Music: Cedar and Clay by R. Carlos Nakai
A young woman lived alone on the bank of a large river. One day she thought, "I am old enough to have a husband. It is lonely here by myself."
She oiled her hair, painted her face red, put on her best clothes and went to a spring. She dipped up a bucket of water and looking in it said, "I am nice
enough for any man."
Then she started off along the bank of the river that ran through a forest. Toward midday she came to a place where she saw signs of people living
near, and, seating herself on a log she began to sing, "I wonder if any man around here wants a wife. I wonder if any man around here wants a wife."
Soon some one far off in the forest answered, "I want a wife. I want a wife." Then the woman sang back, "What will we live on? What will we live on
when we live together?"
And he sang, "We will live on moss."
And she, singing, answered, "I couldn't live on moss. I am too good for such coarse food; I'm a nice looking girl."
Again she traveled along the bank of the river. It was near sunset when the young woman came to a place where she saw signs of people living near.
She seated herself on a log and sang, "I wonder if any man around here wants a wife. I wonder if any man around here wants a wife."
Some one, not far off, answered, singing, "I want a wife. I want a wife."
Then she sang, "What will we live on? What will we live on? What will we live on when we live together?"
And he, singing, answered, "We will live on hawthorn berries and roots."
She sang, "I cannot live on hawthorn berries and roots. I am too good for such food; I'm a nice looking girl."
The young woman traveled on till dusk then, seeing signs of some one having been along a short time before, she seated herself on a log and sang, "I
wonder if any man around here wants a wife. I wonder if any man around here wants a wife."
Close by some one sag, "I want a wife. I want a wife."
And she, singing, asked, "What will we live on? What will we live on when we live together?"
And he sang back, "When we live together we will live on seeds."
Singing, she answered, "That is the food I like; seeds are nice and soft."
The singer, hearing her answer, was pleased. He came and sat on a log by her side, and, singing, asked, "Did you understand my song when you
asked what we would live on when we lived together?"
She, singing, answered, "Yes, seeds. I love seeds, they are sweet and soft."
Then the two flew off along the bank of the river, and ever since have lived happily together. The first birds of Spring.
The first man to answer the young woman's call was a deer, the second was a bear; the third was a bird like herself.
|A Bird In Search Of A Mate
A Seneca Legend
All Rights Reserved
|A Brother and Sister Pursued by a Man-Eater
A Seneca Legend
A Man-Eater stole a little girl and carried her to his house in the woods. There was a partition in the house. The Man-Eater stayed on one side of the
partition and the girl the other side. He brought deer meat for the girl, but he ate human flesh.
The girl had a brother and he determined to get her away from the Man-Eater. When he was ready to start, his father gave him a bow and an arrow,
the arrow was hollow. He gave him a piece of flint, a pigeon's feather, and the tooth of a beaver, and said, "If you are in great danger throw the flint,
the feather, or the tooth behind you."
One day, when the Man-Eater was off hunting, the brother, who had been watching around, went to the house, saw his sister and told her she must
come with him, but they couldn't go home, for if they did the Man-Eater would find and kill them. The young man shook his sister till she was small.
Then he put her in his arrow, and said, "The arrow will strike a stone at the end of the world; it will burst and you will come out. Then run toward the
South as fast as you can. I'll overtake you."
He shot the arrow, then ran in increasing circles around the Man-Eater's house till he came to a tall hickory tree. He climbed the tree, made a long
leap toward the South, came to the ground and followed the trail the arrow had left in the sky.
When the Man-Eater came home and found the girl gone, he was angry, and said, "I'll find her, no matter where she is."
He changed himself into a bear, found the young man's tracks and followed them around and around the house till he came to where they ended. He
searched a long time and at last found the place where the young man had come down when he sprang from the tree.
"Now, I'll get you!" said the Man-Eater, and he was glad.
In the form of a bear he followed the young man's tracks till he came to the stone where the arrow struck. Then he followed farther till he came to
where the brother and sister met.
One day when the two stopped to rest, they heard a bear roar, and the roar said, "You can't get away from me! I'll find you, no matter where you go."
The girl was so frightened that she fell. The young man didn't know what to do, then he remembered that he had a wonderful pair of moccasins that
belonged to his mother. He took the moccasins out of his pocket, put them on the ground, and said, "Go West as fast as you can." He put his sister in
the arrow and shot it off toward the South, and climbing a tall tree he sprang from it, landed far away, and followed the arrow.
When the Man-Eater saw the moccasin tracks, he thought they were the girl's tracks and he said, "Now I'll overtake you!"
He ran west all day, ran through swamps and across rough places. Just at dark he came to a rotten log and there he found two moccasins. He tore
up the moccasins and roaring, "You'll not get away from me!" he turned and ran back all night and the next day, came to the old track, then ran in
circles till he found where the young man struck the ground.
After a long time he came to the stone where the arrow burst, then to the place where the brother and sister met. He had almost overtaken them when
the young man thought of the piece of flint his father had given him. He threw the flint behind him, and said, "Be a rock across the world!"
When the Man-Eater came to the rock he said, "I never heard of a rock across the world. I'll soon get around this."
He ran a long time, then, thinking that he was going in the wrong direction, turned and went back to the starting place and off in the other direction.
After running all day and finding no end to the rock, he went back, a second time, to the starting place. A little piece of flint lay where the rock had
been. The Man-Eater was terribly angry; he broke up the flint and ran on faster than before
Again the Man-Eater, in the form of a bear, was getting near. The girl was tired and cried, the young man encouraged her, told her they had friends
on the road and would soon have help.
When the bear roared, "I'll have you now!" the young man threw the pigeon feather behind him with the wish that pigeon droppings would block the
The Man-Eater came to the deposit and couldn't get through. He ran all day to get around it, then, thinking he had gone in the wrong direction, he
went back to the starting place and ran in the opposite direction, but finding no end, came back to the starting place and lay down. When he woke up,
a pigeon feather was on the trail; the deposit had disappeared. He was mad with rage. He went on swiftly and again was near the brother and sister.
The young man threw the beaver tooth, and said, "Let there be a beaver swamp deep and wide."
The Man-Eater came to the swamp and tried to cross it, but couldn't, saying, "I never heard of a beaver swamp so long that I couldn't go around it."
He started toward the West, traveled all day, then went back off toward the East, but finding no end to the swamp he returned to the starting place
and lay down. When he woke up the swamp was gone and on the trail was a beaver's tooth.
The young man thought, "I've nothing more to delay the Man-Eater we will die now." But he encouraged his sister and they ran on and soon came to
an opening. In the opening was a house and in the house was an old man. They called him "Uncle" and begged for help.
