Lake St. Clair, Manabozho saw a number of ducks, and he thought to himself, "Just how am I going to kill them?" After a while, he took out one of his pails and started to drum and sing at the same time. The words of the song he sang were:
I am bringing new songs.
When the ducks saw Manabozho standing near the shore, they swam toward him and as soon as he saw this, he sent his grandmother ahead to build a little lodge, where they could live. In the meantime, he killed a few of the ducks, so, while his grandmother started out to build a shelter, Manabozho went towards the lake where the ducks and geese were floating around and around. Manabozho jumped into a sack and then dived into the water. The ducks and geese were quite surprised to see that he was such an excellent diver, and came closer and closer. Then Manabozho challenged them to a contest at diving. He said that he could beat them all. The ducks all accepted the challenge, but Manabozho beat them. Then he went after the geese and beat them too. For a time he was alternately diving and rising to the surface, all around. Finally he dived under the geese and started to tie their legs together with some basswood bark. When the geese noticed this, they tried to rise and fly away, but they were unable to do so, for Manabozho was hanging on to the other end of the string. The geese, nevertheless, managed to rise, gradually dragging Manabozho along with them. They finally emerged
from the water and rose higher and higher into the air. Manabozho, however, hung on, and would not let go, until his hand was cut and the string broke.
While walking along the river he saw some berries in the water. He dived down for them, but was stunned when he unexpectedly struck the bottom. There he lay for quite a while, and when he recovered consciousness and looked up, he saw the berries hanging on a tree just above him.
While Manabozho was once walking along a lake shore, tired and hungry, he observed a long, narrow sandbar, which extended far out into the water, around which were myriads of waterfowl, so Manabozho decided to have a feast. He had with him only his medicine bag; so he entered the brush and hung it upon a tree, now called "Manabozho tree," and procured a quantity of bark, which he rolled into a bundle and placing it upon his back, returned to the shore, where he pretended to pass slowly by in sight of the birds. Some of the Swans and Ducks, however, recognizing Manabozho and becoming frightened, moved away from the shore.
One of the Swans called out, "Ho! Manabozho, where are you going?" To this Manabozho replied, "I am going to have a song. As you may see, I have all my songs with me." Manabozho then called out to the birds, "Come to me, my brothers, and let us sing and dance." The birds assented and returned to the shore, when all retreated a short distance away from the lake to an open space where they might dance. Manabozho removed the bundle of bark from his back and placed it on the ground, got out his singing-sticks, and said to the birds, "Now, all of you dance around me as I drum; sing as loudly as
you can, and keep your eyes closed. The first one to open his eyes will forever have them red and sore."
Manabozho began to beat time upon his bundle of bark, while the birds, with eyes closed, circled around him singing as loudly as they could. Keeping time with one hand, Manabozho suddenly grasped the neck of a Swan, which he broke; but before he had killed the bird it screamed out, whereupon Manabozho said, "That's right, brothers, sing as loudly as you can." Soon another Swan fell a victim; then a Goose, and so on until the number of birds was greatly reduced. Then the "Hell-diver," opening his eyes to see why there was less singing than at first, and beholding Manabozho and the heap of victims, cried out, "Manabozho is killing us! Manabozho is killing us!" and immediately ran to the water, followed by the remainder of the birds.
As the "Hell-diver" was a poor runner, Manabozho soon overtook him, and said, "I won't kill you, but you shall always have red eyes and be the laughing-stock of all the birds." With this he gave the bird a kick, sending him far out into the lake and knocking off his tail, so that the "Hell-diver" is red-eyed and tailless to this day.
Manabozho then gathered up his birds, and taking them out upon the sandbar buried them--some with their heads protruding, others with the feet sticking out of the sand. He then built a fire to cook the game, but as this would require some time, and as Manabozho was tired after his exertion, he stretched himself on the ground to sleep. In order to be informed if anyone approached, he slapped his thigh and said to it, "You watch the birds, and awaken me if anyone should come near them." Then, with his back to the fire, he fell asleep.
After awhile a party of Indians came along in their canoes, and seeing the feast in store, went to the sandbar and pulled out every bird which Manabozho had so carefully placed there, but put back the heads and feet in such a way that there was no indication that the bodies had been disturbed. When the Indians had finished eating they departed, taking with them all the food that remained from the feast.
Some time afterward, Manabozho awoke, and, being very hungry, bethought himself to enjoy the fruits of his strategem. In attempting to pull a baked swan from the sand he found nothing but the head and neck, which he held in his hand. Then he tried another, and found the body of that bird also gone. So he tried another, and then another, but each time met with disappointment. Who could have robbed him? he thought. He struck his thigh and asked, "Who has been here to rob me of my feast; did I not command you to watch
while I slept?" His thigh responded, "I also fell asleep, as I was very tired; but I see some people moving rapidly away in their canoes; perhaps they were the thieves. I see also they are very dirty and poorly dressed." Then Manabozho ran out to the point of the sandbar, and beheld the people in their canoes, just disappearing around a point of land. Then he called to them and reviled them, calling them "Winnibe'go! Winnibe'go! " And by this term the Menomini have ever since designated their thievish neighbors.
After this Manabozho began travelling again. One time he feasted a lot of animals. He had killed a big bear, which was very fat and he began cooking it, having made a fire with his bow-drill. When he was ready to spread his meat, he heard two trees scraping together, swayed by the wind. He didn't like this noise while he was having his feast and he thought he could stop it. He climbed up one of the trees and when he reached the spot where the two trees were scraping, his foot got caught in a crack between the trees and he could not free himself.
