Sacred Texts  Native American  California  Index  Previous  Next 


(Elko, Nevada, Shoshoni)

Night Owl (Munibitc) lived with his wife and boy who was 6 or 7 years old. His wife, Takadoa, 37 carried the boy around on her back.

Night Owl went hunting for rabbits. While he was stamping his feet in the snow, he stepped on a piece of bone that was sticking up and drove it into his foot. He came home and asked his wife to pull it out. She wanted to marry Skunk, so she pushed the bone in farther and Night Owl died.

Takadoa went to Skunk's place and talked to his grandmother. She told her that she wanted to marry Skunk. The grandmother said that Skunk was strong, but was no good. She began to cry. Takadoa went away carrying her son. Skunk came home, and said to his grandmother, "What are you crying about, Grandmother? Tell me what is

p. 297

the matter." She said, "Oh, I am just crying because my son has died"; she referred to Owl. Skunk said, "How do you know that he died? You must know something." He smelled her. He said, "You are too old to smell this way." He smelled all around and knew that somebody else's smell was there. Then he found a string that had belonged to some stranger. Now he knew who had been there. He said, "Why didn't you tell me who was here?"

Skunk started to follow the woman, Takadoa. He followed her tracks. The woman thought, "I wish a lot of roses would grow up so he can't get through." A lot of dry roses grew up and Skunk became stuck in them. Then Skunk looked up and saw an enormous alkali flat [i. e., playa] that had no end. Skunk let out his smell. It overtook the woman and her boy and killed both of them.

Badger, Coyote, Hawk (Kini), and their friends were camped on the other side of the flat. Badger restored Takadoa to life. She wanted to marry Hawk. She went to the camp and found that all the men were out hunting rabbits. Hawk's mother was alone. Takadoa saw only one bed in her house, but there were many rabbits there. After a while, Coyote came back with four rabbits. He gave them to Takadoa, and her boy, but Takadoa would not marry him. She wanted Hawk, but could not find him. Ha-wk was staying in a round hole up in the rocks.

Every evening someone brought a great many rabbits to Hawk's mother's house. Takadoa said, "Who brought all these rabbits?" Hawk's mother said, "My boy brings them." Takadoa looked all around and in the bed for Hawk. Hawk's mother said, "What do you want? Do you want my boy? After I die you want to marry him? No, you might make him trouble. You would scare him so that be could not hunt rabbits any more."

That night, after every one was asleep, Takadoa went to Hawk's place in the rocks to sleep with him. She went in the middle of the night. No one knew that she was going. When she arrived, she got in bed with him and called, "Kinini, kinini, kinini." When Hawk woke up and found somebody in bed with him he was frightened.

In the morning Hawk got up and sat on a rock with his feathers all ruffled. He looked funny. He went hunting for rabbits but only got one. His luck was spoiled. He had been the best of all hunters, but after being frightened by the woman, he was no good.

Kăngwasi gweak: (Woodrat's tail, pulled off).


296:37 A black-headed bird that comes in the spring time.

Next: Coyote Liberates Game Animals; Wolf is Killed and Restored (Winnemucca, Nevada. Northern Paiute)