"I'll do what I can," said he, "but farther on you have another uncle, who will help you more than I can." The old man was a net-maker. He gathered
up his nets and spread them on the trail. When the Man-Eater came he got tangled up in the nets and was a long time freeing himself. He wanted to
kill the old man, but not seeing him called out, "You have made me lose time, I'll come back and kill you."
The brother and sister came to a village, and when the chief heard the young man's story, he rubbed them with his hands, changed their looks, gave
them different clothes and told them to stay with his people.
When the Man-Eater was near the village, he took his own form and going to the chief said, "A young man has stolen my daughter. I am following
him, but I am tired and want to stay here and rest" --he knew that the brother and sister were in the village.
After a while the Man-Eater said, "I was brought up to have fun."
"We have no time for fun," said the chief, "We are going into the woods to hunt."
The young man knew that the Man-Eater was looking for tracks, so he went to the edge of the clearing where there was a stump, put down a pair of
moccasins, and said to them, "Run all day but come back at night."
The Man-Eater saw the tracks and followed them. Towards night the moccasins came to the stump, dropped down and were nothing but moccasins.
When the Man-Eater came and saw them he was so mad that he tore them to pieces and tore up the stump.
The chief knew that the Man-Eater would stay around till he found the brother and sister, so he said to the young man, "I will help you all I can."
He spat on four pieces of bear skin, then gave them to the brother and sister to fasten on to their feet. "Now," said the chief, "your tracks will be like
bear tracks. When the Man-Eater is getting near, put your sister in an arrow and shoot it toward the West, then spring from a high tree and follow
her. You will come to a house where there is an old man. He will tell you what to do."
The Man-Eater came upon the bear tracks but didn't mind them. After traveling a long distance and finding no other tracks he rubbed his hand over a
track and smelt of it, then he knew they were the young man's tracks and he followed them till he came to where the arrow was shot off, and after
hunting a while he found where the young man came down when he sprang from the tree.
The brother and sister came to an opening and saw ten boys playing ball. In the middle of the opening was a house and in the house was an old man,
who, when he heard the young man's story, said, "I will help you all I can and my boys will help you. I know that man, I am older than he is, but he
hasn't as much power as I have. He will come in the form of a bear."
When they heard the bear coming, the boys threw up their clubs, gave a war-whoop, and ran forward. One hit the bear a blow; the bear chased him.
Then another gave it a blow, and it turned and chased that one till another boy hit it a blow. This went on till the bear stumbled and fell, then the boys
cut off its head. They buried the body but made a ball of the head.
The brother and sister wanted to start for home, but the old man said, "Many people are coming to play games. You must stay and see the sport.'
Early the next morning a crowd of people came. Their leader said, "We have come to play games."
"That is what I like," said the old man. "I have ten sons who will play ball with you, but if you want a foot race, I'll run with you myself. I am old, but
I can run. Do you know what we bet?"
"We do. You bet heads."
"How many men have you?"
"Well, we will play ball. If you beat us, you may cut off my head and the head of each one of my ten sons. If we beat you, I'll have your head and the
head of each one of your fifty men."
The old man always carried his ball West. The head man of the fifty wanted to carry his ball West.
"No," said the old man, "it is my rule to carry West. You must go East."
They disputed a long time, then the old man brought out a board, black on one side and red on the other, and said, "Choose your color. I'll throw the
board up. If it comes down your color, you may carry the ball West; if it comes my color, I'll carry West."
The head man chose black.
The board went up out of sight. The old man kept saying in his mind, "Red; red; red!" It came down the red side up.
The old man had a ball and the head man had a ball. They quarreled over the balls but at last agreed to play twice, once with each ball.
They put the old man's ball down; his boys snatched it and ran West. Fifty men followed the ten, but couldn't catch them. They came back, took the
head man's ball and ran East. The ten followed and the swiftest runner of the ten snatched the ball and ran West with it. The old man won, and the
fifty with their head man lost their lives.
When the brother and sister were ready to start, the old man said, "I'll make a trail for you. Look at the sky and you'll not get lost."
He took a stick and made a mark on the ground, then he motioned and a line came on the sky. He said, "If you lose the trail on the ground, you'll see it
in the sky. Follow it and you will get home."
The girl was in a hurry. She said, "We can travel in the night as well as in the day time for we can see the trail along the sky."
They traveled fast and were not many days in getting home.
|A Dead Man Speaks Through Fire
A Seneca Legend
A woman and her son lived in one house, a brother and sister in another. The old woman's son and the brother looked alike, were the same height and
could scarcely be told apart; they were great friends.
The old woman's son often visited the brother and sister, but when the brother found out that his friend thought of marrying the sister when she was
old enough (she was very young), he was displeased and the next time the young man came to the house he killed him, dug a hole under the fireplace,
put the body into it, filled the hole with earth, and built a fire.
The mother waited for her son and when he didn't come she went to the other house, and asked, "Where is my son?"
"He just started for home, maybe he is in the woods; he was going to cut twigs for arrows," answered the young man.
When the woman started for home he ran out, cut wood quickly, hurried to her house, sat down and began to whittle out arrows.
When she came in he asked, "Where have you been, mother?"
"I've been at your friend's house."
"Well," said he, "I am going over there a little while."
He put away the arrows, ran home, and said, "My sister, I am afraid that we are going to die. Hurry to the spring, leave your pail there; run in every
direction, then come back to the house."
The girl went to the spring, covered the ground with tracks and came back.
Then the brother said, "I'll put you in the head of my arrow and send you off."
He shook the girl till she became very small, then put her in the head of his arrow, and said, "I will shoot toward the East; when the arrow strikes the
ground, jump out and run. I'll overtake you."
He shot the arrow up through the smoke-hole. It came down on a stone far off in the East. The arrow burst and the girl came out and began to run as
fast as she could.
The young man ran around in circles; made many tracks, then stood on the top of the house. There was a long line across the sky, the trail the arrow
had made. He ran off under this trail, came to the spot where the arrow struck the stone, then followed his sister's tracks.
The woman got tired of waiting for her son and went over to see what he was doing. The house was empty. She sat down by the fire, then a voice
spoke out of the fire, and said, "My friend killed me! My friend killed me!"
The woman dug down and found her son's body. She went home, became a Nyagwaihe and followed the girl's tracks to the spring; followed them till
she was at the house again. Then she looked through the smoke-hole, saw on the sky the trail of the arrow, and hurrying out ran toward the East.
The young man overtook his sister before she was far from the stone, then they ran on together. After a time they heard a bear roar. The girl trembled
and grew weak, but her brother encouraged her. At night they lay down by a tree and slept a little.
The young man dreamed that a woman came to him, and said, "Here is a stone to defend yourself with. Tomorrow about midday throw this stone
behind you and say, 'Let there be a ridge of rocks across the world so high that nothing can climb over or pass it.'"
