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Myths and Legends of the Great Plains

Page: 66

“Yes, war chief, it is so. As they have told of you while you have been walking, I thought that I would walk there with you, and I have sought you,” said Buffalo Bull.

“Do so,” said Big Turtle. “I wish to see your movements.”

Buffalo Bull rolled himself back and forth. He arose suddenly. He thrust repeatedly at the ground with his horns. He pierced the ground and threw pieces away suddenly. He stood with his tail in the air and its tip bent downward. An ash tree stood there. He rushed on it. Pushing against it, he sent it flying through the air to a great distance.

“O war chief, I think I will do that, if they speak of vexing me,” he said.

“Look at the persons with whom I am traveling. There are none who are faint-hearted in the least [Pg 190] degree. You are not at all like them. You have disappointed me. Come, begone,” said Big Turtle.

Again Big Turtle sang the song. “Big Turtle is coming back from touching the foe, it is said, you say. He is coming back from touching,” said he.

Again they departed. “Warriors, pass on!” said he.

There before them lay a stream, which was not small. They crossed it. Firebrand was ahead, walking with a great effort. At length, because he was weary, he plunged into the water and was extinguished.

“O war chief, I am not going beyond here with you,” he said.

“Remain here for a while,” said Big Turtle.

Having reached the other side, they departed. At length a Puma came.

“Warriors, wait for him. I suspect what he will say. Stand in a row,” said he. “Speak quickly,” he said, addressing Puma.

“Yes, O war chief,” said Puma. “It was told of you regularly, saying you walked on a journey. And there I wish to walk, so I have sought you.”

“Yes?” said Big Turtle. “Let me see your ways.”

Puma made his hair bristle up all over his body. He bent his tail backward and upward. He went leaping to the bottom of a small hill. Having caught by the [Pg 191] throat a fawn, about two years old, he came back, making it cry out as he held it in his teeth.

“I think I will do that, O war chief, if anything threatens to vex me,” he said.

“Do something else,” said Big Turtle.

“No, O war chief; that is all,” said Puma.

“You have disappointed me,” said Big Turtle. “Look at these persons with whom I am. Where is one who is imperfect? You are very inferior. Come, depart. You have disappointed me.”

They departed. At length when they reached the foot of a hill, Black Bear came.

“O war chief, again one has come,” said the warriors.

“I suspect what he will say, warriors. Wait for him. Stand in a row,” said Big Turtle. “Ho,” he said, addressing Black Bear. “Come, speak quickly. What is your business? When I walk on a journey, I am in a great hurry,” said Big Turtle.

“Yes, O warrior, it is so. It was told of you regularly that you walked on a journey. And as I desired to walk there, I have sought you diligently,” said Black Bear.

“Ho! Do something,” said Big Turtle. “You may have thought how you would do it. I wish to see your ways.”

[Pg 192] Black Bear pierced the ground with his claws, and threw lumps of earth to a great distance. And there stood an oak tree which had been blackened by fire. He attacked it. Having hugged it, he threw it with force to a great distance.

“O war chief, if anything vexes me, I think I will do that,” said Black Bear.

Big Turtle said, “Ho! warrior, you have disappointed me. These persons with whom I am—look at them. There is none who is faint-hearted in the least degree. You have disappointed me. Come, depart. Thus do I regularly send off the inferior ones.”

They went into a dense undergrowth. At length Buffalo Bladder was torn open, making the sound, “Qu´e.” “Alas! I am not going beyond with you,” said he.

“Ho, warrior. I will come back very soon. Remain here for a while,” said Big Turtle.

Again they departed. As they went, they reached a bad path. Very high logs were lying across it. Redbreasted Turtle failed to step over them.

“Ho, O war chief,” he said. “I am not going beyond here with you.”

“Ho, warrior. I will come again very soon. Remain here for a while,” said Big Turtle.

[Pg 193] Again they departed. As they went, behold, a Big Wolf came.

“O war chief, again one has come,” said they.

“I suspect what he will say, warriors. Wait for him. Stand in a row,” said Big Turtle.

“Ho,” he said, addressing Wolf, “Come, speak quickly, whatever may be your business. When I walk on a journey, I am in a very great hurry.”

“Yes, O war chief. It is so. It was told of you regularly, saying that you walked on a journey; and as I desired to walk there, I have sought you,” said Wolf.

“Ho! Show me what you can do,” said Big Turtle. “You may have been thinking about it. I wish to see your ways.”

Wolf decorated himself. He reddened his nose; he reddened all his feet. He tied eagle feathers to his back.

“Well, do so. Do so. I wish to see your ways,” said Big Turtle.

Wolf turned himself round and round. He went to the attack by the wood on a small creek. He killed a deer. He brought it back, holding it with his teeth.

“O war chief, I think I will do that, if anything vexes me,” said Wolf.

“You have disappointed me,” said Big Turtle. “See these people with whom I travel. There is none who is [Pg 194] faint-hearted in the least degree. Come, depart. Thus do I regularly send off the inferior ones.

“Warrior Gray Squirrel, go as a scout,” said Big Turtle. Gray Squirrel went as a scout. At length he was coming back, blowing a horn.

“Ho, war chief, he is coming back to you,” they said. Big Turtle went there. “Ho, warrior. Act very honestly. Tell me just how it is,” said Big Turtle.

“Yes, O war chief, it is just so. I have been there without their finding me out at all,” said he.

“Let us sit at the very boundary of their camp,” said Big Turtle. He spoke of going. “Warriors, I will look around to see how things are, and how many persons there may be there,” he said.

He came back. “Warriors, let us go in that direction. This far is a good place for sitting,” he said. So they moved forward. Then he said, “O war chief Corn Crusher, go to the end lodge of the village before us, and sit on the outside.”

Corn Crusher did so. A woman came out of the lodge. When she saw him, she said, “Oh! Heretofore have I desired mush. I have found for myself an excellent corn crusher.” But when she pounded on the corn with it, she hurt her hand. Then she threw it out. “Bad Corn Crusher!” she said.

He came back to Big Turtle, who was near. “He [Pg 195] whom you call ‘Corn Crusher’ has come back,” he said, “having killed one right at the lodge.”

Big Turtle said, “O war chief Comb, make an attempt. Sit in the door of the lodge where Corn Crusher sat.”

Comb did so. He was very handsome. Then a woman came out of the lodge. She found Comb. “Heretofore I have been without a comb. I have found a good comb for myself,” she said. Very soon she combed her hair with it. Comb pulled out all the hair on one side by the roots.

She said, “A very bad comb, but I thought it was good.” She threw him away at the door. Then he went back. He went back with the hair he had pulled out.


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