Myths and Legends of the Great Plains

Page: 65

[Pg 188] chief, Corn Crusher, you will cook. And you, O Comb, will cook on the night after that. And you, O Awl, will cook, and complete the number.”

That many war chiefs, four, cooked. They were war chiefs. The rest were servants.

The people of the village said, “Why! Of the persons who have been called, who is cooking for the warpath?”

And one said, “Why! Big Turtle cooked. Pshaw! Has he gathered all those who cannot move well enough, those who cannot move fast enough? Pshaw! If the foe find them out, they will destroy them. When a war chief has sense, he will carry on war.”

Corn Crusher cooked. He cooked turnips, and he cooked a buffalo paunch with them, just as Big Turtle had cooked one with sweet corn. Awl cooked wild rice. Comb cooked other things.

Big Turtle said, “Time enough has passed. Let us go at night.”

So they departed. Big Turtle made leggings with large flaps. He tied short garters around them. He rubbed earth on his face and he reddened it. He wore grass around his head. He put white feathers on top of his head. He took his gourd rattle thus. He rattled it. He sang the song of the war chief:

[Pg 189] “Big Turtle is coming back from touching the foe, it is said, you say. He is coming back from touching.”

He walked, stepping very lively in the dance. He walked around them. As they went, it was day.

At length a young Buffalo Bull came. “Warriors, wait for him,” said Big Turtle.

He said to Buffalo Bull, “While I walk on a journey, I am in a great hurry. Speak rapidly. Why are you walking?”