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The Thunder Bird Tootooch Legends, by W.L. Webber, [1936], at

p. 30

Chee-Che-Ka, The Mink

Chee-Che-Ka, THE MINK

Mink was a snooping individual. One day, when making his way through the forest, he climbed to the top of a split off cedar to get his bearings. From there he could see a lake. On the beach was a man busy with a canoe. Mink came down and approached the man who was loading it up with the carcasses of deer. After exchanging greetings he asked if he could help and the man agreed. When the deer had been loaded Mink made a mental count of them; ikt, moxt, klone, la-kit, kwin-in-num, tagh’-um, sin-a-mokat, stote-kin, kwaist, taht-lum, he counted in Chinook, ten. "Now," thought he, "Here's a chance to get something to eat." He asked if he could go along to the stranger's village and he was assured that he could. Getting into the canoe he took a paddle with which he worked industriously. At last they came to a village that was set back fifty yards from the bank. Suddenly he observed that the deer were being unloaded out of the canoe and put into the houses. This looked strange to the Mink as he did not see any people around. He asked the man how many houses were in the village. The man replied, "Forty, and in each house live thirty people."

Mink thought he would take a look around so going into the dwelling places he found, lying around, stone knives, spears, and bows and arrows. The fires were burning, heating stones to be put in the wooden boxes, filled with water to boil food, also others on which to roast the deer that had been in the canoe. It seemed as if a meal were being prepared. In every house he visited it was the same. No people were visible. Then the cunning and greed of Mink got the better of him. Why not take what he wanted, load the canoe and leave for whence he came? With that in mind he got into the canoe with all it would hold and paddled away about two hundred yards when the canoe was pulled back by an invisible cord. Try as he would, he could not paddle more than a hundred yards from the shore after that. He was always being pulled back. After paddling in the hot sun almost all afternoon, sweating, tired and hungry, Mink had to give up and assume his animal form again and then swim to the opposite bank. Mink never again went to the town of the invisible people.

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