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Two men out hunting came to a creek and in a hollow log lying in the water found two fish which one of the men took out. When he had done so they say the other said, "They may not be fish." But the first would not leave them. He took them along and when they camped he boiled the fish. When he was about to eat them the other told him not to, but he would not listen. He ate. "Eat one with me," he said to his companion, but he would not do so. After he had eaten they went to bed, one lying on one side of the fire and the other on the other side, but during the night he who had eaten the fish awoke groaning. "Throw a light over me," he said, "to see what is the matter with me," and, when his companion threw light on him and looked, he saw that his legs had grown together. This went on until he turned entirely into a snake.

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While this was going on the transformed man said, "Do not be afraid of me. Follow the course I take and, when I stop at a certain place, go home." By the next day that man had turned entirely into a snake and at daybreak, as he had foretold, he started off and the other followed. Finally he saw him enter a pond. Then he started home, and when he got there he told the man's mother that her son had turned into a snake. "He told me to say to you, 'If she wants to see me she must go there and call me by name.'"

When he said this to his mother, she said, "Show me the place," and she started off with him. When they got to the creek, he said to her, "Here is where the man who became a snake went in." So his mother went down to the creek. She walked to the edge of the water and sat down. When she called his name there was a commotion in the water and he came out. He laid his head on her knees, but he could not talk. Then his mother cried. After remaining there awhile the man who had turned into a snake returned into the water and his mother went home.

This is the way it is told.

Next: 18. The Water People