When the first animal guest came along and saw Manabozho in the tree, he, the Beaver, said "Come on to the feast, Manabozho is caught and can't stop us." And then the other animals came. The Beaver jumped into the grease and ate it, and the Otter did the same, and that is why they are so fat in the belly. The Beaver scooped up the grease and smeared it on himself, and that is the reason why he is so fat now. All the small animals came and got fat for themselves. Last of all the animals came the Rabbit, when nearly all the grease was gone - only a little left. So he put some on the nape of his neck and some on his groin and for this reason he has only a little fat in those places. So all the animals got their fat except Rabbit. Then they all went, and poor Manabozho got free at last. He looked around and found a bear's skull that was all cleaned except for the brain, and there was only a little of that left, but he couldn't get at it. Then he wished himself to be changed into an ant in order to get into the skull and get enough to eat, for there was only about an ant's meal left.
Then he became an ant and entered the skull. When he had enough he turned back into a man, but he had his head inside the skull; this allowed him to walk but not to see. On account of this he had no idea where he was. Then he felt the trees. He said to one, "What are you?" It answered, "Cedar." He kept doing this with all the trees in order to keep his course. When he got too near the shore, he knew it by the kind of trees he met. So he kept on walking and the only tree that did not answer promptly was the black spruce, and that said "I'm Se'segandak" (black spruce). Then Manabozho knew he was on low ground. He came to a lake, but he did not know how large it was, as he couldn't see. He started to swim across. An Ojibwa was paddling on the lake with his family and he heard someone calling, "Hey! There's a bear swimming across the lake." Manabozho became frightened at this and the Ojibwa then said, "He's getting near the shore now." So Manabozho swam faster, and as he could understand the Ojibwa language, he guided himself by the cries. He landed on a smooth rock, slipped and broke the bear's skull, which fell off his head. Then the Ojibwa cried out, "That's no bear! That's Manabozho!" Manabozho was all right, now that he could see, so he ran off, as he didn't want to stay with these people.
Once while the Buzzard was soaring away through the air he saw Manabozho walking along. He flew a little toward the ground, with his wings outspread, and heard Manabozho say to him, "Buzzard, you must be very happy up there where you can soar through the air and see what is transpiring in the world beneath. Take me on your back so that I may ascend with you and see how it appears down here from where you live." The Buzzard came down, and said, "Manabozho, get on my back and I will take you up into the sky to let you see how the world appears from my abode." Manabozho approached the Buzzard, but seeing how smooth his back appeared said, " Buzzard, I am afraid you will let me slide from your back,
so you must be careful not to sweep around too rapidly, that I may retain my place upon your back." The Buzzard told Manabozho that he would be careful, although the bird was determined to play a trick on him if possible. Manabozho mounted the Buzzard and held on to his feathers as well as he could. The Buzzard took a short run, leaped from the ground, spread his wings and rose into the air. Manabozho felt rather timid as the Buzzard swept through the air, and as he circled around his body leaned so much that Manabozho could scarcely retain his position, and he was afraid of slipping off. Presently, as Manabozho was looking down upon the broad earth below, the Buzzard made a sharp curve to one side so that his body leaned more than ever. Manabozho, losing his grasp, slipped off and dropped to earth like an arrow. He struck the ground with such force as to knock him senseless. The Buzzard returned to his place in the sky, but hovered around to see what would become of Manabozho.
Manabozho lay a long time like one dead. When he recovered he saw something close to and apparently staring him in the face. He could not at first recognize it, but when he put his hands against the object he found that it was his own buttocks, because he had been all doubled up. He arose and prepared to go on his way, when he espied the Buzzard above him, laughing at his own trickery.
Manabozho then said, "Buzzard, you have played a trick on me by letting me fall, but as I am more powerful than you I shall revenge myself." The Buzzard then replied, "No, Manabozho, you will not do anything of the kind, because you cannot deceive me. I shall watch you."
Manabozho kept on, and the Buzzard, not noticing anything peculiar in the movements of Manabozho, flew on his way through the air. Manabozho then decided to transform himself into a dead deer, because he knew the Buzzard had chosen to subsist on dead animals and fish. Manabozho then went to a place visible from a great distance and from many directions, where he laid himself down and changed himself into the carcass of a deer. Soon the various birds and beasts and crawling things that subsist on such food began to congregate about the dead deer. The Buzzard saw the birds flying toward the place where the body lay, and joined them. He flew around several times to see if it was Manabozho trying to deceive him, then
thought to himself, "No, that is not Manabozho; it is truly a dead deer." He then approached the body and began to pick a hole into the fleshy part of the thigh. Deeper and deeper into the flesh the Buzzard picked until his head and neck was buried each time he reached in to pluck the fat from the intestines. Without warning, while the Buzzard had his head completely hidden in the carcass of the deer , the deer jumped up and pinched together his flesh, thus firmly grasping the head and neck of the Buzzard. Then Manabozho said, "Aha! Buzzard, I did catch you after all, as I told you I would. Now pull out your head." The Buzzard with great difficulty withdrew his head from the cavity in which it had been inclosed, but the feathers were all pulled off, leaving his scalp and neck covered with nothing but red skin. Then Manabozho said to the bird, "Thus do I punish you for your deceitfulness; henceforth you will go through the world without feathers on your head and neck, and you shall always stink because of the food you will be obliged to eat." That is why the buzzard is such a bad-smelling fellow, and why his head and neck are featherless.
