From a certain village the men began to disappear. They would go up into the woods behind after firewood and never come back. Finally all the rest of the men went up there together, intending to kill whatever had been destroying their friends, but they, too, never came back. Then the women and children began disappearing in the same manner until not one person remained except a woman and her daughter who refused to go out.
After that the younger woman walked back and forth in front of the houses, crying and calling to each of the former house owners. One day she cried very hard until the mucus ran down from her nose, and, wiping this off, she threw it down near one of the doors. After a while she noticed from the corner of her eye that it moved. She looked at it closely and saw that it was like a bubble. Then she stooped down to examine it and saw in it a little man. Before the bubble had disappeared she picked it up and swallowed it and soon discovered that she was pregnant. In a short time she gave birth to a boy.
This mucus child grew up very fast, and, when he was old enough to shoot, his mother made him a bow and arrows with which to practise. When he became somewhat larger he asked his mother, "Mother, why are these houses empty? Where have the people that occupied them gone?" And his mother answered, "We had many friends in this village. They would go after wood and never return. The women and children did the same thing. They followed their husbands and parents and never returned." This boy grew up very fast, and meanwhile he kept thinking to himself, "I wonder what happened to those people who went up after wood and did not come back." After he had become still larger he made himself a bow and arrow points, and his mother made him a quiver. With these he ventured a short distance up into the woods. He was afraid to go far.
Finally he thought, "I am going a long distance up into the woods, but I am not going to say a word about it to my mother." And so, early in the morning, he went straight up from the house and, after traveling for some time, reached a creek of black water which ran out from under a glacier. There he met a large man who said to him,
[paragraph continues] "Grandson, take off all of your clothes, get into this creek until the water is up to your neck, and sit there no matter how cold it is." The boy did so, and, after a long time, the big man saw the water shake around him and thought, "The water is shaking because he has sat in it so long that he is beginning to get cold." Then the big man told him to come out, and, after he had done so, he said, "Go and try to pull up that tree." This tree was a short one, and he pulled it up easily by the roots. Then the big man told him to strike a large round white rock near by to see if he could smash it, and he did so. The rock was broken in pieces. But this rock was only a friable one put there on purpose for the boy to break. Then the big man said to him, "Put on your clothes now and go home. To-morrow come up again."
The next day the big man told him to get into the creek again, and, when he saw him shivering, told him to come out and pull up a still larger tree. He pulled it up easily. Then he took him to a still larger rock that looked shiny and hard and told him to strike it. When he did so the tree went into slivers, but the rock was intact. So he told the boy to dress, run down home, and come up again very early. This time he was told to pull up a big crab-apple tree. He succeeded, but, although it looked easy to him to break the rock, only the tree was shattered.
The fourth time the boy came up very early before daylight. After he had been in the stream long enough to shiver the big man said, "Run to that tree standing over there. Try to break that." It was a wild maple, but he broke it more easily than the crab apple. The big man was surprised.
Now the boy knew that he had great strength, and when the big man told him to try to smash the rock again, the rock flew all about. Then the big man took off his leggings, his shirt, and his moccasins, which were beautifully worked with porcupine quills, and put them on the boy. The moccasins were made to tie to the leggings and the sole of one of them was a whetstone. Then the man told him that he was Strength and had come to help him. He showed him a valley and said, "Go right up that valley, making sure to walk in the middle of it. On one side is the glacier. As soon as you reach the top of the mountain you will hear some one calling. You will see a large town there. This village is where your people went when they disappeared and those are the wolf people that took them. As soon as they get within your reach hit them with your club, and if it touches one of them it will kill him. Run up the hill. If you run down the hill you will be caught. If you become tired, think of me and you will become stronger."
Now the boy went up the hill as he had been directed until he reached the end of the valley, where he heard some one call. He
looked down and saw a very large town. At once people came running toward him, and he clubbed them. He could see them fall but did not feel his club strike. He kept on running up the hill, clubbing his pursuers as he went until he had destroyed all of them. Then he returned to his benefactor.
When Strength heard what had happened, he said, "Go back, for there is another village on the other side. Go there and call to them. They will not see you as quickly as these first. Call to them, 'Give me my uncle's life, my village people's life.' If they refuse, tell them that you are going to strike their village with your club. If they allow you to have it they will hand you a box." He gave the boy strict orders not to strike unless they refused to give him the box of lives.
When the boy came to the first house in this village, he asked for the lives of his town people, but they said, "We don't know where they are. They might be in the next house." He went to that, and they said the same thing there. They answered him in the same manner at all of the houses. By the time he reached the last he was discouraged, thinking that he had undertaken all of that labor for nothing. He went in there, however, and said, "Give me my village people's lives. If you don't give them tome, I will strike your village." This was the town chief's house, however, and he said, "Don't strike our village. I will give you the lives of your village people." These people were also wolf people. Then the wolf chief handed him the box of lives and said, "Take it back to your village and leave it in each house for four days. At the end of four days go into the house and see what has happened."
After this the boy returned to his native village and left the box of lives four days in the house of his uncle, the chief. Early on the, morning of the day following he heard noises there, jumped up and went over to it. There were all of his people walking about and looking very happy. He left the box in every house in town for the prescribed period until all the absent ones had come to life, and all of their houses were filled as before. All the time this boy was away among the wolves his mother and grandmother were worrying about him, but after the people had been restored they were very happy.