In the morning the young man saw at his side the very stone he had seen in his dream. He took the stone with him.
Before midday they heard a bear roar. The young man threw the stone behind him and that minute a ridge of rocks stretched across the world. The
ridge was so high that no living creature could climb it.
The bear came to the ridge and saw that the tracks she was following went farther. She clambered up and fell back.
Howling terribly, she said, "I'll overtake and eat them both!"
She ran toward the north; could find no end or opening, then she went back and ran toward the South, and finding no opening went back and lay
down near the tracks.
The next morning she found only a small stone in her way. She ground it to powder and went on.
The brother and sister had gone far but at midday they heard the bear roar and knew she was coming. They reached a great forest; the trees were
dried up and leafless. They saw a house and going in found an old man sitting by the fire.
They told him their trouble and he said, "I will help you, but you have another uncle not far from here, he will help you more than I can."
The old man was chipping flint, when he had a handful of chips he flung it at the trees and in this way he had killed all the trees in the forest; he had
The brother and sister went on.
The old man had a heap of flint chips piled near him. When he heard the bear coming he threw handful after handful of the chips at her, but she didn't
She came to the door, and asked, "Have you seen a young man and a girl?"
"I have not," said he, "I pay no heed to persons who pass."
The bear seized the old man by the head, crushed him and killed him. Then she saw tracks and knowing that the brother and sister had gone ahead,
she roared and rushed on.
When they came to the second uncle, he said, "I will help you all I can, but hurry on till you come to the house of another uncle." He made a trap on the
trail, near that a second trap, and then a third trap.
When the bear came, she rushed into the first trap; after a long struggle she broke through, then got into the second trap, and only got out of that to
fall into the third one.
When she got out of the third trap she went to the old man, and asked, "Have you seen a young man and a girl pass?"
"I have not."
The bear seized the old man and tore him to pieces with her teeth.
When the brother and sister came to the third uncle, he was making a net. His eyes were closed and his eyelids hung on his cheeks. When they called
to him he didn't hear them; they called again; he kept at work. When his nephew got a pounder and hit him on the head he raised his eyebrows and
said, "I hear a voice."
"A great bear is following us," said the young man.
"I will help you all I can," said the uncle, "but your grandfather lives in the next house, run to him; he can help you more than I can."
When the bear was near, the old man put a long net on the trail. She was caught in the net, but she struggled and bit till at last she freed herself.
Then going to the old man she asked, "Have you seen a young man and a girl pass this way?"
"I have not," said he.
When the brother and sister came to their grandfather's house they found Shagodyoweq (Wind people) there. These people wore heavy shells. When
they saw the brother and sister they told them to go on till they came to the next house, that the people there were very strong, possessed great
witchcraft and could help them.
The bear came and after a heard fight killed the Wind people.
When the brother and sister reached the next house an old Dzogeo woman sat in front of it. She told them to go in, she would kill the bear. She had a
great deal of bear fat. She told her three sons to make two fires on the tracks of the brother and sister, put a kettle over each fire and fill the kettles with
fat. When the fat was boiling, the brothers gathered red willows and made arrows.
The woman stood near the first kettle. The bear came rushing along and asked, "Are the two here whose tracks these are?"
"They are here," said she. "They are in the house."
The bear started to go around the kettles, but the woman said, "You mustn't go that way; those who came before you went through the fire, you must
do as they did."
The bear started; overturned the first kettle, got her paws burned and fell back growling. She made for the second kettle, overturned that and was
burned still worse. Then the boys killed her with their red willow arrows, and burned her bones to powder so she couldn't come to life.
The Dzogeo woman told the brother and sister to stay with her till they were rested, then her sons would go home with them.
They started, and the Dzogeo boys traveled with them two days, then telling them how to get home they turned back.
Peter White said the Bear woman's son had a tuft of yellow hair hanging down his back from the crown of his head, that when he was killed by his
friend, the friend cut off that tuft of hair and fastened it to the top of his own head.
When the Bear woman's son was hunting he could send his arrows home. They would go into the house and to the place where they belonged. After
the friend had the tuft of hair his arrows would go home in the same way. The strength was in the tuft of hair.
Nyagwaihe- The Ancient of Bears
Dzogeo- The Little People
|A little boy and his dog, Beautiful Ears
A Seneca Legend
A man and his wife went into the woods to hunt. They built a house of hemlock boughs, and lived happily. After a while a boy was born to them. The
family always has a plenty of meat, for the man was a good hunter. While he was away in the woods looking for game, his wife was busy drying the
meat; bringing bark to keep the fire; and taking care of the child. Another child was born to them, a girl.
Everything went on well till the boy was old enough to do chores and his mother began to send him for water. The spring was some distance from the
cabin and the child was afraid there. Whenever his mother told him to go, he complained and tried to beg off. But when she seized him by the hair,
dragged him to the door, pushed him out and threw the bark water vessel after him, he knew that he must pick up the vessel and go. As soon as he
brought the water, his mother washed her face, combed her hair, took her strap and hatchet and, telling him she was going for bark to burn and he
must stay with his sister, she went off somewhere.
This happened every day for a long time.
The woman began to be cruel to the boy. She didn't give him enough to eat and neglected him in every way. She seemed to hate him.
When at last the boy told his father that he didn't have enough to eat, the man noticed that his wife was cross and cruel to the child and began to think
that something was wrong. One night as he and the boy were together on one side of the fire, and his wife and little girl were sleeping on the other
side, he questioned the child about what was done in the house while he was off hunting. The boy told him that at such a time each day his mother sent
him to a spring where he was afraid to go; when he came with the water, she washed and combed and then to the woods for bark.
The man decided to watch his wife. The next morning he started off to hunt, then crept back till he came to a place where he could see his cabin. By and
by he saw the skin door open and out came his boy, head first, the water vessel after him.
The boy, crying bitterly, picked up the vessel and started off. The father was angry, but he waited to see what would happen next.
The boy brought the water and soon afterward the mother came out with her strap and hatchet. She walked away and her husband followed
The woman went down a hill and walked on till she came to a black ash tree from which the bark could easily be stripped. There she stopped and
looked up into the tree. The man crept as near as was possible and not be seen by his wife. After a while she hit the tree with the back of her hatchet; it
made a beautiful sound. She waited a minute, then struck the tree a second time; again the musical sound. The third time she struck the man saw a
bird on the top branches of the tree. When the woman struck a fourth time, the bird flew down, and as it touched the ground it became a handsome
man. That minute the husband drew his bow and shot, instantly the man turned to a bird, flew up and disappeared in the air.
