(Told by Hoka-chatka.)
Long ago, there was an old woman and her little grandson who were so ragged and filthy that the people drove them from the camp and they lived alone, far away from anyone. She was a wise woman and taught the boy strange things so that when he was a young man, though he was still ragged and filthy, he knew how to talk with birds and beasts and to do magical things.
The chief had a beautiful daughter who was so beloved by all, that they would spread their robes on the ground for her to walk upon. This young man wanted the chief's daughter for his wife, but she scorned him because he was so filthy. He told his grandmother what he wanted and asked her to go to the camp and get a bladder for him. She was afraid to go to the camp or to ask anyone for anything, for she knew the people despised her and her grandson and that they would treat her with contempt and might abuse her.
The young man persuaded her to go. When she was near the camp she called to the people and asked if someone would give her a bladder. They made sport of her and told her to keep away from the camp. She was about to go to her tipi when a good woman gave her a bladder. She took it to her grandson and he made a rattle of it and conjured it so that it was magical. He then sat beside the creek where the chief's daughter came for water and when she came and stooped to fill her vessel, she saw his reflection in the water.
When she looked up at him, he told her he wanted her to be his wife. She answered him by scolding and bemeaning him and calling him vile names and ordered him to keep away from her so that she could not see him. He then shook his magic rattle at her and she became like a rattle and rattled at every step she made. She ran, but this only made her rattle the louder, so she began to weep. Her friends put a robe on her and carried her to her father's tipi and she told him of the filthy young man who had asked her to be his wife, and had brought this evil thing on her when she had refused.
The chief knew that the old woman had taught her grandson many wise things and that he was a wizard so he told his daughter that this young man and no other could relieve her of the evil upon her. He advised her to go to the young man and
say that she would be his wife if he would relieve her of the spell that was upon her and then she could run away from him.
She went to the old woman's tipi and told the young man that she had always intended to be his wife, that what she had said to him at the creek was just to tease him, that if he would relieve her from the evil he had put upon her, she would be his wife. He relieved her of the evil and told her to go back to her father's tipi and he would come there and get her with her father's consent and take her in an honorable way, before all the people. This pleased her, for she thought that her father would never give his consent to such an arrangement. When she was relieved of the evil she hurried away.
The people were gathered at her father's tipi, waiting to learn the result of her visit to the young man and when they saw her coming, restored to her natural condition, they shouted their joy and congratulated her on her escape from the filthy young man. The young man perceived that he had been tricked into restoring her and that she did not intend to become his wife and would try to keep out of his power. He went to the creek and hid himself near where she came for water. Soon she came, looking cautiously about to see if he were there. At first she did not see him, but when she stooped to fill her vessel she saw his shadow in the water. She started to run but he shook the rattle at her and she became dry and hard and rattled as she moved.
The people again carried her to her father's tipi and she told him what had happened to her. He then understood that this young man was truly a wizard and told his daughter that she could not escape him and must be his wife. He then directed the people to go to the young man, to treat him well and invite him to come to his tipi, and tell him that he would give him his daughter to be his wife. They did so.
The young man came to the chief's tipi. The chief ordered three old women to take him and cleanse him, bathe him and clothe him in good clothing and put a new robe on him. They did so. When the young man was cleansed and clothed in good clothing all saw that he was a strong and handsome man and good to look upon, so they followed him to the chief's tipi, singing and laughing joyfully.
When the chief's daughter saw him, she smiled upon him and came and put her hand in his. He restored her to. her natural condition and wrapped his robe about her and himself, and stood facing all the people, proud and commanding, so that they knew that he would be a chief. The chief then said to him, "You are a wizard, and you shall be known by that name forever."
He then gave his daughter to the wizard to be his wife and made a great feast and the people danced and sang and played games. The young people made love and the old people told stories and all were happy. The old women made a big tipi at the head of the camp, next to the chief's tipi and. the wizard and his wife lived in it, happily for many moons.
One morning, the wizard awoke and found his wife gone. He inquired for her in her father's tipi and in all the camp, but could not find her, so the chief called all the people together and asked them about her, but no one could tell where she had gone or what had become of her.
