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Some people descended from above in a canoe singing and laughing. When they reached the earth they got out and played ball on a little prairie. As soon as they were through they got into the canoe again, singing and laughing continually, ascended toward the sky, and disappeared. After an interval they descended to the same place, singing and laughing, got out, and played ball again. When they were through they went back, got into the canoe, ascended toward the sky, and disappeared.

After this had gone on for some time a man came near a little while before they descended, stood on a tree concealed behind some bushes and saw them come down, singing and laughing, to the ground and get out. While they were playing the ball was thrown so as to fall close to the man and one woman came running toward it. When she got near he seized her and the other people got into the canoe, ascended toward the sky, singing continually, and disappeared.

The woman, however, he married. One time, after they had had several children, the children said, "Father, we want some fresh meat. Go and hunt deer for us." He started off, but he had not gotten far when he stopped and returned home. The mother said to her children, "Say, 'Father, go farther off and kill and bring back deer. We need venison very much.'" And the children said, "Father, go farther off and kill and bring back some deer. We need venison very much." When he did so, the children and their mother got into the canoe and started up, singing, but he came running back, pulled the canoe down, and laid it on the ground again.

After that the woman made a small canoe and laid it on the ground. When their father went hunting she got into one canoe and put the children into the small canoe and they started upward, singing. As they were going up the man came running back, but pulled only his children down, while their mother, singing continually, disappeared above.

But the children which the father had kept back wanted to follow their mother. They and their father got into the canoe, started off, singing continually, and vanished. Presently they came to where an old woman lived. The man said to her, "We have come because the children want to see their mother," and the old woman answered, "Their mother is dancing over yonder all the time, having small round squashes for breasts."

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Then the old woman gave them food. She cooked some small squashes and gave pieces to each. When she set these before them, they thought, "It is too little for us." But when they took one away another appeared in the same place. When they took that one away it was as before. They ate for a long time but the food was still left. Then the old woman broke a corncob in pieces and gave a piece to each of them.

They went on and came to another person's house. This person said to them, "She stays here dancing." While they were there she went dancing around. They threw a piece of corncob at her but did not hit her. She passed through them running. The next time they threw at her when she came, she said, "I smell something," and passed through on the run. But the last one they threw hit her and she said, "My children have come," and she came running up to them. Then all got into the canoe and came back to this world.

One time after this when their father was away all got into the canoe, started up toward the sky, and disappeared. The children's father came back and after he had remained there for a while he got into the other canoe, sang, and started upward toward the sky. He went on for a while, singing, but looked down to the ground. Then he fell back and was killed.

Next: 20. The Men Who Went to the Sky