The woman, seeing her husband, said, "Is it you?"
"It is," said the man, "and now I know why you abuse our boy."
"I abuse him, and I will abuse you, too," said the woman, and she caught up a club and struck her husband till he was helpless.
Then leaving him on the ground, she ran home, put her children outside and set fire to the cabin. The hemlock boughs blazed up quickly and soon the
cabin was in ashes. Then she said to her children, "You must stay here. Everything will be all right." And taking up a handful of ashes, she threw the
ashes into the air and said, "Let there be a snowstorm, and let the snow be as high as these trees."
When snow began to fall, the mother said to the little boy, "Here is your dog, keep him with you and take care of your sister." Then she started off.
Snow fell fast and soon the boy and girl were covered up, but they felt as warm and comfortable as if in a house.
After a time the father dragged himself towards home. When near he saw there was no longer a cabin. He searched for his children and at last found
them; then he set about building a house of boughs.
When the cabin was ready he said to the boy, "You must stay here and take care of your little sister, and of your dog, Beautiful Ears. Always give him
a plenty to eat, as much and as good as you have yourselves. When you go out, carry your sister on your back, never put her down or leave her for a
minute. When the dog seems uneasy, you must turn around and go home. I am going in pursuit of your mother," and he started.
In the morning when the boy woke up, he found food cooked and ready to eat. He gave Beautiful Ears his share, then he and his sister ate.
Afterward, whenever it was time to eat, food was ready for them.
One day the boy got lonely and he said to his sister and Beautiful Ears, "We will go out and amuse ourselves."
The boy had a bow and arrows; but he couldn't shoot, for he carried his sister on his back. Beautiful Ears ran ahead, then ran back, and was full of
The tree looked around and enjoyed themselves till the dog began to whine and tease, wanted his master to go home.
Then the boy said to his sister, "Beautiful Ears wants to go back."
A few days later they went out again, went a little farther than the first day. When they got home, food was ready for them. The boy always gave
Beautiful Ears his share first.
The third time they went out, the dog ran after a wild turkey. The boy followed the dog. The dog chased the turkey into a clump of bushes. The boy
couldn't get into the bushes to shoot the turkey, for his sister was strapped to his back. He thought, "I will un-strap her just for a minute, then we will
have a nice fat turkey to eat." He took the little girl from his back and put her down. Before he reached the bushes she screamed and turning around
the brother saw a bear take the child up and run off.
Beautiful Ears and the boy followed the bear. For three or four days the boy heard the dog bark as it ran on ahead but at last it was out of hearing and
he lost trace of it: couldn't follow it any longer.
Now the boy was alone. He had nothing to live for and wished to die. One day, as he walked along without purpose, he came to the bank of a lake; he
climbed a high rock, leaped into the water and lost consciousness. On coming to his senses he thought he was in a beautiful country and he felt happy.
But in reality a great fish has swallowed him. After a few days the fish swam into a small stream. On the bank of that stream lived seven sister. They
had built a cabin and made a fish dam. One morning they went to the dam and found a very large fish.
They pulled it up on to the bank and the elder sister said, "We will cut it open."
"Wait," said the second sister, "till we boil water to cook it in. We will cut it open carefully; such a large fish must have a lot of spawn."
When everything was ready, the sisters opened the fish. But in place of spawn they found a beautiful boy. They forgot the fish. They washed the boy,
cared for him, and rejoiced that such a gift had come to their door. They said, "We will take good care of this boy. Maybe he will become a great
hunter and get meat for us when we are old."
The sister and their "son," as they called the boy, lived happily together. He soon surprised them by killing large game and by becoming a good hunter,
but when they found that while hunting he wandered a long distance from home they were frightened and told him to keep near the house and never
go toward the West.
One day the boy said to himself, "I wonder what there is off there where the sun goes down. I'll go and see."
He hadn't gone far when he came to a clearing and saw a cabin.
Everything was quiet. He crept up cautiously and peeping in saw an old man sitting with his head bent down to his breast.
That minute the old man called out, "Well, Nephew, you have come."
The boy knew that he was discovered and he answered, "Yes, I have come. I thought I would see what you were doing."
"Well, come in and wait till I get my head up."
The old man picked up a big wooden pin that lay at his side, and taking a mallet drove the pin down his spinal column. Up came his head, and he said,
"I have a rule that when a nephew comes I will play a game with him and bet--"
"What do you bet?"
"I bet my head against his."
"Very well," said the boy.
The old man swept the ashes from the fireplace and made it smooth. Then he shook a bowl that had stones in it, and said, "The one who turns the
stones all of a color will be the winner. You must throw first."
\"No," said the boy, "if you want to play the game you must play first."
At last the old man consented. He shook the bowl; six stones flew out of the smoke-hole, turned to birds and flew off out of hearing.
After a while the boy heard the birds again and soon six stones fell through the smoke-hole into the bowl. The old man bent over and stirred the
stones, repeating, "Let them be white! Let them be white!" but he couldn't get them all of one color.
The boy shook the bowl and, as before, six stones went out of the smoke-hole, turned to birds and flew off. The old man began to shake the dish and
say, "I wish this, I wish that." When the stones came back to the bowl the boy stirred them and they all turned of one color.
When the old man saw that he had lost the game he wanted to play again.
"Oh no," said the boy, "that isn't your rule."
"Let me smoke once more."
The boy cut off the old man's head, set fire to the cabin and went home. After a few days the boy thought he would go again toward the West. He
passed the old man's place, came to another opening and saw another cabin. Around the cabin the ground was as smooth as a playground. The boy
walked up quietly and peeping into the cabin saw an old man sitting there.
That minute the old man called out, "Is that you, Nephew? Come in. I have been waiting for you."
The boy went in.
"I have a way of passing time," said the old man. "I play a game."
"What is your game?"
"I like that," said the boy.
"I bet my head against my nephew's head."
"Very well," said the boy.
They went to the middle of the opening, at one end of which there were two stakes. They threw the balls; the uncle was the best thrower, but the
nephew was the best runner. When he was far ahead, the old man threw a horn after him and the horn stuck in the sole of his foot. He had to sit down
and pull it out. While he was sitting there the old man passed him. The boy spat on his hand, rubbed the spittle into his foot and it was healed. He
threw the horn. It hit the old man's foot and he had to sit down and pull it out. The balled rolled on and went between the stakes. At the next throw the
result was the same. The old man lost the game.
He wanted to play again, but the boy said, "No, it isn't the rule."
He cut off the old man's head, burned the cabin and went home.
A third time the boy went toward the West, and farther than before. He passed the first and second clearing and coming to a third one saw a great
pond covered with thick ice, and near the pond a cabin. He crept up to the cabin and peeping in saw an old man. The old man called out, "Well,
Nephew, I am glad to see you. Come in."