The wizard was disconsolate and wandered aimlessly about until one day he came to his grandmother's tipi. He did not know her, but she said, "Come into my tipi, my grandson. I have been waiting for you. Your wife is gone and I win tell you how to find her." He went into the tipi and his grandmother gave him food. After he had eaten and rested, she gave him a gray bonnet and a big knife and told
him that when he put the bonnet on, no one could see him, and when he struck anything with the big knife, it would be cut to pieces.
She showed him a trail and told him to follow it until he came to a lake and then put on the gray bonnet and dive into the lake where he would find a trail at the bottom and to go on this trail until he came to a river. When he came to the river, she told him to put on the gray bonnet and he could walk across the river. On the other side of the river was a great camp and his wife was in that camp.
The wizard did as his grandmother told him and traveled on the trail until he came to the lake where he put on the bonnet, dived into the lake, and found the trail at the bottom. He went on this trail until he came to a river and he put on the gray bonnet again and walked on the water across the river. On the other side of the river he saw a great camp and in the center of the camp he saw a large tipi. He put the gray bonnet on, so that no one could see him and walked into the camp and went into the big tipi in the center of the camp. Here, he found his wife, sitting in the tipi, making moccasins. He sat down near her and took off the gray bonnet.
She was surprised and pleased to see him and begged him to take her back to his tipi. She begged him to go quickly for she was afraid of the one who had stolen her and brought her there, because he was a strong and savage beast who would try to kill both the wizard and his wife if he found them together. The wizard told her to have no fear, for he wanted to see this evil one who had stolen her, but she begged him so hard to go before the beast came that he took her by the hand and led her out of the door. As they came out of the tipi, his wife cried, "Here it comes. It will kill both of us."
The wizard saw a great beast rushing at them and knew that it was the Magical Buffalo (Ganask inyan). He put on the gray bonnet and the Magical Buffalo could see neither him nor his wife. As it rushed by him, he struck it with the big knife and it was cut into pieces. He and his wife then went to the river and he put, on the gray bonnet and followed the trail to his grandmother's tipi. They came to her tipi and found her waiting for them, and she said, "Come into my tipi, grandson., I knew that you would bring your wife with you." When they were in the tipi she said to him, "Hang the gray bonnet and the big knife on the side of the tipi, and when you are in trouble come to me." She then gave them food and when they had rested, they went on their way to their own tipi. When the people saw them, they rejoiced; the chief gave a great feast and all were happy.
The wizard and his wife lived happily in their tipi for many moons. One morning, the wizard awoke and found his wife gone again. He searched for her in her father's tipi and in all the camp but could not find her. The chief called the people together but no one could tell where she was or what had become of her. The wizard remembered his grandmother and went to her tipi and found her waiting for him She said to him, "My grandson, you have lost your wife again. I will help you to find her."
She then gave him food. When he had rested she told him to take the gray bonnet and the big knife and follow her. She went into a wood on the bank of a large river where there was a log with a branch at one end. She twisted this branch round and round and the log rolled over and over towards the river and as it rolled became more and more like a boat, so that when it reached the water it was a boat with a head, two great eyes, and a tail. She told the wizard that this boat would carry him where he wanted to go and that when he got out of it, it would sink below the surface of the water until only its tail could be seen. She told him that when he
wished to use the boat again he should shake the tail and the boat would rise and start away. She warned him that he must get into it quickly or it would go and leave him.
He sat in the boat and it carried him all day. At night he lay down and slept and it carried him all night. The next morning he saw something dark far away, and when the boat brought him near he saw that it was a summer cloud sitting on the bank of the river. The boat carried him to the bank. He got out of it and it sank in the water until only the tail could be seen. He found a trail under the cloud and followed it to the top of a high hill and in the valley beyond he saw a large yellow tipi. He put the gray bonnet on and went to the tipi and walked around it, examining it closely. Then he went into it and found his wife making moccasins and sat down near her.
He took off the gray bonnet. When his wife saw him, she was like one dead with fear. When she revived she begged him to take her away from that place, for the one who had stolen her and brought her there was a malicious and terrible bird with three brothers who were as evil as it, and that when they glared their glance would kill. The wizard told her to have no fear for him, as he wished to see the bird that had stolen her.
While they talked, there was a crash of thunder. The woman grew pale with fear and said that the thunder was one of the birds coming. The wizard told her to sit still as if she were making moccasins and if the bird came in to go out and hurry to the bank of the river and wait for him there.
