A man and his wife camped out in a certain place with many dogs in order to hunt. The dogs would trail a bear and when they had brought it to bay they would bark in a peculiar manner, whereupon the man would come up and kill the bear. In this way he got a number of them.
During this time he hunted in all directions from his camp except toward the southeast, and finally he started off in that direction. There he found a piece of flat land running down to the bottom land and, just beyond, a very rough, rocky place. Presently he heard his dogs bark near the rocks and supposed they had found a bear, so he started in the direction of the noise. When he got near, however, he saw something dart out from among the rocks, seize a dog and carry it back. It was a huge lizard. Then the man turned round and ran back toward his camp. When he had covered about half of the distance he stopped and listened. It sounded as though but few dogs were left. After a short time he stopped again to listen, and now he heard but one dog bark. The next time he stopped he heard none. When he had gotten still farther he looked back and, the ground being open behind him, found that he was being pursued.
The hunter soon discovered that the big lizard was certain to catch him, so he dropped upon the ground and lay flat upon his chest. When the lizard came up he heard it panting like a tired dog. It took him in its mouth and started to carry him back to its den. The man looked from time to time to see how near they were to the place, and at last he saw that they were close to the place from which he had started running. There he noticed something moving about. He thought that in a moment the lizards were going to cut him in pieces and eat him, but when they reached the place where the thing moved he heard something making a scratching noise in a tree near by. The lizard heard it also and threw the man down, but the latter continued to lie still as if he were dead. The noise which he had heard was made by a Tiger (panther) which now jumped down upon the lizard. The lizard tried to seize it but the Tiger quickly sprang out of reach and then jumped down upon it again and immediately back upon another tree. Each time the Tiger scratched the lizard and hurt it very badly, so that it soon ran away with the Tiger in pursuit. The Tiger chased it straight back to its den, scratching it all the way.
The man did not dare to move, however, and thought that the Tiger would eat him up when it returned. He did not know it had come back until it was close by and he heard it say, "Are you dead?"
[paragraph continues] At first he did not reply, but presently the Tiger added, "I am here. You are not going to die, for I will protect you." Then the man answered, "No, I am not dead." "Well, get up," said the Tiger, but the man remained where he was until the animal lifted him to his feet. But then the man staggered about in a circle four times. The Tiger lapped him all over (or let his saliva run all over him) and said, "Can you stand on your feet?" "No," the man answered. "Then come and climb upon my back and I will carry you." The man told him he thought he would be too heavy, but the Tiger answered, "Oh! I can carry you. Sometimes I carry two deer and I can carry you just as easily." So the hunter climbed up on the Tiger's back and started with him for camp. On the way they came upon the shot pouch which he had dropped when he was being pursued, and later on the gun. The Tiger told him to pick them up and carry them with him. After they had reached a place close to his camp, the Tiger set him upon the ground and told him to go the rest of the way himself. The man invited him to come to his camp and get all the food he wanted, but the Tiger answered that he could got plenty. Before parting from the hunter, however, he said, "My friend, I have two nephews whom you must never disturb." "Who are they?" asked the man. "One is Wildcat and the other House Cat. House Cat is the lesser. You must not tell anyone what I have said to you." (However, at a later time the man did tell some people about it.) After that they parted and the man returned to his camp.
The summer after this the same man was on a hunt and heard turkeys gobbling. He discovered one of them sitting at the top of a pine tree and was preparing to shoot at it when he noticed something crawling up the tree toward it. This he found was a wildcat, and, remembering what the tiger had said to him, he gave up attempting to shoot the turkey and stood watching. Presently the wildcat sprang at the turkey but missed it and fell from the top of the tree to the bottom. It struck the ground and he heard it cry, "Wa+o, wa+o, wa+o." Remembering what the tiger had done for him, the hunter ran to the place to see what he could do for this animal. He found that it had knocked out an eyeball, and when he came near, said, "Have you hurt yourself?" On hearing the man speak, however, the wildcat, who was trying to put his eyeball back in place, pulled it out, threw it away, and ran off.
27:1 The hero of this story can not have belonged to the Panther clan, because the panther called him "My friend." Had he been of the same clan he would have said "my brother."