The boy went in and said, "I thought I would look in and see you. Now I will go."
"Oh, no; I have a rule. When a nephew comes to see me, I play a game with him. We run a race on the ice and the one who gets to the goal last loses
his head. No matter how you get there, only get there first.
When the boy was ready to start he took an oak ball from a nearby tree and said, "Let a high wind come!" He got into the oak ball, a high wind rose,
and in a flash he was over the ice. The old man was scarcely half way.
The boy took a white flint stone out of his pouch, threw it toward the middle of the pond and said, "Let this stone melt the ice and boil the water."
In an instant the old man was sinking in boiling water. He cried for mercy, but the boy didn't listen.
The water disappeared; dry land was left where the pond had been. The old man, now a great stone, was in the middle of the space where the pond
had been. The boy burned the cabin and went home.
One day a runner came to the home of the seven sister and said, "The chief has sent me to notify you of the marriage of a certain girl. He wants
everyone to come to the gathering.
The sisters knew that the boy had magic power and they were careful of him. When he said, "I want to go to the gathering," they said that bad people
would be there and all sorts of games would be played.
He said, "You were afraid to have me go toward the West. I have been there and I have destroyed the dice man, the ball man, and the ice-pond man.
Now I am going to this gathering. My mother, father, sister, and my dog, Beautiful Ears, are there.
At last the sisters told him he could go and told him where to find a grandmother who would tell him what to do.
The boy started and after going some distance came to a wide trail and began to meet many people. When night came they all camped together. The
next day they went on.
The sisters had said to the boy, "There will be one woman in the crowd, who will seem to have power over all the others. Don't notice her."
He soon saw her, but remembering their words, looked at her and went on.
At last he came to the place where his grandmother lived. He said, "Grandmother, I have come."
"Poor Grandson," said she, "I have little to give you. I am alone and poor."
"Don't mind that," said the boy, "we will soon have a plenty to eat."
He brought in game till the old woman cried, she was so glad. And she hurried around, like a girl, to prepare the food.
She said, "There is a great gathering at the long house; the chief's daughter is to marry a second time, but first she will destroy her husband, her
daughter, and a dog they call Beautiful Ears. She had a son, but no one knows where he is. Her husband is tied up at one end of the long house and
every person who goes in must strike him with a burning brand. His tears are wampum beads.
"Her daughter is hanging over the fire and slowly roasting. The dog is at one end of the fire, and every person who passes him gives him a kick. His
hair is singed off and he is dying."
The boy was very angry. When night came he said to his grandmother, "I am going to the gathering. The seven sisters said that you would tell me
what to do. The man they are torturing is my father; the little girl is my sister."
"I know everything," said the old woman, "and I will help you. I have a pair of moccasins that you must put on when you get to the long house. Stand
by the fire and when your mother calls out, 'Burn him!' stick one foot in the fire. The moccasins are made of a woman's flesh and I have power over
When the boy came to where the people were, he made himself very small, played around with the children, and went into the long house with them.
His mother was sitting on a high seat in the middle of the room where she could be seen by everyone.
As she gave the order, "Burn him!" the boy stuck his foot into the fire. That instant the woman screamed with pain. She felt that a firebrand was
burning her flesh. The boy ran out, but when it was about time for the woman to give the order again he was near the fire, and as she was beginning
to say, "Burn him!" he put his foot in the fire. That instant she screamed with pain. He tormented her in this way till she died from fright and pain.
The boy led his father and sister out of the house and the dog followed. Then he said, "Let this house become red hot flint!"
Right away the long house was in flames. Some of the people in the house had magic power, their heads burst and their spirits flew through the
smoke-hole and off in the air in the form of owls and other birds. The boy spat on his hands, rubbed his father, sister and dog and they were as well as
ever. Then he said, "Now we will go home."
He thanked his grandmother for her help, and they started for the sister's cabin. When they came near, the seven sisters ran to meet them. And they
all lived happily together ever after.
|A Lazy Man
A Seneca Legend
In Geneseo there was a young man, an orphan, who went around among the people, staying wherever kindhearted persons would keep him, sleeping
on the ground by a brush fire, and eating whatever was given to him. When he was twenty years old, he was as much of a boy as ever.
A chief, who was rich and proud, lived in Geneseo. He had a daughter and two or three sons. One day the orphan stopped near the chief's house where
people were burning brush.
One of the chief's sons came out and said to him, "Don't you feel poor and lonely sitting around so?"
"No," said the young man, "I feel as rich as you do."
"Don't you sometimes think you would like to have a wife?"
"Yes, I sometimes think I would like a wife if I could get one."
"What would you think of my sister for a wife? Many men have tried to marry her, but she refuses everyone."
"Oh," said the orphan, looking up, "I would as soon have her as any woman; she is handsome and rich."
"I will ask her to marry you," said the brother, thinking to have fun with his sister.
He went to the house and said to her, "There is a young man out there by the fire, who would like to marry you. Will you be his wife?"
"I will. I would rather marry him than anyone else."
"Shall I tell him so?"
He told the young man, who said, "I shall be glad to have her for my wife."
The brother, in fun, repeated this to his sister, who said, "I will go and ask him myself."
She went to the orphan, and asked, "What did my brother say to you?" He told her, and she said, "I will go with you. Come tomorrow at this time and
I'll marry you."
The next morning the girl go leggings and moccasins for the young man. (He had never worn moccasins in Summer.) In the evening he came to
where she was. He washed, put on the leggings and embroidered moccasins and tied up his hair. She told him then that he could go home with her, but
he must not talk with any of the men, that one of her brothers was always fooling.
The girl became the orphan's wife and he lived in the chief's house. In the Fall when the chief's sons were ready to go deer hunting, the young woman
wanted to go. She had a husband and she thought he might be a good hunter.
The man had never hunted but he said, "I will go and try."
When the party has gone some distance, they camped and began to hunt. The young man found a place where there were wild grape vines. He made a
swing, then sat in it and swung all day, didn't try to hunt. At night he went home without game. Each morning he went to the swing and each evening
he went home without game.
The brothers killed many deer. One day one brother said to the other, "Our brother-in-law gets no game, maybe he doesn't hunt." They agreed to
The next morning they followed the young man, found him swinging and saw that the ground was smooth around the swing. Then they said, "We will
not live with him and feed him. We will leave him, go a day's journey away and camp."
They left the man and woman with only one leg of deer meat.
The young man never ate much; the woman ate most of the meat. When it was gone, she began to be afraid of starving.
One day, while the man was swinging, a horned owl lighted on a tree nearby. He shot the owl and put it under the swing where he could look at it as
he swung. His wife was getting very hungry.
