Myths and Legends of the Great Plains

Page: 69

When the people went homeward, some boys stood there. Big Turtle approached, floating. He came peeping. Some boys stood looking at the place where the deed was done.

Big Turtle said, “When Big Turtle came in the past to war on you, you said that you killed him. Look here at me.”

[Pg 201] The boys went homeward to tell it. “You said that you killed Big Turtle, but as this one behind us showed his body, he laughed at us. Big Turtle is he who is alive.”

“Ho! We attack him,” said the people. They attacked him. They arrived there.

“In what place?” said they.

“In this place,” said the boys.

“Where is Otter? Where is Grass Snake? Let those two seek him,” said they.

Big Turtle sat under the mud at the bottom of the water. Only the tip of his nose and his eyes were sticking out. Snake and Otter sought him beneath the water. They passed very near to him, and stepped regularly over his head. When Otter was about to pass the second time, Big Turtle bit him in the stomach.

“Ho! elder brother, you give me pain,” said Otter. Big Turtle said, “Why do you seek me?”

“I did not seek you. As I desired food, we have met each other,” said Otter.

“No, you wished to join those who desire to kill me, so you sought me,” said Big Turtle.

“O elder brother! O elder brother! O elder brother! I pray to you. I have not sought you,” he said.

“I will by no means let you go from my mouth,” said Big Turtle.

[Pg 202] “Ho! elder brother! How long before you will open your mouth and let me go?” said Otter.

“When the Thunder God has come back, I will let you go.”

“Halloo!” shouted Otter to the people. “He will let me go when the Thunder God comes back. Halloo! He bites me between the legs. Halloo!” said he.

“He says that he is bitten,” said the people. “He says that he is bitten between the legs. Hit tent skins for him.”

They made the tent skins resound by hitting them.

“Ho! elder brother, the Thunder God has come back,” said Otter.

“They hit the tent skins,” said the Big Turtle.

The people said, “It is good to fell trees.” They began felling trees here and there. The trees said, “Qwi! qwi!” as they fell.

“Ho! elder brother, the Thunder God has come back,” said Otter.

“They are felling trees,” said Big Turtle.

At length the Thunder God roared, very far away.

“Ho! elder brother, he has come back,” said he. Big Turtle let him go. Otter was very thin. He went homeward. He reached home very lean.