Famine visited a certain town, and many people died of starvation. There was a young boy there who always went around with bow and arrows. One day, as he was hunting about, he came across a little animal that looked like a dog and put it under his blanket. He brought it to his mother, and his mother washed it for him. Then he took the red paint left by his dead uncles, spit upon the dog and threw paint on so that it would stick to its hair and face. When he took the dog into the woods, it would bring him all kinds of birds, such as grouse, which he carried home to his family. They cooked these in a basket pot. Afterward he brought the animal down, washed it, and put more paint upon its legs and head. This enabled him to trace it when he was out hunting.
One day after he had traced it for some distance, he found it had killed a small mountain sheep, and, when he came down, he gave it the fat part. With the meat so obtained he began to take good care of his mother and his friends. He had not yet found out whether the animal was really a dog.
The next time they went hunting they came across a large flock of sheep, and he sent the dog right up to them. It killed all of them, and he cut the best one open for it. Then he took down the rest of the sheep and dressed them. What the animal was killing was keeping some of his friends alive.
One time the husband of a sister came to him and said, "I wish to borrow your animal. It is doing great things in this place." So he brought the little dog from the house he had made for it, painted its face and feet, and said to his brother-in-law, "When you kill the first one cut it open quickly and let him have it. That is the way I always do." Then this brother-in law took up the little dog, and, when they came to a flock of sheep, it went straight among them, killing them and throwing them down one after another. But, after he had cut one open, he took out the entrails, threw them into the dog's face, and said, "Dogs always eat the insides of animals, not the
good part." The dog, however, instead of eating it, ran straight up between the mountains, yelping.
Now when his brother-in-law brought the sheep down, the man asked him, "Where is the little dog?" And he said "It ran away from me." That was the report he brought down. Then the owner of the dog called his sister to him and said, "Tell me truly what he did with the little dog. I did not want to let it go at first because I knew people would do that thing to it." His sister said, "He threw the entrails to it to eat. That is why it ran off."
Then the youth felt very sad on account of his little animal and prepared to follow it. His brother-in-law showed him the place between the mountains where the dog had gone up, and he went up in that direction until he came to its footprints and saw the red paint he had put upon it. This animal was really the wolf-chief's son who had been sent to help him, and, because the man put red upon its head and feet, a wolf can now be told by the red on its feet and around its mouth.
After he had followed the trail for a long distance he came to a lake with a long town on the opposite side. There he heard a great noise made by people playing. It was a very large lake, so he thought, "I wonder how I can get over there." Just then he saw smoke coming out from under his feet. Then a door swung open, and he was told to enter. An old woman lived there called Woman-always-wondering (
Lûwat-uwadî'gî-cânAk!u), who said to him, "Grandchild, why are you here?" He answered "I came across a young dog which helped me, but it is lost, and I come to find where it went." Then the woman answered, "Its people live right across there. It is a wolf-chief's son. That is its father's town over there where they are making a noise." So the old woman instructed him.
Then he wondered and said to himself, "How can I get across?" But the old woman spoke out, saying, "My little canoe is just below here." He said to himself, "It might turn over with me." Then the old woman answered, "Take it down. Before you get in shake it and it will become large." Then she continued: "Get inside of the boat and stretch yourself on the bottom, but do not paddle it. Instead wish continually to come in front of that place."
He did as she directed and landed upon the other side. Then he got out, made the canoe small and put it into his pocket, after which he went up among the boys who were playing about, and watched them. They were playing with a round, twisted thing called gîtcxAnagâ't (rainbow). Then some one directed him to the wolf-chief's house at the farther end of the village. An evening fire, such as people used to make in olden times, was burning there, and, creeping in behind the other people, the man saw. his little wolf playing about near it in front of his father.
Then the wolf chief said, "There is some human being looking in here. Clear away from before his face." Upon this the little wolf ran right up to him, smelt of him, and knew him at once. The wolf chief said, "I feel well disposed toward you. I let my son live among you because your uncles and friends were starving, and now I am very much pleased that you have come here after him." By and by he said, "I think I will not let him go back with you, but I will do something else to help you." He was happy at the way the man had painted up his son. Now he did not appear like a wolf but like a human being. The chief said, "Take out the fish-hawk's quill that is hanging on the wall and give it to him in place of my son." Then he was instructed how to use it. "Whenever a bear meets you," he said, "hold the quill straight toward it and it will fly out of your hand." He also took out a thing that was tied up like a blanket and gave it to him, at the same time giving him instructions. "One side," he said, "is for sickness. If you put this on a sick person it will make him well. If anyone hates you, put the other side on him and it will kill him. After they have agreed to pay you for treating him put the other side on to cure him."
Then the chief said, "You see that thing that the boys are playing with? That belongs to me. Whenever one sees it in the evening it means bad weather; whenever one sees it in the morning it means good weather." So he spoke to him.
Then they put something else into his mouth and said to him, "Take this, for you have a long journey to make." He was gone up there probably two years, but he thought it was only two nights.
At the time when he came within sight of his town he met a bear. He held the quill out toward it as he had been instructed and suddenly let it go. It hit the bear in the heart. Still closer to his town he came upon a flock of sheep on the mountain, and sent his quill at them. When he reached them, he found all dead, and, after he had cut them all open, he found the quill stuck into the heart of the last. He took a little meat for his own use and covered up the rest.
Corning to the town, he found no one in it. All had been destroyed. Then he felt very sad, and, taking his blanket out, laid the side of it that would save people, upon their bodies, and they all came to life. After that he asked all of them to go hunting with him, but he kept the quill hidden away so that they would not bother him as they had before. When they came to a big flock of mountain sheep, he let his quill go at them so quickly that they could not see it. Then he went up, looked the dead sheep over, and immediately cut out the quill. All his friends were surprised at what had happened. After they had gotten down, those who were not his close friends came to him and gave payment for the meat.
The people he restored to life after they had been dead for very many years had very deep set eyes and did not got well at once.
After that he went to a town where the people were all well and killed some of them with his blanket. Then he went to the other people in that place and said, "How are your friends? Are they dead?" "Yes." "Well I know a way of making them well." He went up to them again with his blanket and brought them back to life. They were perfectly well.
This man went around everywhere doing the same thing and became very famous. Whenever one was sick in any place they came after him and offered him a certain amount for his services, so that he became the richest man of his time.