That night when he came home without game, she said, "If I have nothing to eat tomorrow, I will be too weak to get up. You ought to kill something."
"Well, maybe tomorrow I will kill something."
The next morning the man went, as usual, to the swing. While he was swinging he heard a woman crying. He was frightened and stopped swinging.
Soon he saw a female panther coming with three cubs. She was crying. As she approached, he heard a terrible roar in the North direction from which
the panther had come. Then the man saw Whirlwind coming, tearing down all the trees in his path. He stopped on a tree near the swing.
"You know now what harm you have done," said Whirlwind to Panther. "Why are you angry with the panther?" asked the young man. "What has she
done to you?'
"She has torn up my best feather cap."
"Why do you think so much of your cap? It must have been a nice one."
"It was nice."
"What kind of feathers was it made of?"
"It was the skin and feathers of a horned owl."
"What would you think if I gave you another cap?"
"How can you get one?"
The young man picked up the horned owl that he had killed and threw it at Whirlwind. Whirlwind caught it, said, "Thank you, this is better than the
one Panther destroyed," and away he flew.
Panther thanked the man, and said, "I am glad you had that owl, you saved my life. Now I will help you. Go to that knoll yonder, behind it you will
find two bucks fighting. Shoot them both. The one you shoot first will not run; they will fight till they die."
The young man found the bucks and watched them till they killed each other. Then, taking a large piece of meat, he went home to his wife, who was
"I have brought you meat," said he, "I had good luck today."
The woman sprang up, threw the meat on the fire and hardly waited for it to cook till she began to eat.
They dragged the bucks home, skinned them, and had plenty of meat. The young woman dried the meat and tanned the skins.
Panther told the man to always hunt near the swing and he would kill a great deal of game.
When they had a large quantity of meat, the man said to his wife, "Your brothers are good hunters. No doubt they have plenty of meat, but I will find
them and see."
He started. On the way he killed a deer, and he carried the carcass along. He found the camp and looking in saw the brothers; they were poor and
He went in, and asked, "How are you?"
"We are almost starved," said one of them. "We can find nothing to kill."
"Your sister and I have plenty. Come and live with us. I have meat here. Eat and then come to my camp."
He gave them the deer and they ate the meat nearly raw, they were so hungry.
When they started for the young man's camp he went ahead, got home quickly and told his wife he had found her brothers nearer starvation than she
had been. During the night the brothers came. They were satisfied and remained with their sister and brother-in-law.
After a while they all went back to the village loaded with skins and venison. Now the young man was rich; and he and his wife lived ever after in
|A Man Chased by the Ancient of
A Seneca Legend
Once there was a large village where people lived happily and had plenty of meat. At the end of the village lived a man whom few persons noticed.
One night that man had a dream. His dream said, "Something is going to happen to the people of this village. You must tell them to move away within
The next morning the man went to the center of the village, gathered the people and told his dream. Some believed in the dream others did not. Five
days later those who had believed joined those who had not, and paid no heed to the dream.
The fifth night the man dreamed again and his dream said, "We know that the people do not heed your warning. But save yourself. Three days from
now take all your arrows and climb the hill on the east side of the village till you come to a large rock. The rock is hollow. Go inside of it and you will
find a hole in the ground. Look through the hole and you will see all that is going on in the village.
"The people will be destroyed by Big Head. Five days from now, at midday, there will be a terrible outcry. When the cry dies away, you must begin to
shoot through the hole, for as soon as the people are destroyed the monster will track you. You will save your life if you shoot all your arrows at it
before it reaches the hole. When the monster is dead, take from the back of its head a piece of skin together with the hair, which is very long. The skin
will be of use to you, for it has great power. Wind the hair around your body next to your skin and declare that there is nothing that you cannot do.
"At night, when it is dark enough not to be seen, go North a short distance and you will find a tree turned up by the roots. You must not be frightened. I
shall give you something which will be of great use to you."
After this dream the man was gloomy and unhappy. When the time came, he took his bundle of arrows and left the village. He didn't take his wife and
children for they did not believe in the dream. Just at sunset he came to a large rock on the side of the hill. He found the opening and going into it crept
along till he thought he was under the center of the rock. There he found a space high enough for him to stand in. He lay down and slept. The next
morning a deer was standing near the opening. He killed it, roasted some of the meat and ate it. The fifth day, as the man sat on the rock, he heard a
great noise coming from the South. As the sound approached the village he saw something that looked like smoke, saw that trees were falling, and
falling toward the village.
When the noise reached the village, the man took his position opposite the opening in the ground. It seemed to him that the village was right at hand.
He heard the screaming of the people and saw the cabins torn to pieces and hurled into the air.
Big Head missed one man, and when all the others were destroyed he laughed, and said, "This world is not large enough for him top hide in."
When the man saw that trees were falling toward the East, he knew that Big Head had found his trail, and he strung his bow and began to shoot
through the hole as rapidly as possible. When only two arrows were left he saw a great black Head not far away. He shot his last arrow; the roar
ceased, the Head fell and he heard it say, "You have killed me!"
The man went to where the Head lay and found in it every arrow he had shot. "I must do as my dream said," thought he, so he took a part of the scalp,
tied it around his body and said, "You must always help me. You must not let me be overpowered by anyone."
He climbed to the top of the hill quickly, for now he could go very fast. He found a good place and built a brush hut. "I must have plenty of meat,"
thought he, and going out he saw a deer, bears and all kinds of game. He killed what he wanted. To skin the deer and bears he had merely to take hold
of the skin of the head and pull; with no effort the skin came from the whole carcass. He made a brush shed and hung the meat up to dry. When it
began to grow dark, the man started toward the North, as his dream had told him to do. He had not gone far when he came to a fallen tree, the roots
turned out of the ground. When half way around the tree, he saw Meteor with his great mouth open.
When Meteor saw that the man wasn't frightened he laughed and said, "Take one of my teeth, it will be of great use to you. It will enable you to change
yourself into any form you like."
The man took a double tooth, the one farthest back in Meteor's jaw.
Then Meteor said, "You will live always and you will have great power, but you and I must always counsel with each other. Now we will part."
Meteor flew off through the air and the man went back to his hut. He made up his mind that the hut would be his home. He stayed there a long time
then getting lonesome, he said to himself, "I will go and see if I can find people anywhere."
He turned into a Hawk, and flew toward the southwest. As he rose high in the air he looked down on the ground. After a while he saw, in the West,
something that made him think people were living there. Then he began to come down. He came lower and lower and when near the ground saw a
village. He said to himself, "I will eat up the people who live in that village."
