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3. THE ORPHAN (43)

An orphan was walking about shooting arrows. One day he came to the lower end of a creek where the water was deep and heard a noise like thunder. Looking closely he discovered a Tie-snake

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and the Thunder-being fighting, and when they saw him both asked him to help them. The Tie-snake spoke first, saying, "My friend, help me, and I will tell you what I have learned." The boy was about to aim at his antagonist when the Thunder said, "Don't shoot me. Kill the Tie-snake. There is a spot under his throat and it is there that his heart is. If you shoot him there you will kill him." Upon hearing this the boy aimed at the white spot and killed the Tie-snake. In this way he obtained all of the Thunder's power, but the Thunder told him not to tell anyone where he was getting it.

Some time after this some people went bear hunting, taking the orphan with them. It was in winter when the bears were hibernating. Two camps were formed, one consisting of the boy's uncles. While they were there an owl was heard to hoot and the orphan said, "The hooting of that owl is the sign of a bear." His uncles said they did not believe it. "He doesn't know anything," said one of them, but the boy declared, "I am right." His brother-in-law believed him, so he said that they two would go out after it. They set out next morning and, sure enough, discovered a bear in a hole in the ground. They killed it and brought it back to camp. The Thunder gave this orphan such power that all that he foretold came to pass. If he told the hunters a certain kind of game animal was in a tree it was actually there and they got it.

Some time later war broke out. The orphan said he could fight without help from anyone, and they told him to go ahead by himself. "I will certainly do so," he answered. The brother-in-law who had confidence in him also went along in the party. When they got close to the hostile camp, the boy went on ahead while the others sheltered themselves behind trees. Then the orphan caused thunder and lightning all over the camp of the enemy. Some were killed and the rest ran about in helpless terror, so that the boy's followers ran up and killed all of them.

Later there was another war and those who knew the orphan wanted him to lead. When they got close to the enemy, he told his companions to remain at some distance. Then he went nearer and began to circle round a tree. As he did so lightning played all about and struck all over the camp of the enemy, killing every one in it. The orphan was never seen afterwards, and so they thought that he went up in the midst of the thundering to the sky. Therefore, they claimed that the Thunder was an orphan child.

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