There was a large settlement on the shore of a lake, and among its people were two very old blind men. It was decided to remove these men to the opposite side of the lake, where they might live in safety, as the settlement was exposed to the attack of enemies, when they might easily be captured and killed. So the relations of the old men got a canoe, some food, a kettle, and a bowl and started across the lake, where they built for them a wigwam in a grove some distance from the water. A line was stretched from the door of the wigwam to a post in the water, so that they would have no difficulty in helping themselves. The food and vessels were put into the wigwam, and after the relations of the old men promised them that they would call often and keep them provided with everything that was needful, they returned to their settlement.
The two old blind men now began to take care of themselves. On one day one of them would do the cooking while the other went for water, and on the next day they would change about in their work, so that their labors were evenly
divided. As they knew just how much food they required for each meal, the quantity prepared was equally divided, but was eaten out of the one bowl which they had.
Here they lived in contentment for several years; but one day a Raccoon, which was following the water's edge looking for crawfish, came to the line which had been stretched from the lake to the wigwam. The Raccoon thought it rather curious to find a cord where he had not before observed one, and wondered to himself, "What is this? I think I shall follow this cord to see where it leads." So he followed the path along which the cord was stretched until he came to the wigwam. Approaching very cautiously, he went up to the entrance, where he saw the two old men asleep on the ground, their heads at the door and their feet directed toward the heap of hot coals within. The Raccoon sniffed about and soon found there was something good to eat within the wigwam; but he decided not to enter at once for fear of waking the old men; so he retired a short distance to hide himself and to see what they would do.
Presently the old men awoke, and one said to the other, "My friend, I am getting hungry; let us prepare some food." "Very well," replied his companion, "you go down to the lake and fetch some water while I get the fire started."
The Raccoon heard this conversation, and, wishing to deceive the old man, immediately ran to the water, untied the cord from the post, and carried it to a clump of bushes, where he tied it. When the old man came along with his kettle to get water, he stumbled around the brush until he found the end of the cord; then he began to dip his kettle down upon the ground for water. Not finding any, he slowly returned and said to his companion, "We shall surely die, because the lake is dried up and the brush is grown where we used to get water. What shall we do?"
"That can not be," responded his companion, "for we have not been asleep long enough for the brush to grow upon the lake bed. Let me go out to try if I can not get some water." So taking the kettle from his friend he started off.
So soon as the first old man had returned to the wigwam, the Raccoon took the cord back and tied it where he had found it, then waited to see the result.
The second old man now came along, entered the lake, and getting his kettle full of water returned to the wigwam, saying
as he entered, "My friend, you told me what was not true. There is water enough; for here, you see, I have our kettle full." The other could not understand this at all, and wondered what had caused the deception.
The Raccoon approached the wigwam and entered to await the cooking of the food. When it was ready, the pieces of meat, for there were eight of them, were put into the bowl and the old men sat down on the ground facing each other, with the bowl between them. Each took a piece of meat, and they began to talk of various things and were enjoying themselves.
The Raccoon now quietly removed four pieces of meat from the bowl and began to eat them, enjoying the feast even more than the old blind men. Presently one of them reached into the bowl to get another piece of meat, and finding that only two pieces remained, said, "My friend, you must be very hungry to eat so rapidly; I have had but one piece, and there are but two pieces left."
The other replied, "I have not taken them, but suspect you have eaten them yourself"; whereupon the other replied more angrily than before. Thus they argued, and the Raccoon, desiring to have more sport, tapped each of them on the face. The old men, each believing the other had struck him, began to fight, rolling over the floor of the wigwam, upsetting the bowl and the kettle, and causing the fire to be scattered. The Raccoon then took the two remaining pieces of meat and made his exit from the wigwam, laughing ha, ha, ha, ha; whereupon the old men instantly ceased their strife, for they now knew they had been deceived. The Raccoon then remarked to them, "I have played a nice trick on you; you should not find fault with each other so easily." Then the Raccoon continued his crawfish-hunting along the lake shore.
Now Old Man went on and came to a place where deer and elk were playing a game called "Follow your leader." Old Man watched the game a while. Then he asked permission to play. He took the lead, sang a song, and ran about this way and that, and finally led them up to the edge of a cliff. Old Man jumped
down and was knocked senseless. After a while he got up and called to the rest to follow. "No, we might hurt ourselves." "Oh!" said Old Man, "it is nice and soft here, and I had to sleep awhile." Then the elk all jumped down and were killed. Then Old Man said to the deer, "Now, you jump." "No," said the deer, "we shall not jump down, because the elk are all killed." "No," said Old Man, "they are only laughing." So the deer jumped down and were all killed. Now, when the elk were about to jump over, there was a female elk about to become a mother, and she begged Old Man not to make her jump, so he let her go. A few of the deer were also let go for the same reason. If he had not done this, all the elk and deer would have been killed.
Old Man was now busy butchering the animals that had been killed by falling over the cliff. When he was through butchering, he went out and found a place to camp. Then he carried his meat there and hung it up to dry. When he was all alone, a Coyote came to him. This Coyote had a shell on his neck, and one leg was tied up as if badly hurt. The Coyote said to Old Man, "Give me something to eat."
