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(Tuggle collection)

Once there was a beautiful girl who lived with her brothers on the bank of a river. Her youngest brother was named Kut-che-he-lo-chee (probably Katcilutci, Little Panther-foot).

The Lion, Istepahpah (Man-eater), came near their house in a boat and landed. He asked the little girl to enter his boat, but she refused, He told her he had some young lions in his boat and begged her to come and see them. She consented and entered his boat. Then Istepahpah pushed his boat from shore and carried her away to his home. On reaching home Istepahpah put her in his wife's charge. The next day as he was starting off on a hunt he said to the girl: "Take some acorns and wash them in the stream. I love acorns. And make soup of them with my meat. Wash them before my return." After Istepahpah went away his wife said to the little girl: "I am sorry he brought you here. He treats me cruelly and he will treat you the same way. When he fails to obtain any game, he eats a piece of my flesh with his acorns. He will punish you in the same way. I wish you to escape."

She called Kotee (Koti), the water frog, from the stream and asked him if he would take the girl's place and wash the acorns. Kotee said he would. She instructed him to answer Istepahpah, when he asked if the acorns were washed, "No."

She then helped the girl to climb over the house and told her to run to her brothers' house.

When Istepahpah returned he called out to the girl, "Have you washed my acorns?" Kotee answered, "No."

Again Istepahpah asked, "Have you washed my acorns?" Kotee replied, "No."

Istepahpah, not understanding this, went down to the water and Kokee, hearing him approach, jumped into the stream.

Istepahpah, thinking it was the girl, plunged in after, but he could see her nowhere. He said in gentle tones: "Little girl, why do you run away from me?"

After searching in vain he came from the stream and went to his house.

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Istepahpah possessed a Motarkah, a wheel, which could find anything which was lost. He threw Motarkah from him and it ran a short way and returned. He tried several directions, but Motarkah came back to him.

At last he threw Motarkah down in his yard. It went over the house and started off in a straight course, following the trail of the girl. Istepahpah followed Motarkah, for he knew the girl had gone that way.

Soon they came, in sight of the little girl, who was running and singing. "I wonder if I can reach my brothers' house before they catch me. I wonder if I can reach my brothers' house before they catch me."

While Kut-che-he-lo-chee was playing he thought he heard his lost sister's voice in the distance. He said to his brothers, "I hear my sister's voice."

Kut-che-he-lo-chee insisted that he had heard her singing in distress.

Nearer she came, pursued by Motarkah and Istepahpah, and again she sang as she ran: "I wonder if I can reach my brothers' house before they catch me. I wonder if I can reach my brothers' house before they catch me."

Kut-che-he-lo-chee was now convinced that he heard his sister's voice. He called his brothers and persuaded them to go with him. They went and now heard their sister crying in distress: "I wonder if I can reach my brothers' house before they catch me. I wonder if I can reach my brothers' house before they catch me."

They said to Kut-che-he-lo-chee: "You can stay here. You are too young to help us. Remain behind."

But Kut-che-he-lo-chee, would go with them. They now saw their sister pursued by Motarkah and Istepahpah. As they came nearer the brothers shot arrows at Motarkah, but could not stop it. Their sister passed them and ran to the house. Motarkah followed. Kut-che-he-lo-chee ran to Motarkah and struck it with the little wooden paddle he used in parching his food and Motarkah rolled to one side and stopped. Istepahpah still came on. The brothers shot at him but could not kill him. Then Kut-che-he-lo-chee ran to Istepahpah and struck him on the head with his little wooden paddle and killed him. His brothers said Kut-che-he-lo-chee was the bravest of all and had saved their sister's life.

Next: 14. The Water Panther (Leopard)