Myths and Legends of the Great Plains

Page: 67

“He whom you call ‘Comb,’” he said, “has come back, having snatched all the hair from one at the lodge.”

“Good!” said Turtle. “O war chief, when we reach home, we shall cause the women to dance.”

Then Big Turtle said, “O war chief Awl, make an attempt. Go sit in the door of the lodge where war chief Comb sat.”

Awl was very handsome. He was very good to look at. He sat in the door of the lodge. A woman passing out, found him. “Oh! I have found a good awl for [Pg 196] myself,” she said. “Heretofore I have had no awl. It makes me thankful.” She went back to the lodge with him. She spoke of sewing her moccasins with him. “I will sew my moccasins with it,” she said. She sewed them. She pierced her fingers with him. She missed in pushing him, sending him with force. There was much blood from her fingers. She threw him away at the door. “The awl is indeed bad. I have indeed hurt myself. I have wounded myself badly.” She threw him far out from the door, sending him homeward.

“He whom you have called ‘Awl,’ O war chief,” he reported, returning to Big Turtle. “I stabbed one right at the lodge; I killed her.” He returned with his spear very bloody.

“O war chief,” said the others to Big Turtle. “Awl is coming back, telling his own name. He has killed one.”

Big Turtle said, “Ho! O war chief. You make me thankful. Since it is you, I will blacken my face. The village shall be joyful. Ho! O Pestle, make an attempt. You will lie in the door of the lodge where Awl lay.”

Now Pestle was very handsome. Then he arrived there. He lay where he was commanded to lie. A woman went out and found Pestle. “Oh! I have [Pg 197] found a very good pestle for myself. I had no pestle heretofore,” she said.

She took him back to the lodge. She took some corn. She filled the mortar and pounded the corn. She beat it fine. She thrust Pestle beyond, right on her knee. She missed the mark in pushing, sending him with force, and so she struck him on her knee.

Oh! A very bad pestle,” she said. She threw him outside, sending him homeward suddenly.

“You have been used to saying ‘Pestle.’ He is coming, having stabbed one right at the lodge. He has killed one,” said Pestle, returning. He reached Big Turtle again. “O war chief, I have killed one.”

“You make me thankful,” said Big Turtle. “Ho! warrior Gray Squirrel, make an attempt.”

“O war chief, how can I do anything?” said Gray Squirrel. Now the lodges were placed among the trees.

“You will pass along the trees above the smoke holes of the lodges. If they find you, they will shoot at you. Do your best. Do your best to evade the blows or arrows. If one goes aside, rush on him,” said Big Turtle.

At length a boy found Gray Squirrel. “This moving one is a gray squirrel,” he said. They went in a great uproar. They shot at him. They even hit him with sticks. One boy stood aside. Gray Squirrel [Pg 198] attacked him and bit him. They said, “Wonderful! Heretofore the gray squirrel has been very easy to approach, but we have failed. He has bitten us; we have done nothing to him,” they said.

“He whom you used to call ‘Gray Squirrel’ is coming back, having killed one right among them,” he called. He told it to Big Turtle.

“Ho! real warrior, act very honestly,” said Big Turtle.

“O war chief, it is just so. I have killed one,” said he.

“Ho! warrior, you make me thankful,” said Big Turtle.

“Ho! warriors,” said Big Turtle again. “I, even I, will make a trial. I shall not come back for some time. Beware lest you go homeward. Beware lest you leave me and go homeward.”