Old Man said to him, "Give me that shell on your neck to skim the soup, and I will give you something to eat." "No," said Coyote, " that shell is my medicine." Then Old Man noticed that the Coyote had his leg tied up, and said, "Well, brother, I will run you a race for a meal." "Well," said Coyote, "I am hurt. I cannot run". "That makes no difference," said Old Man, "run anyway." "Well," said Coyote, "I will run for a short distance." "No," said Old Man, "you have to run a long distance." Finally Coyote agreed. They were to run to a distant point, then back again. Coyote started out very slow, and kept crying for Old Man to wait, to wait. At last Coyote and Old Man came to the turning-point. Then Coyote took the bandage off his leg, began to run fast, and soon left Old Man far behind. He began to call out to all the coyotes, the animals, and mice, and they all came rushing up to Old Man's camp and began to eat his meat. It was a long time before Old Man reached the camp; but he kept calling out, "Leave me some meat, leave me some meat."
There was a man that could send his eyes out of his head, on the limb of a tree, and call them back again, by saying "Eyes hang upon a branch." White-man saw him doing this, and came to him crying; he wanted to learn this too. The man taught him, but warned him not to do it more than four times in one day. White-man went off along the river. When he came to the highest tree he could see, he sent his eyes to the top. Then he called them back. He thought he could do this as often as he wished, disregarding the warning.
The fifth time his eyes remained fastened to the limb. All day he called, but the eyes began to swell and spoil, and flies gathered on them. White-man grew tired and lay down, facing his eyes, still calling for them, though they never came; and he cried. At night he was half asleep, when a mouse ran over him. He closed his lids that the mice would not see he was blind, and lay still, in order to catch one.
At last one sat on his breast. He kept quiet to let it become used to him, and the mouse went on his face, trying to cut his hair for its nest. Then it licked his tears, but let its tail hang in his mouth. He closed it, and caught the mouse. He seized it tightly, and made it guide him, telling him of his misfortune. The mouse said it could see the eyes, and they had swelled to an enormous size. It offered to climb the tree and get them for him, but White-man would not let it go. It tried to wriggle free, but he held it fast. Then the mouse asked on what condition he would release it, and White-man said, only if it gave him one of its eyes. So it gave him one, and he could see again, and let the mouse go. But the small eye was far back in his socket, and he could not see very well with it.
A buffalo was grazing near by, and as White-man stood near him crying, he looked on and wondered. White-man said: "Here is a buffalo, who has the power to help me in my trouble." So the Buffalo asked him what he wanted. White-man told him he had lost his eye and needed one. The buffalo took out one of his and put it in White-man's head. Now White-man could see far again. But the eye did not fit the socket; most of it was outside. The other was far inside. Thus he remained.
There was a man whose leg was pointed, so that by running and jumping against trees he could stick in them. By saying 'naiwatoutawa,' he brought himself back to the ground. On a hot day he would stick himself against a tree for greater shade and coolness. However, he could not do this trick more than four times. Once while he was doing this, White-man came to him, crying, and said: "Brother, sharpen my leg!" The man replied: "That is not very hard. I can sharpen your leg." White-man stood on a large log, and the other, with an axe, sharpened his leg, telling him to hold still bravely. The pain caused the tears to come from his eyes.
When the man had sharpened his leg, he told him to do the trick only four times a day, and to keep count in order not to exceed this number. White-man went down toward the river, singing. Near the bank was a large tree; toward this he ran, then jumped and stuck in it. Then he called himself back to the ground. Again he jumped, this time against another tree; but now he counted one, thinking in this way to get the better of the other man. The third time, he counted two. The fourth time, birds and animals stood by, and he was proud to show his ability, and jumped high, and pushed his leg in up to the knee. Then coyotes, wolves, and other animals came to see him; some of them asked how he came to know the trick, and begged him to teach it to them, so they could stick to trees at night.
He was still prouder now, and for the fifth time he ran and jumped as high as he could, and half his thigh entered the tree. Then he counted four. Then he called to get to the ground again. But he stuck. He called out all day; he tried to send the animals to the man who had taught him. He was fast in the tree for many days, until he starved to death.
Coyote was going along, and as he had not had anything to eat for some time he was very hungry. In the evening he went
to a high hill and sat down. Early the next morning he started again. He came to a big round stone. He took out his knife and said: "Grandfather, this knife I give to you as a present. I want you to help me to get something to eat."
Coyote went over a hill, and there in the bottom was a village of people. He went into the village and he could see meat hanging on poles everywhere in the camp. He went into one of the tipis and the people in the tipi roasted a piece of meat for him. just as he was about to taste of the meat he thought of his knife and said: "Why did I give my knife to that stone? I should have kept it and then I should have been able to cut the meat without having to pull it with my hands." He asked to be excused and went out. He went to where the stone was. He said: "Grandfather, I will have to take back this knife, for I have found a village of people with plenty of meat." He went over the hills and into the bottom, but there was no village there. Coyote went back and returned the knife to the stone. He went back over the hills and there saw the village and he entered one of the tipis. They placed before him some meat. He began to chew the meat. He thought of his knife. He went back to the stone, and as he took the knife the stone said: "Why do you take the knife away from me? I am now going to kill you."
Then the stone ran after the Coyote. Coyote ran and came to a den of Bears. He told the Bears that a person was running after him and he asked them to help him. The Bears said that they were not afraid of anything. They asked what the thing was, and he said it was the stone. The Bears said: "Keep on running. We can not do anything with the stone." The stone was close to Coyote when he came up to another den of Mountain-Lions. They also told Coyote to pass on, as they could not do anything for him. After a while Coyote came to a Buffalo standing all alone, but when the Buffalo found out that it was the stone running after Coyote he told him to pass on.
