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The Dawn of the World, by C. Hart Merriam, [1910], at

p. 173

Tim-me-la'-le the Thunder

WHEN Oo-wel'-lin the Giant was traveling south over the country eating people, there were two little boys, brothers, who were out hunting when he was at their village, and, so escaped. When they came home they found that their father and mother and all the other people had been killed and eaten.

The younger one asked the other, "What shall we do? Shall we live here, only two of us? Maybe you are clever enough to turn into some other kind of thing and never die."

The elder brother did not know; he was stupid; the younger was the bright one.

For about a month they hunted birds and ate them; they had no acorn mush or other food, nothing but birds. One day they made a little hut of brush (called o-hoo'-pe) by a spring where the birds came to drink. Here they killed a great many birds of different kinds.

The younger brother said, "Let us save all the feathers of the birds we kill-wing feathers and tail feathers and all."

Soon they had enough for both, and the younger said, "We have enough. Let's be big birds and never die--never grow old."

p. 174

"How are we to do it?" asked the elder brother, The younger answered, "You know how the big birds spread their wings and go, without bothering to eat or drink."

In a few days they took the big wing-feathers they had saved and stuck them in a row along their arms, and soon had wings; and then they stuck other feathers all over their bodies and soon were covered with feathers, like big birds.

Then the younger brother said: "You fly; let me see you fly a little way." The elder brother tried but could not make his wings go.

"Try again and I'll help," said the younger, and he pushed his brother along; but though he tried again he could not fly, and dropped down.

Then they took more feathers and set them closer so they would not leak air. When they had done this the younger asked: "Do you think you can go this time?"

But the elder one replied, "Let's see you try."

"All right," the younger answered, and flew a little way.

"Now you try," he called, and lifted his brother up and pushed him to help him start, but when he had flown a little way he cried out that he could not go any farther.

"Go on, I'm coming," called the younger, and he soon caught up and came under his brother and sailed round and round and went up into the air and came down.

p. 175


The Orphan Boys killing Ducks and Geese by the River. ''For a month they hunted birds and ate them''
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The Orphan Boys killing Ducks and Geese by the River. ''For a month they hunted birds and ate them''


p. 177

Then the younger said, "Now we can fly, what kind of animal shall we be?"

The elder answered that he did not know.

The younger said, "How about We-ho'-whe-mah, who lives on the water in the back country?"

"All right," replied the other. So they flew again, and the younger helped start the elder and flew under him so as to catch him if he fell, and they flew up and down and around.

The younger again asked his brother if he would like to be We-ho'-whe-mah.

The brother replied, "No, I don't want to live on the water."

"Then how would you like to be Tim-me-lā'-le the Thunder," asked the younger. "We could come back sometimes and make a big noise and frighten the people. In summer we could go up through the north hole in the sky and stay up above the sky, and in winter come back here and make a big noise and rain to make the country green. Then maybe the people would come back and live again. We once had a father and mother and sister and uncle and grandfather and others. Maybe they would come back. We want to help them; we could make good rain to make things grow--acorns, pine nuts, grass, and all. Then maybe the people would come back and eat. We should never use food, never drink water, never grow old, and never be killed."

"All right," answered the elder, "We shall live always. But how are we going to make rain?"

p. 178

"I'll show you," answered the younger. And they started again and went up very slowly, way up to the sky, and went north and found the north hole and went through it. When near the sky, but before they had gone through, the younger began to make a loud rumbling noise; it was Tim-me-lā'-le the Thunder. 18 The elder tried but failed. The younger told him to try again. He did so and in a short time made thunder all right. Then they went through the hole and up above the sky into the Yel'-lo-kin country.

When winter time came the younger said, "Come, let us go back." So they came down through the hole in the sky and traveled south and saw that people were there already. Then they shouted and made thunder and rain. After that they returned home through the north hole in the sky. And every winter even to this day they come back and thunder and make rain to make things grow for the people.


178:18 Tim-me-lā'-le is rolling thunder; the sharp crash is Kah'-loo.

Next: Wek'-wek's Search for his Father