Sacred Texts  Native American  Northwest  Index  Previous  Next 


A boy named Ts?ak* catches fish, which are stolen by the Grizzly Bear. He scolds the Grizzly Bear, who snuffs him in. Ts?ak* kills the bear by starting a fire in his stomach, and then comes out and asks his grandmother to cut open the bear. At first she refuses to believe him, but finally accompanies him and finds the bear. He visits the village of the Wolves across the river. They tie him, go to his house, and steal the bear meat. On being released he finds his grandmother asleep, cuts out her vulva, roasts it, and gives it to her to eat. She turns him out of the house. A supernatural being tells him how to take revenge on the Wolves. Through a hollow bone he blows sickness into the daughter of the chief of the Wolves. The shamans can not cure her. He offers to do so, and when he is successful he receives the girl in marriage, and is given much property and a slave named Drum-belly. He desires to get another wife, and starts with his slave Drum-belly and several birds. He comes to a burning mountain, which he tries unsuccessfully to cross by assuming the shape of various birds. He lies down, and is called by a Mouse, whose house is under a bunch of grass. He gains her good will by burning his earrings. She shows him the trail under the mountain. He reaches another Mouse at the far end of the trail, who gives him a carving of crystal for protection, and tells him what to do. He reaches a chief's house with a snapping door. He puts the crystal in so that it can not close, and enters safely. He takes the chief's daughter for his wife. The father-in-law spreads a bearskin with sharp hair in order to kill him, but Ts?ak* breaks the hair with his crystal. Then the father-in-law tries to boil him in a box, and though Ts?ak* seems to be boiled he rises unharmed. He is then thrown into the crack of a split cedar, which closes over him when the wedges are knocked out, but he kicks the tree apart and comes out. The chief orders his slave to throw Ts?ak* into the whirlpool while they are hunting seals, but instead the slave is drowned. He returns with his wife by the same way by which he came.

Next: Growing-Up-Like-One-Who-Has-A-Grandmother