At last Coyote came to a place where the Bull-Bats stayed. Coyote said: "Grandchildren, there is a person running after me." The Bull-Bats then said: "Enter our lodge and remain there." When the stone came rolling up it said: "Where is that person who came here?" The Bull-Bats did not reply and the stone became angry. Then the Bull-Bats said: "He is here and we are going to protect him." The Bull-Bats flew
up and then down, and they expelled flatus on the stone. Every time they did this a piece broke off from the stone. The largest Bull-Bat came down and expelled flatus right on the center and broke the stone into pieces. Then the Coyote was told to come out and go on his way.
Coyote started off, and when he got over the hills he turned around and yelled at the Bull-Bats and said: "All you big-nosed funny things, how you did behave to that stone." The Bull-Bats heard it and did not pay any attention, but he kept on making fun of them. Then the Bull-Bats flew up in a group, and came down, and with their wings they got the stones together again and started it to rolling, and said: "Go and kill that fellow." The stone then ran after Coyote and Coyote tried to get away, but he could not. At last he gave out. He jumped over a steep bank and the stone was right behind him. As Coyote struck the bottom, the stone fell on him and killed him. This is why we used to find dead coyotes in the hills and valleys.
Nihansan was travelling down a stream. As he walked along on the bank he saw something red in the water. They were red plums. He wanted them badly. Taking off his clothes, he dived in and felt over the bottom with his hands; but he could find nothing, and the current carried him down-stream and to the surface again. He thought. He took stones and tied them to his wrists and ankles so that they should weigh him down in the water. Then he dived again; he felt over the bottom, but could find nothing. When his breath gave out he tried to come up, but could not. He was nearly dead, when at last the stones on one side fell off and he barely rose to the surface sideways and got a little air. As he revived, floating on his back, he saw the plums hanging on the tree above him. He said to himself: "You fool!" He scolded himself a long time. Then he got up, took off the stones, threw them away, and went and ate the plums. He also filled his robe with them.
Then he went on down the river. He came to a tent. He saw a bear-woman come out and go in again. Going close to
the tent, he threw a plum so that it dropped in through the top of the tent. When it fell inside, the bear-women and children all scrambled for it. Then he threw another and another. At last one of the women said to her child: "Go out and see if that is not your uncle Nihansan." The child went out, came back, and said: "Yes, it is my uncle Nihansan." Then Nihansan came in.. He gave them the plums, and said: "I wonder that you never get plums, they grow so near you!" The bear-women wanted to get some at once. He said: "Go up the river a little way; it is not far. Take all your children with you that are old enough to pick. Leave the babies here and I will watch them." They all went.
Then he cut all the babies' heads off. He put the heads back into the cradles; the bodies he put into a large kettle and cooked. When the bear-women came back, he said to them: "Have you never been to that hill here? There were many young wolves there." "In that little hill here?" they asked. "Yes. While you were gone I dug the young wolves out and cooked them." Then they were all pleased. They sat down and began to eat. One of the children said: "This tastes like my little sister." "Hush!" said her mother, "don't say that." Nihansan became uneasy. "It is too hot here," he said, and took some plums and went off a little distance; there he sat down and ate. When he had finished, he shouted: "Ho! Ho! bear-women, you have eaten your own children."
All the bears ran to their cradles and found only the heads of the children. At once they pursued him. They began to come near him. Nihansan said: "I wish there were a hole that I could hide in." When they had nearly caught him he came to a hole and threw himself into it.
The hole extended through the hill, and he came out on the other side while the bear-women were still standing before the entrance. He painted himself with white paint to look like a different person, took a willow stick, put feathers on it, and laid it across his arm. Then he went to the women. "What are you crying about?" he asked them. They told him. He said: "I will go into the hole for you," and crawled in. Soon he cried as if hurt, and scratched his shoulders. Then he came out, saying: "Nihansan is too strong for me. Go into the hole yourselves; he is not very far in." They all went in, but soon came out again and said: "We cannot find him."
Nihansan entered once more, scratched himself bloody, bit himself, and cried out. He said: "He has long finger nails with which he scratches me. I cannot drag him out. But he is at the end of the hole. He cannot go back farther. If you go in, you can drag him out. He is only a little farther than you went last time."
They all went into the hole. Nihansan got brush and grass and made a fire at the entrance. "That sounds like flint striking," said one of the women. "The flint birds are flying," Nihansan said. "That sounds like fire," said another woman. "The fire birds are flying about; they will soon be gone by." "That is just like smoke," called a woman. "The smoke birds are passing. Go on, he is only a little farther, you will catch him soon," said Nihansan. Then the heat followed the smoke into the hole. The bear-women began to shout. "Now the heat birds are flying," said Nihansan.
Then the bears were all killed. Nihansan put out the fire and dragged them out. "Thus one obtains food when he is hungry," he said. He cut up the meat, ate some of it, and hung the rest on branches to dry. Then he went to sleep.
Long ago Wildcat had a long nose and tail. One day he was sleeping on a rock when Coyote came along. He pushed Wildcat's nose and tail in, and then went home. At noon Wildcat woke up, and noticed his short nose and tail. "What's the matter with me?" he asked. Then he guessed the cause. "Oh! Coyote did that," he said, and he hunted for him.
Now, Coyote was sleepy and had lain down. Wildcat came and sat down beside him. He pulled out Coyote's nose and tail and made them long. They were short before. Then he ran off. After a while Coyote woke up and saw his long nose and tail.
