Myths and Legends of the Great Plains

Page: 46

“With difficulty have I raised my grandchild,” objected the old woman.

“You are afraid of trifles,” said the grandson. So he went with Star-born.

They reached the side of the lake. By the water of the lake stood troughs half full of water.

Star-born called out, “You who they say have killed every one who has come for water, where have you gone? I have come for water.”

Then immediately whither they went is not manifest. Behold, there was a long house which was extended, [Pg 140] and it was full of young men and women. Some of them were dead and some were dying.

“How did you come here?” asked Star-born.

They replied, “What do you mean? We came for water and something swallowed us.”

Something kept striking on the head of Star-born.

“What is this?” he said.

“Get away,” they replied, “that is the heart.”

Then he drew out his knife and cut it to pieces. Suddenly something made a great noise. In the great body, these people were swallowed up. When the heart died, death came to the body. Then Star-born cut a great hole in the side, and came out, bringing the young men and the young women. All came to life again.

So the people were thankful and offered him two wives.

But he said, “I am journeying. My friend here will marry them.”

Then Star-born went on, they say. Again he found a young man standing where they were shooting through a hoop. He said, “I will look on with my friend,” and went and stood beside him.

Then the other said, “My friend, let us go home,” so he went with him to his tepee.

“Grandmother, I have brought my friend home with me,” he said. “Get him something to eat.”

[Pg 141] Grandmother replied, “How shall I do as you say?”

“How is it?” said Star-born.

“This people are perishing for wood,” she said; “when any one goes for wood, he never comes home again.”

Star-born said, “My friend, take the packing strap; we will go for wood.”

The old woman protested. “This one, my grandchild, I have raised with difficulty,” she said. He answered, “Old woman, what you are afraid of are trifles,” and went with the young man. “I am going to bring wood,” he said. “If any wish to go, come along.”

“The young man who came from somewhere says this,” they said, so they followed him.

They had now reached the wood. They found it tied up in bundles. He ordered them to carry it home, but he stood still and said, “You who killed every one who came to this wood, where have you gone?”

Then, suddenly, where he went was not made manifest. And lo! a tepee, and in it some young men and young women; some were eating, and some were waiting.