In a short time, the bird came in and the wizard saw that it was the Thunderbird from the north. Its voice was loud and rough as it said, "Who has been here? There are tracks around the tipi." The woman said, "No one has been here and gone. Look about the tipi for yourself." It looked about the tipi but could see no one, so it said, "I will wait for my brothers."
Soon there was another crash of thunder and another bird came in. The wizard saw that it was the Thunderbird from the west. It said in a loud coarse voice, "Who has been here? There are tracks about the tipi and in the door?" The woman said, "No one has been here and gone. Look about the tipi for yourself." It looked about the tipi but could see no one, so it said, "We will wait for our brothers."
Then there was another crash of thunder and another bird came in. The wizard saw it was the Thunderbird from the south. It said in a loud coarse voice, "Who has been here? There are tracks around the tipi and in the door and near the fireplace." The woman said: "No one has been here and gone. Look about the tipi for yourself." It looked about the tipi but could see no one, so it said, "We will wait for our brother."
Then there was a crash of thunder louder than the others, which shook the tipi and the earth, and soon another bird came. It was larger and more terrible than either of the others. The wizard saw that it was the Thunderbird from the east. It said in a voice that sounded like the growling of an angry bear, "Who has been here? There are tracks around the tipi, and in the door, and near the fireplace and by the woman." The woman said, "No one has been here and gone. Look about the tipi for yourself." It looked about the tipi but could see no one and it said, "Woman, the tracks are tracks of a human. The tracks axe of one of your kind. You must be hiding him. You may be sitting on him. Get up and go out of the tipi."
She went out of the tipi and hurried to the bank of the river as the wizard had
told her. When she had gone, the Thunderbirds looked all about the tipi but could see no one, so they gathered up the robes and bags and everything that was in it, and threw them all out, but could find no one. Then the Thunderbird from the north searched all the north side of the tipi, and said, "There is no one in the north side of the tipi." The Thunderbird from the west, searched the west side and said, "There is no one in the west side of the tipi." The Thunderbird from the south searched the south side and said, "There is no one in the south side of the tipi." The Thunderbird from the east searched on one side of the door in the east, and said, "There is no one on this side of the door." As it crossed the doorway, the wizard struck it on the head and knocked it down. It jumped up and knocked down the Thunderbird from the north and it said, "Why did you do that?" and the Thunderbird from the east said, "Why did you knock me down?" The Thunderbird from the north said, "I did not knock you down."
Then the Thunderbird from the east knocked down the Thunderbird from the west, and it said, "Why did you do that?" and the Thunderbird from the east said, "Why did you knock me down?" and the Thunderbird from the west said, "I did not knock you down." Then the Thunderbird from the east knocked down the Thunderbird from the south, and it said, "Why did you do that?" The Thunderbird from the east said, "Why did you knock me down?" and the Thunderbird from the south said, "I did not knock you down." Then the Thunderbird from the east said, "One of you has lied tome, for one of you knocked me down." So they began to quarrel, and soon were fighting. They fought until three of the birds were killed and the other was weak and bloody.
The wizard saw that it was the Thunderbird from the west that was not killed and he took off the gray bonnet and said to the bird, "You are an evil thing. You delight in destroying and killing. You have even killed your own brothers. Now I will kill you." The Thunderbird saw that he was a wizard because he had appeared from nowhere. It was wounded and weak from the loss of blood, so it cried like a woman and begged the wizard to spare its life, but he said, "You have had no mercy on anything or anyone, and I will have no mercy on you."
He threw the gray bonnet down and took the big knife in his hand and stepped towards the bird to strike it, but the gray bonnet fell on the body of one of the dead birds and he could not see it and he stumbled over it and fell down. When he fell, the Thunderbird from the west snatched the gray bonnet and put it on, and the wizard could not see it. He searched long and carefully but could see neither the bird nor the bonnet. Then the Thunderbird mocked him and said, "My brothers are now dead. I am the Thunderbird. I shall keep the gray bonnet and no one shall ever see me again. I am weak now and cannot harm you, but I shall ever be your enemy. I will destroy and kill forever."