Two brothers lived at the very head waters of the Upper Lillooet River, and spent most of their time training themselves
in the neighboring mountains, for they wished to become great. One of them became ill, and had to remain at home. After four years' illness, he became weak, and so thin that he seemed nothing but skin and bones. His brother grew anxious about him, and stopped his training. He hunted, and brought in rabbits, squirrel, and all kinds of meat, for his sick brother. He also threw small pieces of stick into the water, making them turn into fish. Then he caught them and gave them to his brother to eat. But no kind of food seemed to agree with the invalid, for he rapidly grew weaker and thinner.
When the youth saw that no food did his brother good, he made up his mind to take him away to some other place to be cured. They embarked in a canoe, and proceeded down the Lillooet River, giving names to all the places as they passed along. They came to a place they called Ilamux. Here there was a rock which dammed the river. They made a hole through it to allow their canoe to pass. Even at the present day it appears like a stone bridge across the river. Proceeding, they came to a place they called Komelux. Here two creeks, running from opposite directions, met each other with very great force. They made the water smooth enough to be safe for a canoe to pass. Proceeding, they came to a place they named Kulexwin. Here there was a steep, rocky mountain close to the river. They threw their medicine-mat at it, and it became flat like a mat.
Thus they proceeded down to Big and Little Lillooet Lakes and the Lower Lillooet River, until they reached Harrison Lake. All the way along they gave names to the places, made the waters navigable, and changed many features of the country. They reached Fraser River, went down to its mouth, and proceeded out to sea to the land of the salmon. When they arrived there, the strong brother hid himself, while the sick man transformed himself into a wooden dish, nicely painted and carved; and in this form he floated against the dam inside of which the people kept the salmon. A man found the dish, and took it to his daughter, who admired it very much, and used it to eat from. Whatever salmon she left in the dish over night always disappeared; but she did not care, because salmon were plentiful.
The dish ate the salmon, or, rather, the sick brother in dish form; and soon he became fat and well again. The other
brother left his hiding-place every night to see the invalid, and to eat salmon out of the basket into which the people threw their leavings. He was glad to see his brother getting well so rapidly. When he had become very fat, his brother told him it was time they departed: so one night he broke the dam, and let the salmon out. Then they embarked in their canoe, and led the salmon toward the mouth of the Fraser River.
The salmon travelled very fast, and by the next morning they had reached the river. As they ascended, they took pieces of salmon from their basket, and threw them into the different creeks and rivers. Wherever they threw pieces of salmon, some of the fish followed. Thus they introduced the salmon into the streams of the interior. "Henceforth," said they, "salmon shall run at this time each year, and the people shall become acquainted with them and eat them." Then the brothers returned to their home at the head of the Upper Lillooet River, and they made near their house the hot springs called Tcîq, which they used for cooking their food.
Owl was the one who had arrows. He had a club also with which he killed men whom he ate. "Up at the low gap I am watching for men, wuu hwuu woo," he sang. Coyote came walking along in front of him. "Wuu hwuu woo," sang Owl, "I am looking for men in the low gap." The two came face to face there. "Now," said Owl, "the one who vomits human flesh will kill men." "Very well," said Coyote, "shut your eyes." Owl shut his eyes. When he vomited, Coyote put his hand under and took the meat. The grasshoppers which Coyote vomited he put in Owl's hand.
"Now open your eyes," said Coyote. Owl looked and saw the grasshoppers lying in his hand. Coyote showed him the meat. "What did I tell you," said Coyote, "this is the meat I threw up." "Where did I drink in the grasshoppers?" said Owl.
Coyote ran all around Owl. "Because I run fast like this I eat people," said Coyote. "These legs of yours are too large,
I will fix them for you. Shut your eyes." Coyote cut Owl's leg, trimming away the meat. He broke his leg with a stone and took the arrows away leaving him only the club.
Coyote ran around Owl who threw his club at him. He would say, "Come back, my club," and it would come back to him. He threw it again. "Come here, my club," he called. He hit him with it. Coyote said, "Wherever a stick falls when one throws it there it will lie." The club did not return to Owl.
"Now you will live right here in the canyon where many arrows will be in front of you. Somebody might kill you," Coyote told him. Owl hitched himself along into the canyon. "Arrows painted black may kill you," said Coyote. Coyote went around in front of him and shot him with his own (Owl's) arrows.
After that everybody was afraid of Coyote, who went around killing off the people.
The Black Bear invited the Coyote to her underground lodge. He went the next morning, and on arriving was kindly treated by the Bear. She gave him berries and other food to eat, which was very acceptable to him, as he was almost famishing. Before long the Black Bear put more wood on the fire, and placed a dish down by the side of the fire. Then she held her hands, fingers turned downward, in front of the blaze. Before long melted fat commenced to drip from her finger-tips into the dish below, which in a short time became quite full. She took the dish and placed it in front of the Coyote, asking him to partake of the fat, which he did, eating as much as he was able. After finishing his repast, the Coyote said that he would now go home. At the same time he invited the Black Bear to his house on the morrow, when he said he would return her dish, which in the mean time he would borrow so as to take home the rest of the fat for his wife.
In due course the Black Bear arrived at the Coyote's house, where she was treated to some offal which the Coyote had found, but which he told her was fresh, as he had been out hunting and had just brought it in. After a while the Coyote told his wife to stir the fire, because he wanted to get some fat
to give to his guest. He then set the dish down close to the fire, and holding up his paws in front of the blaze, exactly as the Black Bear had done, he awaited results. As there was no sign of any fat coming, he placed his paws still nearer to the flame, and held them there until they commenced to shrivel and curl up with the heat, and still there were no signs of any grease dripping down. His paws had now almost shrunk up into a ball. He was unable to endure the pain any longer, withdrew his hands from the fire, and ran around the house, howling with pain. The Black bear then said to him, "What a fool you are! Poor fellow! Watch me how I do it." She then held up her paws in front of the fire, as she had done on the previous day, and before long the dish was full of grease. She then made the Coyote a present of the grease, and told him never to try and do what was beyond his power.
