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p. 194

18. The Panther

There was the panther. He was an elk hunter. Every day he went hunting. One day he found a branch [of a spruce]; he twisted it and threw it under his bed. It was a pretty branch. [Then he said:] "Oh, I wish you would become a man!" On the next day he went again elk hunting. In the evening he came home. Now he saw cedar bark lying on the ground. "Where do these people come from? They have been playing at disks" [said he]. On the following morning he went again elk hunting. In the evening he came home. Now there was much cedar bark [in his house]. "Where may these people have come from? They always play at disks in my house." On the third day he went again, and came home in the evening. Now the floor of his house lay full of cedar bark and counters lay on the ground. He went out for the fourth time and came home in the afternoon. When he reached his house he heard batons. Then he became angry. "Where do these people come from? They always play at disks in my house." He came near the house, then the noise of the batons stopped. He arrived at home and entered. Now counters lay on a plank. [He said:] "Tomorrow I shall hide to see where these people come from." On the next morning he made himself ready and went out. He stayed in the grass [near the house] and looked. He did not see anybody. Then he heard the batons moving in the interior of the house. He went home and looked through a hole in the wall of the house. Now there was a youth who played at disks. He struck the rhythm with his foot and sang: "My brother calls me branch of a spruce, my brother twisted me often." Then the panther entered. "Oh, my poor brother, why did you hide yourself before me?" Then the youth was ashamed. He stayed there. The panther said to him: "Stay with me." Then he remained there. Now the panther gave him good arrows, and the youth went hunting deer. Then the panther said to his younger brother: "Go only this way, do not go down the river." He obeyed and went only up the river. He grew up. One day, however, he went down the river. He came to a prairie where he found a chicken-hawk. He shot it and hit its wing. It fell down and ran away jumping. He pursued it a long distance. Then he saw a house. The chicken-hawk entered the same. Now he went on slowly. He thought: "Oh, they will kill me. I had better turn back. But I like my arrow [so well]. I must go in." Then he entered and remained standing in the door. The house was fall of people who looked at his arrow. All the people looked at

p. 195

it. Then they gave the arrow to Blue-Jay, who looked at it. Then the young man said: "Give me my double-pointed arrow, Blue-Jay." "It is not your arrow, you bad man" [retorted Blue-Jay]. Again the people looked at the arrow and said: "To what chief may this arrow belong? It is a good arrow." Then they gave it again to Blue-Jay. Now the young man said again: "Give me, oh, give me my double-pointed arrow, Blue-Jay!" "Well, take it!" Then [the young man] arose and took it. He shook himself and his body was all covered with dentalia. Then Blue-Jay said [to the chicken-hawk, who on entering the house had assumed the shape of a woman]: "Follow the chief!" The youth ran and the woman pursued him. They went and went and went until he came to his elder brother's house. He hid himself [inside]. The woman entered and did not see anybody. She thought: "Where may that youth have gone?" In the evening the panther came home. Now there was the woman [in his house. He thought:] "Certainly he went down the river!" Then he married the woman. She thought: "When did that youth come home?" On the following day she searched for him. She turned over all the elk skins until it grew dark. She continued two days. Then she had finished all the skins on one side of the house. Now she searched at the other side of the house. She turned over all the elk skins. [Finally she found him] sleeping [under the skins]. She took some grease and [elk] hoofs. She made a fire and roasted the hoofs. When they were done she pounded them. She took some soot and mixed it with hair of an elk's nose. Now she mixed it all with elk's grease and poured it into his nostrils. When it grew dark he awoke. Now his nostrils felt sore. He said: "Oh, my elder brother, my nose is being transformed into an elk's nose." "Oh, my younger brother, your nose, is being transformed into an elk's nose. I can not help you." "Oh, my elder brother, hoofs are growing on my feet." "Oh, younger brother, hoofs are growing on your feet. I can not help you." On the following morning the elk skins arose and became elks. The youth arose. He became Ê'lemiX 1 and went out. Then all the elks arose and went into the woods. Now [the panther]took the woman at her arm. He carried her out of the house and shook her, so that all her flesh fell down. He threw her down and said: "Your name shall be Chicken-hawk. Henceforth, you shall not make chiefs unhappy. When you see a snake you shall eat it. My name will be Panther."


195:1 The tutelary spirit of the hunters.

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