The wizard hurried to his wife on the bank of the river, but it was night when he got there and the summer cloud sitting on the bank made it very dark, so they waited for morning. During the night, they saw the glare of the Thunderbird's eye, weak and faint like the northern light, but towards morning it grew stronger and glanced towards them. As soon as it was light enough for them to see, the wizard shook the tail of the boat and it rose to the top of the water. They got into it quickly and it carried them away very fast. It carried them all day. At night, they slept in it and it carried them all night. The next morning, they saw something far away. When the boat brought them near it they saw that it was the wood on the bank of the river where the trail that led to his grandmother's tipi started.
The grandmother stood on the bank waiting for them. When they got out of the boat, she twisted its tail and it rolled over and over, up the bank and into the wood. Each time it rolled over, it grew smaller and rounder until it was a log again. They then went to the grandmother's tipi and she said to him, "Grandson, I knew you would bring your woman back with you. Now hang the gray bonnet and the big knife on the side of the tipi, and if you are ever in trouble come to me."
Then the wizard told her how he had lost the gray bonnet. She went to the top of a hill and wailed a song as if for the dead for she knew that it was gone forever and no man would again wear it. She returned to the tipi and said to the wizard, "My heart is heavy, for the gray bonnet is gone forever. The Thunder is your enemy and it will wear it always. Waziya and Iktomi are its friends and Heyoka and Iya will do its bidding. It will plague you with these evil ones. There is but one bonnet that will help you. That is the brown bonnet. It is far away, but you must get it. When you are in trouble come to me."
She then gave the wizard and his wife food. When they had rested they went on their way to their own tipi. When the people saw them they rejoiced and the chief made a great feast for all. The wizard and his wife lived happily until the winter moon had come when, one night his wife woke him and said, "Waziya is blowing his breath on me." He knew there would be trouble, so he went to his grandmother's tipi, and found her waiting for him. She said, "Grandson, Waziya is troubling your wife. You must get the brown bonnet. A stone wrapped the little brown bonnet in a little red ball and swallowed it. You must find this stone and take the brown bonnet from it. I will prepare you for this quest. Bring me three things. A wolf, a turtle and a meadowlark." She then gave him food and when he had rested, he went to find the wolf, turtle, and meadow lark.
He traveled far on the plains, and met a huge wolf and said to him, "My friend, come and eat with me." The wolf was hungry and sat beside the wizard and they feasted all that day and far into the night. The next morning the wizard told the wolf that he must go in quest of the brown bonnet, and what his grandmother must have to prepare him for the quest. The wolf said, "I have little hair. Waziya's breath pinches me. I will help you that I may be revenged on Waziya."
So the wolf and the wizard traveled on together and they came to a great muddy lake and met a huge turtle.
The wizard, whose name was Piya, said to the turtle, "My friend, come eat with us." The turtle sat and ate with Piya and the wolf. In the morning, Piya told the turtle as he had the wolf. The turtle said, "My skin is thin and insects bite me, but I will help you so that I maybe revenged on those who suck my blood." The wizard, the wolf, and the turtle traveled far into the night.
In the morning, Piya spoke to the lark as he had the wolf and turtle. The lark said, "My voice is harsh and I can sing but one note and the magpie laughs at me; but I will help you so that I can make the magpie ashamed." So Piya, the wolf, the turtle, and the lark went together to the tipi of the wizard's grandmother.
She stood outside and said, "Grandson, I knew you would come and bring that which I want." She then bade them go inside. She prepared a feast for them and they feasted far into the night. In the morning Piya told his grandmother what the wolf, the turtle, and the lark had said. She told them that if they would give her what she wished she would give each of them what he most wished. The wolf, the turtle, and the lark agreed to this. She said she wished the wolf to give her grandson the cunning by which he could follow a hidden trail and find hidden things;
the turtle to give him the sense by which he could locate water; and the lark to give him the power to hide himself without a covering.
The wolf said he wished for fur clothing for himself and his people so that they could laugh at the Old Man, Wazi. The turtle said he wished for hard and tough clothing so that he could laugh at all insects that bite and suck blood. The lark said he wished for a pleasing voice so that he could sing and make the magpie ashamed.
The Old Woman then said that if they would first help her grandson as she wished, she would give them and all their people what they wished. She then told them how to go to a far region where there were neither trees, nor grass, nor open trail, and but little water in hidden springs. She gave Piya the big knife and a magic rattle and told him to go upon the barren region and find his wife.
