her daughter had predicted. "Let me smell some white haxt," she said. The man's wife also said, "She will offer to carry you across the creek in a canoe, and she will then run away with the canoe. When she does that you must take four arrows and shoot them in four different directions. You must also take four feathers off of those birds and put them together to form a bridge. She thinks that when she leaves you over on that side something will kill you." As her daughter had said, she set her son-in-law across and took away the canoe. He found the white fowls and shot them during the day, and when night came on he shot arrows north, south, east, and west from the point where he intended to pass the night.
Late that night several parties of cannibals found his trail and called his name, saying, "He has been here." Then they heard an answering cry "hiyu'x" off at a distance, and, thinking that it was his voice, the cannibals all ran in that direction and hunted all around for him. It was one of his arrows which had answered them. When they called again another arrow answered, and in this way they spent the entire night wandering around. At daylight they gave it up and went away. The youth then threw his feathers joined together across the stream and went home. Now the old woman went to the place where her husband lived, and, when she came back, she said, "I have
set a time for a game of ball." When the time was up different creatures arrived to take part in the game. Among these were such things as holes in clay banks and excrements resulting from diarrhea. As these things gathered in she would say, "Go ahead and tell old stories." She herself would fall about on the bed. When her husband came he had a black gum tree upon his shoulder in which all kinds of birds would gather, and he had canoes for earrings. When she saw him coming she said, "Well, ball playing shall never disappear." She said to them, "When the game opens this person will slip on the excrement and fall into the clay bank hole, and we will kill him." She shouted, "wa-a-a," rejoicing at the prospect. On the other side the woman's daughter and son-in-law had a number of beings to aid them, such as wind, cyclone, and thunder. Before they had played long thunder and wind destroyed the canoe earrings worn by the cannibal. Cyclone went round and round lifting the opposing players up from the ground, and thunder and lightning began tearing them to pieces. Every now and then a leg or a foot would drop to the ground with a noise like "tâx." So the old man and his wife and all of their party were destroyed, leaving the young man and woman safe. Then they gathered up all of the pieces of the bodies of their enemies, piled them up along with a lot of firewood and burned them. When all were burning a crack sounded in the fire and went westward. Their spirits crossed the ocean and the young woman said, "Well, we have had revenge." Then the man and woman were told to wander around and go westward.