Sometime afterwards the Coyote felt hungry and thought he would pay a visit to Tsalas, who lived in an underground lodge some little distance away. Upon entering, Tsalas treated him kindly, telling him that he would go and get some fresh fish for him to eat. He went outside, took a withe from some neighboring bushes, and went down to the river, where he made a small hole in the ice, and commenced to dive for fish. The Coyote, meanwhile, watched all his movements from the top of the ladder. Before long, Tsalas had caught a goodly number of fish, which he strung on the withe, and returning home, cooked some of them for the Coyote, who soon ate his fill.
On leaving, the Coyote invited Tsalas to visit him at his house on the morrow. Accordingly, the next day, Tsalas repaired to the Coyote's house, where he was offered old meat; but, unlike the Black Bear, he was not fond of such food. Therefore the Coyote proposed to go and get some fresh fish for him. The Coyote left the house, took a withe, and after making a hole in the ice put his head down the hole in order to look for the fish before diving. But in trying to get his head out again he found that he could not. Wondering at this long absence, Tsalas went to look for his friend, and found him with his head stuck down in the ice-hole. He pulled him out, more dead than alive, and addressing him, said, "Poor fellow! Why should you make yourself worse off than you already are? You are very foolish to try to do things that are beyond your powers. Now look at me!" Tsalas then put his head down in the
hole and soon commenced to toss plenty of fish out on the ice. He made a present of them to the Coyote, and went home, leaving the Coyote in anything but a pleasant mood.
Some time afterwards the Coyote went to the mountains to watch the Magpie and learn his methods of hunting. The latter had set a net-snare close by his underground lodge. He went up the mountains, singled out a large buck deer, which he teased, and called names, such as "big posterior," "hairy posterior," "short-tail." The buck at last grew angry and charged the Magpie, who ran away. He just kept a little ahead of the buck, so as to encourage him, and led him right into the snare, in which his antlers stuck fast, whilst the Magpie jumped over it, and turning round, stabbed the entangled buck to death. The Coyote made up his mind that he would do as the Magpie had done. So he placed a net-snare close by his house, and, going up the mountains, soon fell in with a buck deer, whom he commenced to belittle and slander, calling him all kinds of nasty names, just as the Magpie had done. The buck grew angry, charged the Coyote, who made for home, where his snare was, with the buck close after him. On reaching the net, the Coyote tried to jump over it, but failed to do so. He fell into the net and became entangled in it. Then the buck began to prod him with his antlers, and would have killed him if the people had not run out and prevented it by killing the buck.
Once Porcupine was going along the river bank looking for food. Soon he saw some fine, fat buffalo, ten of them, just across the river. Then Porcupine wanted to get across the river, but could not. After some thought he called to the buffalo to stand in line. This was so that he could tell which one was the fattest. Then he picked out the fattest one and told him to swim across the river. When this buffalo came up to Porcupine, he asked Porcupine where he wanted to sit, on his back or on his tail. Porcupine answered, "I would rather be under your forelegs, so I shall not drown."
The buffalo agreed. When they were nearly across, Porcupine struck the buffalo under the foreleg with a large knife. So he killed that buffalo, but the others ran away.
Porcupine was looking for something with which to sharpen his knife. He was singing, "I wish I could find something with which to sharpen my knife, for I haven't had any fat buffalo yet." Now, Coyote happened to be going by and he heard Porcupine singing. Coyote came up to him and Porcupine was afraid. Coyote asked him what he was singing, and Porcupine answered, "I was not singing anything, I was just saying I wish I had some string for my moccasin." Coyote said, "No, you did not say that; I heard what you said." Porcupine said nothing more; so Coyote told him what he had killed. Coyote said, "Now, I have a sharp knife, so I can help you." Then Coyote said, "Let us try jumping over the buffalo; the one who jumps over may have it all. I'll try first." Coyote succeeded, but Porcupine did not, so Coyote got all the meat. Then Coyote took his sharp knife and cut Porcupine's head, but did not kill him.
Now, Coyote had some children: one of them was with him, and the rest were at home. Coyote said to his child, "I am going after the other children. You watch the old Porcupine, and if he gets up you call me and I will come back and kill him." When Coyote was gone, Porcupine got up. The young Coyote cried, "Father, Porcupine is up." Then Coyote hurried back and asked his baby what the matter was. The child said, "He was trying to take some of the buffalo meat, but now he is quiet again." Coyote started off a second time. When he was a great way off Porcupine got up. The child called his father, but this time in vain. Porcupine struck the young Coyote with a stone and killed him. Then he set the child up under a tree and stuffed his mouth full of buffalo fat. Then Porcupine took all the meat to the top of a tree and watched for Coyote and his family to come.
When Coyote with his wife and children had come up close, Coyote said to the children, "Look at your brother; he is eating and having a great time." But when they arrived they saw that the baby was killed and had his mouth stuffed with fat. Then Coyote was very angry. He wondered where Porcupine had gone. When Coyote looked up he saw Porcupine sitting in a tall tree laughing. Coyote said, "Please come down"; but Porcupine answered, "I do not like you because you are trying to cheat me out of my buffalo meat." Coyote said, "Just give us a little piece of fat or meat." Then Porcupine
told Coyote and his family to all stand together under the tree. They did this. Then Porcupine dropped the buffalo head down on them and they were all killed.