The wizard, the wolf, the turtle and the lark traveled together as the Old Woman had instructed them. Piya was sad, for he thought of his wife, but the others were happy, for they thought of that which the Old Woman would give them. In the evening the wolf taught Piya how to lie hidden with no covering. Thus they traveled many days and came to the barren region. Piya took food and went alone upon this region, but he could see no trail and wandered about until he remembered the cunning the wolf had taught him. Then he found a hidden trail and traveled on it until evening, when he located a spring hidden under a stone, with little water in it. He camped there that night. In the morning a bear came and Piya hid himself as the lark had taught him. The bear saw the stone was taken from the spring, and he raged and sniffed about to find who had drunk from his spring. Piya showed himself and the bear reared and rushed to attack him. Piya shook the magic rattle toward the bear and he could not move. Piya showed the big knife and the bear whimpered and begged for pity and promised to help Piya in any manner. Then Piya told of his wife and why he was there. The bear said that the Crazy Buffalo had stolen his wife and kept her in his tipi which was four days' journey distant; that the hidden trail was to this tipi which was like a huge cactus; that no man could enter this cactus without wearing the brown bonnet; and that the brown bonnet was hidden in a red stone that was like a fruit on the cactus.
Piya traveled on the hidden trail for four days and then saw a huge cactus. He bid himself and watched it. The Crazy Buffalo came from the cactus. He hid himself and watched it. The Crazy Buffalo came from the cactus and bellowed that he smelled a man. He sniffed this way and that way and then rushed along the hidden trail, grunting and snorting.
When Piya could no longer see him he went to the cactus and saw what appeared to be a large fruit on it. He struck the fruit with the big knife. When it fell to the ground, he saw that it was a stone. He struck the stone with the big knife and cut it through. The brown bonnet was inside the stone and Piya put it on his head. A door opened in the cactus and he went inside and when his wife saw him she was much afraid.
She said that the Crazy Buffalo was a ferocious demon and would kill Piya when he came back. Piya, told her not to fear and do as he bade her. When the Crazy Buffalo came and saw the broken red stone he bellowed with rage. Piya hid. The demon came into the cactus and said, "I smell a man. Where is he?" The woman said, "No man has been here and gone." The Crazy Buffalo said, "You hid a man and I will gore you." Piya. said to the woman, "Runaway from here." The Crazy Buffalo turned to see who spoke and the woman ran from the cactus and far away. When Piya showed himself and the Crazy Buffalo rushed to gore him, he shook the
magic rattle. When the Crazy Buffalo heard the rattle he could not move. He said to Piya, "You are a wizard and have much power. We should be friends, for I also have much power. We can work together and we can do anything that we may wish." Piya said nothing. The Crazy Buffalo said, "If you will be my friend I will give you my power. You will be a chief and a brave and the women will sing your songs." Piya said nothing. The Crazy Buffalo said, "I will give you power so that you will have plenty of meat and robes and can take the wives of other men and ravish the young women and no one will harm you." Piya gazed far away, but said nothing. The Crazy Buffalo grew bold and said, "Let me take the brown bonnet and I will show you how to wear it so that you can do as you wish in anything." Then Piya said, "You tell me lies to escape from me, but you shall not escape." He drew the big knife and when the Crazy Buffalo saw it he begged for mercy.
Piya said, "You are a demon who has had no pity for anyone, and I will have no pity for you." He then struck the Crazy Buffalo with the big knife and cut him into four pieces. Piya then went and found his wife. Together they traveled on the hidden trail until they came to where the wolf, the turtle, and the lark waited for them. All rejoiced and they went to the Old Woman's tipi. She stood outside and said, "Grandson, I knew that you would get the brown bonnet and find your wife."
She then made a feast and all feasted until far into the night. In the morning she gave the wolf, the turtle, and the lark what each had wished for, and together they went on the trail. She told her grandson to hang the brown bonnet and big knife in the tipi, and keep the magic rattle, and as long as it was in his tipi no harm would come to him or his wife.
The wizard and his Wife returned to her people and they rejoiced, singing songs, dancing, and playing games. The chief made a great feast and gave away all he possessed. The women put up a new tipi beside that of the chief and the wizard's wife led him through its door and seated him on the man's place.