He turned into a great bear and, beginning at the first house, ate up every person he could find. When he thought he had eaten everybody, he saw, off at
the edge of the village, a little hut with smoke rising from it. In the hut he found a man and woman and several children. He ate them all.
"I have finished," said he, and changed himself to a man.
He stood around a while, then, seeing a trail he followed it, but had not gone far when he met a woman who was very handsome.
"Where do you live?" asked he.
"Over there in the cabin at the edge of the village."
"You had better go home with me for there is no one living in that cabin. All the people are dead."
"I must see first," said the woman.
They went back to the village and to the hut where he had found the man, woman, and children. She was the eldest child of the family. Seeing blood on
the ground she began to cry. The man put his hand on the top of her head. That minute she was senseless. He shook her and as he shook she became a
Gnat. He changed himself into a hawk and putting the gnat under his wing flew up and off in the direction of his hut. He got there quickly, then
changed to a man and shook the gnat back to her natural form and size.
"This is your home," said he, "You must take care of the meat and the house."
One night while the two were sitting in the hut, the man heard a noise outside as though someone were coming on a run. The door was pushed open
and a man came in, and said, "I have come to warn you. You have made yourself into two. Nyagwaihe is jealous of you and has said, 'There is a man
over there who is very powerful, but I will overpower him and eat him.'"
"Tomorrow the Bear will come. You must go East till you reach a high stony hill. When the Bear tries to attack you, jump from one rock to another. It
will spring after you. When it falls, you may feel safe. This is what I had to tell you. Now I will go."
The next morning the woman saw that her husband was gloomy and sad.
"What is the matter?" asked she.
"I am thinking of what will happen to me at midday."
The woman had neither seen nor heard the man who spoke to her husband though she was right there in the hut. He and the man who came to him
were so powerful in spirit that they alone heard and saw each other. When it was nearly midday, the man started for the rocks, leaving his wife. He
seated himself on the highest rock and waited. Just at midday he heard a great noise, then another nearer; the third was right at the rock. There was a
whoop and a voice said, "I am the strongest of the strong. Nothing can overpower me."
It was Nyagwaihe. The Bear leaped on to the rock where the man stood. The man sprang to the next rock, the Bear close behind him. In this way they
sprang from one rock to another till the man was tired. As he looked ahead, the next rock looked farther off than the others had been. He made a great
effort and just reached it. The Bear was right behind him. It sprang, but falling short, hit its haws on the edge of the rock and went down.
The man jumped to the ground. As he struck the ground he looked back and saw the rock he had just left turn over on to the Bear.
"That is what I said," thought the man. "There is nothing that can overpower me."
He went back to his hut. He was very happy.
One day when the man and woman were sitting by the fire, they heard somebody approaching the hut. The man opened the door and saw the friend
who had twice warned him of danger. The woman saw him too.
The man said, "Your life is in danger but I will try and save you. Rub your wife's head with your hands, she will turn to oshada. Tell her to follow you
wherever you go, but she must leave the hut before you do, you will stay here as long as you can, then run directly South. I am going now, but I will
come to you again."
In the morning the man rubbed the woman's head and said, "Let my wife become a dusty vapor."
While he rubbed, she became a vapor on his hand. With his other hand he brushed the vapor off in the direction it was to go. Then he piled up his meat
and said in a loud voice, "I give this meat to you flesh-eating animals that live in the woods."
He went southward from the hut to an elm tree that was smooth up to where it branched off. He climbed the tree and sat in the crotch. Soon he began
to feel weak, and he thought, "There must be something near." He looked everywhere but saw no one.
Taking out the Meteor tooth he dampened it with saliva, rubbed his finger over it, then rubbed his eyes, and said, "Now I can see everything that is
going on, even down in the ground."
He looked into the earth and saw, deep down, a tree and on the tree was a monster Lizard. He watched it as it climbed slowly up the tree. When it was
near the top, the man grew very faint.
The Lizard was the largest of the ancient Blue Lizards. It came out of the ground in the heart of the tree that the man was sitting on. The man leaped to
That instant the Lizard was where the man had been sitting and it called out, "You are smart but I shall overpower you."
It sprang toward the man; the man leaped to another tree and then from tree to tree, the Lizard following.
At the edge of a hill was a great rock. The man ran to the rock and from the rock leaped into the air and came down on a mountain far away. He ran
directly south along the ridge of the mountain, then went down on the opposite side to a wide valley. He ran across the valley and had begun to climb a
second mountain when he heard the Lizard coming down the mountain he had just descended on the other side of the valley. It was dark now but the
man continued to run, ran all night.
In the morning he saw an opening on the other side of which was a low hill, and smoke of some kind. He reached the foot of the hill and turning saw
the Lizard had just come to the opening. It raised its paw and struck the man's footprint on the trail. That instant the man fell to the ground. As he fell
his friend was there and said, "Get up! You will die if you fall in this way."
He lifted him and pushed him into a run, urging him to hurry. The man felt stronger and again ran fast from valley to valley, the Lizard always about
the same distance behind.
All at once the man fell again. Right away his friend was there. He lifted him to his feet saying, "Keep up courage," and pushed him into a run. Again
he felt stronger and ran faster.
It was a very dark night; he ran against a great maple tree. As he hit the tree he went straight through. This happened many times in the night.
Whenever the man hit a tree he went through it.
For eight days and nights the Lizard chased the man. When it found out that he went through trees it threw its power ahead and made the trees so hard
that the man could no longer go through them.
The ninth night the Lizard commanded a terrible rain storm to come and the night to be so dark that the man couldn't see where he was going. The
man ran till midnight without once hitting a tree. Just at midnight he hit one and was thrown far back.
That moment his friend was there, and said, "Do all you can," and taking hold of his hand he led him and they went faster than the man had gone alone.
The two ran together till daylight, then the friend left and the man went on alone. He began to be very weak. The Lizard was coming nearer and its
strokes on the tracks were more frequent; the man fell oftener.
Night came and the Lizard made it terribly dark. The man ran against a tree and bounded far back. The Lizard was so near that the man fell behind
him. The Lizard struck the tree and was thrown back also, The man was up and running forward again. The Lizard was just upon him and was
reaching out to seize him when the man fell, as it seemed to him, into a hole in the ground. He thought, "Well, I am near my end, when I strike I shall be
dashed to pieces."
He kept falling and as he fell he got sleepy. Looking up he saw the Lizard coming down on the side of the hole, winding around and around. The man
fell asleep. After a time he woke up and was still falling and the Lizard was still pursuing him.
At last the man landed on his feet. He seemed to have come out of the hole. He looked around and saw a beautiful country. "My friend told me to go
toward the South," thought he, and he ran on in that direction. As the man ran he knew that the Lizard was behind him coming very fast. "Now I shall
die," thought he. He closed his eyes and kept on, thinking, "I will not see when it reaches me."
