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Two men went hunting together. They traveled all day and when they encamped for the night exchanged stories with each other. One said that if you mixed together the brains of a black snake, a black squirrel, and a wild turkey and ate them you would turn into a snake. The other replied, "If that is the case I believe I will try it." "That is the story," said his companion, "and I do not believe it would be well to try it." The other was anxious to test its truth, however, so he got the three different kinds of brains, mixed them together, and ate them. "I have eaten the things we were talking about," he said to his comrade, and the latter answered, "When I told the story I did not think you would do that. You have done wrong." They were very fond of each other.

Then the hunters lay down to sleep and during the night the one who had eaten the brains called out, "My friend, the story you heard was a true one. It is coming to pass." From his thighs down he was already a serpent. The next time he spoke to his friend his entire body had turned into a snake. He told him to go along with him, saying, "I must now find a place to which I can retire." They went on until they came to a small, deep pool made by an uprooted tree, and the Snake said, "When you return to camp move some distance back. Come to see me in the morning and discharge your gun and we will have a talk before you go home."

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The hunter did as he had been directed and when he returned to the place next day found that the pool had expanded into a large, deep pond. He discharged his gun and the Snake came up in the middle of the sheet of water. Then he sank out of sight and soon came crawling up the bank. He said, "When you get through hunting and return home tell my parents of the accident which has befallen me. If they want to come to see me tell them to discharge a gun at this place. Tell my parents not to be afraid of me. I am their child."

The friend could do nothing more, so he returned home and related what had happened. But all thought that he had killed his friend and they would not be satisfied until they saw for themselves, so they went back with him. He conducted them to the place where their camp had been and said, "Right here is where he lay when he turned into a snake." Then they went to the shore of the lake and discharged a gun. The Snake then showed himself in the middle and disappeared again. "That is he," said the man. "He will come out right here at the edge of the water and you must not be afraid of him." So the father and mother sat down there side by side.

Presently the Snake came up and crawled over them and then returned and laid its head against its mother's jaw. It shed tears, but could not speak. It wrapped itself around them in all kinds of ways and then unfolded and returned to the lake. The parents wept but they could not help themselves, so they returned home. That was what they call the tie-snake.

Next: 24. The Man Who Became A Snake (Second Version)