The beaver and the porcupine were great friends and went about everywhere together. The porcupine often visited the beaver's house, but the latter did not like to have him come because he left quills there. One time, when the porcupine said that he wanted to go out to the beaver's house, the beaver said, "All right, I will take you out on my back." He started, but instead of going to his house he took him to a stump in the very middle of the lake. Then he said to him, "This is my house," left him there, and went ashore.
While the porcupine was upon this stump he began singing a song, "Let it become frozen. Let it become frozen so that I can cross to Wolverine-man's place." He meant that he wanted to walk ashore on the ice. So the surface of the lake froze, and he walked home.
Some time after this, when the two friends were again playing together, the porcupine said, "You come now. It is my turn to carry yon on my back." Then the beaver got on the porcupine's back, and the porcupine took him to the top of a very high tree, after which he came down and left him. For a long time the beaver did not know how to get down, but finally he climbed down, and they say that this is what gives the broken appearance to tree bark.
A turtle went on the warpath, and as he went along, he met Coyote, who said: "And where are you going, grandson?" The turtle said: " I am on the warpath." Coyote said: "Where are you going?" "I am going to a camp where there are many people," said the turtle. "Let me see you run," the turtle said. Coyote ran. The turtle said: "You cannot run fast; I do not want you."
The turtle went on, and he met a fox. "Well, brother," said the fox, "where are you going?" "I am going on the warpath," said the turtle. "Where are you going?" said the fox. "I am going where there are many people," said the turtle. "Can I go with you?" said the fox. The turtle said: "Let me see you run." The fox ran, and he went so fast that the turtle could hardly see him. The turtle said: "You cannot run fast; I do not want you."
The turtle then went on, and a hawk flew by him, and the hawk heard the turtle say: "I am on the warpath, I am looking for people to join me." The hawk said: "Brother, what did you say?" "I am on the warpath," said the turtle. "Can I join you?" said the hawk. "Let me see you fly your best," said the turtle. The hawk flew so fast that the turtle could not see him for a while. When the hawk came back, the turtle said: "You cannot fly fast; I do not want you."
Again the turtle went on, and kept on saying: "I am on the warpath, I am looking for people to join me." A rabbit jumped up and said: "Can I go along?" "Let me see you run," said the turtle. The rabbit ran, and ran fast. The turtle said: "You cannot run fast; I do not want you."
The turtle went on, saying: "I am looking for people to join me." Up jumped a flint knife and said: "Brother, can I join you?" "You may if you can run fast," said the turtle; "let me see you run." The knife tried to run, and could not. "You will do," said the turtle; "come with me."
They went on, and the turtle was saying: "I am looking for people to go on the warpath with me." Up jumped a hairbrush. "What did you say?" said the brush. "I am on the warpath," said the turtle. "Can I go along?" said the brush. The turtle said: "Let me see you run." The brush tried to run, but could not. The turtle said: "You will do; come with us."
They went on, and the turtle was saying: "I am on the warpath, I am looking for people to join me." Up jumped an awl, and it said: "Can I join you?" The turtle said: "Let me see you run." The awl tried to run, but could not. "You will do," said the turtle; "come with us."
So the four went on, and they came to a big camp, and the turtle sent the knife into camp. The knife went into camp, and one man found it, took it home, and while trying to cut meat
the man cut his fingers, and threw the knife at the doorway. The knife went back to the turtle and said: "I was picked up, and while the man was trying to cut meat, I cut his hand and he threw me at the doorway, so I came back."
The turtle said: "Very well. Now, Brush, you go and see what you can do." So the brush went into camp, and a young girl picked it up and commenced to brush her hair. The brush pulled the girl's hair out, so that the girl threw the brush at the doorway, and it came back. It said: "Brother Turtle, there is a young girl who has lovely hair. She used me on her head, and I pulled on her hair, so that she threw me away. See I have her hair here." "Well done," said the turtle.
"Now, Awl, go and be brave," said the turtle. The awl went into camp, and an old woman picked it up. She began to sew her moccasins, and all at once she stuck the awl in one of her fingers. The woman threw it away, and it came back and said: "Brother Turtle, I hurt a woman badly. She was using me while she was sewing her moccasins, and I stuck one of her fingers; she threw me away." "Well done, brothers, now it is my turn," said the turtle.
The turtle went into camp, and people saw him and said: "What does this mean? Look at Turtle; he is on the warpath. Let us kill him." So they took him, and people said: "Let us spread hot coals and put him in there." "All right," said the turtle, "that will suit me for I will spread out my legs and burn some of you." People said: "True, let us then put a kettle over the fire, and when the water boils let us put him in." The turtle said: "Good! Put me in, and I will scald some of you." People said: "True! Let us throw him into the stream." The turtle said: "No, do not do that. I am afraid, I am afraid!" People said: "He is afraid of water; let us throw him in there." But the turtle hallooed the more: "I am afraid! Do not throw me in the water!" So the people threw the turtle in the water. The turtle came up to the surface and said: "I am a cheat. Heyru! Heyru!" poking his tongue out.
The people picked up the knife, awl, and brush and used them. The turtle stayed in the water, and every time the people went to the water, Turtle would say: "I cheated you; water is my home." People would throw stones at it, and it would dive.