He ran a long time, then opened his eyes and looked around. He didn't see the Lizard but he kept running. Soon he came to a house and going in found
an old man.
The old man looked up and said, "My grandson, I am glad you have come. I have been waiting for you. You are bringing with you what I have wanted
to eat. Stand back there, Lizard and I will fight alone. We will see if he is as powerful as he thinks he is."
The Lizard came to the house and asked, "Where is the man I have been chasing?"
"Here I am," answered the old man.
"You are not the man."
"I am, but if you think there is another man here, you will not hunt for him till you overpower me."
"Come outside," said the Lizard, "there isn't room in here."
"Very well," said the old man and getting up he went outside. They began to fight. The Lizard tore the old man's flesh. It came together again and
healed. The old man tore off Lizard's forelegs, but Lizard didn't give up; the two fought till Lizard was torn to pieces.
When the old man convinced himself that the pieces were not alive, he hung them up in the house and called to his grandson, "Come out! I have killed
the Lizard that you were afraid of. I have been wishing for this kind of meat for a long time."
The old man boiled some of the meat in a large kettle. In a small kettle he cooked bear meat for his grandson. While the meat was cooking, he put corn
in a pounder and with a few strokes it was flour. Then he made bread and began eating.
When he had eaten every bit of the great Lizard, he said, "I thank you, my grandson, this meat will last me for many years. You must stay here till you
are rested and cured, for you have been poisoned by the power of the Lizard."
The old man was the oldest of the Flying Meteors. One day he said to the man, "I want you to see what I have planted."
They went a short distance from the cabin to a field where something was growing.
"This is ones (corn)," said the old man.
There were tall stalks with ears on them as long as the man was tall and the kernels were as large as a man's head.
The old man said, "Let us go to the other side of the field."
There the man saw a field where different kinds of corn were growing.
They went to a third field where something was growing and the old man said, "These are squashes." They were very large.
They passed the squash field and went back to the cabin.
The next day the man said good-bye to his grandfather and started for home. He traveled till he came to a village. He went to the chief's house and a
woman who was there looked at him, then asked, "Have you ever heard of a man who sent his wife away in the form of vapor?"
He thought a little while, then remembered, and answered, "I have. I did that myself."
"I am your wife," said the woman.
The man had has so much trouble that he had forgotten about his wife, but he was glad to find her. They went home together and lived happily.
.Big Head (Whirlwind) - Dagwanoe yent
.Gnat - Oge hwan
.Hawk (Hen-hawk) -Swe gedaigea
.Nyagwaihe - The Ancient of Bears
.Oshada - Mist or Dusty Vapor
.Blue Lizard (the Ancient of Lizards) - Dzainos Gowa
|A Man Conquers Stone Coat
A Seneca Legend
Once there was a village in a clearing in the forest. The people of that village had been told not to go North, for in the North the Stone Coat (Ice and
Cold) lived, and they were man-eaters.
One of the men said, "I am not afraid of those Stone Coats, maybe there is good hunting in their country. I'm going there. If they trouble me I'll kill
Getting into their canoe, the man and his wife rowed up the river till they came to the country of the Stone Coats. Then the man pulled the canoe on to
the bank, made a fire, and went hunting. While he was gone, a Stone Coat woman came to the camp. When the man's wife saw her she was so
frightened that she lost her senses. The Stone Coat woman pushed her around, and said, "She must have been a long time dead."
The woman came to her senses, ran to the river, pulled the canoe to the water, sprang into the canoe and rowed away. The Stone Coast followed her to
the bank of the river, but couldn't go farther for she had no canoe.
When the woman came to where her husband was, she said, "You boasted that you could kill the Stone Coats, now show what you can do."
The man built a fire and sharpened his flint knife. Soon a Stone Coat man came to the opposite side of the river and called out. "You are the man who
boasted that you can kill the Stone Coats. Come over and try your strength."
"I'll not go to you," said the man, "You can come to me."
After a good deal of talk, Stone Coat started to cross the river. When water covered his head, he walked under the water.
The man ran up the river to where he had seen a tree in the water. He crossed on the tree, ran along the bank and, when Stone Coat came out of the
water, shouted to him, "Where are you going? You must have turned around in the river."
Stone Coat started back and while he was under the water, the man crossed again on the tree, and as Stone Coat came to the bank he shouted, "You
foolish fellow! Don't you know enough to cross the river?"
After the man had fooled Stone Coat a number of times, he thought, "I'll let him come. I won't fool him again."
When Stone Coat came out of the river, he looked at the man, and asked, "What is that in your hand?"
The man gave his hatchet to Stone Coat, who looking at it, rubbed the edge of it with his hand and without knowing it, gave the hatchet such power that
it was harder than anything else in the world.
"Show me what you can do with this thing." said Stone Coat.
The man struck a rock. The rock split open.
Stone Coat was terribly frightened. He thought that the power came from the man. "This man," said he in his mind, "is as strong as we are. Maybe he
can kill us."
He left the man, crossed the river and went off. When he reached home and told his people what he had seen they said, "We'll go away from here. We'll
go toward the West and leave this man."
The man and his wife lived, undisturbed, in the Stone Coat county till one day a Stone Coat woman came to the bark house they had built, and said, "My
husband and I quarreled and I ran away. After he has looked everywhere else for me, he will come here. I will help you till he comes, then you must help
The next day when the man started off to hunt, the Stone Coat woman went with him, and she brought him good luck. Each day she went with him and
each day he killed a great deal of game.
One morning she said, "My husband will come today. When we begin to fight, you must put a stick in the fire and heat it red hot, and as soon as he
overpowers and throws me, you must run the firebrand into his body."
When Stone Coat came he pulled up a tree. His wife pulled up another tree, and they began to fight, using the trees as clubs. At last the woman fell. That
minute the man ran the firebrand into Stone Coat's body and killed him.
When the man and his wife were ready to go back to their village, the Stone Coat woman said, "When the Stone Coats went away, one of our women
left her little boy. You must take him home with you."
The man went to the place the Stone Coat indicated and found, on a high cliff, two trees, a swing hung between the trees and in the swing sat a little
Stone Coat boy, swinging back and forth and singing. The man felled the trees; the swing came down and the boy too, but the boy still kept singing and
swaying his body as though he were swinging.
The man took the child home and as he grew up and began to play with the other boys he showed great strength. If he struck a boy, he killed him. Every
child he hit, even in play, he killed. The people of the village told the man that he must send the boy back to his own people. The man sent for the Stone
Coat woman and she took the boy to his mother.
"The Stone Coats are Frost, Ice and great Cold."
Ice and Cold (Stone Coat) - Geno skwa